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 2

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. This system is designed to satisfy the requirements of Governor Inslee's Safe Start phases for Whatcom County, but please note that Western's operating levels are not directly tied to the Safe Start phases, but will be set by the University's Executive Leadership based on the current Safe Start phase in Whatcom County, phases in other counties, virus trends across the state, and other environmental factors.

Western will operate at Level 2 during fall quarter.

The operating level for winter quarter will be set mid-fall quarter, and the operating level for spring quarter will be set mid-winter quarter, and this page will be updated accordingly. The operating level tables provide a general overview of functions, programs, and services at each operating level.

Levels of Operation

Level 0 - Not Operational

Operations Academics Co-Curricular Housing People
  • 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)
Fully Off-Site

Level 1

Operations Academics Co-Curricular Housing People
  • Number of critical services or functions may be reduced
  • Access to campus buildings and grounds is not allowed for unauthorized 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 est. 300-600 residents based on current guidance
  • No guests or visitors allowed
  • Isolation/quarantine if needed
  • Minimal dining services; one location w/take-out service only
Modified On-Site Presence

Current Level - Level 2

Operations Academics Co-Curricular Housing People
  • 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
Modified On-Site Presence

Level 3

Operations Academics Co-Curricular Housing People
  • Remote work arrangements for those whose duties and responsibilities allow
  • Working on site based on university guidelines and requirements
  • Reduced retail operations
  • Limited number of campus visitors (approved clients, contractors, recruitment activities, and outdoor public visitors only)
  • Facial coverings, social distancing, approval, attestation required
  • Many classes remote
  • Most lab/experiential spaces available
  • Several IT access areas open

 

  • Many services remote
  • Many student activities remote [some exceptions]
  • Small gatherings possible (10 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)
  • Reduced dining services based on occupancy
Modified On-Site Presence

Level 4

Operations Academics Co-Curricular Housing People
  • Flexible work arrangements
  • Modified retail operations
  • Increased number of campus visitors
  • Facial coverings, social distancing strongly recommended
  • Substantial in-person instruction
  • All lab/experiential spaces available
  • All IT access areas open

 

  • Increased in-person services
  • Increased in-person student activities
  • Large gatherings as necessary
  • Housing residents to be determined based on current factors/guidance
  • Visitors allowed
  • Modified dining services based on occupancy
Modified On-Site Presence

Level 5 - Fully Operational

Operations Academics Co-Curricular Housing People
  • 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
  • Large gatherings as normal
  • Full housing capacity 4100 residents
  • Full dining operations
Fully On-Site

Planning for On-Site Operations

Plans developed for on-site department work via the Department Reopening Plans and for isolated activities/operations via the on-site approval form will be reviewed and approved by division leadership, and then reviewed and approved by Incident Management for implementation.

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

Department Reopening 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 ReADY system. Departments including EHS, FM, Space Administration and HR will then advise you on anything you must include to help make sure your staff are safe. 

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

For departments primarily conducting on-site office work, please refer to the Department Reopening Guidelines

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. 

On-Site Approval Form:

Any staff or students who are on-site for reasons not addressed in an approved Department Reopening Plan are required to receive approval through the On-Site Approval Form. This includes both individuals and any gatherings of two or more individuals (events, meetings, etc.), which are subject to the guidance outlined in the Gatherings Levels Matrix. It is worth noting the gathering size limitations of the Safe Start phases do not apply to on-site academic programming (with an approved Department Reopening Plan and conducted with proper social distancing and use of facial coverings); however, Western will be enforcing these limitations for any non-academic, on-site programming. All plans will be reviewed and approved by the relevant individuals, with final approval by a VP or designee.

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?

 

Please notify COVID-19 Planning of any changes to the plan following the approval process.