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COVID Information

All WSU students are required to be fully vaccinated or apply for a medical or religious exemption. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the Pfizer vaccine full approval on Aug. 23, 2021, leading to WSU to discontinue the personal/philosophical exemption.

Students have until Sept. 10 to provide proof of being fully vaccinated or apply for a medical or religious exemption. In addition, Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued a proclamation that requires all higher education employees to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18, unless they are approved for a medical or religious exemption.

If there is a report of suspect or confirmed case of COVID-19 on campus

  • If a student/staff/faculty tests positive for COVID-19, they should follow directions given to them by public health officials. Jason Sampson of WSU Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) is cooperating with the Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) and has the authority to act as an SRHD representative for conducting contact tracing. Students/employees/faculty are encouraged to contact EH&S directly when they receive a positive COVID-19 test so EH&S can conduct a contact tracing interview with them. The quicker that interviews are conducted and contacts are advised to quarantine the more effective contact tracing is.
  • If an employee discloses their positive result with a faculty member, the information will be forwarded to EH&S. Names of employees will be kept confidential.
  • EH&S works with members of SRHD to confirm positive test results as applicable and appropriate.
  • In the event of a positive COVID-19 case, only those individuals who were potentially exposed will receive notification and instructions on next steps. There will be no campus wide messaging regarding suspect or confirmed cases unless instructed to do so as part of an SRHD case investigation.
  • EH&S will work with WSU Spokane custodial staff to identify areas potentially affected by suspect or confirmed COVID-19 cases to take precautionary measures to clean and disinfect. Individuals names will not be shared as part of this process, just locations identified during the interview.

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is one of several important efforts being made to contain the spread of COVID-19. Physical distancing, wearing face coverings, frequent hand washing, sanitizing common touch surfaces and not touching your face remain critically important to accomplishing this public health goal.

Jason Sampson of WSU Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) is cooperating with Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) to facilitate contact tracing to help identify and isolate anyone associated with the WSU Spokane campus who was in close contact with a confirmed case. WSU EH&S has people trained as contact tracers and has the authority to act as a SRHD representative for conducting contact tracing.

Contact tracing is a process of identifying and tracking the spread of infectious disease. It begins with health care providers alerting health districts of a COVID-19 positive case. A trained interviewer then contacts the positive person and ask them for the contact information of close contacts. Under current state and federal contact tracing protocols, a close contact is defined as someone who was within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative of 15 minutes or more over a 24 hours period starting from two days before illness onset (or for asymptomatic people, two days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

Once an interview is conducted, the interviewer will reach out to everyone who was identified as a close contact and advise them to quarantine at home for 14 days since the last time they were in contact with the confirmed positive person.

Campus Cleaning Protocols

When extra cleaning and disinfecting is required due to a report of suspected or positive exposure to COVID-19, campus custodial staff will respond to clean the area as soon as possible. Faculty, staff and students who are working in the space will be notified and asked to leave the area prior to the cleaning/disinfecting process. People working in a potentially infected area may move to another designated location to continue their work, or they could return home for the day. Individuals are to consult with their supervisor or instructor for direction.

Custodial staff will clean and disinfect the following surfaces:

  • Doors and door handles
  • Desks, chairs and tables
  • Computers and keyboards
  • File cabinets
  • Countertops
  • Light switches
  • Railings
  • Refrigerators
  • Microwaves
  • Other potentially infected surfaces

Occupants may return to the space for work or instruction the following day after cleaning/disinfection is complete.

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