Plans for Winter and Spring Quarters, Stay Safe This Holiday Season and More

Update on Winter and Spring Quarter Plans

Updates were sent this week to students and faculty and staff, detailing plans for the upcoming academic terms. The updates provided important information on the phased return of residential students for winter quarter, required testing and quarantining, surveillance testing, library access, Commencement plans and more. The full messages are available at Student Update and Faculty and Staff Update.

COVID-19 Self-test Kits for Faculty and Staff Working on Campus

In response to inquiries from faculty and staff working on campus, Seattle University will be providing access to COVID-19 viral self-testing kits coinciding with the beginning of winter quarter on Jan. 4. These kits are intended to be used by faculty and staff who regularly work on campus. Use of the kits is voluntary and serves as a convenient supplement to the many other testing sites and providers that exist in the greater Seattle Metro area. Seattle University will pay for the cost of the kit, but the administration and results are private—no information is shared with the university.

To receive a kit, please use this link to set an appointment for pick-up at the Human Resources office located at Rianna 200, 718 12th St (between Columbia and Cherry). By scheduling a time HR staff will able to provide appropriate social distancing, follow all safety protocols and prevent wait times. Upon arrival please ring for entrance and provide your SU ID as identification.

Holiday Travel Safe Start Health Check Update

In conjunction with the holiday season and in alignment with the state guidance on out-of-state travel, a new question was added to the Safe Start Health Check tool asking if there has been any out of state travel over the past 14 days. The following is Seattle University’s guidance for how staff will be impacted if they answer yes to this question:

  • Critical infrastructure* employees who travel out of state are expected to quarantine and not come to campus for 14 days following travel.

    +  If you are unable to work remotely during your 14-day quarantine period following travel, you may utilize your available sick time or vacation time during your quarantine period.

    +  In the unlikely event that a critical infrastructure worker is required for the functioning of the physical campus, as a last resort Seattle University reserves the right to grant conditional approval to come to work on campus with special restrictions. Supervisors will consult with Human Resources to discuss any situation where a special restriction needs to be applied.
  • Non-critical-infrastructure employees who travel out of state are also expected to work remotely and not come to campus for 14 days following travel.

    +If you are unable to work remotely during your 14-day quarantine period following travel, you may utilize your available sick time or vacation time during your quarantine period.

* Critical Infrastructure includes but may not be limited to custodial staff, hazardous material responders, information technology and Public Safety.

For questions or more information please contact Human Resources at

CDC’s New Quarantine Guidelines and Seattle U 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Public Health—Seattle & King County recently issued updated guidance allowing for the reduction of quarantine periods for close contacts to persons diagnosed with COVID-19. The CDC makes the point that a reduction in quarantine time does increase the risk of spreading the virus and that needs to be balanced with individual reasons for ending quarantine early.

In our ongoing commitment to keep the Seattle University community safe, we will continue to follow the CDC’s initial and preferred recommendation of quarantining for 14 days.

With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise, we must do everything we can to help slow the spread. Please continue to take healthy and safe measures in the coming weeks. For those residing in Washington, please continue to follow Governor Inslee’s directives. If you reside outside of Washington state, be aware of any restrictions and advisories that may apply in the states you are visiting.

State Restrictions Extended

Citing a steep increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Governor Jay Inslee recently announced he was extending until Jan. 4 restrictions he put into place last month. The directive, which includes restrictions on social gatherings, restaurants and retail, exempts all institutions of higher education, K-12 school districts and child care.

WA Notify App 

As announced by Governor Inslee earlier this month, Washington Exposure Notifications (also known as WA Notify) is a new tool that works through smartphones to alert users if they may have been exposed to COVID-19. The app is does not track users or share any personal information. Please note that if you receive a notification that you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you must still report that information to Seattle University at as the university is not automatically notified through the app.

Get a Flu Shot

One of the most important things you can do to help those who are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic response is to get vaccinated for the flu. Help lighten the load on our outstanding healthcare providers by getting your shot today. Find a vaccination clinic or pharmacy »

Testing and Traveling During the Holiday Season

Public Health – Seattle & King County shares guidance on traveling and getting tested for COVID-19 during the holiday season. You can read the commonly asked questions and responses at Public Health Insider. In addition, all students, faculty and staff are encouraged to follow all public health guidelines during break: wear face coverings, practice social distancing and wash hands thoroughly and frequently.

We wish you a healthy, safe and restful break!

Other Helpful Resources

Student Support Center

Events and Activities for Students

Free COVID-19 Testing Locations