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COVID-19 information

Update on spring quarter classes, operations and mask policies (3/8/22)

Posted on 2022-03-08 13:06

Dear colleagues,

Thank you for all that you have done to adapt your teaching and working to the changing health circumstances of the last few months. As Dr. Geoff Gottlieb wrote to you in February, the Omicron wave peaked in early January, and we are now well positioned for a successful end to the winter quarter and a successful start to the spring quarter at the end of this month. With the improved health situation, spring quarter classes, experiences and services will again be held largely in person and we will also be updating the UW’s mask policies.

Changes to UW mask policies
Following changes to state and local health policies, masks will become optional inside most University facilities starting March 28, the first day of spring quarter. Masks will continue to be required in clinical and other health-care settings and on public transportation, including UW shuttles. The UW Face Covering Policy will be updated to outline these specific settings. Please note that mask and testing policies for unvaccinated students and personnel are still under review and will be communicated prior to March 28. Additionally, UW locations and facilities not specified in state, local or University face covering policies should not set their own mask policies.

Because many people will be returning to campus from travel over spring break and mobility will be increasing in general, we strongly recommend wearing masks indoors during the first two weeks of spring quarter. Please monitor yourself daily for symptoms and stay home if you are sick. It’s also strongly recommended to get tested after travel.

While optional, we continue to welcome and encourage mask wearing during spring quarter. Masks remain an important tool against respiratory illnesses of all kinds and offer greater protection that can help all in our community feel safe. When you mask up, choose a well-fitted, high-quality mask — such as a KF94, KN95, N95 or surgical mask — which when worn correctly protects you as well as those around you. You can pick up free masks at a variety of locations on each UW campus. People need to or choose to wear masks for a wide range of reasons, and we should not make assumptions. It is critical that we respect their needs and choices and that we extend each other grace.

The relaxing of the indoor mask requirement is possible thanks to high vaccination rates in the UW and broader communities, as well as the dramatic decline in the number of hospitalizations and infections. It’s also part of changes to our health measures in alignment with the new CDC framework for public health guidance based on community risk. Of course, COVID-19 is not over and we must all continue to be vigilant against new outbreaks or variants, including by getting boosted and remaining up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccinations, staying home when sick, and getting tested if you have symptoms or have been exposed. If public health conditions worsen once more, we will reinstate an indoor mask requirement and/or other measures until the health situation improves again. A summary of UW coronavirus mitigation measures is available at

Spring quarter classes
Even with the improvements in the public health situation, the coronavirus continues to circulate so we must plan for unexpected disruptions to individual classes as instructors need to stay home and/or if there are significant numbers of students in a class who are ill at the same time. As during winter quarter, we request that instructors be flexible about student absences due to illness or other coronavirus-related disruptions, including the need to quarantine or because of closures to caregiving services that may affect students who are caregivers. And while instructors should work to find typical and appropriate ways for students to make up missed coursework, please recall that they are not required to provide a remote option for classes that are being taught in person.

Spring quarter operations
Continuing to increase the number of in-person classes, experiences and services also means having more employees working on our campuses. Starting at or before the beginning of spring quarter, supervisors should work with their teams to return to the in-person, hybrid or remote work agreements arranged for employees prior to the Omicron wave and/or update these agreements to meet spring quarter operational needs. This can take place at an appropriate pace for each team’s specific needs and goals. Supervisors should continue to provide flexibility to account for the many individual circumstances and unexpected coronavirus-related disruptions, such as to caregiving supports, that their team members encounter.

Over the course of the pandemic, UW staff, faculty and academic personnel have demonstrated a commitment not just to your own health and well-being but to the health, well-being and success of our students, your coworkers and all those served by our University. On behalf of our students and community, thank you, and best wishes for a successful end to winter quarter and for a happy, healthy spring.




Ana Mari Cauce
Professor of Psychology

Mark Richards' Signature
Mark A. Richards
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor of Earth and Space Sciences

Covid Policy Updates 2/23/22

Posted on 2022-02-23 08:00

Last week, Gov. Jay Inslee and local health agencies announced updates to state and county COVID-19 prevention policies. These welcome changes are in response to declining infections and hospitalizations in our region. These improvements have been matched at the UW, where the Omicron surge peaked in early January and daily case counts — as well as the related disruptions to learning, teaching and working — have fallen.

All of this points to a successful end to the winter quarter and to a largely in-person spring quarter, and additional communications about spring quarter operations will be sent by UW leadership in the near future.

In the meantime, to align with state and local actions the UW is making following changes to its policies:

Face coverings are no longer required for outdoor events or gatherings of 500 or more people as of Feb. 18, 2022. Masks continue to be required indoors in all UW facilities, regardless of your vaccination status, in accordance with the University’s Face Covering Policy.
Effective March 1, 2022, vaccine verification will no longer be required for events or venues such as museums and theaters that currently require it. Event organizers and venue managers may continue to require proof of vaccination or negative test if they choose to do so. We will be updating the relevant UW policies accordingly.
Gov. Inslee also announced he will end the state’s indoor mask mandate on March 21, 2022. However, before we are able to make any changes to the UW’s mask policies, we must first receive guidance from the King County and Pierce County health departments, as well as receive updated workplace safety regulations from the Washington Department of Labor and Industries. We will review those as soon as they are issued and broadly communicate any changes to relevant University policies. Until then, the UW’s indoor mask mandate remains in place and will not be lifted prior to the end of winter quarter. We appreciate your patience as the University works through this process.

A multi-layered prevention strategy continues to be important to protect against both current and future COVID-19 surges. Vaccination and getting boosters when eligible are the most important tools available to prevent severe outcomes from COVID-19 infection. In addition:

Stay home and isolate away from others if you are ill.
Use a high-quality, well-fitting KF94, KN95, N95 or surgical mask when indoors.
Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
Get tested when possible if you have symptoms or are exposed.
Quarantine away from others if you are not up to date on your vaccinations and are exposed to someone with COVID-19.
Individuals who are immunocompromised or who live with people who are at higher risk for serious health outcomes may want to take extra precautions.

We all welcome this much needed good news. But we also recognize that the virus will continue to evolve, and we must also evolve and adapt our response. Thank you for everything you have been doing over the last two years of the pandemic to keep yourself, your friends and loved ones, and the UW community healthy and safe.

NIOSH Approved N95 Masks

Posted on 2022-01-06 09:03

Link provided by EH&S:

Preventing COVID-19 during travel and gatherings

Posted on 2021-11-18 10:48

Before you travel


  • Get tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel and schedule the test with enough time to get your results before departing. There are many no-cost testing options in our area, and rapid tests are available at many pharmacies.
  • Follow current CDC COVID-19 travel guidance and take steps to protect yourself and others, like continuing to wear a mask indoors, washing your hands and watching your distance in crowded places.
  • Get the flu vaccine to reduce your risk of catching both diseases at once, and to protect other people from an illness that usually claim tens of thousands of lives each winter.

During Thanksgiving and winter break

Wherever you are, follow the CDC’s holiday guidance, which includes:

  • Continuing to wear a mask in public indoor settings, regardless of your vaccination status
  • Avoiding crowded, poorly ventilated spaces
  • Gathering outdoors whenever possible
  • Staying home if you feel sick or have COVID-19 symptoms
  • Getting tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
  • Getting tested before gatherings, and again 5–7 days after events

If you test positive or are exposed, follow the University’s COVID-19 public health requirements and guidance.

After traveling for breaks



EH&S Resources for a safe return to labwork

Posted on 2021-10-27 09:27

EH&S Covid updates (10/13/21)

Posted on 2021-10-27 09:24

Building Readiness Information (UW Facilities)

Posted on 2021-09-09 08:27

Information about everything facilities is doing/has done to ensure campus is as safe as possible. Info about cleaning, water, HVAC, etc.

Air filter Guidance

Posted on 2021-09-03 08:15

For those of you wanting to purchase portable air filters for your offices/lab spaces (the department cannot provide these, you will need your own funding), EH&S has some guidelines that need to be followed.

The Tl;DR version: UL listed, Energy Star Certified, avoid ozone producing filters.
Some air filters that qualify:
(the unit the UW has been purchasing for large spaces):
There are many other filters out there that will qualify so don't feel the need to stick with these two.

HR Updates 8/9/21: Return to onsite work resources for managers

Posted on 2021-08-09 15:42

As more employees return to the workplace, managers are receiving questions from employees about their individual circumstances and concerns. These conversations can be difficult and we hope that the new Manager’s guide to navigating COVID-19 related workplace concerns will help you with recommended language, accurate information and next steps. The guide covers the following topics: 

  • Vaccination status of coworkers 
  • Non-adherence to the UW COVID-19 Face Covering Policy 
  • Eating spaces and food 
  • Unvaccinated or high-risk family members 
  • Vaccination attestation access and sharing 

This autumn, many UW teams will be experimenting with a hybrid work environment with some team members working onsite and others teleworking. If this applies to your team, please see Creating a successful hybrid work environment for guidance on establishing practices that will allow employees to thrive regardless of work location.    

Updated UWHR policies - return to onsite work

Planning for return to campus

Posted on 2021-07-19 10:21


Dear Biology Community,

I hope this notice finds you safe and well. We are excited to start planning to bring employees back to campus, consistent with public health guidance, with the goal of having full onsite operations by September 13, 2021, in time for fall quarter. Fall may seem like a long time off, but we are sending this message as far in advance as possible to give you time to plan and so that we can support your successful return to onsite work.
Though we don’t know what the public health guidance will be in September, please know that the safety of our students, faculty and staff is our highest priority. The University has developed and implemented robust safety guidance and protocols that all employees are expected to review and follow.
Understanding and complying with safety procedures is a shared responsibility. In order to ensure we can be together safely, each of you will be required to:

· Participate in a one-time safety training -- All employees will receive training on the University’s COVID-19 Prevention Plan and our unit’s safety plan.

· Vaccinate against COVID-19 – All employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 no later than the September 10, 2021, or before working on site at a University location, whichever comes first. Employees may declare an exemption for medical, religious or philosophical reasons.

· Complete required COVID-19 Vaccine Attestation – The Workday attestation form must be submitted as soon as possible after you are fully vaccination, have decided to declare an exemption, before working on-site, or September 10, 2021, whichever date is earliest.

· We anticipate that even after September 13, some of our employees will want to continue to work remotely at least part of the workweek in a hybrid arrangement. Approval of remote work arrangements are contingent on a supervisor’s approval of a remote work plan.

Staff (non-academic employees) who have concerns regarding their ability to return to onsite work or wish to request a hybrid or remote work arrangement as soon as possible, please contact:

•         Sarah Morrow and Michele Conrad to discuss your needs, including a request for remote work (100% telework). 100% remote work arrangements must be approved by central Human Resources offices.
• Your manager/supervisor to request a hybrid work arrangement (partial week telework, partial week onsite). Once discussed with and approved by your supervisor a request must be submitted to Sarah Morrow and Michele Conrad for a submission and approval by CAS and in some cases by HR.
• The Disability Services Office (DSO) if you anticipate you will need a disability accommodation to remain working fully remote.

Supervisors who have staff they would like to return to campus/on-site prior to the September 13, 2021 date must provide their staff with a 30-day notice in advance of the return to campus request. Please contact Sarah Morrow for more information about that, if necessary.
We are looking forward to enjoying the increased collaboration, communication and celebration of having our teams back together.


Sarah Morrow


UW international travel policies updated 6/25/2021

Posted on 2021-06-25 07:54
  • All official international travel must be registered with UW Global Travel Security through the Office of Global Affairs.
  • Effective immediately, travel by faculty, other academic personnel and staff is permissible for U.S. Department of State Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 destinations. For Level 4 destinations, a travel waiver is required within the travel registration process.
  • Effective for travel dates starting September 10, 2021, graduate and undergraduate students are permitted to travel in accordance with updated rules for each enrollment type.
  • These rules only apply to official University travel and not to personal travel. However, we encourage you to use caution and review applicable travel warnings.

Since March 2020, official international travel has been restricted for the entire UW community. Going forward, international travel rules vary by traveler type and are tied to the Department of State Travel Advisory levels. I encourage you to review the full set of international travel rules.

We strongly encourage you to delay any travel until you are fully vaccinated. As a reminder the UW now requires students and employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19. For more information and additional guidance, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention international travel website. The CDC site also includes additional precautions for those who are not fully vaccinated who must travel.

UW Global Travel Security will continue to monitor the evolving public health and safety implications of travel, working closely with experts from across campus to provide guidance. Global engagement is a part of the fabric of our University, and we are committed to a safe and healthy return to international travel.

COVID-19 Guidance for a Safe Return to In-Person Research

Counterfeit 3M Respirators

Posted on 2021-02-10 11:49

The University has been notified that counterfeit 3M respirators have been sold to governmental agencies, hospitals, and other institutions in several states, including Washington State. 3M has issued an alert notifying customers of the 3M respirator models and lot codes that have been identified as counterfeit (shown in table below).


Please review your inventories and to identify if any of the affected N95s are in your possession. If so, do the following:

  • Collect and remove them from service immediately.
  • Place them in a box or container that is labeled “DO NOT USE.”
  • Notify the Environmental Health & Safety Department (EH&S) Respirator Program Administrator, Brandon Kemperman at and report the lot and model numbers, quantity, and vendor used to purchase them. Based on the information collected, EH&S will provide you with additional guidance.



Table 1: 3M Counterfeit Model Lot Codes



Lot Codes

3MTM Healthcare Particulate Respirator and Surgical Masks


B19029, B19206, B19240, B19130, B19133, B19155,

B19161, B19206, B19314, B20010, B20013, B20016,

B20018, B20020, B20021, B20022, B20025, B20060,

B20119, B20245, R20025, R20102, R20144, R20150,


3MTM Healthcare Particulate Respirator and Surgical Masks


B20522, B20659, B20670, R20522

3MTM AuraTM Healthcare Particulate Respirator and Surgical Mask

Model 1870

C193041, C190241



For more information about identifying counterfeit N95 respirators, see the CDC/NIOSH Alert:


3M Fraud Alert Website:

UW’s working parents support

Posted on 2020-11-19 08:40

UW Human Resources has created a new landing page to make it easier for managers and employees to access and navigate caregiver supportsChild and family care during COVID-19 includes links to information about child care and elder care, flexibility at work, at-home learning resources and self-care resources. I encourage you to promote this new resource through your website and internal communication channels.


Now is also a great time to remind your employees about UW’s backup care programs. Backup care is available in-home and in child care centers and can be a good option when employees need time to focus on a project or their regular caregiver will be unavailable. Employees are eligible for a fixed number of backup care uses each calendar year and can be encouraged to make the most of this benefit as 2020 draws to a close. 

UW Child Care Connections

Posted on 2020-10-12 12:42

UW Child Care Connections is a service that connects UW students willing to provide in-person or remote child care or learning support to UW families who need help.

Learn more about UW Child Care Connections (UWC3) and request assistance on the UWC3 website.

Please share the link with current UW students who may be interested in participating in the program.


If you know of parents who would like to receive emails from parenting@uw, please encourage them to self-subscribe by using this link

University of Washington COVID-19 Case Tracking Dashboard

Posted on 2020-10-01 13:42


This dashboard includes positive COVID-19 test results reported to the University by UW community members, and test results (both positive and negative) from the Husky Coronavirus Testing program powered by the Seattle Flu Study (SFS).

The data exclude University medical center employees and persons not affiliated with the University. The dashboard data may not include all cases of COVID-19 among UW community members due to the likelihood that not all cases are reported to the University.

Health and safety supply vending machines

Posted on 2020-09-30 14:23

Housing & Food Services has installed two health and safety supply vending machines in south campus. 

  1. On the 4th floor of Health Sciences T-wing, near the overpass entry
  2. In South Campus Center, adjacent to the 2nd floor card reader entry

Machines will accept credit cards and Husky Cards for payment.  The general inventory follows:

  • 3-Ply Disposable Mask, Individually Wrapped
  • Hand Sanitizing Alcohol Wipes
  • Multipurpose Wipes
  • Fragrance Free Alcohol Wipes
  • Hand Sanitizer (various sizes available)
  • Forehead Thermometer Strips
  • Personal Protection Kits (Mask, gloves, sanitizer)
  • Nitrile Gloves
  • Reusable Face Masks

There may be adjustments to inventory and pricing based on the supply chain.  If you have questions, please email us at and we’ll inquire with HFS.


King County financial assistance for child care

Posted on 2020-09-30 08:17

King County is using CARES emergency funding for child care to provide vouchers to eligible families to pay for child care costs for children ages 0 – 12 for care between September and December 2020.

You may qualify for financial assistance to pay for child care if you meet the following criteria:

  • live or work in King County AND
  • have an income below 400% of the federal poverty level AND
  • your income, work schedule, or access to child care has been negatively impacted by COVID-19 OR you are an essential worker

Please see the attached flier and visit the King County’s CARES emergency funding for COVID-19 child care support website for more information.

Resources for Caregivers

Posted on 2020-09-23 12:41

Email from Ana Marie Cauce and Mark Richards:

During our July Back-to-School Town Hall, we reiterated the University’s commitment to supporting the needs of UW community members who have caregiving responsibilities. Many caregivers are under significant stress as they struggle to balance work and family responsibilities, with schools operating remotely and many support services reduced or unavailable. As COVID-19 has highlighted systemic inequities more broadly, the caregiving crisis it has spawned has exacerbated systemic inequities in caregiver roles, which fall disproportionately to women, as well as in access to child and adult care resources.

In addition to highlighting several resources for caregivers below, we ask everyone at the University to provide as much support, compassion and understanding as they can to those with caregiving responsibilities, including providing as much flexibility as possible when it comes to work demands and non-urgent deadlines. Our excellence as a University is defined by our people, and it is extraordinarily difficult to do our best work when also attending to family members’ urgent and emergent needs.

The COVID-19 Caregiver Task Force submitted its report last week. We thank the members of the task force for their work, and we agree with their statement that acting to support caregivers — such as by being flexible, demonstrating understanding and adjusting expectations — is aligned with our University’s values. We are working closely with our leadership team to act upon the group’s recommendations, which include additional support and resources for remote learning and caregiving, additional training and support for leaders and managers, an assessment of our caregiving programs, and establishing an ongoing advisory group on caregiving issues.

Managers, supervisors and academic leaders should provide employee and student caregivers with the maximum flexibility allowable, consistent with their position at the University. This includes continuing to support telework for any employee whose duties can reasonably be performed remotely. Additionally, please allow employees to modify their work schedules to the extent the job allows and help them understand and apply their time off and leave-of-absence options to best meet their families’ needs. UW Human Resources will continue to update and expand the following resources, which are available to all caregivers and managers.

We are in a global crisis that has changed work and learning for everyone, not only caregivers. Leaders and managers are being challenged to be creative with modest resources. Leaders and managers should work with their teams to prioritize and revise goals for the year to take current resources into account, and be clear about how success will be evaluated. And teams should evaluate how they can work as effectively as possible together to fulfill priorities. We should expect that family members will occasionally show up in online meetings and classes, as boundaries between work and family life are less clear.

For faculty, the option to extend the promotion and tenure clock has been continued for this academic year. Deans and chancellors should also continue to work with their academic leadership teams to identify opportunities to be flexible and support faculty members in these extraordinary times. Accommodations can include the reduction of service obligations, adjustment to teaching assignments, and availability of additional resources to support teaching or research.

We all need to demonstrate understanding and patience, proactively asking caregivers how they are doing and sharing relevant supports and wellness resources with them. It is important to recognize each family has its own unique challenges. Financial constraints, social supports or a lack thereof, family needs, work schedules, geographic location, technology access and more all fundamentally shape caregiving challenges during this unprecedented time.

Autumn quarter will continue to be an extremely challenging time for our caregivers. We will keep working on ways to reduce the work-life conflicts they are experiencing due to the pandemic’s effects, and we thank you for showing grace and compassion to all members of our University community.

Teleworking Ergonomics Information

Posted on 2020-09-21 13:57

The UW ergonomics webpage, where you can find a guide to workstation setup, equipment and furniture purchasing, a link to the online self-assessment survey request, and other useful information:
Other resources for home office ergonomics:
And stretches (which, I believe, weight heaviest in preventing musculoskeletal injuries due to computer use):

Husky Coronavirus Testing Program

Posted on 2020-09-21 10:27

Widespread testing — especially of people who aren’t experiencing symptoms — is one important way to protect you and your community from COVID-19. The sooner we can get the pandemic under control, the sooner we can return to a more “normal” way of living and working.

That’s why the UW is launching the Husky Coronavirus Testing program, which is powered by the Seattle Flu Study team — the group that was the first to report community spread of COVID-19 in the United States.

Enrollment in the Husky Coronavirus Testing program opens Thursday, Sept. 24. Anyone who will be at a UW campus or facility this academic year, especially those who will be there at least once a week, is strongly encouraged to participate, and you can express your interest now. Testing is voluntary and offered at no cost to you. (UW Medicine personnel will continue to access testing via UW Medicine sites using the employee survey process.)

Tests will be conducted in person at the UW Club building and Odegaard Undergraduate Library building, with a location at UW Medicine South Lake Union also planned, as well as through self-administered test kits that can be delivered to your home. The tests use short (not long) nasal swabs and only take a few moments of your time.

Testing will be conducted throughout the course of the pandemic on an individualized basis as determined by health risk status and/or risk of exposure. UW Medicine is also conducting move-in testing for Seattle students in on-campus housing, and SCAN is testing during fraternity and sorority move-in. We fully expect to find positive COVID-19 cases through this testing — indeed, doing so is critical to stemming outbreaks before they can grow. Anyone who tests positive will receive follow-up guidance from UW Environmental Health & Safety about care, self-isolation and contact tracing.

You can learn more about the program at and from this UW News story.

Together we can protect our campus and broader community by participating in testing, and by following the 3 W’s: Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Watch your distance.

Face Covering Requirements - updated 8/24/2020

Where to get COVID tests

Posted on 2020-08-20 13:25


UW Medicine offers COVID-19 testing for UW employees and UW Medicine patients. UW Employees can contact the Environmental Health & Safety Department Employee Health Center to facilitate testing through UW Medicine. Hall Health Center also offers COVID-19 testing for students, faculty, staff and alumni. A list of free testing locations is available from Public Health — Seattle & King County.

If you have symptoms or questions about whether you are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, talk with your health-care provider about what you can do to minimize risk for you and your loved ones.

COVID-19 testing is recommended for individuals who:

  • Are experiencing even mild symptoms of COVID-19 infection, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, chills, loss of taste or smell, headache, muscle aches, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Had close contact with a person who has COVID-19, such as being closer than 6 feet for at least 15 minutes, living with or caring for someone with COVID-19, or sharing utensils, kissing or being coughed or sneezed on by the person. If you’re a UW community member, you should contact the Employee Health Center as soon as you know that you’ve had a close contact. You’ll also need to self-isolate right away and be tested for COVID-19 5-7 days after the suspected date of your exposure.

Your health-care provider needs to order COVID-19 testing. There are two types of tests:

  1. PCR test (nasal swab): This test checks for a current COVID-19 infection.
  2. Antibody test (blood draw): This test checks for antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19, which your immune system produces in response to infection. If you have been ill, the test is administered at least two weeks after recovery from fever or other symptoms. Read the FAQ “What is an antibody test? for more information.

Multilingual information about COVID-19 testing is available on the Washington State Department of Health Testing for COVID-19 page. You can also contact the Washington COVID-19 Call Center at 1-800-525-0127 or texting 211-211.

Face Masks

Posted on 2020-06-25 15:38

Face masks are required to be worn in all common areas of biology buildings. The only time you do not need to wear a mask is in a private office with the door shut.

All members of the department who will be working on site can request a set of 2 reusable face masks. Yes - that includes on site at Pack Forest, FHL and the like. Sarah O'Hara will fill requests M/W/F.

For people needing more than two masks (animal care, etc), you can purchase a mask in the stockroom for $4.29, a bargain! Email Eddie with budget information.

If you forgot your mask, we will have a very limited number of disposable masks on hand, starting Monday, 6/30. Email Sarah O'Hara or Eddie Sabiniano.
Disposable masks for critical tasks for multiple people within 6-feet will be for sale in the stockroom for .66 each.
Optional Bonus Info from Sarah: Obviously what mask style fits best/most comfortably will vary a lot by person. However, I have heard from several department members that the "domed" style we provide, which is a nylon cotton blend, is a lot easier to breath in for extended periods than the masks they bought/made for themselves. Something to consider!

Protocol for handling health concerns for colleagues

Posted on 2020-06-17 08:25

Department provided hand sanitizer & sterilizing spray

Posted on 2020-06-02 12:56

The Department is providing a number of bottles containing liquid hand sanitizer to have in LSB, Hitchcock and Johnson. These bottles belong to the department and are not to be taken home or outside of their home areas. This includes not moving bottles to procedure rooms. These should be kept in office areas that can be accessed by multiple people. 

The bottles will be located in the mailrooms of Hitchcock (417) and Johnson (30) or on the lab services racks of LSB (floors 2-5) and are clearly labeled. When the bottles are empty, please return them to the lab services racks (LSB only) or mailrooms where they will be collected and returned when refilled. Collections will attempt to be done every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, timing will vary. 
This is alcohol based liquid hand sanitizer, not a gel, and will come out of the bottles quickly. You just need to do a quick turn of the bottle, do not squeeze the bottles. It is also flammable so should not be store near ignition sources. 
In addition to the hand sanitizer, spray bottles of alcohol based sterilizer will be deployed to common area spaces in all 3 buildings sometime soon. These bottles should stay where they are deployed as they will be collected from those areas for refilling. If they aren’t there, they won’t be refilled and many people will be impacted. 

As always, let Aaron know if you have any questions about the deployment or product. 

Unemployment fraud: what to do

Posted on 2020-05-20 08:56
Hot off the presses: If you experience unemployment fraud instead of alerting HR please contact the ISC at You still need to contact the WA Employment Security Division yourself.
I've clipped the current info on fraudulent unemployment claims from HR's site below  for your convenience. The information may change without notice, but the most updated info should always be avaialble at


What do I do if I think someone has filed a fraudulent claim for unemployment benefits using my name?
Employees must report potential fraud to ESD through the steps listed below as soon as they suspect fraud. This is because ESD has the legal authority to investigate fraud as well as stop fraudulent claims from being paid. After reporting the fraud to ESD, employees can also let UW know by emailing

Contact ESD to report fraud

Employees who are victims of fraud should complete the secure fraud reporting form ESD has provided on its benefits fraud page.

The secure fraud reporting form asks for the following:

  • First name and last name
  • Date of birth
  • Last four digits of your SSN
  • Street address
  • Contact information
  • Claimant or Letter ID
  • A brief description of how you found out an impostor-fraud claim was filed using your information. We suggest: “I received a letter about unemployment benefits but I have not applied for benefits. Please deny and cancel the claim.”
  • Your permission to cancel the impostor-fraud claim filed using your information.

How do I know someone has filed a fraudulent claim in my name?
When UWHR or ISC staff have reason to believe a fraudulent claim has been filed in an employee’s name, they will contact employees by email (see What is UW doing in response to unemployment fraud? below). Separately, employees may receive unexpected regular mail from ESD about an application for unemployment they did not make, as reported in this Seattle Times article.

What is the UW doing in response to unemployment fraud?
UWHR and ISC staff are responding with a coordinated approach, with the goal of getting suspected fraud reported in two ways. This is in addition to the employee reporting the fraud to ESD (see What do I do if I think someone has filed a fraudulent claim for unemployment benefits using my name?).

  1. UWHR will contact employees by email when suspicious claims are filed in their name and will provide them with information about how to report fraud through ESD’s benefits fraud website.
  2. ESD provides a weekly notice of claims to ISC which are reviewed and if fraud is suspected, ISC contests the charges.

If there is a fraudulent claim in my name, does that mean I am responsible for the money paid out? What if I need unemployment in the future?
ESD has made it clear that if someone is a victim of fraud, the individual will not have to repay money paid out as a result of fraud. Additionally, if someone is a victim of fraud and then needs to apply for benefits, they will still be able to do so.


Zoombombing Resources

Posted on 2020-04-03 07:53

Report any Zoombombing to Zoom's help center.

Zoom information from UW-IT

A good summary of  Zoombombing prevention Resources from Writix



Cybersecurity and COVID-19

Accident reports while teleworking

Posted on 2020-03-20 11:49
The Group 6 Safety Committee wanted us to remind people that if you have an accident at your teleworking location while working, you still need to report it in OARS.

ISP information

Posted on 2020-03-19 07:54
This information on the policies of different internet service providers could be useful for all of us, as well as for our students (perhaps we should consider including some version in syllabi).
Comcast is offering free internet services right now for low-income people:


Voicemail to email

UW Libraries

Posted on 2020-03-13 10:42

Course Texts

Given the uncertainty of our current public health situation, you may want to request that the Libraries’ purchase an electronic copy (only if a multi-user version ebook is available) of your required books for spring quarter. To request ebooks use the generic course reserve form. Please note down “Ebooks Needed” in the bottom box along with the citations of the books you need. 

If you are using only a small portion of a book or journal articles, please use the Libraries’ Course Instruction Scanning Service. We can scan articles (copyright restricted to one article per journal issue) or a book chapter (copyright restricted to one chapter per book). Use the Interlibrary Loan form for this service -- choose the "Request a course instruction scan" option in the toolbar.

This may also be a good time to explore Open Educational Resources (freely available, openly licensed materials) for use in your course. Use the search tools available on this guide to find existing open textbooksor create and publish your own open resources for your course.    

Streaming Films

The Libraries is currently working on temporarily adjusting our streaming policy should remote classes continue into spring. If you are requiring the entire class to view a film submit a streaming request. Keep in mind that this service is currently limited to classes over 20 and that not all films are available for streaming. See the Using Video and Streaming Video in UW Seattle Courses for additional information and alternatives. Staff at the Media Arcade continue to be available for consultation on streaming questions. Contact them at

Research Guides

If you would like me to create a mini-research guide for your Canvas course page, please notify me that you wish to do so and add me to the course as librarian ( That will allow me to go in and update the generic library page to fit your class needs. I can also create an in-depth class research guide if you think students would find it helpful for class assignments. (Here is an example of one created by one of my colleagues:

I am also happy to discuss with you the feasibility of potential research assignments based on available online resources.


I am available via email at and will be glad to answer any questions you or your students may have. I will also be available via Zoom, although I haven't quite figured out the logistics and timing. At this stage, it’s probably best to email me first so we can set up a Zoom time.

24/7 help is available via chat.

Currently the Libraries is open Monday-Friday 9 to 5. I'm not sure if this will change in the future. Check theUW Libraries COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Updates and Resources page for the most current information concerning hours.


Mitigating impacts to research activities due to COVID-19

Posted on 2020-03-02 10:52
As noted in President Cauce’s February 29 address to the University, the University is closely monitoring the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and associated COVID-19 disease, and extensive emergency procedures are in place.  Be sure to read the UW’s coronavirus FAQ page, as it contains important information for everyone in the UW community. 
What special planning should researchers carry out? For convenience, we have included a checklist at the bottom of this message.
Emergency personnel. At this time, there are no plans to restrict access to University research spaces, but it is wise for every research group to plan ahead in the event that full access is not possible for some time period. In the case of campus suspended operations , the usual policies would apply. This includes the need for emergency personnel to carry out specified duties.  The suspended operations link above includes the definition of emergency personnel, and below are the general categories:
The position is necessary to support or maintain:
·       Human health, welfare and/or safety.
·       Information technology services or security.
·       Building or property security, safety, and integrity.
·       Research animals, specimens, or equipment.
·       Critical infrastructure (power, water, heat, roads, etc.).
·       Critical business, contractual, or legal obligations including employee payroll.
In each unit, emergency personnel should be already designated. If you are unsure of who in your research project is designated emergency personnel, work with your department administrator or an equivalent administrator to identify such personnel.
Precautions. Remember, all personnel should stay home if they experience any symptoms including fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. It is also advisable to encourage limiting physical contact with others, such as hand-shaking (substitute elbow bumps or bows) and sharing of food.  Finally, the most effective prevention measure is frequent, thorough hand-washing.
Communications. If a communications plan for your research group is not already in place, designate points of contact so everyone receives timely information.
Plan for researcher time. Principal investigators and research group leads should discuss approaches now, in the event that some personnel are unable to come to work. Such advanced planning will make future decisions straightforward and minimize disruption to research activities.
Remote access. All students, post-docs, staff, and faculty involved in research projects should ensure that they have access to information they need to carry out work remotely.  This might include, for example, access to literature, access to existing datasets and research-related files, and access to meeting software (such as Zoom).  Principal investigators should prepare to carry out meetings remotely, using similar approaches as for remote teaching of classes. If you are unsure about whether you have access to such tools, it is wise to test them now.  Examples of the types of research work that can be done remotely are: data analysis, literature reviews, writing proposals, reviews, or research papers, writing the background sections of theses, computational work, meetings, discussions, etc.
Prioritization. Depending upon the nature of your research, you might consider prioritizing work that can only be carried out in your research facility, and put off work amenable to remote support, such as data analysis. Stockpiling results and data now that could be analyzed remotely in the future is a potential option that might create future flexibility. 
Save samples along the way. If you are carrying out a long-term experiment and if it is feasible to freeze samples at specific steps, you might consider doing this more often.
Proposal deadlines.  In general we expect that OSP will be able to submit proposals, even if personnel are working remotely.  Our experience is that federal agencies are very flexible about deadlines under difficult circumstances beyond our control.  However, if agencies are officially closed, proposals will most likely remain in a queue, pending resumption of agency operations – as has been the case during federal budget-related shutdowns.  Information will be posted on the OSP website, if necessary. 
Travel. Should you cancel planned research-related travel such as to a conference, site visit, or other laboratory?  Not necessarily. Be sure to access the list of travel restrictions – which will apply to everyone who travels on UW funds, including research grants or contracts -- and use caution in considering travel to a country with restricted access to specific locations. As always, you should use your own judgement based on the circumstances.
Advance planning will allow everyone in your research group to focus on their own efforts and work together as a team, rather than wondering how they and their team members are to proceed.  Even if such plans are not needed for the current situation, they are still a good learning experience for the future. 
  • Identify emergency personnel and ensure they know what to do in the event of suspended operations
  • Remind lab personnel of your communication plan or create one if not in place
  • Identify priorities in case of restricted access
  • Ensure remote access to files, data, servers, etc.
  • Prioritize experiments
  • Plan for remote proposal submission
  • Check travel restrictions before making travel plans.