Coronavirus Information

Latest COVID Updates

Fall 2021 Reopening Plans

Last month, I shared with you my anticipation of bringing our Western community back together for fall quarter as the introduction of vaccines and a continued focus on prevention measures in our state and across the country gave us reason to believe that conditions will improve as we approach fall quarter

Faculty Spring 2021 Instruction Modifications

Spring Quarter 2021 at Western starts on Tuesday, March 30, and because of the ongoing pandemic and short interval between winter and spring quarters, WWU is advising faculty that they have the following options for the start of online and face-to-face instruction...

Updated: 3/9/2021

COVID policies and procedures in place for Fall 2021

After careful consideration of the recommendations provided by the COVID Support Team, and significant discussion, Western has announced the following COVID policies and procedures for Fall 2021:

Masks: Employees, Students and Visitors

All individuals, including visitors, must be masked at all times when indoors and when inside WWU transportation, unless they are in an office or vehicle alone, or inside their room in a university residence. Unvaccinated individuals must mask outdoors when it is not possible to socially distance. 

Safe Start Operating Levels

The university will implement “COVID Recovery Status” on Aug. 1, and retire the operating levels system previously used.

Social Distancing

Social distancing rules are still in place outdoors for anyone who is unvaccinated, with exceptions as bargained for unvaccinated classified staff.

Capacity Limitations

The university will not implement pandemic-related capacity limitations except as required for events with 10,000+ attendees immediately.


The university will discontinue online attestations immediately.
The university will provide supportive messaging for employees encouraging them to stay home when sick, and for supervisors encouraging them to send sick employees home.

COVID Safety Site Supervisors

The university will discontinue the COVID Site Supervisor program, and return responsibility for site safety to supervisors immediately.

On-Site Safety Plans

COVID managers will update and simplify the current safety plan.
The university will discontinue plan approvals, but maintain the site for documentation.
After July 30, the university will no longer require submission of site safety plans.
COVID managers will provide consultation and support as questions about site safety arise.

On-Site Employees

After July 30, the university will no longer require supervisor approval for faculty and professional staff to have an on-campus presence. Classified staff will continue to need supervisor approval until Sept. 1.

Note that these policies and procedures may be modified, added to, or removed as circumstances around local case loads changes, or new recommendations are passed down from local, state, or national health departments. Questions? Send them to

Moving forward to Fall 2021

A huge welcome to all new WWU students coming to campus this fall, and to our returning students, faculty and staff, a hearty welcome back! Let’s get this started!

This site is the place to come to find out about what plans, policies and procedures are in place to ensure your safety, and the safety of the entire Western community.

Vaccinations and Vaccination status

For Fall 2021, Western is requiring all of its students and employees to be fully vaccinated. All Western students need to provide their vaccination records to the Student Health Center via the MyWesternHealth portal before the start of fall quarter; directions and procedures for completing this can be found on the Student Health Center’s website.

Employees need to submit their vaccination records to Human Resources, and directions for how to complete this task can be found on the WWU Human Resources website.

Vaccine exemptions

Western Washington University’s vaccination policy is in place because a fully vaccinated campus is the best way to protect the health and safety of ourselves and each other. However, a vaccine exemption request process is in place for students now, and a similar process is coming for employees.

All WWU students requesting a COVID-19 vaccine exemption must complete:

  1. COVID-19 Vaccination Waiver Request Form
  2. The COVID-19 Vaccine Education Canvas course. You will need to provide a screenshot of the verification of course completion, and include it with the required COVID-19 Vaccination Waiver Request Form. Start the COVID-19 Vaccine Education course.

COVID-19 Vaccine Waiver Forms and COVID Education Course documentation for students must be sent to for review. Incomplete documents will not be accepted. If you are a WWU employee, please check with Human Resources for details.

Please also note that unvaccinated students who have completed the waiver process will need to be tested for coronavirus weekly, on campus, to continue to have an on-campus presence. The Student Health Center will send out information to all students who will be part of the testing program before the start of the school year.

Also note that by the policy, if a COVID outbreak were to be declared at any point, unvaccinated students will not be allowed to have an on-campus presence even if they have approved waivers.

Masking rules

Currently, all of Western’s masking rules are still in effect: When indoors, you must wear a mask unless you are in an office by yourself, and outdoors you must wear a mask if you are unable to maintain social distancing of six feet or more. This applies to vaccinated as well as unvaccinated individuals

This is a living site, and information, policies or procedures about COVID-19 adopted by the university in regard to campus safety during the pandemic will always appear here, so bookmark it for future visits.

Questions? Send them to the WWU Office of University Communications at

On-Campus Student COVID Testing

Cancellations and Closures

The Viking Union and Wade King Recreation Center is open in limited capacity, please review the following sites for exact details:

Most public buildings on campus are closed to the public, including:

Whatcom County has reopened, however, certain requirements are still in place.

Keep track of the latest developments

Western is sending out regular updates through its Western Alert system. Families may opt in to Western Alerts.

Regular updates are also posted here and on Western Today's news page

If you aren't already signed up for Family Connection, click here to sign up for the monthly e-newsletter for WWU families.

Campus Tours 

While currently closed to visitors, the Undergraduate Office of Admissions is currently offering tours. The admissions staff is also available via phone, email, and video appointments.

If You Feel Sick

The Student Health Center is still here for you.  We are open but have adapted our services for everyone’s safety.  Consistent with public health measures to minimize the spread of the coronavirus, and to protect students and providers, all walk-in services are no longer available.  Most services are now offered virtually (through phone or Zoom).   If needed, we can also make special arrangements for an in-person visit with one of our providers or nurses.  Please call us at 360-650-3400 to make a virtual appointment, or to speak to a nurse.

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


Viruses don't discriminate and neither should we.
Learn to be well and wash your hands poster, full text following
Full graphic text

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.

Learn more at

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

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

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.