Coronavirus Information

Cancellations and Closures

Most public buildings on campus are closed by order of the Governor, including:

The AS Student Late Night Shuttle is canceled until further notice.

While the Governor’s “Stay Home/Stay Healthy” order is in place, there may be no public gatherings or events of any size. After the expiration of this order and until further notice, the campus will revert back to all non-essential gatherings (including groups as small as 10 – 50 people) at Western being canceled or postponed.

All on-campus visit programs, tours and information sessions are suspended.

Postponed events include:

  • Spring Career Fair - April 16
  • WWU Great Puzzle Hunt - April 17. Postponed to 2021
  • Employment Agency Expo - May 13
  • Womxn of Color Empowerment Dinner - May 16. Postponed to fall quarter

It is vital that we support each other and act as a community, avoiding acts of discrimination and bias, and showing compassion for those affected by this disease.

Sabah Randhawa
President
Viruses don't discriminate and neither should we.
Learn to be well at Western and Wash Your Hands: Help stop the spread of germs by washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds- the time it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice. No access to soap and water? Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) until you can wash up.

Latest Updates

March 26, 2020

We know that one of the primary concerns you and your families have is possible adjustments to spring tuition and fees because of the unforeseen adaptions we’ve been forced to make in response to an unprecedented global health crisis. As previously indicated, financial aid disbursements will go forward as scheduled on March 31, and in tandem with that we want to give you and your families some sense of what to expect regarding tuition and fees.

Spring quarter classes will resume on Monday, April 6, though not in the way any of us expected a few weeks ago.  Our world has been turned upside down, and none of us knows exactly how long the crisis will last.  Fortunately, Western Washington University is an adaptable, creative and caring community.  Please know that every available resource is being utilized to continue providing a high-quality education in light of disruption to nearly every facet of life.

We understand that for some of you there is an expectation that a financial adjustment is warranted because of the move to remote teaching and learning in spring quarter.  With the shift to online instruction for spring quarter, we are actually increasing our investment in instructional costs, and so tuition for spring quarter is not changing.

We continue to pay faculty and staff for their work, work that for many has increased dramatically as we rapidly shift to a virtual environment.  At the same time, we are making existing services available online and investing in new technological capabilities as we serve students remotely.  

Whether instructors present their classes in-person or online, we are still delivering an excellent education and the degree or credential you earn will have the same value.  The same professors scheduled to teach in-person classes this quarter will be teaching remotely, and they bring the same expertise, experience and knowledge to the remote courses as they have been to their in-person teaching.

Regarding academic course fees, these fall into a variety of categories that cover expenses that range from consumable materials used by students in classes, to equipment repair and replacement.  Spring quarter presents a scenario in which departments will be making adjustments to course fees according to what is being provided to students in the course.  Some fees will not be charged at all, while the majority will either be charged as posted or reduced to a level commensurate with what is provided during remote delivery of the course.  You can expect to learn about any course fee adjustments from your professors and on your student account. 

Regarding mandatory student fees, we are still assessing the fee structures in consultation with the Board of Trustees and our colleagues at other public, four-year institutions in Washington state.  It is important to understand that these mandatory fees cannot be altered or redirected to other uses without prior review and approval by the Board of Trustees.  We continue to review the impact of limited student services, and we will communicate any changes within the next two weeks.

Read the complete Coronavirus Update

 

Campus Tours and In-Person Admissions Visits Suspended 

While the Undergraduate Office of Admissions is currently closed to visitors, Admissions staff is available via phone, email, and video appointments, and you are encouraged to explore campus virtually. For visitors with extenuating circumstances (e.g. non-refundable airline tickets), please reach out.

Admitted students: Please review COVID-19 Admissions FAQs for important updates, and be on the lookout for an invitation to our virtual Admitted Student Day event, which will be held in mid-April!

 

General Information

Western Washington University is closely monitoring the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by COVID-19 in coordination with state and local health departments. The number of individuals in Washington state diagnosed with COVID-19 is rising, and is expected to continue to rise. There is currently risk to all community members of being exposed to COVID-19, and the risk is increased in a public setting or gathering.

Western remains open following Gov. Inslee's "stay-at-home" order. Those employees critical to the ongoing operations of the university should continue to report to work. All other employees should be working from home, to the extent possible,

Important:  

This is an evolving situation, and updates are available from the Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including updated Travel Notices for countries with community transmission.

Given the uncertainty of when normal campus operations will resume, Western hopes to make a decision about in-person summer programs and activities, such as summer classes and conferences, when the COVID-19 containment situation becomes clearer. Western will continue summer classes already planned to be taught remotely, and we are working on the possibility of additional online courses being added. Details and ongoing updates on Western’s Online Summer Session can be found here: https://oce.wwu.edu/summer-session

Administered Tests

COVID-19 tests administered only by Western’s Student Health Center as of 3/30/2020.

  • The total number of Student Health Center confirmed cases (test results that are positive for COVID-19). 2
  • The total number of Student Health Center negative results (test results that are negative for COVID-19). 60

If You Feel Sick

The Student Health Center is closed for intersession. 

All Student Health Center services will be closed during the intersession, March 23-April 5 and will reopen Monday April 6.

For information about medical services during our closure, visit the After Hours Care page.

For employees with specific health concerns, please contact your primary care provider. Additional information is also available on the Whatcom County Health Department website.

Employees who are sick are encouraged to stay at home.

Information Lines

Washington State Department of Health

Available 24/7

(800) 525-0127

WWU Student Health Center

For testing and individual health concerns

(360) 650-3400

WWU Coronavirus Information Line

8:00 am - 5:00 pm Monday through Friday

(844) 840-0040

Contact Form

Resources

Teaching and Learning

About COVID-19

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing respiratory illness in people and others circulating among animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people. Previous coronavirus outbreaks have included severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). More information about COVID-19, the disease caused by this novel coronavirus, can be found here on the Centers for Disease Control information page. COVID-19 is spreading in several communities in Washington, and the risk of exposure is increasing for people who live in our state.

Because this is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation, the CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available, including any changes in the risk assessment.

Coronaviruses are primarily spread through respiratory droplets, which means to become infected, people generally have to be within six feet of someone who is contagious for an extended period of time, and have droplets land on them. This is very different from airborne diseases like measles, so the public health response is different.

There is strong evidence that the virus is widespread in our area. Here at Western, in particular, because so many 18-24 year old students may experience very mild symptoms, we have likely been in contact with the virus already. The Health Department counsels that our safest course of action is to assume that all public areas have had exposure, rather than trying to identify individual exposures and contacts. In short, it is best to consider that we have all had some contact with the virus, and take measures to limit its further spread, while monitoring our health.

To reduce your risk of getting any viral respiratory infection:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
  • Stay at home away from others if you are sick.
  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.

If you feel fine, but have had close contact with a sick person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (pdf), please monitor your health for fever, cough and shortness of breath during the 14 days after the last day you were in close contact with the sick person with COVID-19. You should not go to work or school, and should avoid public places for 14 days.

If your child or someone else in your household has a cough and a fever, but has NOT been tested for COVID-19, the sick person needs to stay home until their fever and symptoms have been gone for 72 hours. You and the rest of the household can continue to go to work and school as long as you feel well. There are many potential respiratory diseases that can cause cough and a fever.

If a friend of a friend has COVID-19, you can continue to go to work and school as long as you feel well. If you have not been around someone with COVID-19, the chances that it is COVID-19 are fairly low.

If you are worried about your older or medically fragile friends and relatives, this is a time to practice social distancing. Refrain from shaking hands, high-fives, and hugs, stand 6 feet or more away from other people. See if you can work from home. Wash your hands frequently.

The CDC advises you to:

  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean your hands by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.

Monitor your symptoms closely. Remember that the likelihood is low that you have coronavirus. Take your temperature if you believe you have a fever.

Stay home from school and work until at least 72 hours after your fever ends. If you must go out of the house or be around others, wear a mask and avoid close contact. Be especially careful around infants and small children as well as people who have compromised immune systems and/or are over the age of 65. If you returned from China in the last 14 days, and your arrival date was February 2 or later, you will have received instructions from the CDC and from the local or state health department. Please follow these instructions. Guidelines for travelers returning from other countries are available from the CDC.

Symptoms of COVID-19 may include the following:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

If you experiencing fever and respiratory symptoms (such as fever with coughing or difficulty breathing/shortness of breath), the CDC advises you to seek medical advice and call ahead to your health-care provider or nurse advice line. WWU students can call 360-650-3400 and ask to speak to a nurse. Faculty and staff should contact their healthcare provider.

Students

If you would like to talk with someone, support is available to students through the Counseling Center.

Faculty and staff

Reach out to the Washington State Employee Assistance Program and review “Coping with Stress During an Infectious Disease Outbreak”.

Everyone can help take care of ourselves and others by preventing the spread of colds and other viral ailments by doing the following:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.

For general questions and concerns we have created a dedicated campus hotline at 844-840-0040.

For students, if you have a specific health concern please contact the Student Health Center at 360-650-3400.

For employees with specific health concerns please contact your primary health care provider.

For current information about this evolving public health situation, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus page.

The Washington State Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington state, how the virus is spread, or what to do if you have symptoms, please call 1-800-525-0127 and press #. Click here for the State Department of Health's Novel Coronavirus page

The Whatcom County Health Department’s Novel Coronavirus page has updated local information and resources.

Learn more about the science of viruses in this Western Today interview with Associate Professor of Chemistry Gerry Prody

Prevention and Wellness

Student Health Center services will be closed during the intersession, March 23-April 5. We will reopen Monday April 6.

However, the 24/7 nurses call center will remain open and a doctor is on call for emergencies.  The closure allows medical staff to recharge and remain healthy.

Student Health Center website

If you have a cough and a fever:

Please do not show up at a clinic, urgent care or other health facility without calling first. Your provider will need to take special measures to protect other people in the clinic.

The CDC also advises you to:

  • Avoid contact with others and do not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean your hands by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.

Monitor your symptoms closely. Remember that the likelihood is low that you have coronavirus. Take your temperature if you believe you have a fever.

Stay home from school and work until at least 72 hours after your fever ends. If you must go out of the house or be around others, wear a mask and avoid close contact. Be especially careful around infants and small children as well as people who have compromised immune systems and/or are over the age of 65. If you returned from China in the last 14 days, and your arrival date was February 2 or later, you will have received instructions from the CDC and from the local or state health department. Please follow these instructions. Guidelines for travelers returning from other countries are available from the CDC.

Take care of yourself. Rest as much as possible. Drink lots of fluids.

Additional note for anyone arriving recently from China: Based on CDC guidance, if you have arrived in the U.S. on or after Feb. 3, 2020 AND visited mainland China in the previous 14 days, you should stay at home and not attend class or other WWU-related activities until a full 14 days have passed since your last day in mainland China.

Any student who meets these criteria — or is unsure whether they do — should contact the Student Health Center at 360-650-3400. This will assist in ensuring the safety and care of those in need as well as the rest of the Western community.

The Student Health Center is now testing students for COVID-19. Currently, the turnaround time for COVID-19 screens is 7-10 days. Student Health Center staff will follow up with you when results are ready.

If you are feeling sick, or think you need to be tested, please call the Student Health Center (360-650-3400) first and answer a series of questions to determine the risk of exposure to COVID-19. We will recommend the next steps for you.

If symptoms are mild, there’s no need for testing. Follow the guidance given by the CDC: stay home, stay away from others, and monitor your symptoms. If you feel worse, call your primary care provider. Do not go to the doctor’s office without calling first for instructions. 

For your review, here are the Washington State Department of Health recommendations for who should get tested for COVID-19:

  • Those who are sick with fever or cough and who are at a higher risk for complications from severe respiratory infections (e.g., older people, those with chronic medical conditions including immunosuppression, and pregnant people) should call their healthcare provider to discuss whether they should be tested for COVID-19 or tested and treated for other infections such as influenza or pneumonia.
  • Other people with mild illness who are concerned about their health can call their healthcare provider to discuss COVID-19 testing and other possible reasons for their illness. Not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19. We don’t currently have medications to treat COVID-19, so whether you test positive or negative your healthcare provider’s advice for managing your symptoms will be the same.

Any student who has been screened for COVID-19 should follow these precautions;

  • Stay home except to get medical care
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
  • Call ahead before visiting the Student Health Center
  • Wear a facemask
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Clean your hands often
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day
  • Monitor your symptoms

Seek prompt medical attention at the Student Health Center if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing). Before seeking care, call the Student Health Center at 360-650-3400 and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19. Put on a facemask before you enter the facility. These steps will help us to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected or exposed.

If/when a student receives a confirmed diagnosis, they will receive medical instructions, and Western will take necessary steps as advised by the Health Department, including cleaning and disinfecting, quarantining and isolating ill students, as well as other actions recommended by medical and public health professionals.

For more information about testing, visit the Washington State Department of Health testing webpage.

If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms, please do not go to a health care provider before calling first. Please follow the directions in the “What do I do if I feel sick?” question if you are ill.

Note to the community: The Student Health Center at Western serves current students on the Bellingham campus. Our small outpatient clinic, which is funded through student fees, does not accept community members or Western employees as patients. The Student Health Center can not provide COVID-19 testing to the community. Test capacity is still severely limited in our region, and we are using them in accordance with CDC recommendations for only students at the highest risk. The ability to perform tests depends on the availability of a lab, availability of specimen collection materials (swab and viral transport media), and availability of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment to collect and package specimens safely. We are actively seeking greater test capacity for our student population.

The Whatcom County Health Department recommends that people at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible, including public places with lots of people and large gatherings where there will be close contact with others. This includes concert venues, conventions, sporting events, and crowded social gatherings.

People at higher risk include:

  • People over 60 years of age.
  • Anyone underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes.
  • Anyone with weakened immune systems.
  • Women who are pregnant.

The Washington Department of Health has created guidelines and advise for higher-risk populations. Your health care team can also help you assess your current medications and conditions to help you think about actions that can minimize risk to you and your household.

Public health agencies currently do not recommend that people wear masks when they are in public. Additionally, scientists are not sure whether wearing a mask in public actually keeps healthy people from getting sick.  It’s most important for people who are sick to wear a mask in a healthcare setting (such as a waiting room) to avoid exposing other people when they cough or sneeze.

In some parts of the world, mask use is customary. People wear masks often for a variety of reasons, including to avoid pollen and air pollution, as a courtesy to others when they have the common cold, and for other cultural and even social reasons.

The Whatcom County Health Department recommends staying home and away from others if you are sick. However, keep in mind that if we see our friends, neighbors or other community members wearing a mask we should not assume that they have been exposed to coronavirus or any other illness (coronavirus is not currently present in our community). Because mask use is customary in some cultures, it’s not appropriate to make assumptions about why someone is wearing a mask or to stigmatize or discriminate against people who choose to wear masks.

The CDC has a guide for individuals, families and communities on prevention and mitigation of the spread of viruses, including COVID-19. These steps include many of those listed above for personal health, as well as others relevant for broader community efforts.

As with any natural or human-inflicted disaster, the novel coronavirus outbreak presents an added layer of stress and worry for members of our Western community who have personal connections to the affected area. This is a critically-important time for all of us to reinforce a community of care on our campus and support one another.

If you would like to talk with someone, support is available to students through campus mental health services at the Counseling Center and to faculty and staff through the Washington State Employee Assistance Program.

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people and communities. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children.

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations.  The emotional impact of an emergency on a person can depend on the person’s characteristics and experiences, the social and economic circumstances of the person and their community, and the availability of local resources. People can become more distressed if they see repeated images or hear repeated reports about the outbreak in the media.

People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include:

  • People who have preexisting mental health conditions including problems with substance use
  • Children
  • People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors and other health care providers, or first responders

Reactions during an infectious disease outbreak can include:

  • Fear and worry about your own health status and that of your loved ones who may have been exposed to COVID-19
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment plans during an emergency and monitor for any new symptoms. Additional information can be found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website.

Coping with these feelings and getting help when you need it will help you, your family, and your community recover from a disaster. Connect with family, friends, and others in your community. Take care of yourself and each other, and know when and how to seek help.

Call your healthcare provider if stress reactions interfere with your daily activities for several days in a row.

Things you can do to support yourself:

  • Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage of COVID-19.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Try to do some other activities you enjoy to return to your normal life.
  • Connect with others. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships.
  • Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking.

Share the facts about COVID-19 and the actual risk to others. People who have returned from areas of ongoing spread more than 14 days ago and do not have symptoms of COVID-19 do not put others at risk.

What are quarantine and social distancing?

  • Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
  • Social distancing means remaining out of places where people meet or gather, avoiding local public transportation (e.g., bus, subway, taxi, rideshare), and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others.

Sharing accurate information can help calm fears in others and allow you to connect with them.

Learn more about taking care of your emotional health.

More resources:

For Everyone

For Communities

For Families and Children

For First Responders

 

Additional information and resources on mental health care can be found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website.

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Hotline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
  • People with deafness or hearing loss can use their preferred relay service to call 1-800-985-5990.

WWU Facilities Management crews have implemented extra measures to clean and disinfect surfaces in public areas that are touched frequently. This includes surfaces such as door handles, banisters, and elevator buttons. An increased cleaning of these “touch points” has been in place since October to reduce health risks during flu season. But we have stepped up these preventative measures to further mitigate risks of the novel coronavirus. We will continue to monitor recommendations from the CDC and WA State Department of Health for preventing the spread of the virus.

The University’s custodial cleaning program uses an EPA-registered disinfectant to clean touch points, public and common area restrooms and kitchens daily. Students living in on-campus housing are expected to clean the private bathrooms in their residences and are provided cleaning instructions.

On campus, our new cleaning protocols are approved by the Health Department, and they confirm that there is no need for additional cleaning in public spaces.

Each of us should clean our own work surfaces, keyboards, touch screens, and phones daily with disinfecting wipes or cleansers. Shared surfaces should be cleaned after each use.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces (e.g., door knobs, tables, keyboards light switches). Use a disinfectant registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or a 10% bleach/water solution to clean surfaces. Please avoid putting disinfectant gels or liquids on electronics and other equipment, including elevator buttons, unless they have been indicated as safe to use on those devices.

How to Self-Isolate

If you are asked to self-isolate you should stay home — in your room, your apartment, or your house. Do not go to work, classes, athletic events, restaurants or bars or other social gatherings until you are told it is safe to return to normal activities by your medical provider.

  • Stay in your room or apartment. Do not go to work, classes, athletic events, or other social or religious gatherings.  
  • Limit contact as much as possible. This also means limiting contact with persons living in your residence. Stay 6 feet away from other individuals at all times.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your upper sleeve or a tissue, and then discard the tissue immediately in a trash basket. Never cough in the direction of someone else. 
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand rubs after coughing or sneezing or throwing a used tissue in the garbage. 
  • Avoid sharing household items. Do not share drinking glasses, towels, eating utensils, bedding, or any other items until you are no longer asked to self-isolate. 
  • Keep your surroundings clean. While the virus is not spread very well from contact with soiled household surfaces, try to clean surfaces that you share with others, such as door knobs, telephones, and bathroom surfaces (or any other object that you sneeze or cough on), with a standard household disinfectant such as Clorox wipes. Wash your hands after cleaning the area.
  • Monitor yourself for for signs of possible infection, including fever (100.4 degrees F or 38.0 degrees C or higher, measured twice a day), cough or difficulty breathing.

This is a strange time as we all cope with the ever changing COVID-19 situation. Being in a situation of uncertainty can be a breeding ground for anxiety. In addition, the disruption to our normal routines and daily living created by switching to off campus instruction and utilizing social distancing can create anxiety. It’s important to be intentional about caring for yourself in a way that allows you to maintain healthy mental wellness. Here are some tips for staying healthy and mentally well during this strange time. 

  • Maintain a Routine: It might be tempting to stay in bed all day with your laptop, but try to get up and get dressed like you normally would. Keeping a routine is an important coping skill when dealing with anxiety and/or a stressful event. Though it might need to look different during this time of social distancing, create a new routine for yourself and try your best to stick to it. 

  • Get Good Sleep: Getting healthy amounts of sleep is another important coping skill for staying well during stressful times. See our tips for healthy sleep hygiene! Set up a specific place for studying and working on online school that is NOT your bed! Keep the bed for sleep and sex only so that your body continues to associate the bed with sleep. 

  • Go Outside: While it is important to practice social distancing as appropriate, it is also important not to stay inside all day. Explore the great outdoors! Going for a walk in a nature preserve, or even just around the block, will help you continue to get much needed Vitamin D from the sun, get some exercise, and not stay cooped up in your home all day. Staying active is key for good mental health. 

  • Stay Connected: Isolation can have a very real and detrimental effect on mental health. While practicing social distancing may mean less in person interaction with others, be intentional about maintaining your relationships through texting, social media, and good old fashioned phone calls. Consider using live chat options such as Google hangout to catch up with a group of friends! 

  • Take a Break From the News: If you are experiencing a lot of anxiety about the COVID-19 situation, it is important to take some space from the constant news about the crisis. Knowing that not all news is accurate, especially when it is quickly and constantly updating, give yourself permission to step away from it. Checking reliable sources, such as the CDC, WWU’s Coronavirus page, World Health Organization, or the Washington State Health Department website once or twice a day is a good way to stay informed while avoiding possible misinformation.

  • Find Purpose: Finding purpose and meaning may be more difficult during this period, especially while spending most of the day in the house. Try a new hobby, work on a project you haven’t had time for, learn to cook, or even do an old fashioned spring cleaning! Find a way to keep yourself busy and to achieve accomplishments each day. 

  • Be Flexible: Feeling a loss of control can make anxiety worse, but we know that we are not in control of many things in life, certainly including COVID-19 and the precautions that may become necessary to keep it from spreading. Create structure and routine for yourself, but be sure to maintain a sense of flexibility to help you adapt to changes. Discover what you can control in your life, such as smaller decisions about when to wake up, what to work on each day, and what to eat for meals. Exercising control in these areas may help you be more flexible when dealing with things that are out of your control. 

  • Utilize Self Care: Maintaining your self care is even more important during times of high stress. Take breaks to stretch, practice mindfulness, or read a book. Find a library of self care digital resources on the Counseling Center website. See our tips and some tools for practicing self love

  • Reach Out for Support: A lot of people are struggling with anxiety during the COVID-19 crisis. Experiencing disruption to everyday life, such as taking classes online rather than in person and practicing social distancing, can lead to more anxiety. Be honest about how you are feeling. Talking about your fears is a great way to lessen your distress. Consider reaching out to family or friends to talk about your anxiety. The Crisis Text Line is available as well. Trained crisis counselors can help take you from a hot moment of crisis to a cooler calm, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Text Hello to 741741. 

The physical CASAS Survivor Advocacy Services office is closed until at least April 27th.


For many survivors of intimate partner/domestic violence and sexual assault, home is not always the safest place. This time of social distancing can leave survivors more isolated and increase safety concerns. You deserve to feel safe and supported. You are not alone.


24-Hour Survivor Support

Walk-in and in-person appointments are not available at this time, however, if you or someone you know is experiencing violence or abuse, support is still available


CASAS has compiled a list of 24-hour survivor support options. Please visit: pws.wwu.edu/24hoursupport


How can students get in touch with CASAS for advocacy support?

  • Call 360-650-3700: Leave a voicemail with your name, phone number and email, if it is safe to do so.
    • Voicemail will be checked once a day: Monday-Friday between the hours of 9am-5pm.
  • The CASAS Coordinator will follow up with advocacy requests by email or phone.
  • CASAS is offering pre-scheduled phone check-ins.
    • Video appointments may become an option as well. 


What is the plan for spring quarter support groups?

  • There will be no in-person support groups for spring quarter.
  • Plans are being made to transition the group to a self-guided art activity curriculum. 
  • Interested students can email  Deidre.Evans@wwu.edu to receive more information.


If you have any other questions, please contact:

Deidre Evans, MSW

CASAS Survivor Advocacy Services Coordinator

Deidre.Evans@wwu.edu

360-650-7982

 

 

 

The Counseling Center has shifted to remote operations, but is here for phone support throughout spring break.  

We are building our capacity and professional skills in order to provide online services via telementalhealth by spring quarter. 

Students can reach the Counseling Center at 360-650-3164 Monday through Friday  9 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you reach us during daytime hours and need to speak with a counselor, we can arrange for a phone consultation.  If a student is in crisis and in need of support when we are closed, they may call 360-650-3164 and press "1" to reach after-hours services.  (Other crisis resources include the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 and the Crisis Text Line: 741-741.) 

Check the Counseling Center website for updates.

The Western Foundation has established a Student Emergency Fund to provide relief for students who are experiencing food and housing insecurity, those whose families are confronting job loss or illness, and for those who are hungry and unable to afford even basic necessities. This reserve is a financial lifeline for our students in crisis and will help to ensure that their needs are met and that they are able to remain at Western. You can apply for financial help from this fund here.

Looking for additional FAQs?

The links here will take you directly to pages focused on specific topics. 

This page is intended to provide information about COVID-19, precautions that are being taken and prevention measures you can take, as well as being one source for information on the effects of measures various governments are taking to stem the outbreak, and to answer the most common questions about how coronavirus might impact campus operations.

This page is not intended to be all-encompassing and should not be considered to be providing medical or legal advice. In all instances, you should consult with a relevant expert for guidance specific to your circumstances.