Changes Coming to SU’s COVID Response, Effective March 21

March 8, 2022

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff, 

With Omicron cases continuing to decline, we are seeing an easing of COVID-related restrictions in our county and state. As you know, the State of Washington is lifting its indoor face covering mandate for schools and businesses on Saturday, March 12. As we continue to follow public health guidance, the university likewise has decided to end its indoor masking requirement. However, this change will not go into effect until Monday, March 21. Until then, the university’s current face covering policy must be followed. 

Following are more specifics on the coming change to our masking guidelines, as well as updates to our Safe Start Health Check requirement, guidance on gatherings and entry testing.

Face coverings 

  • Effective March 12, the day the state mandate is lifted, faculty will be permitted to remove their face coverings while teaching.

  • Consistent with the State of Washington’s guidance, the lifting of SU’s face covering requirement will apply to both vaccinated and unvaccinated members of the community. 
  • As required by the State of Washington, face coverings must still be worn in certain settings, including health care.

  • At the same time, whether to wear a face covering is an individual choice that must be respected. Please be supportive of and compassionate to one another as we each continue to navigate COVID and determine what is best or necessary for us individually. 

    - For Seattle University, this applies to the Student Health Center, on-campus COVID testing sites and at clinical sites where masking requirements will remain in effect.

    - In addition, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Disability Services and the Athletic Training Room will continue to require face coverings after March 21.

    - Otherwise, no departments or offices should put in place face covering protocols that are more restrictive than the university’s policy.

Members of the SU community are encouraged to evaluate their personal level of risk in determining whether to wear a face covering. As a reminder, community members can access masks through the university, including KN95s, through their designated contact

Updates to Safe Start Health Check, event guidelines and entry testing for Spring Quarter 

  • Effective March 21, students, faculty, staff and visitors will not be required to complete the Safe Start Health Check daily. The health check will continue to be available for those who are symptomatic to use as a tool to help determine whether or not to come to campus or go to class. Between now and March 21, all who are on campus should complete the health check each day.

  • The university’s current guidance on campus gatherings will also be lifted on March 21.
  • Entry testing will not be required for students prior to the start of Spring Quarter, however, students who will be traveling over break are encouraged to test. 

Entering a new phase with hope and vigilance 

While many welcome the opportunity to remove face coverings and lift other COVID-related guidelines, we all know that COVID is and will continue to be a part of our lives for the foreseeable future. The hope is that by continuing to do our part we can help manage it in a way that does not disrupt our daily lives. Staying up to date on vaccinations is one of the most effective measures we can take to keep the virus and its most serious effects at bay. If you haven’t done so already, please register your booster. The deadline is April 1. 

And while the current numbers are trending in the right direction, the virus has been known to change course and impact our plans. If a new variant emerges, it may require us to pivot and reinstate policies and guidelines in such areas as face coverings, health screenings and events. As has been true for the past two years, we will continue to prioritize the well-being of our campus community, follow the latest public health guidance and make any adjustments that are needed to our COVID response. 

Thank you for continuing to care for one another and for all that you do for Seattle University. 


Shane P. Martin, PhD, Provost
Co-Chair, Seattle University Opening Task Force 

Timothy P. Leary, PhD, Executive Vice President
Co-Chair, Seattle University Opening Task Force