Spring 2021 FAQ


Are masks required at all times?
Masks are required on campus, indoors and out.

Masks must be worn:

  • Anywhere outside on campus, whether you are alone or with others
  • Inside all campus building public spaces
  • Inside all campus labs and classrooms—even for those teaching behind a screen
  • Inside all offices and work spaces that are currently or frequently occupied by more than one person
  • By anyone working, living or visiting campus

Masks do not need to be worn:

  • Inside your residential room with the door closed
  • Inside a private office with the door closed
  • While eating or drinking

Can I leave my room while in quarantine during my first seven days on campus?
You may leave your room to get meals or to go for a walk or run to get fresh air. You may not visit stores, churches, or other residence halls.

Can I go home or travel off campus/out of state?
We have worked hard to create a safe environment on campus and advise all students to limit travel off campus except for essential purposes, such as class projects, work assignments, or other critical needs. We strongly discourage all nonessential travel outside of Washington, and students, faculty members, and staff members who do travel out of state may be subject to self-quarantine upon return as determined by Washington state’s requirements. Only essential travel on behalf of the university, as determined and approved in advance by applicable Cabinet members, is supported at this time. Please see the university’s temporary travel restrictions on domestic and international travel for more information.

Are all students be in single rooms?
Most, but not all, students are in single rooms in the spring semester. However, we know that isolation carries increased risks of anxiety and depression that are detrimental to both mental and physical health. As a consequence, we have made doubles available to students, and are paying special attention to cocurricular programming to support students in staying busy, engaged, and involved in campus life.

How are campus COVID-19 guidelines enforced?
Faculty and staff members may remove students from their campus work areas or classrooms if they have not completed their daily health screening, fail to wear a mask and socially distance, or violate safety requirements. Signage will be up on campus reminding everyone of their responsibilities. Our residence staff is prepared to help monitor and support the residential environment. Those who fail to comply may be reported to the Office of Rights and Responsibilities, where appropriate action will be taken—up to and including losing the privilege of being on campus.

How is testing different from fall?
There are three notable changes to our testing program from the fall:

  1. We have increased the frequency of testing for all campus members.
  2. We are arranging for the testing program ourselves instead of partnering with the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department.
  3. We have moved from the nasal swab PCR test to a self-administered saliva-based PCR test.  

These changes should make the testing process both easier and faster, with tests results delivered within 24-48 hours. Learn more about our spring testing protocols at pugetsound.edu/covid19testing.

What metrics will be used to determine if we can continue operating as planned this spring?
In addition to guidance or requirements from Washington state and public health officials, there are three areas we will closely monitor to determine if we need to make any changes, such as pausing in-person activities or reverting to all remote operations. These include:

  1. test positivity rates
  2. the ability to keep current with timely contact-tracing efforts
  3. available capacity in our isolation spaces on campus.

At this time, we are confident in our ability to perform well across all three of these metrics.

Are athletic facilities open to the campus community?
The Athletics and Aquatics Center resumed operational hours on Tuesday, Jan. 26, by reservation, for Puget Sound students, faculty, and staff only. Facilities available to the campus community include the fitness center, tennis pavilion, Wallace Pool, basketball courts, and the racquetball court, with capacity limits for each location following state of Washington requirements. Reservations are required in advance for sessions, available in 45-minute increments, allowing for transition periods that will include the cleaning of the facility. See hours of operation, specific use information for each space, and details on how to make reservations. 

What if I need to access to a campus building? Where can I go on campus to study?
To help slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our community safe, access to campus buildings is limited, but students may access many campus facilities using their LoggerCards. View our spring 2021 Student Building Access and Use Information

Can my student club hold an event on campus?
Clubs are an important part of the student experience at Puget Sound. To best meet the needs of everyone in your group, we strongly encourage all student organizations to continue meeting virtually. This allows all students, regardless of where they are in the world, to fully participate in club meetings and activities. If your club must have an on-campus meeting or activity, you must make a request to the Office of the Dean of Students (DSA) at least five days prior to the event. The request does not guarantee that your event will be approved, but DSA will work toward supporting the in-person request as much as possible. View the COVID-19 event request form.

Failure to receive approval for in-person activities and events is a violation of the university's COVID-19 policies and will result in a conduct process through Student Rights and Responsibilities.

Are club sports active this spring?
Like other student organizations, ASUPS club sports strongly support the student experience and overall health of our students. Due to COVID-19 requirements and risks, we strongly recommend that club sports not be activated for normal activities this spring semester. There are myriad COVID-19 requirements that any club sport would need to manage to avoid COVID-19 requirement violations and protect members’ health. There also would be significant challenges to competing against any other teams. Stringent requirements would need to be managed daily, without pause. For club sports that don’t require close contact of participants, or clubs that will not participate in normal actual play and can devise distanced practice regiments, club members will need to fill out a COVID-19 event request form to host club sports events. The form will be reviewed by the dean of students. Any approval of in-person clubs sports activities will come with a variety of requirements that include, but are not limited to:

  1. Hiring a club coach whose job must include additional requirements regarding continual management of Puget Sound COVID-19 policies and protocols
  2. Active daily management of all participants in Puget Sound COVID-19 daily health screening
  3. Active disinfecting protocols during in-person activities

Failure to receive approval for in-person activities and events is a violation of the university's COVID-19 policies and will result in a conduct process through Student Rights and Responsibilities.