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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.


What you need to know about fall 2020

We will protect our community.

Masks
Face coverings are required on campus. The university has provided students, faculty, and staff with reusable cloth face masks. In accordance with state regulations, masks must be worn on campus in indoor and outdoor spaces outside of personal living spaces. Learn about the COVID-19 Code of Conduct.

Social distancing
Social distancing is practiced on WWU campuses. Signs and other reminders are posted on our campuses to help us remember to maintain safe distances while we are together. Students and WWU employees are expected to limit the number of close-contact exposures, and avoid congregating with many people at a time. Occupancy limits in our classrooms and public spaces allow for safe distancing. Learn more about adjustments to food services, classes, and social gatherings.

Daily health screening
Each student, faculty, and staff member is carefully monitoring their health through a daily health screening process that includes temperature screening. This process is required for all students, faculty, staff, and any approved campus guests. Individuals who are approved to be on campus are required to check in at a health screening station each day before entering campus. At these stations, they receive a daily campus pass that must be visibly displayed. Learn about the daily health screening process.

Contact tracing
Contact tracing is in place for students, faculty, and staff via an app called SaferMe. This information gathering is critical for assisting medical professionals in their efforts to accurately notify students, faculty, or staff who might need to isolate or be tested for COVID-19. Learn more about contact tracing at Walla Walla University.

Personal hygiene
Maintaining vigilant personal hygiene and respiratory etiquette is one way to care for one another and for those in our local communities. Each student, faculty, and staff member received a personal-care kit containing a hand-sanitizer bottle, a thermometer, and other equipment that is useful for safe daily living during COVID-19. Hand washing is routinely encouraged and hand sanitizer is available via convenient dispensers and refill stations on campus so that personal hand-sanitizer bottles are always full and ready for use. Learn what you can do to protect yourself and others. 

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 there and has completed appropriate screenings. Authorized guests must visit a campus health screening station before accessing campus. At the screening station, guests will complete a brief health questionnaire, will have their temperature taken, and will receive a daily campus pass authorizing them to be on campus. Policies and procedures for guests on campus.


We will care for each other.

If you need physical, emotional, or spiritual help.
Assistance is available for those who are sick or in self-isolation or quarantine through The WWU Care Team. 
Request WWU Care Team assistance.

If you need financial help.
CARES Grant for Emergency Funds are available.

If you are vulnerable.
Accommodations for vulnerable people are available.


We will stay strong through our flexibility.

Flexible learning options
We will limit the number of students taking in-person classes on our campus during fall quarter. We will continue university operations through a flexible model of instruction that focuses on a reduced-density campus population through the end of the 2020 calendar year. This new model will offer more than 250 distance learning and dual-modality classes in addition to in-person classes. It will also allow for a significant number of students, faculty, and staff to continue to social distance during this phase of the pandemic while providing quality academic programming to make progress toward their goals. 

The fall quarter schedule has been revised.
To avoid unnecessary travel and exposure, we will kick off the 2020-2021 academic school year two weeks early (on Sept. 14) and complete the quarter on Nov. 24 (College Place, Billings, and Missoula campuses). View the detailed schedule as well as what this means for JumpStart, our Portland campus, and our graduate studies programs.

Employees will return to campus in phases.
While we are working to bring back students and faculty to the greatest extent possible, WWU takes seriously directives from Washington state officials that indicate employees who are able to fulfill all the essential duties of their role remotely should continue to do so. Human Resources is working with each vice president to identify employees who must return to campus for fall term as well as those that can remain working remotely on a partial/full-time schedule. Our return will be a phased approach, and those whose duties can be successfully fulfilled by working virtually during the fall will most likely be asked to do so. View employee resources and learn more about the employee re-entry plan.

Students approved to live on campus during fall quarter will move into campus housing by appointment.
We are inviting students to return to campus in phases by appointment, starting with first-time freshmen. Make an appointment to move into campus housing.

Online pre-arrival training will be required for all students coming to campus.
Online pre-arrival training will be required for all students, faculty, and staff, covering what to expect when fall quarter begins and answering any questions that will help us work together to make this term safe. A pre-arrival period for self-evaluation and temperature screening will help students, faculty, and staff become familiar with the screening app and establish daily screening patterns to help us be “Safe and strong, WWU.”


Safety measures and protocols

To mitigate risk, the university has scrutinized all operations and implemented several new or enhanced safety measures to keep our campus safe.

To avoid unnecessary travel and exposure, we will kick off the 2020-2021 academic school year two weeks early (on Sept.14) and complete the quarter on Nov. 24 (College Place campus). View the detailed schedule as well as what this means for JumpStart, our Portland campus, and our graduate studies programs.

Online pre-arrival training will be required for all students, faculty, and staff, covering what to expect when fall quarter begins and answering any questions that will help us work together to make this term safe. A pre-arrival period for self-evaluation and temperature screening will help students, faculty, and staff become familiar with the screening app and establish daily screening patterns to help us be “Safe and strong, WWU.”

Face coverings will be required. The university will supply students, faculty, and staff with a limited number of reusable cloth face masks.

As a campus we will carefully monitor our health through a daily health screening process that includes temperature screening. This process is required for all students, faculty, staff and any approved campus guests. Everyone will be required to go through a health check-in station each day before entering campus and will receive a health pass that must be visibly displayed. Learn about the daily health screening process and find a check-in station.

Contact tracing will be implemented for students, faculty, and staff via an app called SaferMe so that our local health departments have easy access to information about who might need to isolate or be tested for COVID-19. Learn more about contact tracing at Walla Walla University.

Classes will be offered in three ways: In person, dual modality, and online. Occupancy limits in our classrooms and public spaces will allow for 6 feet of physical distance. In some cases, class schedules and locations may be more creative than usual to accommodate this. High-end microphone/camera/computer technology, is being installed to facilitate safer interactions in our classrooms and study spaces. Learn more about what classes will look like this year.

Traffic patterns for entering and exiting buildings have been evaluated and may be altered to help with distancing. Plexiglass shields and other extra safety barriers will be installed to add an extra line of protection in key areas.

Food services 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.

Common areas are being reorganized for distancing and plans call for both routine cleaning service and additional sanitizing in these spaces. View the COVID-19 Campus Sanitation and Cleanliness Policy.

Students, faculty, and staff will receive a personal-care kit containing a personal hand-sanitizer bottle, a personal thermometer, and other equipment for daily safety. Hand washing will be routinely encouraged and hand sanitizer will be available via convenient dispensers and at refill stations so that personal hand-sanitizer bottles are always full and ready for use.

We will close WWU campuses to uninvited/unauthorized guests, ensuring everyone on our campuses is approved to be there and has completed appropriate screenings. Students, faculty, and staff will use their WWU ID cards to access university buildings and other spaces, and check-in centers will be ready to serve authorized campus guests, including conducting temperature screening. 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. View the guest registration procedures.

We are considering several options for our heating, air conditioning, and ventilation (HVAC) systems, consulting with organizations such as the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES). At minimum, to complement personal protective equipment and social-distancing practices, we are installing hospital-grade air filters, increasing frequency of filter changes, and increasing outside air infusion. Other options are being evaluated against the most recent research on HVAC products and results.

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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