Frequently asked questions about the WWU response to COVID-19

— Updated April 28, 2021 —


I know the CDC just updated their mask-wearing guidelines. What is the current WWU policy on wearing masks?
The latest Walla Walla University policy for wearing masks is that facial coverings are required in indoor areas, such as classrooms, laboratories, hallways, lobbies, restrooms, and other common spaces. Reasonable exceptions to this requirement will include outdoor settings when there is an ability to physically distance from others, certain approved athletics practices and contests, when employees are alone in their private offices, and when students are alone or with roommates in residence hall rooms or apartments. Mask wearing is required whenever outdoor physical distancing is difficult to maintain. Your continued vigilance is important to helping us continue spring quarter without significant interruption. Please continue to maintain 6 feet of social distance and respect and protect those around you with appropriate mask use.

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Will WWU continue to require students and WWU employees to submit a daily health report?
All students and WWU employees are required to complete a Daily Health Report form during spring quarter. We are no longer using the SaferMe app. The new Daily Health Report form is offered through myWWU. You’ll find the form at wallawalla.edu/dhr or by using the QR code on one of our campus posters. The form must be submitted every weekday (Monday through Friday) and on weekends if you are experiences symptoms. If you forget to complete your health report, you will receive an automatic reminder each afternoon.

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What kind of activities will be available for students during spring quarter?
While there will still be safety measures in place, such as testing at the beginning of the quarter, mask wearing, and distancing, we are looking forward to taking advantage of longer, warmer days this spring with opportunities to dine, study, and enjoy each other’s company, alfresco style. We will gather safely for Spring Jam, open mic nights, a banquet, and other fun events. Our Campus Ministries team is excited about increased capacity for in-person vespers, Circle Church and Berean Fellowship. ASWWU Spiritual is planning a concert, and small-group worships will be offered again. We will enjoy intramurals like volleyball and flag football and cheer on our UWolves Athletics teams. ASWWU Outdoors has a number of excursions planned to make the most of our beautiful Pacific Northwest playground.

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Will classes be held in person or online during spring quarter?
We have adjusted our classroom spaces so that more than 60% of our spring quarter classes are in person. The majority of your professors, staff members, and WWU administrators will be on campus and look forward to moving back toward the friendly, connected campus environment WWU is known for.

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Has the university announced plans for graduation weekend and commencement ceremonies?
We are looking forward to celebrating the accomplishments and perseverance of the Class of 2021! New guidance issued by Washington State Governor Inslee on Friday, March 12, considerably expanded the possible scope of outdoor spectator events like graduation. In response to the new guidance, we are working as quickly as possible to confirm plans for graduation weekend and the June 13 commencement. You can keep up with our plans at wallawalla.edu/grad. Students and WWU employees will be notified about specific arrangements soon. The pandemic is an ever-evolving situation, and we continue to caution family members and friends of students to avoid making travel reservations that cannot be easily canceled.

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Is COVID-19 testing required at the beginning of spring quarter?
At the start of spring quarter we will gather from many different locations. Testing for COVID-19 and a modified quarantine will help slow or isolate any potential infection. All students and WWU employees must complete two COVID-19 tests no later than April 12. The first test is offered by appointment on Sunday, March 28. See the steps below for scheduling your tests. If you are absolutely unable to meet your March 28 test appointment, please submit a Late Campus Arrival Request. Please note that submission of the form does not guarantee approval for late testing. Your request will be reviewed, and then you will be notified if you are approved for alternate testing dates and new scheduling options.

Students and WWU employees will quarantine from campus until the results of their second COVID-19 test have been received and processed by WWU. Campus access status will then be communicated via email by the COVID-19 Compliance Team.

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What type of COVID-19 testing will be used on campus?
The type of testing used on campus is polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing processed by Avellino Laboratory. A PCR test (also called a molecular test) for COVID-19 is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use to diagnosis people who are currently infected with SARS-CoV-2, which is the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The PCR test is the most accurate and reliable test and is therefore considered the gold standard for diagnosing COVID-19.

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What do I do if I can’t be on campus for the first required COVID-19 test on March 28?
You will need to submit a request for an alternate testing plan by completing the Late Campus Arrival Request form. Please note that submission of the form does not guarantee approval for late testing. Your request will be reviewed, and then you will be notified if you are approved for alternate testing dates and new scheduling options.

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How do I access the appointment system to schedule my first and second required COVID-19 tests for spring quarter?

  • Sign into myWWU and select Appointment Registration for COVID Test.
  • Select the quarter SPRING 2021.
  • Select your two COVID-19 test appointment dates and times.
  • Mark your appointments on your calendar so you won’t forget them.
  • Missed appointments or late arrival to campus will significantly delay your campus access or may result in entirely preventing you from accessing campus for the quarter.

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If I’m on campus and I see someone I know who is not being covid safe, how can I report them and remain anonymous?
Behavior that is unsafe or that does not comply with COVID-19 protocols can be reported using the WWU Anonymous COVID-19 Compliance Reporting form

The university, in the interest of its students, faculty, and staff, will follow up on any notice of concern. Unless the concern has been submitted anonymously, the first step may be to contact you directly to solicit further information. If no further information is needed, the situation will be addressed without your further involvement. Concerns are reported to the COVID-19 Compliance Team for initial review and correction, and if warranted, may be referred to the vice president of Student Life or the director of Human Resources.

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How will I know if I’ve been cleared to get my ID card sticker that allows me to be on campus? What is the criteria for receiving a sticker?
You will be able to get your ID card sticker when you receive notification from the COVID-19 response team that you have been cleared. This notification will be sent via email to your @wallawalla.edu email account. After you receive that notification, you can pick up your sticker.

    Students, faculty, and staff will not be cleared to get their sticker until the results of their second COVID-19 test have been received and recorded as negative. If you were tested at a time outside the regular testing times, your clearance to be on campus and out of modified quarantine could be delayed until receipt of a negative result on your second test.

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    Can I still access the cafeteria even if I don’t have my I.D. card sticker?
    Yes. Students, faculty, and staff who have not received notification about being cleared to get their sticker can still access food in the cafeteria through the main entrance but will have to get their temperature taken and show their SaferMe self-report for the day before being allowed to enter the caf. Meals at the cafeteria and Express will be takeout only until you are cleared for campus access and have your I.D. card sticker. Once you have your sticker you can enjoy dining in the cafeteria and Express. There will be occupancy limits and safety protocols in place in both locations. If you have been notified by Dr. Kari Firestone, WWU COVID-19 response director that you are in isolation (tested positive) or quarantine (known exposure to someone who has tested positive), meals will be brought to you at your isolation or quarantine location.

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    Once students are back on campus, where will they live if they test positive for COVID-19 or if they are exposed to someone with COVID-19?
    Separate spaces have been set aside in Meske Hall for both quarantine (if you are deemed to be a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19) and isolation (if you test positive for COVID-19.) To reduce exposure, students in quarantine will not mix with students in isolation; they will be on separate halls with separate bathrooms. Once a student has moved into Meske Hall, they will not be allowed to leave until cleared by the COVID-19 response team. All meals will be delivered to students in quarantine and isolation, and residence hall staff members will be present to assist them. No visitors will be allowed with the exception of residence hall staff and/or the COVID-19 response team. If students are asked to go into quarantine or isolation they will receive more information about is expected.

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    Will WWU conduct COVID-19 testing throughout the quarter in addition to the two tests at the beginning of the quarter?
    WWU may conduct random testing throughout winter quarter to help interrupt the spread of infection, and our COVID-19 response director will also refer students for symptomatic testing at our University Health Clinic or at a local health care agency. Find important additional information on our modified quarantine information page.

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    When does it look like the vaccine will be available to the general public? Can people who have been vaccinated resume gatherings with other vaccinated folks?
    The Washington State Department of Health has distributed a vaccine distribution chart that outlines a timeline for various groups in Washington state to receive the vaccine. You can also find more detailed information and answers to many questions about the vaccine on the Washington State Department of Health vaccine web pages. Please keep in mind that these timelines are estimates and could change.

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    Have another question?

    We have a team on standby, ready to answer your questions. Click the “Ask a Question” button below to submit your query.

    If you are the parent of a current student and would like to speak to someone at the university, please contact Claudia Santellano, director for alumni and parent relations, during normal business hours at (509) 527-2644 or (800) 541-8900.

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