COVID-19: What it means to the SPU community

updated: April 3, 2020

If you think you have COVID-19 or have been exposed:

Recent reports

(April 3, 2020)  Given the uncertainties of the COVID-19 outbreak and in light of Gov. Inslee’s extension of the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, traditional in-person graduation celebrations at Seattle Pacific this June are canceled. The shift to virtual Commencement celebrations affects Ivy Cutting, Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement, hooding ceremonies, and more. In an email today, SPU President Dan Martin detailed what students can expect. Read the email here.

(April 1, 2020)  What about SPU students who will live on campus Spring Quarter? Where will they stay? What about meal plans? Will they be able to cook for themselves? Will visitors be allowed? In his latest email, Vice President for Student Life Jeff Jordan outlines many of the details and support options on-campus students can expect in weeks to come. Read his email here.

(March 31, 2020)  Seattle Pacific received its first notification today that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19. This person has not been on campus since March 24, and all close contacts have been notified. Learn more in the email notification from Sally Thunselle, director of Student Health Services, and Jeff Jordan, vice president for Student Life.

(March 26, 2020) SPU has taken steps to comply with Governor Jay Inslee’s “stay home, stay healthy” order.

Students who need or wish to live on campus may do so, and will be housed in configurations that best address social distancing guidelines. We’re developing interim residential policies, and will post updated meal pricing soon. Housing and meal plan rates are being adjusted to account for the shortened quarter.

A new Spring Quarter 2020 website is expected by next week, with resources, an academic calendar, FAQs, and more.

Read more about these updates in the latest email from Jeff Jordan and Cindy Price.

(March 25, 2020) On March 23, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee issued a “stay home, stay healthy” order, except for essential workers and businesses, in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The order will remain in effect until April 6.

Spring break for students is March 20-30, and most students and faculty are off campus. SPU made the decision to keep residence halls open during spring break to accommodate some students who may not be able to travel or have plans that changed.

Last week, SPU President Dan Martin asked that all employees work remotely, except those essential for campus operations and the care, safety, service, and support of the student residential population. The University is not closed, just temporarily shifting its broad mode of operations online. Offices and departments can still be reached by phone or email.

Spring Quarter classes will be offered remotely and will not meet on campus. The start of Spring Quarter will be delayed by two weeks to give faculty the time and resources they need to deliver classes remotely. Remote learning for undergraduates begins April 13. However, students will be asked to check their online course syllabi by April 3 to review any pre-class assignment or activity. The beginning of remote learning for graduate students is determined by their individual program.

(March 24, 2020)  SPU’s Director of Athletics, Jackson Stava, sent a note of encouragement to Falcon fans, families, and friends today. In it, he shared reflections on the cancellation of athletic activities this year, lessons learned, and his vision of hope for the future. Read the email here.

(View archived updates here.)

Our priority: Your health

At SPU, our students’ and community’s health is our priority, and we continue to closely monitor the local and global outbreak. Find out the facts about this viral illness and get answers to FAQ’s. You can also seek reliable information and current updates on COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease ControlWashington State Department of Health, and Seattle King County Department of Health.

Precautions to prevent illnesses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

What about the flu?

It is still flu season, and influenza is a very serious concern for public health as well. In addition to the steps above, the flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from getting the flu. Health Services still has some flu vaccine available. Schedule an appointment for a flu shot by calling 206-281-2231. 


At this time, local and national officials are discouraging all non-essential travel. SPU recommends anyone considering domestic or international travel should consult the CDC COVID-19 Travel Information webpage.

After travel to an area with widespread, ongoing community spread of COVID-19, you should stay home for 14 days from the time you left that area, monitor your health, and practice social distancing. See CDC precautions here.

If you develop symptoms, call Health Services (206-281-2231) or your primary care provider for information. Talk about your recent travel and symptoms. Avoid contact with others. 

Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2020

SPU President Dan Martin addresses questions about COVID-19 implications for spring quarter

A message to students

In this short video, President Dan Martin offers encouragement and an update on remote learning for Spring Quarter.

What you need to know:

  • We’re keeping a close eye on the situation. A cross-departmental team is tracking developments to keep you informed.
  • We’re closely following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Washington State Department of Health (DOH) guidelines.
  • SPU’s Health Services department is tracking updates for you.

Grace and truth during the pandemic

“God is with us. More specifically, God is with all of us. I am troubled by the stories of Asians and Asian Americans in our local communities who are experiencing stereotyping and discrimination based on their Asian heritage. I urge us to be a place of compassion and to support those who are impacted by sinister lies at a time like this. I also urge us to be a place of truth-telling, when misinformation or outright hate may appear.”

— Dan Martin, President