COVID-19 Prevention Efforts for On-Campus Housing

The Residential Experience Office is pleased to welcome students to campus for Spring 2021. During this unique time, we have been working closely with staff in Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services (CHWS); Facilities Services; Security Services; Dining and Conference Services; and local and state agencies to prepare for your return. As a campus, we are requiring our community to follow specific requirements and strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in campus residences and throughout campus. Those strategies include social distancing and limiting guests; increased personal hygiene; face coverings; disinfecting bathrooms, common rooms, and classrooms; weekly testing and personal screening; and staying home if you are sick. This document will provide you with more information about our plans for the Spring Semester.

Preparing to Come to Campus

To ensure you are prepared for your return, make sure to refer to the “What to Pack” website as you prepare. In addition to the typical items, be sure to bring the following: reusable face coverings (7 - one for each day of the week), thermometer, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes, and Acetaminophen (Tylenol). Puget Sound will provide every student with two reusable cloth masks. We highly recommend that students and their move-in helpers limit their non-essential travel two weeks before their move-in date. Also, do not host or attend parties or gatherings, even if they are outside, for 14 days before your return to campus.

Please pack light for this semester. If your items cannot fit in the trunk of a car, consider leaving non-essential items behind.

Puget Sound’s Housing De-Densification Approach

All on-campus housing types will be occupied in Spring 2021 (e.g. singles, doubles, suites, flats, Greek Houses and campus houses). The multiple layers of prevention described in this document will be particularly important in residential communities. Frequent cleaning of bathrooms and common surfaces, mask-wearing outside the bedroom, and physical distancing make it possible to retain typical occupancy levels in the majority of our spaces while prioritizing student health and preventing the spread of COVID-19. 

Puget Sound studied approaches to safely house students during the pandemic and has assessed all residence hall bedrooms to ensure students can live in the room. In cases where the room type did not allow students to live in the room and remain 6 feet apart, the room type was decreased by one. Another strategy we employed to de-densify our living communities was to reduce housing capacity to 85% in halls that have group bathrooms ordinarily used by more than 5 students. This will reduce the number of students using a communal bathroom.

Bathrooms

Students will be assigned a bathroom to use. Students are expected to use their assigned bathroom. In Oppenheimer Suites, Trimble Suites, Thomas Flats, and on-campus houses, no more than five students will be assigned to each single-use bathroom. In Residential facilities where there is a communal bathroom with multiple showers, sinks, and toilets, students will be assigned a specific shower, sink, and toilet.

Students with single-use bathrooms in their rooms, suites, flats, and houses are required to clean their bathrooms. Communal bathrooms will be cleaned and disinfected regularly by Facilities Services.

Handwashing

You will need to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.  Please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website to review recommendations on hand hygiene and how to protect yourself and others.

Residential Facilities and Cleaning

To provide for physical distancing, it may be necessary to design and implement a new “flow” of people through many buildings. Signs and other directions indicating this new flow will be installed in many buildings.

There will be increased cleaning across campus by our Facilities Services team and contracted help. The frequency and type of cleaning for each space will be determined by space purpose and volume of use. Many academic spaces will be cleaned once per day, and residential common spaces will be cleaned twice per day. Designated high-traffic areas, such as high-volume elevator lobbies, high-volume restrooms, and other similar areas will be cleaned multiple times per day. Cleaning and disinfection protocols specified by public health authorities will be implemented. 

Daily Self Screening, Testing, and Puget Sound Community Pledge

All members of the Puget Sound community will participate in daily screening, weekly testing, and uphold the Puget Sound’s Community Pledge.  Members will receive a daily email reminder to complete a self-screening health form. More information about the testing procedures will be sent in January.

ResX COVID-19 Requirements 

All of the prevention efforts listed above will only be effective if our community members follow them. Puget Sound has provided the ResX COVID-19 Requirements so that all of our on-campus residents are aware of, and agree to, uphold our commitment to the health and safety of our campus community. At move-in all students living on campus will be required to acknowledge that they have read and agree to uphold these requirements by signing this document. A copy of these signed agreements will be kept on file.