Daily Self-Attestation of Health Status
Each day, all students and employees will be asked to certify that they are not symptomatic, not running a fever, and have had no known contact with anyone testing positive for COVID-19. Individuals who cannot answer affirmatively to all of these questions will be asked to stay home from school or work. In some on-campus settings, students and employees may have their temperatures taken using touchless medical-grade thermometers.
The ability to maintain safe physical distancing in most settings is a critical component of limiting the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Physical distancing policies will be in place across campus and in most contexts. These expectations will apply to all office spaces, in-person classes, official activities and events, residence hall gatherings, and meetings. Room and venue occupancy limits are being adjusted accordingly. Physical distancing will also be encouraged for all off-campus activities.
Nose and Mouth Coverings (Face Masks)
Face masks will be required in many settings, including classrooms, laboratories and indoor activities. Reasonable exceptions to this requirement will include many outdoor settings when there is an ability to physically distance from others, certain approved NCAA athletic practices and competitions, and when employees are alone in their private offices and students are alone or with roommates in residence hall rooms. Masking will be required whenever physical distancing is difficult.
The university is planning on enhanced cleaning protocols, particularly in high-traffic and shared areas such as classrooms, labs, restrooms, residence hall common areas and the dining hall. In some settings, students and employees will be asked to use provided supplies to clean their work areas, classroom desks or computer stations before departing.
Whitworth is partnering with the Spokane Regional Health District and other organizations to ensure that any symptomatic student can be tested quickly for COVID-19, along with any person who has come into close contact with an infected individual. In almost all cases, private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid will pay for such tests. We are also planning to conduct some surveillance testing (i.e., randomized testing) of our student population using the best recommendations from public health experts. Some populations of students, like student-athletes, may be tested more often. Those plans and strategies are currently being developed and will depend, in part, on the availability of tests this fall.
Whitworth University maintains this page to inform our community about the number of known COVID-19 cases on campus as well as the number of known COVID-19 cases that were positive but are no longer considered active cases. The information will be updated weekly and reflect the data from the previous week: COVID-19 Dashboard.
Whitworth is employing its own contact tracers who will contact and collect information from students and employees who may have come into contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. Based upon the information shared in those interviews, recommendations for testing and/or quarantining may be given to persons known to have come into close contact with someone infected with the virus. Compliance with those recommendations is expected.
Isolation and Quarantine Spaces
Whitworth is setting aside about 80 beds across its on-campus theme houses for isolation and quarantining purposes for students who have either tested positive for the COVID-19 virus or who need to quarantine because of possible exposure. These spaces will be equipped with amenities including internet service so that students can participate in their classes remotely. Meal service and medical support will also be provided. Currently, symptomatic/infected persons are expected to isolate in accordance with public health guidance. The quarantine period for uninfected persons is 14 days from their last date of exposure.
Whitworth will host a number of clinics in the fall semester for students and employees to receive flu vaccines. It will be very important for students and employees to receive flu vaccines this year because the flu and COVID-19 have many similar symptoms. Students and employees are also encouraged to get flu shots as early as possible.
Whitworth is continuing to monitor the evolving immigration policies which affect our international students and will ensure all students receive timely and accurate guidance regarding these regulations. Additionally, international students should consult the International Student Summer Checklist for updated information on arrival dates, orientation and other important information. We request that all students contact the Whitworth International Admissions Office once they have received their visa and booked their airfare: email@example.com.