I’d like to thank the faculty for hosting a town hall meeting for faculty and staff members as part of the April 1 faculty meeting. Although we were limited to 250 participants, I want to make sure that everyone has access to the information provided in the town hall portion of the meeting.
In my introduction I shared my profound gratitude for all the ways in which our faculty and staff have leaned into and met the challenges presented by the COVID-19 public health crisis. Your efforts have been nothing short of heroic. Our curriculum is being delivered, our students are supported, and campus operations continue. Please join me in “tipping our caps” to our colleagues called to work on campus during this difficult time, including those in Security Services, Technology Services, Facilities Services, Dining, Mail Services, Residence Life, and more. I’d also like to give a shout out to everyone who is figuring out how to work remotely, and attending so well to your important work from afar. On behalf of our students, their families and the board of trustees—thank you.
As you are all aware, over the past several weeks we have taken numerous actions to support social distancing, mitigate the spread of the virus, and carry forward the mission of the university. These include:
Following my remarks, Cabinet colleagues gave brief presentations in response to the most pressing questions we have received related to the university’s financial situation, plans for fall, and the outlook on the recruitment of the incoming class of students for fall 2020. You can find their presentations at: pugetsound.edu/covid19internal. [Note: you will need your Puget Sound login and password to access these pages.] Topics covered included:
I know that you have some questions that we will not be able to answer yet, including how long the pandemic will last, when we will resume normal operations, and the exact nature of any budget adjustments that may be necessary. We will know more after the new June 1 deposit date for our first-year class in the fall. Meanwhile, Cabinet will develop, in consultation with faculty and staff leadership, the processes and principles that will guide our decision making in the weeks and months ahead. We will continue to keep you informed, and encourage you to visit pugetsound.edu/coronavirus for more information.
Following the announcement that our May 17 Commencement Ceremony would not be able to go forward as planned, our Commencement Planning Committee has been working to identify ways to honor our students planning to graduate this spring. I reached out to graduating students and their families with the following update, and invite the entire campus community to join us in preparing to recognize our graduating classes of 2020.
On-Campus Commencement Ceremony: May 16, 2021
As we all know, there is no clear sense of when the COVID-19 pandemic will end. Holding a formal Commencement in May 2021 provides the best chance for not having to reschedule a second time, and it allows us to maintain the element of Commencement that cannot be replicated—graduates seated on Peyton Field under a (hopefully) sunny, beautiful Pacific Northwest sky, with all the pomp and circumstance that accompanies this traditional academic ceremony.
Other key elements include:
Presentations During Homecoming and Family Weekend: October 9–10, 2020
One of the greatest joys of the spring semester is the opportunity to attend the many performances and presentations that represent the culminating achievements of our undergraduate and graduate students. With the move to a virtual environment, we are not able to fully enjoy this rich Puget Sound tradition. Homecoming and Family Weekend may present an opportunity to incorporate these presentations into the schedule of activities; additional information will be forthcoming.
Virtual Celebration: May 17, 2020
Although we will not be able to gather as a community on campus this spring, we do want to mark the occasion with a virtual celebration of our graduates on the originally scheduled Commencement date. This event is not meant to replicate the Commencement Ceremony (which will take place next May), but will be a festive celebration of the collective accomplishments of our graduates immediately following the conclusion of the spring semester. Graduating students are being surveyed for their thoughts about what might make this virtual celebration meaningful for them.
We will continue to update the Commencement webpage with important information about these upcoming celebrations. Commencement is an important milestone, and we want to do everything we can to celebrate our graduates as they begin the next chapter in their lives.
On March 26, the University of Puget Sound received two self-reports from campus community members of confirmed cases of COVID-19. One individual was abroad and has not been on campus this semester. The second individual has been away from campus since March 6 and has been quarantined since March 9. In compliance with requirements of the Clery Act, the university is providing this Emergency Notification to the campus community. For additional information about COVID-19 and steps that the university is taking to protect the health and safety of our community, please visit the university’s Coronavirus website.
Neither the university nor public health authorities will identify any individuals who have tested positive for the virus, nor will information be provided that may compromise confidentiality in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) for students and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for employees. Please be assured that professionals from CHWS and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department are working to identify any campus community members with whom the affected individuals indicate they may have come in contact and will advise those individuals of steps or precautions they should take.
We understand that this situation is concerning and want to assure you that a great deal is being done to ensure the health and well-being of the campus community. The university has significantly reduced the density of our campus population to slow the spread of the virus and avoid overwhelming health care and community systems. We have moved all course instruction to remote delivery, arranged for employees to work remotely to the fullest extent possible, and reduced the number of students who are permitted to remain in residence halls. A small number of employees are still working on campus to support our students and essential operations.
Our campus leadership is monitoring the changing situation daily and advises that we continue to take precautions and follow the guidance of the CDC, including:
Students, faculty and staff presenting symptoms of COVID-19 are advised to immediately self-isolate. Students remaining on campus or in the local area who develop symptoms can call CHWS (253.879.1555) or their primary care provider for medical advice. Students who reside outside of the local area should contact their primary care provider or local public health department for guidance. Also, faculty and staff who exhibit symptoms should contact their primary care provider or local public health department for guidance.
We understand that the two individuals who tested positive are recovering well. This is a rapidly changing situation, so continue to check the university’s Coronavirus website for the latest updates.
Tomorrow we resume spring semester in our new virtual learning environment. It’s not how any of us wanted to wrap up this academic year, but I continue to be impressed by the creative, entrepreneurial Logger spirit that is carrying us through this challenging time.
Over the past several weeks we’ve thrown a lot of information your way as we seek to navigate these circumstances with student success and the health and well-being of our entire community foremost in our minds. With a new order last night from Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee to “stay home and stay healthy,” I want to take a moment to recap some of the information, services, and support available to you.
Additional information and important details are available at pugetsound.edu/coronavirus, including an FAQ and resources for students, faculty, and staff members.
Thank you for staying informed, for doing everything you can to keep yourselves and others healthy, and for coming together to support each other during these challenging times.
We got this, Loggers!
You have been in my thoughts often these past few weeks as we have adjusted to circumstances that have affected the spring semester in previously unimaginable ways. The Class of 2020 means a lot to me; this the fourth year of my presidency at Puget Sound, so I have had the privilege of watching you grow and cheering you on from your very first days on campus. You are a remarkable class in every way, and along with our outstanding graduate students, I have long looked forward to watching you cross the stage and receive your diplomas in May.
We remain fully committed to celebrating your achievements, even as it has become increasingly clear that we will need to do so in a manner different than we had planned. I write to share with you that we have made the difficult decision that we cannot proceed with the Commencement Ceremony and related events in person on campus this May.
In the coming weeks I will reach out to you with details about how we will celebrate on May 17, and I hope very much that you all will take part in those activities, virtual though they may be. We are also working to identify an alternate date to welcome you back to campus for a more formal ceremony and set of activities. Thank you to those who have already reached out to us with suggestions; please know that we are considering them all and will be in touch with more information just as soon as we can.
Although this is not the outcome for which we hoped, it does not lessen in any way our pride in your accomplishments and confidence in your future. You have worked so hard to reach this important milestone; we are fully committed to honoring you and recognizing your impressive achievements.
Dear Members of the Campus Community:
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and associated public health and governmental advisories and guidance, the university has suspended its usual approval process for telecommuting arrangements. While the university remains open during this time, and essential employees may still be working on campus, we have been directed that until further notice those university faculty, staff, and certain authorized student staff who can telecommute should do so as much as possible and those who must be on campus should observe appropriate social and physical distancing.
All telecommuters must adhere to the expectations set forth in the relevant policy and in the telecommuting terms and conditions document, including the following key requirements.
If you have any questions about the work at home expectations, please contact your supervisor. Faculty and staff may also contact Human Resources at email@example.com. We appreciate everyone’s flexibility, adaptability, and commitment to helping the university and our students succeed during these challenging and unprecedented times.
We continue to work through the many details associated with the move to remote learning and remote work, consulting with state and federal agencies, accrediting bodies, legal counsel and other resources as appropriate. Thank you for your patience and flexibility during this most unusual time.
We are now able to provide updated information and guidance related to adjustments to room and board, student employment, and staff compensation.
Room and Board Adjustments
Prorated credit for housing and dining will be provided to students who are not returning to campus housing for the remainder of the spring semester.
All student staff members will be paid for hours they would have been scheduled to work between March 25 and May 15, 2020, up to their award earnings limit.
Modified operations continue until further notice. All regular/ongoing staff members, whether working remotely, in approved on-campus roles, or unable to work, will receive their regular compensation through May 15.
Thank you to all members of the Puget Sound community for coming together to support our students in new ways, figure out how best to modify university operations, and care for one another under these challenging circumstances. We appreciate your patience and will continue to do our very best to provide ongoing guidance and support, and will keep you informed as new information becomes available.
Again, thank you for your impressive work to adapt your classes-in-progress to meet the needs of this very challenging moment. Attached is a document that includes an update from our regional accrediting agency about what is required of all faculty and students for credit-bearing Puget Sound classes in Spring 2020, along with some resources for adapting to teaching online. We hope that you and your students will find this guidance helpful. We are a campus that cares about our students and that has great teachers, and our best online classroom work will build on those strengths.
This email is also a reminder of the @4 series, which will be meeting at 4 today and tomorrow and returning on Monday. Updates and recordings will be posted on the CWLT web page under Teaching and Faculty Resources.
Later this week, you will be receiving an update on academic support services after spring break. Keep in touch with your questions and concerns. We are going to get through this together!
Again, thank you for your patience and creativity,
In follow up to the March 14th message that announced classes will continue remotely for the remainder of the spring semester, we are writing with important information about some complementary temporary changes to our academic policies to address this unique situation.
For the Spring 2020 semester only, the Faculty Senate has approved temporary changes to our academic policies as recommended by the Academic Standards Committee in order to provide flexibility to our now remote learning environment so that faculty may better support our students, and to allow both students and faculty to successfully complete the Spring 2020 semester. The Senate recognizes that some programs who must meet standards set by outside accreditation bodies may have different needs, so the Senate endorsed the ASC’s recommendations as general policy for this semester, with room for such programs to adjust as needed to maintain their accreditation.
These are the changes:
In addition, the existing Incomplete grade option is available to students and faculty as specified in the Bulletin (p. 46).
*The ASC affirms that intends that this policy means that for this semester, classes taken credit/no credit can still fulfill major, minor and core requirements, though that is not usually within the provision of the credit/no credit option.
 Per the Bulletin (p. 44) “…courses taken with the Credit/No Credit option are not calculated into the student’s grade point average. If the professor submits a letter grade of C- or higher the student will receive credit for the course; if the professor submits a letter grade of D+ or lower the student will not receive credit for the course.”
We recognize that the shifting nature of this situation can be a source of anxiety and create a sense of loss. During this time of transition, we remain committed to addressing the challenges before us in a way that balances our academic standards and our current unusual circumstances and to providing ongoing support for continued learning. We appreciate your flexibility and adaptability, and hope these changes alleviate some stress for everyone.
MONDAY, MARCH 16, 3:56 p.m.
To Students, Faculty, Faculty Emeriti, Staff
From President Isiaah Crawford, Provost Laura Behling, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Sherry B. Mondou, and Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Uchenna Baker
Dear Members of the Campus Community,
Following additional guidance from the federal government and Washington state, and acting on the recommendations and directives of public health authorities, University of Puget Sound will begin operating virtually to the fullest extent possible effective at midnight, March 16.
Please note that there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the University Puget Sound campus at this time. We are endeavoring to practice social distancing to reduce the possibility of community transmission of the virus.
We realize this effort raises many questions and concerns about the completion of your education, university operations, employment status, and more. Within this challenging environment, our faculty and staff members have been working diligently to develop plans so that we can continue to fulfill our educational mission. Below is an overview of important information for students, faculty and staff members, and key areas of operation. Additional information will be shared in the coming days as more details become available.
Please access the virtual health and wellness resources available through Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services and Human Resources as needed. We will continue to communicate key decisions and information via university email, and encourage you to check pugetsound.edu/coronavirus for additional information as it becomes available.
These are extraordinary times that call for extraordinary measures. Our highest priority is the health and wellbeing of all members of the campus community, as well as your families and loved ones. Thank you for your flexibility and resiliency as we work as quickly as we can to respond to this global health pandemic, care for all members of our community, and continue to deliver on our educational mission in service to our students.
This message follows up on the March 12, 2020 COVID-19 email you received from President Crawford and provides important information about campus operations for the coming weeks. This includes information for those who live on campus and off campus. We know this is a challenging time, and thank you for your patience as we work as quickly as we can to provide you with the information you need. Please continue to check your email and monitor the Puget Sound website for important updates.
For students who live on campus, please note that some of the items below may require a response from you. Please read this email in its entirety to ensure that you have all the information you need to understand the options available to you regarding housing and residential services.
Guidance for On-Campus Students During and After Spring Break
On-campus housing includes all residence halls, Greek housing, and on-campus houses. All students are expected to leave their campus residence by the conclusion of spring break on Tuesday, March 24 until 1) in-person classes resume on campus or 2) the end of the spring semester. This does not apply to those students who are approved to remain in their campus residence.
How to appeal to remain on campus:
Some students may need to remain on campus, and services such as dining, security, and more will continue to be provided. Students may appeal to remain living on campus if they are:
If you need to appeal to remain on campus, please complete this form and note that:
How to retrieve items from your campus residence if you have already left campus:
Guidance for Students Who Live Locally Off Campus
The campus remains open. Please note that hours of operation for the library and other services may change based on availability of staffing.
We understand that students have questions about on-campus student employment. We are seeking clarification regarding the treatment of state and federal work study awards and students will be notified as guidance and additional information becomes available.
Room and Board Adjustments
We appreciate that students have questions about adjustments to room and board charges, and are working as quickly as we can to address this concern. We are considering guidance from multiple sources and information will be forthcoming as soon as it is available.
Registering Your Vehicle
Security Services staff will remain operational and available 24/7. It is recommended that students not leave a vehicle on campus, but realize it is difficult to make this decision when we don’t yet know when we will resume in-person instruction. If you are leaving a vehicle on campus it is very important that it is registered with the university parking program. If you need assistance with this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Receiving Your Campus Mail
We will follow up with information on plans to forward your campus mail to your current address.
The impact of COVID-19 and the disruption caused by this pandemic are hitting us all close to home - in our families, our society, and now on the campus that we love. We will continue to look to the guidance and direction of public health officials and local/regional governmental leaders to inform our ongoing decisions.
Please know that Student Affairs is developing a plan to offer community, connection, and support for our students even in this time of remote learning. More information about this will be forthcoming in the near future. Please also continue monitoring the Counseling, Health, & Wellness Services website for more information about resources for students during the remote learning period.
Please continue to monitor your university email and university communications to stay current on the latest updates. I invite all students to join in supporting each other and the work of our college as we come together through this most unusual time. We hope you have safe and restful spring breaks, and look forward to resuming your coursework with your faculty on Wednesday, March 25.
THURSDAY, MARCH 12, 5:55 P.M.
From Student Affairs
We know you have many questions and concerns about your residence, belongings, and other matters. Please know that we are working through comprehensive guidance and will have more information for you tomorrow and in the coming days. CHWS, the library, dining, Security Services and other resources continue to remain open.
At this time, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on campus, but are aware that could change at any time. I write today to update you on our plans for the remainder of the spring semester in response to this public health crisis as we work to ensure the ability of our students to continue their education.
This afternoon Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee issued an executive order to close through April 24 all K-12 public and private schools in three counties, including Pierce County, and the city of Tacoma declared a state of emergency.
In consultation with the campus emergency policy council and risk management teams and representatives of our Faculty Senate and Staff Senate; guidance from local, state and federal health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; awareness of a range of decisions being made by other institutions; experience gained over the past week in remote delivery of coursework; and new protocols and procedures in place to support remote learning, the following will go into effect immediately.
These are not easy decisions to make, and I realize this is a disappointing outcome for many in our community. We understand that you will have many questions and concerns and we are working as quickly and thoughtfully as we can in this rapidly changing situation. We will continue to communicate and provide guidance as more information becomes available.
We understand that COVID-19 is expected to be present in the U.S. and other communities around the world for an extended period of time, and we are doing what we are advised is necessary to mitigate the spread of the virus. Although the risk to healthy individuals and young people is believed to be low, we encourage everyone to continue taking appropriate precautions and be mindful of impacts on at-risk populations (currently identified as those with underlying health conditions, over 60 years of age, or pregnant).
Loggers are creative, resilient and adaptable in the face of change. I am confident that we will weather these challenging circumstances with grace and fortitude, and I cannot begin to express my appreciation and admiration for all that this community has done – and continues to do – during this public health crisis. Our highest priority is to continue to deliver on our mission as an educational institution while doing everything we can to safeguard the health and wellbeing of all members of the campus community.
Please continue to check your email and pugetsound.edu/coronavirus for further information as it becomes available.
Print & Copy Services will be offering a print and delivery service for students working off campus or unable to access the computer labs. If students have an assignment that needs to be printed and turned in, they can send it to Print & Copy Services by filling out this form and attaching their file. Print & Copy Services will deliver completed prints directly to the departmental offices.
We anticipate less than 24-hour turnaround on printing and delivery; however, if you have a firm deadline, please indicate that on the order.
Please contact us anytime at email@example.com or 253.879.3737 with any questions.
We’ve been talking with many faculty students and parents over the past few days and thought these points might be helpful to share. As you modify your attendance and participation policies class policies, please consider:
Please keep in touch about challenges you are experiencing with respect to student accommodations. Like you, we’re learning to navigate a new environment and may not have immediate answers, but we will do our best to support you. If you need to check on a particular student’s amount of extended time, or any other accommodation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are monitoring these email accounts both day and evening.
As we continue to focus on the well-being of our campus community, we write to make you aware of resources available to you through our medical plan administrator and our Employee Assistance Program. Please visit our coronavirus resources page.
SATURDAY, MARCH 7, 5:30 P.M.
From the Provost
In response to the recent announcement that classes will be held virtually Monday, March 9 – Friday, March 13, in advance of spring break the week of March 16, I write to provide some specific information regarding how we can focus on the continuation of student learning and prioritize what is best for the health of our community.
Some students are feeling anxious, so please let them know their continued learning and well-being is a priority. Communicating clear directions, deadlines, expectations, and virtual class practices will be important—teaching remotely is a new experience for most of us, faculty and students, and so clarity, consistency, and regular communication is key. This might include:
I would ask that you communicate directly with your students this weekend, letting them know that given the university’s decision regarding virtual instruction, that you will be back in touch with them with a plan for how course sessions, exams or papers will be accommodated this week with a new format.
The university is committed to providing the support to you. Technology Services will continue to host training sessions on tools that can assist you in online instruction. These have been scheduled for:
Email or phone conferences are also helpful means of sustaining active remote learning as you select tools to best align with your pedagogy.
Additionally, there are resources available at the following links that may provide further insight into the technology tools and services that we currently offer. As always, if you have any questions or would like individualized advice, please reach out to your respective Educational Technologist and they will be happy to assist.
Media Services (for a partial list of checkout equipment available)
And thinking ahead:
I realize that this email cannot address all questions you may have regarding teaching your classes virtually this week. Please let me know if you have specific questions or concerns; I am happy to think through with you particular challenges. Please use your best judgment since you know the expectations you have for students in your classes. We’re in new territory here, and I appreciate your flexibility and commitment to our students’ now-virtual learning.
SATURDAY, MARCH 7, 4:45 P.M.
To Puget Sound Parents
From President Crawford
A new message has been posted on pugetsound.edu/coronavirus concerning a revision to our course schedule for next week. Your students will receive additional guidance from their faculty members as we begin to offer course content virtually in advance of spring break. At this time we expect classes to resume as normal following spring break, and will keep you informed as decisions are made.
While we continue to receive advice from the local health authorities that the coronavirus is believed to be of low risk to healthy populations, we appreciate that there is much that we do not know and are proceeding with an abundance of caution in protecting students.
Following yesterday’s announcement of the first known case of COVID-19 in Pierce County, I have continued to consult with campus leadership, our planning team, and leadership at other institutions in our area.
At this time there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the Puget Sound campus. We continue to receive guidance from local, state, and national health organizations that the risks of contracting the virus for healthy individuals remains low. That said, we are also aware that there is a high level of uncertainty around the COVID-19 virus, and we need to be vigilant in supporting all members of our campus community during a very challenging time.
To this end, over the coming week campus leadership, faculty, and staff will work together to consider and develop alternate plans for course delivery to finish the spring semester should that become necessary. To support this work, we are making the following changes to our course schedules this week:
Campus will continue to remain open and all activities other than in-person classes will go forward unless notified otherwise. This includes athletic events, music performances, and admission tours. Campus meetings also will go forward; some may be conducted via video or audio teleconferencing if needed. If any events are canceled, the sponsors of those events will notify affected parties.
Please continue to check the campus website at pugetsound.edu/coronavirus for information. Thank you for your continued flexibility as we balance competing demands to ensure the health and safety of our campus community.
Following up on my message to you on Sunday, I write to let you know that additional information for students has been distributed via email throughout the week and is posted at pugetsound.edu/coronavirus, including guidance about spring break travel.
Within the past hour, local news channels have reported the first presumptively positive case of COVID-19 in Pierce County. We have not received any further guidance from the Tacoma-Pierce County Department of Health or Washington State Department of Health at this time. We will provide the campus community with information and guidance as soon as it becomes available. Please encourage your student to regularly check email and the website for important announcements, including support from Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services.
We will keep you informed if there are any changes to campus operations as we work to protect the health and well-being of our campus community.
Local news channels are reporting the first presumptively positive case of COVID-19 in Pierce County. We have not received any further guidance from the Tacoma-Pierce County Department of Health or Washington State Department of Health at this time. We will provide you with information and guidance as soon as it becomes available. Meanwhile, please continue to practice good self-care and check your email and pugetsound.edu/coronavirus for updates as they become available.
As spring break approaches and concerns about the spread of the coronavirus grow, I write to affirm the proactive work taking place on campus across many divisions to do everything we can to protect the health of our campus community. At this time, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on campus.
I have been meeting regularly with our campus risk team to identify ways to reduce risk and mitigate the effects of exposure during this public health concern. Our decisions are informed by guidance from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, Washington State Department of Health, U.S. Department of State, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We are aware that the guidance for surrounding counties may differ, and ask that all who live or work outside of Pierce County pay attention to the advice of the local health department when making decisions about activities in those counties.
As shared with you earlier, updates about university response and planning efforts are available on this website, including a regularly updated set of frequently asked questions. We will continue to provide periodic campus updates via campus email, and ask that you check the site regularly for new information.
Over the past week we have taken a number of actions, including enhanced cleaning across campus, with special attention to high-traffic areas; increased distribution of disinfectant and hand sanitizers; identification of appropriate spaces in the event students need to be isolated or quarantined; training for faculty in the event courses need to be delivered electronically; and assistance for students studying abroad in high risk (Level 3 or higher) countries in returning home. Please see the website for details on these activities.
The campus risk team met earlier today and is issuing the following guidance to go into effect immediately:
Although campus is currently in full operation, we will cancel or reschedule events that might compromise resources needed to serve the health and safety of the campus community and our visitors. This includes events that are anticipated to draw more than 500 attendees, involve certain activities or locations, and/or include attendees beyond the campus community. If cancellations occur, the sponsors of these events will communicate to affected parties. Unless announced otherwise, university events, including athletics, music, campus tours, and campus visit days are continuing as planned.
The spread of the virus is a dynamic situation. Please refer to the appropriate agencies for guidance concerning domestic and international travel. In addition:
Registering Spring Break Travel. All students, faculty and staff members traveling outside Washington state during spring break should register travel plans with the university. This will assist the university in monitoring conditions in those areas and supporting your return.
Staying on Campus During Spring Break. We will follow our normal protocol of allowing students to stay on campus for spring break for any reason, including cancellation of travel plans. Students who plan to do so should inform their residence hall staff. Dining and other services will be provided during break.
Domestic Travel. The spread of the virus is a dynamic situation. Those traveling within the U.S. should be aware there is a chance that you could be detained and/or quarantined and unable to return to campus. At this time there are no restrictions on domestic travel, but we encourage you to reconsider domestic travel and recommend exploring alternate plans or arrangements for university-sponsored domestic travel. Please consider the use of technology or other means to conduct university business. University staff for whom travel is an essential part of your job should consult with their supervisors.
International Travel. We are not supporting university travel abroad to any country with a Level 3 or higher risk designation. Should you have plans to travel abroad, be aware that there is a chance that you could be detained abroad and/or quarantined upon your return to the U.S. Those who choose to travel outside the U.S. during spring break are advised to follow CDC guidelines and do so at their own risk.
Suspension of Campus Operations Not in Affect at this Time
As a residential campus, the university never truly closes. We may need to modify or suspend normal operations, which could include delivering class content electronically, increasing telecommuting, or reducing the presence of non-essential personnel on campus. At this time our classrooms, laboratories, clinics, residence halls, dining services, library services, and recreation and athletic facilities are all open. Please continue to check the website and your university email account for updates, including during spring break.
Please continue to practice good self-care as recommended by Counseling, Health and Wellness Services, paying particular attention to regularly washing your hands; avoiding touching your face (especially nose, mouth and eyes); and staying home if you are ill.
On behalf of all involved in our risk assessment and prevention work, thank you for your flexibility as we work together to support the health and well-being of our campus community during this challenging time.
As we continue to monitor the evolving situation with COVID-19 and follow recommendations from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, we are engaged in proactive planning and preparations for the possibility of the virus appearing in our community. As of now there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Pierce County and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department is not recommending cancelation of activities or school closures. Puget Sound’s campus is fully operational and the vast majority of staff are performing their work on campus. In our planning we created the following temporary framework for working remotely if needed.
Temporary Framework for Working Remotely as of March 6, 2020
Underlying Health Condition
If you have a concern about reporting to work due to an underlying health condition, contact Kenni Simons at 253.879.3296 to discuss appropriate temporary accommodations either on campus or working remotely. Please do not provide personal health information via email. Your personal health information will remain confidential. Kenni will discuss options with you and reach out to your supervisor as needed. If the solution is to work remotely, you will be asked to complete a brief form and process (see below) to document the arrangement and your supervisor’s approval.
Other Concern Related to COVID-19
As we balance the need to provide in-person support to our campus community and be sensitive to the needs of individual staff members, there might be other situations that warrant a remote work arrangement. If you have a unique situation and serious concern about reporting to work that is not related to an underlying health condition, and your position and work is conducive to working remotely, you may request to temporarily work remotely by completing a brief form and process (see below) to obtain the approval of your supervisor who will consult with your department head to ensure that departmental responsibilities can be met.
Previously Arranged Telecommuting Arrangements
If you are a staff member who is currently telecommuting, whether occasionally or under a previously approved arrangement, please complete the new form and process. It is important that all telecommuters affirm the requirements for working remotely and it is important for the university to know in the aggregate how many and which staff are working remotely and how they can be reached.
Should Conditions Change and Working Remotely is Expanded
In the event that Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department guidance changes, campus operations are modified, and/or greater social distancing is implemented, the university is prepared to expand the number of staff working remotely while still meeting university needs. If this occurs, we will notify staff at that time and will ask staff members, as applicable, to complete the new form and process (see below) required to document the remote work arrangement and secure supervisor approval. Please keep in mind that not all positions can be performed remotely and it may be that not all requests can be approved.
The Process We Will Use
Resources for Working Remotely
Technology Services has summarized several resources available to staff when working remotely. These resources includes virtual private networking (to access shared drives in a secure manner) and video and audio teleconferencing capabilities (to participate in meetings). If you have questions about these resources, please contact the Service Desk at 253.879.8585 or email@example.com.
For additional information on campus prevention measures, including frequently asked questions, visit pugetsound.edu/coronavirus and check back frequently for updated information. We anticipate a campuswide message will be sent later today regarding additional guidance about events, spring break and other considerations.
Thank you for your flexibility as we work our way through this evolving situation together.
Educational technologists have scheduled additional drop-in training sessions for faculty to support any alternative needs for class preparation and delivery.
Tuesday, March 3, 2–3:30 p.m. and 3:30–5 p.m.
Friday, March 6, 1–2:30 p.m., Wyatt Hall, Second Floor Atrium
Tuesday, March 10, noon–1:30 p.m., Weyerhaeuser Hall, Room 319
Wednesday, March 11, noon–1:30 p.m., Thompson Hall, Room 153
Please see these additional resources:
THURSDAY, MARCH 5, 8 A.M.
To Students, Faculty and Staff
From Interim Chief Diversity Officer and Director of Intercultural Engagement
As we manage this trying time connected to the coronavirus outbreak, we hope you consider how insensitive and ill-informed comments regarding the disease impact members of our campus community. There is a growing number of reports on and off campus of xenophobic and racially discriminatory comments directed to people of Asian descent. Remarks or jokes that target vulnerable groups that may be more susceptible to the virus (such as the elderly or those with compromised immune systems) are uncaring to those who are suffering.
These othering and hurtful messages fall short of our aspirations of being a place of belonging for all members of our community. Viruses do not discriminate based on background, and nor should we. We urge you to support and care for each other in these difficult days, and to be especially mindful of those who may be directly affected.
Mental Health and Medical Support
If you are a student and are feeling significantly stressed or overwhelmed by the situation, CHWS is available with Same Day/Next Day appointments that students can schedule every weekday. University updates on coronavirus and additional resources for support for students, faculty and staff members are available in an FAQ at pugetsound.edu/coronavirus.
Bias and Discrimination
Information and education about eliminating stigma associated with the disease is available on the Washington State Department of Health website. In the event you experience, witness, or become aware of something you believe to be a bias incident, discriminatory behavior, or harassment, we encourage you to report the situation using the Discrimination and Harassment Report form. The Bias-Hate Education Response Team (BHERT) aims to foster greater awareness of bias and hate on campus, and educate on how these harmful incidents impact our campus. You can learn more about BHERT through the Bias and Hate Education Response Team webpage.
We trust and thank you for your continued commitment to one another.
As we focus on the well-being of our campus community, we continue to plan and prepare for the possibility of COVID-19 appearing in our community consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health departments.
Please visit www.pugetsound.edu/coronavirus for the most current information and guidance on what to do to prevent infection or if you are ill. Below is important information regarding use of your leave benefits, remote work, and traveling for university business.
Encourage staff members to stay home if they have symptoms of an illness. If you appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath), your supervisor may need to send you home. Staff should not come to work until free of fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
Familiarize yourself with the university’s sick leave benefits, which support absences to care for your health or that of family members. If you need to stay home to care for a child whose school has been temporarily closed for safety measures related to a health concern, you may use your accrued paid sick leave (or if that is exhausted, your accrued floating holidays or vacation).
Staff who are ill will not be asked to provide a healthcare provider’s note to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be busy and not able to provide timely documentation.
If you find yourself ill or otherwise have restrictions placed on you related to possible exposure to COVID-19, and you have exhausted all forms of accrued paid leave, contact payroll staff at extension 3368 or firstname.lastname@example.org regarding the advancement of up to ten days of sick leave. This additional leave will be offset by your future accruals. Payroll staff will explain the process to you.
As always, notify your supervisor if you cannot report to work.
At this time there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the university or in Pierce County. Should the situation change there may be a need for additional steps, such as event cancellations and other “social distancing” measures. It may be appropriate for some staff members to work from home temporarily. Human Resources, in partnership with Technology Services, is working on a temporary policy and process for working remotely, which will be communicated to staff by the end of this week.
If you have a concern about reporting to work due to an underlying health condition, contact Kenni Simons at extension 3296 or email@example.com to discuss appropriate temporary accommodations either on campus or working remotely. Your personal health information will remain confidential.
Department heads should plan for the possibility of increased absences and how departmental responsibilities will be met. Think now about cross-training and how staff can fill in for others who might become ill. Working remotely may be an option for some positions, but it is not possible for others.
Educational posters have been placed throughout campus.
Routine cleaning continues and is being supplemented in high volume areas and other spaces based on need.
Wipes, sanitizer gel and tissues have been placed in classrooms, labs and other high volume areas, with more supplies on order. Disposable wipes will be further distributed upon arrival for staff to use in wiping down keyboards, desks and other frequently touched objects.
It is critical that we all wash hands and appropriately cover coughs and sneezes in accordance with CDC guidelines.
University Business Travel
Specific policies exist for international travel consistent with CDC travel alerts. The university does not support travel to areas with Level 3 advisories set by the CDC. Advisory levels can change at any time. If you have international travel plans, promptly consult with your supervisor.
If you have concerns about domestic travel, please consult with your supervisor.
If you cancel a university trip, reach out to the applicable airlines and other travel vendors to seek refunds or credit if available.
Other questions? Please see information posted at www.pugetsound.edu/coronavirus. Check back frequently for additional information.
We understand that many staff members are concerned and might feel anxious. Please take advantage of your wellness benefits through the Employee Assistance Program.
Thank you for your part in keeping our campus healthy.
Technology Services is standing by to support any alternative needs for class preparation and delivery. We have a number of resources available that will allow for the utmost in flexibility in delivering classes should alternative arrangements need to be made. In support of that, Kevin Kirner and Margot Casson, two of our educational technologists, will be hosting a few drop-in sessions this week to get people familiarized with some of the tools that we have available. They will hold these sessions in Li-017 in the lower level of the library throughout this week at the following times:
Tuesday, March 3, 2–3:30 p.m. and 3:30–5 p.m.
Wednesday, March 4, noon–1:30 p.m. and 1:30–3 p.m.
Thursday, March 5, 10–11:30 a.m.
Each session will last one hour with the final 30 minutes being reserved for individual question and answer sessions. Please also note that, if these sessions aren’t convenient, they are ready, able, and willing to come to already established meetings or ad hoc meetings with departments and share the same information. If you are able to make it, please come by, bring your laptop if feasible, and have questions ready.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or to your Educational Technologist.
The university takes the well-being and safety of our community members very seriously, and I write to update you on the evolving circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 virus. Here is the latest of what we know, and the best guidance we have right now to assist you.
Following up on Thursday’s message from Counseling, Health and Wellness Services, the campus risk planning team met again over the weekend, and provides the following additional information and guidance.
At this time there are no confirmed cases of the virus at the university or in Pierce County. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we understand that most people who contract the virus will experience mild symptoms and the risk remains low for people in our community at this time.
State of emergency. At 1 p.m. Saturday, February 29, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency due to emerging details of the coronavirus, including a death that was reported in Kirkland, about 45 miles from our campus. This declaration will allow available resources to be deployed to assist those taken ill by the virus and in limiting exposure. Our Counseling, Health and Wellness Services staff are in regular contact with the Pierce County Health Department and monitoring the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Class/work attendance. Students and faculty should continue to attend class provided they feel well; staff and student-staff should continue to work on campus provided they feel well. Staff and faculty who need an accommodation related to the evolving circumstances should contact Human Resources. Faculty are strongly encouraged to begin considering ways students can continue to complete classwork electronically, if students do not feel well enough to attend class. Additional details will follow regarding options Technology Services can offer.
What to do if you or a family member are ill. Students should contact Counseling, Health and Wellness Services first via phone to seek additional guidance at 253.879.1555. Human Resources emphasizes that staff, student-staff and faculty members should not report to work if they have symptoms of an illness. Staff should notify a supervisor if they cannot report to work. Staff who need to stay home to care for a child whose school has been temporarily closed for safety measures related to a health concern may use their accrued paid sick leave. If warranted as conditions evolve, supervisors will consider if and when working from home (telecommuting) might be appropriate on a temporary basis for some positions. Additionally, Human Resources is developing a temporary framework to support those staff with minimal leave accruals.
Domestic travel. We are following health department guidelines that currently do not prohibit travel to other areas of the United States or recommend a quarantine for domestic travelers. Some employees do travel as part of their responsibilities, and so please consult your supervisor for guidance. Classes or student groups may have field trips planned prior to spring break. Faculty or staff leading these trips should check with the host site to determine if the host site has enacted any special precautions. I also ask that faculty be sensitive to student concern about participating in a field trip that would take them off campus, and as appropriate, excuse their absence or offer an alternative assignment. At this time, the university is not cancelling or prohibiting any domestic travel off campus.
International travel. Students studying abroad are receiving regular communication from the university, as are their families, and we are in regular communication with the third-party providers who are hosting the programs. We continue to follow the guidance of the U.S. State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As you make plans to enjoy the upcoming spring break, we highly recommend that you do not travel to the countries identified as having widespread or sustained community transmission. If you are traveling, especially overseas, it’s good practice to check any CDC travel alerts and travel bans before you leave. It also is important to note that these notices may change several times between now and the end of break. Flight restrictions in and out of some countries are also changing rapidly so there is the possibility of being unable to leave once you arrive. If you do travel to one of these locations, we will ask you to self-isolate upon return as per CDC guidelines.
Campus events. If conditions warrant, campus events may be cancelled over the coming weeks. If cancellations occur, the sponsors of the event will provide this communication to affected parties.
Future updates. The university’s emergency risk team has been meeting regularly to ensure that we are responsive to the needs of the campus as the situation evolves. We will continue to provide guidance and support and will be in regular contact with the campus community. Information will be updated regularly at pugetsound.edu/coronavirus.
I realize this an uncertain time for many, if not all, of us and our families. I am appreciative of the good work that is occurring on campus to ensure the health and well-being of our students, staff, and faculty.
The health and well-being of our students is always our top concern. We began reaching out to the campus community with information about the coronavirus in January, and write to update you on our actions to date.
As you may be aware, over the weekend Washington state Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency to allow resources to be deployed to assist those taken ill by the virus and in limiting exposure.
At this time there are no confirmed cases of the virus at the university or in Pierce County. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we understand that the impact for most people who contract the virus is expected to be mild and that the risk remains low for people in our community at this time. We will continue to monitor the evolving situation and will continue to monitor travel warnings and health advisories.
Updates about the university’s response to the virus and information for the campus community about disease prevention, medical care, travel advisories, and more are available at pugetsound.edu/coronavirus. We encourage you to check the site frequently and talk with your students about the steps they can take to reduce their risk of contracting the virus.
If you have questions, please reach out to the Alumni and Parent Relations office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253.879.3245 and they will connect you with the appropriate individuals on campus during business hours. As always, in an emergency you are advised to contact Security Services at 253.879.3311.
I realize this is an uncertain time; please know that we will continue to do everything we can to support our students.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 29, 2020, 4 P.M.
Updated by the Office of Communications
At this time there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the University of Puget Sound or in Pierce County. A coronavirus-related death was reported today in Kirkland, Washington, about 45 miles northeast of the Puget Sound campus. There are no travel warnings or advisories affecting Washington state at this time. Campus officials are in touch with students studying abroad in countries with a designated risk assessment by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Campus operations are continuing as normal.
Many of you have expressed concerns about recent news regarding the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). As of Feb 27, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the University of Puget Sound or in Pierce County. There has only been 1 confirmed case of COVID-19 in Snohomish County, Washington. The University of Puget Sound continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will provide updates and guidance as needed.
At this point we are in the midst of the annual flu season. We have also seen multiple cases of mononucleosis on campus, which can also cause a high fever. All students, faculty and staff who have illness accompanied by fever are asked to refrain from going to classes, labs, the dining hall, offices, and other places where they could spread illness among others. To limit spread we ask that a person have a normal temperature for 24 hours (without the use of fever reducing medications) before resuming a regular schedule.
We ask faculty and staff to be flexible in allowing students to make these decisions without necessarily visiting a medical practitioner for documentation of their illness. Practicing good hand washing and staying home when you are sick are the best ways to protect yourself and our community. Please encourage your students to stay home and out of work or class when they are ill. This is a challenge for our very devoted students. Your support will go a long way towards keeping our community healthy.
Other advice to avoid the spread of viruses includes:
These recommendations may change if COVID-19 becomes more prevalent in Washington state. Planning has begun for alternative responses if the outbreak becomes more widespread in our area. One thing to begin thinking about are ways that you can support students who cannot attend class for extended periods of time. We recommend creating a continuity of operations plan for each of your courses should they be interrupted by pandemic or other natural disaster. This may include online lecture forums and other electronic forms of communication which can be supported by Technology Services.
We are closely connected with the Pierce County Health Department and have been working to stay abreast of the situation. We recognize that the situation with COVID-19 may be stressful for members of the Puget Sound community, especially for those with family or friends affected in other areas of the world. We will continue to provide updates as the situation evolves.
We wanted to offer university updates about recent news regarding the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). As of Feb 27, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the University of Puget Sound or in Pierce County. There has only been 1 confirmed case of COVID-19 in Snohomish County, Washington. The University of Puget Sound continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will provide updates and guidance as needed.
At this point we are in the midst of the annual flu season. We have also seen multiple cases of mononucleosis on campus, which can also cause a high fever. Students who have illness accompanied by fever are asked to refrain from going to classes, labs, the dining hall, offices, and other places where they could spread illness among others. To limit spread we ask that a person have a normal temperature for 24 hours (without the use of fever reducing medications) before resuming a regular schedule.
We have asked faculty and staff to be flexible in allowing students to make these decisions without necessarily visiting a medical practitioner for documentation of their illness. Practicing good hand washing and staying home when you are sick are the best ways to protect yourself and our community. Please be in communication with your faculty or supervisor if you are ill. We ask that you call CHWS with questions or concerns related to fever or flu-like symptoms. You may not need an appointment, but can receive advice by phone. Dining and conference services offers sick trays through their website. Send a friend to pick it up for you.
Follow the steps below to continue to protect yourself from illness:
These recommendations may change if COVID-19 becomes more prevalent in Washington state. Planning has begun for alternative responses if the outbreak becomes more widespread in our area. Faculty have begun to consider ways to support students if they cannot attend class for extended periods of time.
Anyone with international travel plans should remain apprised of current travel guidelines. Be mindful of the possibility that guidance may change once you have left the United States and/or arrived in your destination country. Questions about impacts and decisions around specific programs should be directed to department leadership for consultation.
We are closely connected with the Pierce County Health Department and have been working to stay abreast of the situation. We recognize that the situation with COVID-19 may be stressful for members of the Puget Sound community, especially for those with family or friends affected in other areas of the world. We will continue to provide updates as the situation evolves.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2020, 11:15 A.M.
To Students, Faculty and Staff
From Counseling, Health and Wellness Services
Many of you are aware of the recent virus coming out of China. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019 nCoV) which began in Wuhan, China continues to evolve. We are writing to highlight information especially pertinent to our students and those of you who interact with students. There have been no cases of 2019-nCoV at the University of Puget Sound. More cases worldwide are likely to be identified over the coming days, which may include additional cases in the United States.
At this point, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, risk of exposure to 2019—nCoV is very low.
Coronavirus is a common virus and causes the common cold and many influenza illnesses. This new or novel version can cause significant respiratory symptoms including difficulty breathing and pneumonia. If you have been in the province of Wuhan, China in the last 14 days and have symptoms of illness, such as a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, we recommend screening at a local emergency room. You should limit contact with others until you are evaluated and get you the care you need.
If you have traveled abroad over break and are experiencing a fever and or cough, we will provide phone consultation with a provider in CHWS prior to scheduling you for an appointment. Please call CHWS at 253.879.1555 to be connected to our triage nurse. If you are a student with a cough and/or fever, you will be instructed to wear a face mask in the waiting room in CHWS. This will help to protect other students and staff. If you are a faculty or staff member, please contact your health provider for instructions.
Because this is already the season for flu and other viruses, we ask all students, faculty, and staff who have illness accompanied by fever - regardless of their travels - to refrain from going to classes, labs, the dining hall, offices, and other places where they could spread illness among others. Practice good handwashing to stay healthy and prevent the spread of illness. We recommend the flu vaccine if you haven’t already been vaccinated this year.
Below you will see links to the CDC and the Public Health department.
As needed, we will provide updates to this communication and share advice from Tacoma Pierce County Public Health Department regarding ongoing response.
ABOUT THE VIRUS
2019 nCoV began in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and the first U.S. case was detected in Washington State on January 21, 2020. Experts are still learning details about how this virus spreads, but other corona viruses spread through:
Reported cases of the novel virus have ranged from mild illness (like the common cold) to severe symptoms that require hospitalization. So far, deaths have been reported mainly in older adults who had other health conditions.
If you have traveled abroad and are experiencing cough and fever, please call CHWS to consult with our triage nurse. You can reach our reception team at 253.879.1555. Please limit contact with others to prevent the spread of illness.
More details on the coronavirus are available at Public Health Department Human Coronaviruses.