Updated Jan. 5, 2022

Purpose and Guiding Principles

University of Puget Sound is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all members of our campus community. To foster a safe work environment for faculty and staff members and students on campus, Puget Sound is utilizing a COVID-19 Work on Campus Plan.

This plan will continue to be revised with updates communicated to all faculty and staff members in response to public health conditions in Washington state and guidance from Washington state and Pierce County public health officials.

The COVID-19 Work on Campus Plan provides institutional and operational guidance to facilitate careful and deliberate work on campus. Underpinning this plan are key principles that will continue to guide Puget Sound’s COVID-19 response, including:

  • the health, safety, and welfare of faculty, staff, students, and visitors;
  • mitigation of COVID-19 risks by following the governor’s orders and guidance from L&I, state and local health departments, and consulting guidelines offered by higher education professional associations; and
  • our commitment to maintain academic and research excellence, manage university operations, and support students who are learning and living on campus.


Safety in the Workplace

The university has established expectations that help reduce COVID-19 risks on campus. All faculty and staff members working on campus are expected to comply with the following practices and other university guidance:

  • Remember to complete your home test before returning to campus.
  • Plan to drop off a saliva sample for asymptomatic pooled testing within the first five days of returning to campus following the winter break. Sample kits and the drop box for completed samples are located across from Wheelock 208.
  • Everyone who is working on campus and regularly interacting with others will participate in asymptomatic pooled testing once a week during the month of January. We encourage those who are not working on campus prior to the start of the spring semester on Tuesday, Jan. 18 to take advantage of free testing offered in the community, although we understand that the availability of asymptomatic testing is limited at some local testing sites. Please get a diagnostic test off campus if you are symptomatic or exposed to someone with COVID-19.
Limit Exposure to Others
  • Those who are working on campus must continue to wear masks and are encouraged to maintain social distancing, and wash hands frequently.
  • No large meetings or gatherings should occur at this time. Meetings should be conducted virtually whenever possible (in-person meetings should occur with no eating or drinking) until this high transmission period comes to a close. 
  • Faculty should prepare for the likelihood that the first week of classes will be conducted remotely. This will give us the opportunity to get all students back on campus and tested before gathering together in the classroom. 
Stay Home If You Are Sick
  • If you are already on campus and learn that you have been exposed to COVID-19, please contact contacttracing@pugetsound.edu for guidance. Do not come to campus if you feel ill, and leave campus immediately if you begin to feel ill.
  • Do not come to campus to utilize saliva testing if you are ill; seek the advice of a physician or test at a community testing site.
  • Please notify your supervisor or department/program area head and CHWS if you are diagnosed with COVID-19, so that operational adjustments can be made, contact tracing can be completed and we can accurately reflect the presence of COVID-19 in our community on the COVID-19 dashboard.
  • Wearing a face covering is one of the most vital COVID-19 prevention measures. Faculty, staff, students, and visitors must wear a mask or face covering while in doors (their own or provided by the university).
  • Vented masks and bandanas are prohibited. A mask or face covering is not required if you are working alone in a self-contained workspace or open campus space, but should be worn when entering or leaving that space or to access other facilities outside of a contained workspace.

Wearing masks and face coverings

  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer prior to handling your face covering.
  • Ensure the face covering fits fully over your nose and under your chin.
  • Fit snugly against the sides of your face and don’t have gaps.
  • Tie straps behind your head and neck, or loop around your ears.
  • Avoid touching the front of your face covering.
  • When taking off your face covering, do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Wash your hands immediately or use hand sanitizer before putting on a mask and after removing.
  • View more information from the CDC about how to wear cloth face coverings.

Caring for cloth face coverings

  • Keep your face coverings stored in a paper bag when not in use.
  • Cloth face coverings may not be used more than one day at a time and must be properly laundered with regular clothing detergent after each use.
  • Disposable masks must not be used for more than one day and must be disposed of after daily use.
  • View more information from the CDC about caring for cloth face coverings.
Wash Your Hands Often

Consistent with CDC guidance to minimize the spread of COVID-19, faculty and staff members should frequently wash their hands using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This especially is true after a faculty or staff member is in a public place; after touching frequently used items or surfaces; or after nose-blowing, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol should be used. The university has provided hand-sanitizer dispensers throughout campus.


Facilities Services staff members will clean public spaces, such as building lobbies, restrooms, door handles, handrails, and elevator buttons, consistent with recommended cleaning standards, which are subject to change. The university will maintain hand-sanitizer stations at major building locations. If there is a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 reported to the university, Facilities Services will coordinate cleaning and disinfecting of the affected individual’s workspace. Faculty and staff members are encouraged to use disinfectant between uses of shared spaces throughout the day and to keep workspaces free of clutter, excess personal items, and other unnecessary items to allow for maximum cleaning of all surfaces.

  • COVID-19 prevention training is required for all faculty and staff members prior to or immediately upon returning to on-campus work. We encourage all faculty and staff members to take this short training now, even if not yet working on campus. Find a quick link to the required training
  • As indicated in the training, faculty and staff members must send an email message to the university’s environmental health and safety office at EHStraining@pugetsound.edu to confirm completion of the training as required by L&I.
Building Security

Most buildings currently are accessible only for use by students, faculty, and staff members, as well as limited, preapproved visitors. Buildings continue to be locked, with the exception of Collins Memorial Library, the Music Building, Wilson Welcome Center, Wheelock Student Center, and the Athletics and Aquatics Center, during normal business hours. Faculty and staff members must use electronic access points or keys to enter buildings. Doors should NOT be propped open. A faculty or staff member who cannot access a building to which they require ongoing access should notify their supervisor, who will work with a department head and Security Services to approve access.

Vehicle Van Use

There are COVID-19 protocols for university-owned Facilities Services vans. Procedures include limiting vehicle occupancy, wearing masks or face coverings, and use of cleaning supplies. Protocols are managed by Facilities Services.

Campus Visitors

Visitors may access outdoor campus areas if they comply with COVID-19 behavior signage. Visitors may access indoor areas in accordance with Campus Visitor Guidelines and Procedures. Indoor visits are limited to important mission and/or essential operating purposes.


If you have questions about any of the issues covered in the COVID-19 Work on Campus Plan, please contact your supervisor or department head, human resources (hr@pugetsound.edu), or Puget Sound’s COVID-19 site supervisors:

Tyler Newkirk
Director of Environmental Health and Safety

Kerstyn M. Dolack
Occupational Health and Safety Manager