Campus Community / People of SU

Seattle University Returns to In-Person Learning on Jan. 31

January 26, 2022

Masked students in a science class. Student closest to camera sits with an open notebook while holding a pen ready to write notes.

Image credit: Matt Lipsen

Health and safety will remain a priority as courses resume next week.

As shared in his recent message to the Seattle University community, President Eduardo Peñalver announced campus will return to in-person learning next Monday, Jan. 31.

“The available data is informing our decision to return to primarily in-person classes next Monday. Some graduate-level programs will remain virtual. Exceptions to this return to in-person instruction will be determined on an individual basis in consultation with deans and the Office of the Provost and the mode of instruction will be communicated to students by the faculty member.”

The President’s message also included safety and testing guidance:

Keeping Each Other in Mind

Our continued commitment to being a fully vaccinated campus is our best defense against the virus and a big part of the reason we are able to return to in-person instruction. We expect that members of the campus community will be up-to-date on their vaccinations by getting a booster vaccination as soon as they become eligible. Boosters are highly effective against severe illness from the Omicron variant.

We also know that face coverings, particularly well-fitting, high-quality masks are crucial to reducing the spread of the virus. In anticipation of next week’s transition to in-person learning, the university is working to expand its supply of ASTM-rated surgical (or procedure) masks as well as KN95s, with priority for the latter given to those members of our campus community whose roles put them at a heightened risk for exposure. More information on this will be shared later in the week.

With 80 percent of our undergraduate students currently on-campus and the expectation that our residence halls will be near capacity within the week, testing continues to be another key component of our COVID response. All students in traditional residence halls are currently required to test weekly. Students in on-campus apartment-style housing are encouraged to test weekly. All students are required to have a COVID test prior to return to campus, ideally within 72 hours, and submit their results no later than Feb. 4.

In addition to surveillance testing, diagnostic testing remains important. Community members should test if they are experiencing symptoms or have a known close contact. In addition to test kits now being covered by health insurance, tests are also available at no cost from the federal government and the Washington State Department of Health. (We understand that the DOH’s inventory of test kits is currently out of stock but more will be available soon.)

View more details about SU’s COVID-19 Response and latest updates here