Safe Start Western

Helping Western create safe and inclusive working environments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Objectives

  • Ensure the health and safety of all individuals.
  • Effectively address hybrid working (on and off-site) in a thoughtful and inclusive way.
  • Ensure consistency and completeness with State, Federal and County Health requirements and recommendations.

Western is Operating at Level 3

Western has developed a system for defining operating levels during the COVID-19 pandemic based on guidance provided by the state of Washington and other sources. All activities and operations at the main Bellingham campus are subject to the guidance provided below for the current Safe Start Western operating level. Western's operating levels will be set by the University's Executive Leadership based on the current Healthy Washington phase for Whatcom County, virus activity across the state, and other environmental factors.

As of 04/14/21, WWU is now operating at Safe Start Western Level 3

Summary: Safe Start Western Level 3 allows for an increased number of campus visitors and for gradually resuming some on-campus gatherings – including functional meetings, work groups, formal activities/events, and informal social gatherings – so long as current limitations and requirements are met.

Levels of Operation

Level 0 - Not Operational

Operations Academics Co-Curricular Housing
  • Suspended operations
  • Transition to essential staff as needed
  • Possible complete campus closure
  • No classes or other programming
  • Legally-required, remote services only
  • No residents on campus
  • Isolation/quarantine w/minimal food service (if required)

Level 1

Operations Academics Co-Curricular Housing
  • Number of critical services or functions may be reduced
  • Access to campus buildings and grounds is allowed only for authorized individuals
  • Facial coverings, social distancing, approval, attestation required
  • All classes remote; essential services for research labs only
  • One IT access area open
  • Remote services only
  • No gatherings allowed
  • Housing occupancy based on defined need/ current guidance
  • No guests or visitors allowed
  • Isolation/quarantine if needed
  • Minimal dining services; one location w/take-out service only

Level 2

Operations Academics Co-Curricular Housing
  • Mandatory remote working for anyone not authorized to work on campus
  • Access to campus buildings is limited to authorized individuals
  • Retail operations curbside/take-out only
  • No visitors allowed on campus (approved clients, contractors, and outdoor public visitors only)
  • Facial coverings, social distancing, approval, attestation required
  • All discussion/lecture classes remote
  • Some lab/experiential spaces possible
  • Limited IT access areas open
  • Most services remote
  • Most student activities remote [limited exceptions]
  • Very small gatherings possible (5 or less individuals)
  • See Gatherings Guidance for more details
  • Housing residents to be determined based on current factors/guidance
  • No off-campus visitors allowed (except approved family/support during move-in)
  • Isolation/quarantine if needed
  • Limited dining services based on occupancy

Level 3 - Current Level

* Facial coverings, social distancing , attestation required.
Operations Academics Co-Curricular Housing
  • Remote work arrangements for those whose duties and responsibilities allow
  • Working on site based on university guidelines and requirements*
  • Reduced retail operations* (max 25% capacity)
  • Campus visitors permitted for allowable functions, events, and services*
  • Departments/Functional Areas: Functional meetings/work groups allowed* with requirements met at less than 25% space occupancy (for both indoor and outdoor spaces)
  • See Gatherings Guidance for more details and requirements for functional meetings/work groups
  • Most classes remote
  • Most lab/experiential spaces available*
  • Many IT access areas open* (max 50% capacity)

 

  • Most services remote
  • Many student activities remote
  • Clubs/Depts/Program Offices: Sanctioned activities/events allowed* with requirements met at less than 25% space occupancy, or max 200 people (whichever is less, for both indoor and outdoor spaces)
  • Individuals: Informal student/employee social gatherings on campus allowed* indoors for max 5 people from 2 households; outdoors for max 15 people from 2 households
  • See Gatherings Guidance for more details and requirements for activities, events, and social gatherings
  • Housing occupancy based on current factors/guidance
  • Visitors allowed in housing subject to current University Residences policy
  • Isolation/quarantine if needed
  • Modified dining services (max 50% capacity)

Level 4

* Facial coverings, social distancing, attestation required
Operations Academics Co-Curricular Housing
  • Flexible work arrangements, increasing number of staff back on campus (max 50%)
  • Modified retail operations* (max 50% capacity)
  • Campus visitors permitted for allowable functions, events, and services*
  • Departments/Functional Areas: Functional meetings/work groups allowed* with requirements met at less than 50% space occupancy, or max 400 people (for both indoor and outdoor spaces)
  • See Gathering Guidance for functional meetings/work groups
  • Substantial in-person instruction
  • All lab/experiential spaces available* (max 50% capacity)
  • All IT access areas open* (max 50% capacity)

 

  • Increased in-person services* (max 50% capacity)
  • Increased in-person student activities* (max 50% capacity)
  • Clubs/Depts/Program Offices: Sanctioned activities/events allowed* with requirements met at less than 50% space occupancy, or max 400 people (whichever is less, for both indoor and outdoor spaces)
  • Individuals: Informal student/employee social gatherings on campus allowed* indoors for max 10 people; outdoors for max 50 people
  • See Gatherings Guidance for activities, events, and social gatherings
  • Housing occupancy based on current factors/guidance
  • Visitors allowed in housing subject to current University Residences policy
  • Isolation/quarantine if needed
  • Modified dining services (max 50% capacity)

Level 5 - Fully Operational

Operations Academics Co-Curricular Housing
  • Normal working arrangements
  • Full retail operations
  • Campus open to public
  • All classes as normal
  • All educational spaces open

 

  • All in-person services running
  • All student activities running
  • All gatherings and meetings/events as normal
  • Full housing capacity
  • Full dining operations

Planning for On-Site Operations

Plans developed for regular on-site department work via the COVID on-site safety plans will be reviewed and approved by division leadership, and then reviewed and approved by Incident Management for implementation.

Requests for occasional or isolated (“one-off”) activities/operations require you to reach out to your direct supervisor to coordinate approval and remember to fill out an attestation form prior to visiting.

Questions about the processes should be addressed to Covid19Planning@wwu.edu.

COVID On-Site Safety Plans:

Each department desiring to return to campus must provide a plan that addresses the main subjects covered within this website. 

These guidelines are intended to set some common understanding and best practices while providing prompts for where flexibility and creativity may need to come into play. Departments can submit their plans through the COVID on-site safety plan form.

For departments conducting Face-to-Face (F2F) classes, please refer to the Safely Restarting Face-to-Face Instruction guidance document.

The information surrounding COVID-19, including State and Federal requirements and recommendations, continues to evolve regularly.  Therefore, there may be updates to these guidelines based on new information provided. 

How can I make changes to my department reopening plan?

To further improve on our processes, amendments can now be submitted through a standardized Form rather than through a ReADY template. If you had previously submitted a Department or Research Reopening Plan in ReADY, and it was approved, but now you need to make amendments, please use this form. The three main areas this amendment form will address are: personnel, activity, and location changes.

On-Site Approval Form:

Any employees who are on-site for reasons not addressed in an approved on-site safety plan (or previously approved Department Reopening Plan) are required to reach out to your direct supervisor to coordinate approval and remember to fill out an attestation form. This includes employees accessing campus independently, as well as those attending sanctioned gatherings (Gatherings Guidance for current limitations and requirements related to gatherings).

While preparing plans for on-site activities, consider the following questions:

Is the activity consistent with the current operations level?

Is the activity consistent with current guidance?

 

Email COVID-19 Planning with any questions.