Frequently asked questions about the WWU response to COVID-19

— Updated September 1, 2021 —


What does vaccinated campus status mean?
Walla Walla University is committed to providing a safe and effective learning and living environment. We recognize that herd (or population) immunity is important to slowing or stopping the spread of illness. To that end, and in recognition of Washington state guidelines for colleges and universities, we strongly encourage all members of our campus family to be vaccinated if they are able, or to request an official WWU exemption.

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What is the current WWU policy on wearing masks?

  • Oregon campus. Masks or face coverings are required while in public spaces on campus, both indoors and outdoors. This ruling applies regardless of vaccination status.
  • Montana campuses. Masks are required in public indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status in accordance with current CDC guidelines. Masks are recommended outdoors when physical distancing cannot be observed or when in close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
  • Washington campuses. Masks are required indoors regardless of vaccination status in accordance with Order 20-03.4 Face Coverings - Statewide, effective August 23, 2021. 

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How do I report that I've been vaccinated?
Complete an online form to provide information about the type of vaccine you received, and when and where you received it. Parents of students under age 18 should also complete and return via email the COVID-19 Vaccination Declaration for Parents/Guardians of Minor Students Confirming Vaccination form

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If I’ve previously been diagnosed with COVID-19, do I still need to be vaccinated or receive an exemption?
Yes, you should receive the vaccination regardless of whether you already had COVID-19, advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More details and guidance.

If you choose not to be vaccinated, you must request a medical or religious exemption from WWU. You will also need to show a negative COVID-19 test to access campus. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 90 days, you may not need to be tested. To discuss your recent illness or provide documentation of your diagnosis, email covid.response@wallawalla.edu.

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What if I cannot become fully vaccinated by my arrival on College Place campus?
If you have already started your series (first of two doses) before you arrive, you can arrange to complete the series in the Walla Walla area. Find upcoming vaccination clinics, or arrange to receive your final dose through Walgreens, Rite Aid, Safeway, or other local clinics providing the COVID-19 vaccine.

To gain access to campus, you must be fully vaccinated*, or request a medical exemption and submit a negative COVID-19 test result. Once you are fully vaccinated, you may update your vaccination status.

*According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks or more after receiving the second dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna).

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Do vaccination or exemption requirements apply for international students?
Yes, international students must either provide vaccination confirmation or request an exemption to receive campus access.

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What if I lost my vaccination documentation?
We encourage you to keep vaccination documentation close at-hand (such as health care provider documentation of vaccination, CDC vaccination card, or state immunization record). Contact your health care provider or the department of health in the state where you received your vaccination to discuss how to replace lost documentation.

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Will people on campus know who is and isn’t vaccinated?
Vaccination status confirmation and requests for exemptions submitted to WWU will be kept confidential and shared only with essential personnel if needed to inform the university’s COVID-19 response.

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If I choose not to be vaccinated, how will that affect my classes, work, and participation in WWU events?
If you are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19, you are expected to wear a mask indoors and maintain physical distance from others. Proof of a negative COVID-19 test will be required before gaining access to campus. Additional testing and submission of daily health screenings may be required. You will confirm your understanding of risk and acknowledge your responsibilities when you file for exemption.

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Is COVID-19 testing required at the beginning of fall quarter?
Currently, COVID-19 testing will only be required for those who have not chosen to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to gain access to campus. Testing will be offered by the university in a discreet, easy to access location or you may submit proof of a negative test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival on campus. For more information, read about testing and care.

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Will WWU conduct COVID-19 testing throughout the quarter?
Currently, we will not require campus-wide COVID-19 testing throughout the quarter. Additional testing may be required for those who obtain an exemption from vaccination and have a known exposure, and/or those who have symptoms and believe they have COVID-19.

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Where should I go if I need a COVID-19 test?
COVID-19 testing is available for College Place students, faculty and staff at a variety of Walla Walla area locations. Walla Walla Department of Community Health lists testing locations here.

For those outside of the Walla Walla valley, check for testing locations with your health provider, Rite Aid, Walgreens, or other reputable testing organization. For those unable to take a test prior to arrival to campus, rapid antigen or PCR testing will be provided by WWU in a discreet, easy to access location. For more information, see testing and care.

Be sure to fill out the self-reporting form at wallawalla.edu/dhr if you:

  • Are unvaccinated and have a known exposure to COVID-19 (being in close proximity — 6 feet or closer — to a person who has COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes in a 24-hour period).
  • Believe that you may have COVID-19.
  • Test positive for COVID-19.

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What should I do if I am feeling targeted or harassed at WWU because of my vaccination status?
It is the policy of the university to promote respect and dignity for others, and to foster an academic, work, and living environment that is free from discrimination and harassment. Visit this web page to learn more about WWU’s expectations or submit a notice of concern related to possible discrimination or harassment.

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Why is WWU testing only students who are not confirmed as fully vaccinated?
Current data indicates that those who are not vaccinated experience serious illness at much higher rates, and also appear to shed active virus at higher rates. Along with the other safety measures we’re taking on campus (wearing masks and distancing, hygiene and space management), testing individuals who are not fully vaccinated at the start of this quarter will help us quickly lower the potential for serious illness and limit disruption to our academic program. 

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Will classes be available online during fall quarter?
Except for a few classes that are planned and listed in the schedule as online classes, instruction will be in-person and face-to-face with normal occupancy in classrooms. 

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What is the academic schedule for fall quarter, specifically holidays?
The university’s academic calendar is available at wallawalla.edu/calendar.

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Will WWU continue to require students and WWU employees to submit a daily health report?
Those who test positive for COVID-19, those who have a known exposure and are not vaccinated, and/or those who have symptoms and believe they have COVID-19 will submit a daily report as instructed.

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What will gatherings and activities look like for fall quarter?
We will return to the in-person gatherings and events WWU is known for. On our Washington state campuses (College Place and Anacortes), masks wearing is currently required indoors for all faculty, staff, and students regardless of vaccination status in accordance with Washington state governor’s Proclamation 20-12.3 Higher Education. Those who are not fully vaccinated are expected to maintain 3 feet of social distancing.

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Will I need to isolate or quarantine if I get exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19?
You are not required to quarantine if you are fully vaccinated and are exposed to someone who has COVID-19. However, if you are fully vaccinated and test positive for COVID-19, a 10-day isolation is still required.

If you are not fully vaccinated, you will be required to quarantine if you are exposed to someone has COVID-19, and you are required to isolate if you test positive for COVID-19.

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Where can I receive COVID-19 vaccination?
Find upcoming vaccination clinics, or arrange to be vaccinated through Walgreens, Rite Aid, Safeway, or other local clinics providing the COVID-19 vaccine.

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When is the deadline for College Place students, faculty, and staff to provide either vaccination confirmation or exemption requests for fall quarter?
This must be submitted no later than the beginning of fall quarter or upon arriving to campus — whichever comes first. We ask that you allow at least two full business days to process your forms, and strongly recommend submitting your information several days prior to your arrival to the College Place campus. Faculty and staff must provide vaccination confirmation no later than Sept. 15 or upon arrival to campus.

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When is the deadline for those who have a vaccination exemption to provide a negative COVID-19 test?
Students must submit this no later than upon arrival to campus or Sunday, Sept. 26 — whichever comes first. Faculty and staff must submit this no later than Wednesday, Sept. 15 or upon arrival to campus.

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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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