COVID-19 health and safety expectations

Updated April 18, 2023

On October 31, 2022, Washington state’s public health emergency proclamations for COVID-19 ended. Vaccination is no longer required for employees or students on campus. However, the Washington Department of Labor and Industries says COVID-19 is still a recognized workplace hazard and all employers must meet certain minimum requirements.

The following expectations apply on SPU’s campus for all students, employees, contractors, visitors, and volunteers. These expectations may be updated from time to time and will continue to apply until revised or withdrawn. SPU employees and students may also access a copy of SPU’s COVID-19 Campus Plan online, which contains detailed descriptions of SPU’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols

Reducing the risk of infection on campus is a shared responsibility, and everyone needs to do their part. No university can guarantee an environment free of COVID-19, and despite SPU’s policies and protocols, it is still possible that people could contract COVID-19 on campus. However, by collectively taking precautions, we can promote each other’s health and well-being.

To contact SPU Health Services pursuant to the expectations below, call 206-281-2231 or use the secure messaging patient portal. If SPU Health Services cannot be reached, contact the Office of Safety and Security at 206-281-2911. SPU employees may contact the Office of Facility and Project Management regarding cleaning or physical facilities on campus at 206-281-2330 or


As of Nov. 1, 2022, COVID-19 vaccinations are no longer required of students, employees, contractors, volunteers, or visitors on campus. However, SPU continues to encourage our community to stay up to date on their vaccinations.  Additionally, health care, extended care, and community sites still require that nursing students be vaccinated in order to be on site for practicum experiences.


What is a face covering?

A mask or face covering is anything that completely covers your mouth and nose, and fits securely on the sides of your face and under your chin. It should be made of two or more layers of tightly woven fabric with ties or straps that go around your head or behind your ears.

The Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing a mask with the best fit, protection, and comfort to protect you and others from COVD-19, especially when COVID-19 community levels are “medium” or “high.” The Washington State Department of Health does not recommend the use of masks with exhalation valves or vents, or single layer bandanas or gaiters.

SPU’s rules regarding face coverings

As of April 3, 2023, face coverings are not required on campus, except in limited circumstances. Individuals may still choose to wear face coverings on campus for any reason. Specifically, face coverings are required in the following spaces and situations:

  • Student Health Services.
  • Any space with a sign posted by the Office of Facility and Project Management identifying it as a space that still requires face coverings.
  • Meeting in an individual office when requested by the employee who works in that office and signage is posted.
  • When directed by health services personnel.
  • When directed by Health Services personnel.
  • When you have COVID-19 symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 in accordance with SPU Isolation Protocols.

Notwithstanding what is written above, SPU reserves the right to require face coverings of all people in certain situations. SPU’s rules regarding face coverings are intended to meet state and local legal requirements (as applicable).

SPU generally does not require physical distancing for people on campus. However, SPU may impose physical distancing requirements in certain circumstances (e.g., buildings with limited ventilation).

In general, SPU does not have COVID-19 limitations on the size of social gatherings or in-person meetings.

If you are feeling sick, please stay home and test for COVID-19.

If you test positive, please follow CDC isolation guidelines. If you test negative, you may return to campus when your symptoms are improving and you have had no fever/vomiting/diarrhea for the previous 24 hours.

If you test positive for COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status, follow the SPU isolation protocols and the reporting instructions below:

Students on SPU’s campus who test positive for COVID-19 should notify SPU Health Services through the secure messaging patient portal or by calling Health Services at 206-281-2231. SPU Health Services will coordinate with other campus personnel as needed for isolation purposes. Students should notify their professors that they will be missing class due to isolation and should also notify any other close contacts. SPU Health Services will report cases to local public health authorities and coordinate any necessary cooperation with such agencies. SPU facilities personnel will report cases to state Labor and Industries authorities as necessary.

Students who have been asked to isolate in a designated campus location can find information about this process and available resources here.

Employees, contractors, volunteers, and visitors on SPU’s campus who test positive for COVID-19 should contact their appropriate supervisory person/body and Human Resources at or 206-281-2809.

Human Resources will coordinate any communication with SPU Health Services. SPU Health Services will report cases to local public health authorities and coordinate any necessary cooperation with such agencies. SPU facilities personnel will report cases to Labor and Industries authorities as necessary.


SPU students and employees who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 may be required to be tested, at the discretion of SPU Health Services or Human Resources, regardless of vaccination status.  

SPU does not require periodic testing of students or employees who are not exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.

All persons on SPU’s campus should practice good hygiene. Good hygiene practices include washing hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (e.g., before and after going to the bathroom, before and after eating, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose); not touching your face with unwashed hands or while wearing gloves; using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol; cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces on campus; and covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

Students living in residence halls may use kitchenettes on their floors and employees working in university buildings may use kitchenettes for their offices, including microwaves and refrigerators. 

Also, students and employees are permitted to have shared food at campus events. In these types of situations, all students and employees are still encouraged to follow good hygiene practices and take safety precautions such as wiping high-touch surfaces before and after use with disinfecting wipes; minimizing touching of fixtures; not refilling used cups and glasses; not sharing dish sponges, scrubbers, cups, glasses, and silverware; and serving shared food and drink in a way that avoids the potential spread of germs. Higher-risk individuals should exercise special care in any shared food or shared food preparation or eating situations.

Food is not permitted in laboratories on campus.

SPU students, employees, contractors, visitors, and volunteers should follow all other applicable COVID-19 rules and requirements imposed by government agencies while on campus, except to the extent that SPU policies are more restrictive.

Deans should monitor faculty activities; supervisors should monitor employee activities in their areas; employees who oversee contractors or volunteers should monitor their activities; and employees who interact with students or visitors should monitor their activities for compliance with SPU’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Expectations on campus. 

SPU students, employees, contractors, volunteers, and visitors will not be permitted to remain on campus if they do not comply with these expectations.

Questions can be emailed to SPU’s COVID-19 Decision Group at