COVID-19 FAQs

Facilities Services and Campus Operations
COVID-19 FAQ's

The following FAQs were adapted from the September 8, 2021 Back to Work Info Session. It contains the following sections:


Face Masks

Q: Will people be posted at building entryways to check on masking? What is the process for approaching people without a mask?

A: No, there will not be door monitors. Please set expectations by including the masking requirement in all classroom syllabuses and event and meeting invitations. Masking is also included in the UW COVID-19 training that all students, staff and faculty are required to take before returning to campus. As the Husky Pack, we are all responsible for following UW health and safety policies.

If someone is unmasked, educate them on the UW policy and provide them with a mask or direct them to a building mask kiosk. If they do not comply, we do not advocate any confrontation. Campus Safety will respond to issues related to unmasked individuals using educational communication and de-escalation techniques.

Section 5 of the UW Face Covering Policy details face mask policy enforcement. It states that (a) employees and (b) students violating the policy should be reported to HR or Student conduct for disciplinary processes, and (c) Members of the public not complying with the policy should be reminded of the policy, offered a mask, and if they refuse to wear it, law enforcement may be called in as a last resort.

UW Personnel should not attempt to physically block any individual or physically remove them from the space and should avoid confrontation (but should not provide service).

Q: Do we need to provide our own mask when we come to campus? What about those that are hearing impaired? (Clear masks)

A: Individuals are welcome to wear their own cloth face covering if it meets the UW requirements of a “face mask”. Please refer to the UW Face Mask Focus Sheet (PDF) for more information.

Blue surgical masks will be provided for free in the building dispensers. If you need additional boxes of surgical masks please request via Facilities Services Work Order Request System. Clear face masks are available for those that truly need them. Refer to the UW Face Covering policy for more information.

Q: Do you have any boxes of disposable masks for front line workers who meet with students who forget their masks? Or do we need to order them?

A: Yes, we have them. You can request via Facilities Services Work Order Request System. They will also be available at the front entrance of each building in a mask dispenser.

Q: If we have vaccinated employees in cubicles and their workstations are at least 6 feet apart, can they remove their face coverings in their own cubicle space?

A: No. Unmasking indoors is only permitted for those who have offices with doors that can close. Cubicle spaces with doors but without walls that extend to the ceiling are still considered cubicle spaces because they share the same space ventilation.


Spaces and Physical Distancing

Q: Do workstations still need to be six feet apart?

A: Capacity restrictions or reductions are no longer in play. However, it is recommended that unvaccinated individuals maintain their workstations six feet apart from others. Remember, if you remove your mask for active eating and drinking in a designated eating and drinking space, maintain six feet.

Q: Are cubicles with closable doors but walls that do not go to the ceiling considered a closed office or an open office?

A: That is considered an open office (cubicles) and do not meet the exemption for a private office where you can close the door and remove your mask.

Q: Concerned about close contact with cubicle neighbors, without barriers

A: There are multiple layers for COVID-19 transmission prevention including the UW vaccination requirement, wearing a mask indoors at all times (except for quick hydration sips), social distancing, and practicing good hand hygiene. Each of these are important on their own but are really effective when you combine them, in addition to the building's ventilation and air filters. These layers are all detailed in your unit's COVID-19 Prevention Plan for the Workplace.  If there are additional concerns, please discuss these with your supervisor.

Q: Will we be able to drink coffee/eat food inside since Fall/Winter is approaching?

A: Yes, following is a list of designated indoor eating spaces. Eating and drinking will also be permitted for occupants inside office spaces that have doors that can close and are separate from other workspaces.

Staff/Faculty Areas:

UW1:  172, 228, 328
UW2: 204, 359
Discovery Hall: 352C
LB1:  211, 211A
LBA:  103
Husky Hall: 1454
Physical Plant: 111
Physical Plant Warehouse: 101
Truly House kitchen
Chase House kitchen
UWBB: 107A, 218
UWBX: 101B, 102C, 102Q

Students:

Common Grounds
North Creek Events Center
UWBB-201
UW1: LL Vista, 2nd floor Vista, 3rd Floor Vista
Discover Hall: fourth floor west end breakout

Q: Eating areas: What are the rules/expectations?

A: Here is the link to UW’s Eating and Drinking Guidance

Q: Can I drink coffee or water at my desk?

A: You can take a drink at your desk as long as the time you are unmasked is minimized. Airplane rules: take a drink and put your mask back on.

Q: How frequently will meeting rooms and classrooms be cleaned if they are used back-to-back during the day?

A: Shared space users will have the responsibility for cleaning spaces after their use. Updated cleaning and disinfecting guidelines for different space types will be available soon. Wipes will be available in all areas.

See the Cleaning and Disinfection Protocol for COVID-19 developed by UW EH&S for more information.

Q: Should people meeting with individual students be disinfecting areas before meeting with the next? Should they space out appointment times?

A: Spaces need to be managed by space users. Time will need to be allotted between appointments to clean/disinfect any shared surfaces. Updated cleaning and disinfecting guidelines for different space types will be available soon. Wipes will be available in all areas.

See the Cleaning and Disinfection Protocol for COVID-19 developed by UW EH&S for more information.


Air Quality

Q: Do we have information about how many air changes per hour occur in each room/building?

A: No, we will not know how many air changes per hour occur in each room of each building but we have hired a third party HVAC consultant to test and document the air changes in all 87 classrooms throughout campus. That information will be provided when complete.

If you have concerns or questions about a specific room on our campus, please don’t hesitate to call Facilities Services or email us. We will then have our team look at that specific space.

Q: The Building Readiness Guidelines (PDF) state, “Where possible, UW Bothell Facilities will increase the amount of outside airflow in building HVAC systems.” Can you expand on this? Are there certain buildings on campus that will have higher outside airflow than others? If so, which buildings and/or floors?

A: We adjust the outside air dampers for more outside air, usually we draw in 10% outside air and since COVID, we have been drawing 30% Outside air. Discovery Hall has higher air flow because of the labs and hoods located in the building. The labs require 100% outside air. And being attached to UW2 via the hallways, UW2 hallways have more airflow as well.

Q: The library has no windows that open, will this building have maximum increased outside airflow?

A: Yes, via the outside air dampers

Q: Are the air dryers in the restrooms safe to use?

A: Air dryers in the restroom are safe to use, and all three UW campuses have been authorized to keep the hand dryers in place. The CDC recommends that after hands are washed with soap and water that they be dried thoroughly with an approved drying method, which includes paper towels or hand blowers. Please visit the CDC website for more information:

Q: Can you talk about smoke/pollution effects on our Covid-19 plans?

A: EPA states a MERV13 or higher will effectively keep out up to 94% of the particles from wildfire smoke. All buildings and leased spaces meet that requirement except for Husky Hall and Truly House because they do not have mechanical ventilation. In Husky Hall and Truly House, air purifiers will help with that situation.


Cleaning and Disinfecting

Q: What if employees are allergic to cleaning/disinfectants? 

A:  All cleaning products used by Facilities have been vetted by EHS.   If someone feels they are having an allergic reaction to a cleaning substance, they can contact Employee Health Resources and submit a UW Online Accident Report System report through EH&S.   

The UW COVID-19 Cleaning and Disinfection Protocol has a link to the list of approved cleaning and disinfectant chemicals that are used on campus in Section 2BIII. Please reach out to UWB Facilities or to UWB EH&S for specific questions, concerns, information, or the chemical safety data sheets. 


Illness, testing and Contact Tracing

Q: Will regular Covid testing be required?

A: Regular weekly testing will only be required of unvaccinated students and staff. All vaccinated personnel are strongly encouraged to participate in the free Husky Coronavirus Testing program. Husky Coronavirus Testing will be accessible via UW2 Commons lobby Monday-Friday 9am-3pm, or through a delivered at-home test kit.

Q: What do I do if I have a positive Covid test?

A: If a test is positive, or you have an otherwise confirmed or suspected case of Covid-19 you must immediately notify the UW Covid-19 Response and Prevention Team at covidehc@uw.edu.

Q: What is the notification process if someone has a positive test?

A: If someone tests positive through the Husky Coronavirus Testing program or through their healthcare provider, the individual must let EHS know at 206.616.3344 or covidehc@uw.edu. They then do a close contact follow up case (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more even if they’re wearing a mask) investigation. EH&S will find out if they need healthcare resources or support. Then they will contact the individual’s supervisor or instructor if they were on campus during their infectious period (48 hours before your symptoms started). The individual’s information will remain confidential, but the instructor or supervisor is given the name of the person since they cannot come to work/class.

Q: What are the protocols if someone gets sick?

If you are sick with any potential illness, you MUST stay home, regardless of your vaccination status.

Enroll in the Husky Coronavirus Testing program, report symptoms in daily survey, and test.

If test is positive, or you have an otherwise confirmed or suspected case of CV19 you must immediately notify the UW CV19 Response and Prevention Team at covidehc@uw.edu or 206.616.3344

You must stay home and away from others until all three of these are true:

  • Your symptoms improve
  • You have had a least 24 hours with no fever, without taking fever-reducing medication
  • AND, it's been at least 10 days since your symptoms started (or, if you've had not symptoms, since your CV19 test date). Stay home for the full 10 days, even if your symptoms are mild or you are fully vaccinated.

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