Coronavirus News

5 days 9 hours ago

Did you miss the Virtual Q&A on May 27 about fall planning, with President Sabah Randhawa, Provost Brent Carbajal, and WWU vice presidents Melynda Huskey and Donna Gibbs? If so, click here to watch the recorded session, or go to https://vimeo.com/423385719.

1 week 4 days ago

Dear Western Community:

1 week 5 days ago

Western’s campus may be a lot quieter these days as classes have moved online, but University Police are still on campus and working to keep our community safe. Here are some tips for staying safe when you’re out and about that are helpful any time of year:

3 weeks ago

Dear WWU Community,  I know that one of the biggest questions on the minds of students and their families, and faculty and staff alike, is will we return to face-to-face operations in fall quarter?  Needless to say, this involves a highly complex set of decisions that require planning for circumstances that no one can fully predict at the moment. 

1 month ago

Dear Students and Families,  WWU applied for federal CARES Act funding for students on April 21, and this week we received $5.8 million to expend over the next year as grants for Western students who have incurred expenses from disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. 

1 month ago

Dear WWU Faculty and Staff, As Governor Inslee and state health experts continue to evaluate a phased lifting of certain restrictions of the Stay Home-Stay Healthy proclamation, we have started to examine possible future scenarios for university operations.

1 month ago

Western is opening a temporary respiratory clinic at the university’s main campus in Bellingham on Tuesday, April 28, 2020. The Student Health Center Annex, or temporary respiratory clinic, is located in the first-floor former lock shop space of the Campus Services building. The respiratory clinic is intended to be a separate facility to mitigate any potential risk that may be present as the university eventually transitions to more normal operations. Both the primary Student Health Center and the Annex will serve only Western Students.

1 month ago

There is no higher priority than the safety of our students, faculty, and staff. Considering the challenges presented by the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Western Washington University is taking significant steps to respond to our current reality and protect our campus community — including transitioning to a virtual instruction environment and encouraging social distancing. People around the globe are being impacted by this pandemic, and we are sensitive to the effect that this might have on you and your family. 

1 month 1 week ago

In this Q&A, WWU Professor of Biology Craig Moyer breaks down the mechanical processes of how your greatest ally in the battle to stay healthy this spring - soap - is the enemy a virus never wants to see coming.

1 month 2 weeks ago

Dear Colleagues, While most of us are working from home, critical on-site personnel continue their vital work on campus, maintaining life safety and security. This small group of employees can only complete their work while on campus. They have been formally notified of their status. 

1 month 2 weeks ago

Staying at home may not feel like a heroic act but is saving lives.  Our essential workers at Western and beyond are on the front lines of maintaining our community’s wellbeing, and many other people are at a higher risk for serious and life-threatening illness due to Covid-19.  They are counting on the rest of us to Stay Home, Stay Healthy. 

1 month 2 weeks ago

Dear Faculty and Staff, As you may have seen in my message to students last Friday, we have been encouraged by recent infection and hospitalization trends suggesting that the worst of the coronavirus outbreak in Washington may be behind us. But models are only as good as the assumptions we put into them. Although the data show that current community mitigation strategies are working to slow the spread of COVID-19, they must be sustained to ensure Washington’s continued success.

1 month 3 weeks ago

Dear Western Students, I know by now you are probably feeling bombarded with news and updates about our many responses to the coronavirus pandemic. Today, I write to you about plans for the remainder of spring quarter, Spring Commencement and summer. But first, let me emphasize that based on current virus spread trends in our state, we fully expect our main campus and locations statewide to be open and normal operations resumed for the fall 2020 start.

1 month 3 weeks ago

Dear Western Community, In a continued effort to coordinate resources with WWU’s Community and Whatcom Unified Command, HR is distributing the following guidance for volunteers. Message from the WWU Planning Section:

1 month 3 weeks ago

Dear Western Students, The WWU Board of Trustees, in a unanimous vote at a special meeting held earlier today, approved a set of reductions in mandatory student fees amounting to a total decrease of $171.47, or 28.6%, per full-time student over fee rates from those previously set by the Board for spring quarter 2020. Following is a detailed breakdown of those fee reductions.

1 month 4 weeks ago

Dear Western Community, The Spring 2020 Remote Work Guide has resources to support Western Employees and Supervisors who are working remotely. Find information on: Managing and Leading Remotely Productivity Strategies Teamwork and Communication Self-Care, Ergonomics and Wellness Learning and Professional Development Technology and Tools  

2 months ago

Dear Western Community, I want to share with you some immediate measures we are taking to mitigate the financial fallout from the global coronavirus pandemic. These measures are in keeping with my earlier message that, in addition to promoting the safety and well-being of our community and ensuring the continuity in delivering our education mission, protecting the well-being and employment security of Western’s faculty and staff in this ongoing situation is a top priority for us too.

2 months ago

Dear Western Community, In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Washington State Employee Assistance Program is providing increased support to the employees and supervisors. EAP is in full operation across the state, offering services via phone and telehealth platforms. We know that the emotional and mental health toll of this crisis will be significant, and we are providing additional support and resources to help address the impacts of stress, fear, financial loss, illness, grief and loss, children out of school, and isolation created by social distancing.

2 months ago

Taking Care of Ourselves There is an ongoing need to take care of ourselves and each other as we approach our lives and our work. This may include:

2 months ago

All of Western’s on-site construction activities, including construction of the new residence hall and work on the new interdisciplinary sciences building, have been suspended.

2 months ago

Dear Western Community, Western continues to remain open, and not in suspended operations. Please see below for updates from Human Resources. Temporary Employee Hour Limit Exception:

2 months ago

Dear Campus Community, Governor Inslee’s stay-at-home order, which currently continues through April 8, and which he has already suggested may be extended further, impacts many elements of our work at Western. I hope this message will bring clarity on important questions you may have.

2 months ago

Dear Western Students, We hope this message finds you healthy and safely enjoying the last couple of days of Spring Break.  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.

2 months 1 week ago

With the entire world gripped in a crisis about a virus most of us had never heard of a month ago, Western Today had a conversation with Western's own virologist, Associate Professor of Chemistry Gerry Prody, about viruses, how they work, and how we can all best protect ourselves. Western Today: Many folks lump viruses and bacteria into one box, because they can both do the same thing - make us feel sick. What are differences between the two?

2 months 1 week ago

Dear Western Community, Western continues to remain open, and not in suspended operations. Please see below for updates from Human Resources. Screening Guidance from the WA State Department of Health

2 months 1 week ago

Dear Western Community, Yesterday’s “stay-at-home” order from Governor Inslee created questions for many employees. We’ve reviewed the order and associated documents, and consulted with our Assistant Attorney Generals and others to ensure that we clearly understand the impact of the order.

2 months 1 week ago

Dear Students, We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through the many issues related to the unexpected move to remote learning for Spring quarter. We recognize that this is a very distressing, confusing, and hectic time for you and your families. Please keep in mind that your health and safety are our highest priority, and that we are striving to make this sudden transition as smooth as possible for you.

2 months 1 week ago

Dear Western Community, In the midst of all the changes and uncertainty, Spring Break is here. The sunshine, the spring flowers, the amazing sunsets—all of the things we look forward to every year after the long, dark winter are here. I hope that you can find some time this week to just enjoy the familiar rhythm of spring returning.

2 months 1 week ago

Dear Western Community, Western is open and all employees have an obligation to work remotely when possible to help mitigate or slow the spread of COVID-19 and support the safety of those who remain on campus. This is important as we recognize there are a number of functions performed that require employees to be present at the work site in order to continue business operations. Message from Mail Services

2 months 2 weeks ago

Dear Western Community:

2 months 2 weeks ago

Dear Campus Community, Following our first confirmed cases the university has received a number of questions regarding privacy issues. To ensure the University complies with state and federal privacy rights of University employees and students, all employees are asked to review and follow the guidance provided in the FAQs Regarding Confidentiality During a Pandemic. Concerns or questions about privacy and confidentiality can be sent to Compliance.matters@wwu.edu FAQs Regarding Confidentiality During a Pandemic

2 months 2 weeks ago

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.

2 months 2 weeks ago

Dear Campus Community, Western is open and all employees should work remotely when possible to help mitigate or slow the spread of COVID-19. We recognize that there are a number of functions performed that require employees to be present at the work site in order to continue business operations. It is our obligation to minimize the number of employees on-site and support the safety of those who remain on campus. Western is NOT in Suspended Operations

2 months 2 weeks ago

Lydig Construction, the general contractor on the New Residence Hall project, has notified the University that they are prepared to resume work on the site. Associate Medical Director of Western’s Student Health Center, David Hansen, has reviewed Lydig’s plan to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 and agrees that it covers all current Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations.

2 months 2 weeks ago

Dear Campus Community, Western Washington University, along with all of Whatcom County, has received new guidance today from the Whatcom County Health Department, which I want to share with you.

2 months 2 weeks ago

Dear Campus Community, Governor Inslee’s announcement today of further closures of public buildings and certain businesses applies to several Bellingham campus locations. Beginning 3/17/2020, the following buildings will be closed to the public through March 31.

2 months 2 weeks ago

Dear Campus Community, A student who attends Western’s Bellingham campus has tested positive for COVID-19. The Whatcom County Health Department has confirmed that the patient is a female in her 20s who lives off-campus in Bellingham.

2 months 2 weeks ago

Dear Campus Community, Late yesterday, we learned that a contracted construction worker employed on the site of Western’s new residence hall has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. This is the first confirmed case on Western’s Bellingham campus.

2 months 2 weeks ago

Dear Western Community,

2 months 3 weeks ago

Dear Campus Community. Western is open and we want to ensure you have all the information you need to do your job. This information will also be included on Western’s coronavirus webpage. We strongly encourage you check for new FAQs for employees and supervisors on a daily basis. 24 Hour Human Resources Contact We are happy to announce that a Human Resources representative will be available by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please contact us at 360-650-3774 at any time.

2 months 3 weeks ago

Dear Students, As you know, Western Washington University has determined that classes in all our locations will not meet in person for the remainder of the quarter, which ends March 20.

2 months 3 weeks ago

Whatcom Transit Authority has shut down bus routes 105 and 80x until in-person classes resume at Western. See the WTA website for more information.

2 months 3 weeks ago

Dear Campus Community,

2 months 3 weeks ago

A Special Message from the Student Health Center: Testing for COVID-19 previously has been limited to the most severe cases.  As a result, the Student Health Center has only been able to perform alternative testing for students to rule out other viruses and the flu. In an effort to broaden screening, the Whatcom County Health Department has lifted restrictions on who can be tested for COVID-19.  In addition, commercial testing is also becoming widely available.

2 months 3 weeks ago

Dear Campus Community, As we look ahead to Finals Week and Spring Break, I’d like to encourage all members of our community to think carefully about travel. If you have plans for international travel, it’s important to be aware of any CDC travel advisories that may apply. Faculty and staff may wish to use Western’s Travel Registry  as part of their travel preparation.

2 months 3 weeks ago

Dear Campus Community, The Incident Command System team at Western has established three goals for all of our preparation and response to COVID-19:  to protect life safety and minimize the spread of the coronavirus illness, to maintain – as much as possible – the continuity of Western’s operations, and to communicate with our communities as fully as possible. That’s the framework that governs the planning and decisions we are making for Western.

2 months 4 weeks ago

As part of our COVID-19 response, we will be sending daily updates with information and resources. These messages will always link back to Western’s coronavirus webpage, where you will find our FAQs, links, and other information. Your comments, feedback, and suggestions are very welcome! Contact us here: https://www.wwu.edu/wwucontact

2 months 4 weeks ago

Dear Western Community, As you likely know, the spread of coronavirus continues to be a rapidly evolving situation.  There have been a few additional cases in King and Snohomish counties attributed to coronavirus disease, which you have likely heard about in the news by now.  I want to share with you our ongoing work to ensure that Western is prepared to deal with this issue.

3 months ago

Dear Campus Community, I know that you have been concerned about coronavirus and its potential impact on the health of our community members.  In this message, I want to update you on the situation and the steps we are taking to address it.