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Safe and strong, WWU.

The novel coronavirus has brought changes to every part of life, including how you will experience Walla Walla University. This is a fluid situation, but you can expect us to keep you informed as processes and protocols change. Check this website regularly for the most up-to-date information on what to expect on our campus.


Full-density winter quarter

Walla Walla University is planning for a full-density winter quarter for our College Place and Portland campuses. Our Missoula and Billings campuses will each remain online for winter quarter. The quarter will begin with a modified quarantine and mandatory COVID-19 testing. Read more about what the return to campus plan looks like and what you need to know as we plan for a quarter back together.

We will protect our community. 

14-point prevention plan

1. Masks.
Face coverings are required on campus. The university has provided students and WWU employees with reusable cloth face masks to wear in indoors and outdoors outside of personal living spaces, in accordance with state regulations. Learn about the COVID-19 Code of Conduct.

2. Social distancing.
Social distancing is practiced on WWU campuses. Signs are posted as reminders to maintain safe distances. Students and WWU employees are expected to limit the number of close-contact exposures and to avoid congregating in groups outside of class settings. Learn more about adjustments to food services, classes, and social gatherings.

3. Traffic patterns. 
Some traffic patterns in our buildings have been altered to help with distancing. Convenient directional signs are posted to help.

4. Occupancy limits.
Occupancy limits in our classrooms and public spaces allow for safe distancing. In some cases, class schedules and locations may be more creative than usual.

5. Air filtration.
Hospital-grade air filters have been installed in our buildings following extensive research on air-quality options that will be safe for everyone. We have consulted with organizations such as the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES). We are also increasing outside air infusion and frequency of filter changes to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Additional options are being evaluated against the most recent research on HVAC products.

6. Special equipment.
Special equipment, such as plexiglass dividers and high-end microphone, camera, and computer technology, has been installed to facilitate safer interactions in our classrooms and study spaces.

7. Personal care kit.
Students and WWU employees have received a personal-care kit containing hand sanitizer, a thermometer, and other equipment for daily safety.

8. Personal hygiene.
Maintaining vigilant personal hygiene and respiratory etiquette is one way to care for one another and for those in our local communities. Hand washing is routinely encouraged, and hand sanitizer is available via convenient dispensers and refill stations so personal hand-sanitizer bottles are always full and ready for use. Learn what you can do to protect yourself and others. 

9. Daily health screening.
Each student and WWU employee monitors their health using a symptom checklist and reports their temperature and any symptoms each day on the SaferMe app. This process is required for all students and WWU employees even if they do not plan to be physically on campus. It is also required for all approved campus guests. Anyone who enters campus must visit a health check-in station and present their completed SaferMe health-screening form to receive a health pass, which they must visibly display throughout the day. This pass is required to attend classes, any campus activities, and work. Students and WWU employees must use their WWU ID cards to access university buildings and other spaces. Learn about the daily health screening process.

10. Temperature screening.
Daily temperature screening takes place for students and WWU employees at least twice each day prior to accessing campus—once reported individually on the SaferMe app and once taken by a WWU employee at a health-screening station on campus. Approved guests to our campuses will also have their temperature screened before visiting campus.

11. Contact tracing.
Contact tracing for students and WWU employees is used to provide critical information for medical professionals to assist in their efforts to understand who might need to be tested for COVID-19 and who might need to isolate or be in quarantine. Contact tracing is provided through the same app successfully used by the country of New Zealand to control the spread of the coronavirus. Only COVID-19 response personnel and the app developer have access to information. Learn more about contact tracing at Walla Walla University.

12. Campus guests.
WWU campuses are currently closed to uninvited and unauthorized guests. This helps to ensure that everyone on our campuses is approved to be here and has completed appropriate screenings. Before accessing campus, authorized guests must visit a campus health-screening station where they complete a brief health questionnaire, have their temperature taken, and receive a daily pass authorizing them to be on campus. We ask that guests on our campus follow established check-in protocols and adhere to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct while on our campus. Policies and procedures for guests on campus.

13. COVID-19 training.
Online COVID-19 training is required for all students and WWU employees before approval to be on campus. This training covers what to expect on campus and how we can work together to prevent the spread of the virus.

14. Prearrival period.
A prearrival period for self-evaluation and temperature screening helps students and WWU employees become familiar with the screening app and establish daily screening patterns. To help minimize spread of the virus, we may start winter quarter with a modified quarantine. We are working with local health officials on what that might look like, monitoring local, regional, and national COVID-19 data to help us assess risk. We will also utilize COVID-19 testing resources available to us to ensure a safe start to winter quarter and to quickly detect COVID-19 throughout the quarter.

Additional safety measures:

Revised academic calendar—winter quarter.
To accommodate a phased move-in process, instruction will begin on the College Place campus on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. Instruction on the Portland campus and for our graduate programs will begin on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. Our winter quarter schedule will be modified slightly to accommodate the phased return, and the Feb. 15 mid-winter break day has been reallocated in the schedule. View what the schedule looks like for the transition to winter quarter.

Class modalities.
Classes will be offered in person, online, and, in some cases, via dual modality. Occupancy limits in our classrooms and public spaces will allow for 6 feet of physical distance. Learn more about what classes will look like this year.

Streamlined food service.
Food service in our campus dining hall will include special serving arrangements, including the option for students to order in advance and pick up their meals in a convenient location where safe traffic flow protocols can be maintained. More about campus dining.

Cleaning of classrooms and other common areas.
Common areas have been reorganized for distancing and routine cleaning and sanitizing is in place for these spaces. View the COVID-19 Campus Sanitation and Cleanliness Policy.

How we are making decisions:

A special committee has been formed to do the work of determining the precautions and safety measures that will allow us to confidently return to campus. As they make decisions, this committee:

  1. Covers the work in continual prayer, asking for wisdom and for the safety of our community. 

  2. Works with public health experts to determine the best course of action.

  3. Follows Washington state and Walla Walla County guidelines regarding reopening phases.

We’re committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for everyone on our campus. As part of this commitment, we are working to deploy safety strategies guided by the following principles:

  • Academic strength and integrity. Teaching is at the heart of what we do, and whether face-to-face, online, or in hybrid formats, our faculty are committed to building engaging learning experiences that support the success of students.
  • Attention from faculty and staff. We remain committed to being accessible and available for personal and helpful connections with you.
  • Community. Engagement with one another is essential to quality education, and we will continue to nurture the kind of community Walla Walla University is known for.
  • Responsibility. Safety is not just a mandate. We recognize it as an opportunity to highlight our care for one another and for those in our local communities.
  • Hope. Together we can create an experience that will be meaningful and that will strengthen you now and for the future.

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