Campus Update and Health Information

March 2, 2020

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:

On the evening of Sunday, March 1, Seattle University was made aware of a student who was in close contact with a person with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. The student was mask protected, practicing universal health precautions, when contact was made in a clinical setting off campus. The student notified the university yesterday upon learning that the person being treated had later tested positive for COVID-19.

Upon learning this information the university made contact with Public Health – Seattle King County (PH-SKC) and activated its Infectious Disease Response Plan. Following Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) risk assessment guidelines the student has been deemed at medium risk for contracting the virus. The student is showing no signs or symptoms but will self-quarantine for the next 14 days per CDC guidance.

In an abundance of caution, the university mobilized a cleaning crew to clean and disinfect the area and surrounding area of campus the student was present in during a two hour window on Friday. This included a classroom in Pigott Hall and the atrium common area of Pigott Hall.

The university has worked with the student to identify those with whom they were in contact and are making notifications accordingly. CDC does not recommend testing, symptom monitoring or special management for those exposed to asymptomatic people with potential exposures to COVID-19 (such as in a household), i.e., “contacts of contacts;” these people are not considered exposed to COVID-19.

The health and wellness of our community is paramount and our highest priority. If you develop symptoms, such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days of your return from travel to a country with a COVID-19 outbreak or have been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19, please take the steps listed below. These recommendations are also for individuals who are not at high risk for COVID-19 but do have fever and respiratory symptoms.

  1. Call your health provider in advance. Please do not show up at a clinic, urgent care or other health facility without calling first. Your provider will need to take special measures to protect other people in the clinic. Telemedicine may also be available, enabling you to consult a provider from home.
  2. If you have symptoms such cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, contact your regular doctor first. Do not go to the emergency room. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs.
  3. If you have difficulty breathing, it doesn't mean you have novel coronavirus, but you should call 9-1-1
  4. If you're over 60 and you have underlying conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease, come up with a plan with your doctor to identify your health risks for coronavirus and how to manage symptoms. Contact your doctor right away if you do have symptoms.
  5. If you have mild symptoms, stay home, take care of yourself and monitor your symptoms.

The Washington Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have a question about what is happening in Washington, how the virus is spread and what to do if you have symptoms, call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.

Seattle University will continue monitoring the situation and will treat it with the urgency it requires. We will continue to provide updates to our campus community about information, protocols and recommendations from the CDC, WHO and PH-SKC. As a reminder, please visit for the most up-to-date information.


Tara Hicks, ARNP
Director of Student Health Center
Seattle University
Office: 206-296-6300 I Fax: 206-296-6089

Alvin A. Sturdivant, EdD
Vice President for Student Development
Seattle University
Office: 206-296-6066 I Fax: 206-296-6063