Resuming campus operations

Students studying in Tiffany Loop | photo by Lynn Anselmi

King County status: Phase 2

On July 7, the Governor extended the Safe Start plan until August 6


On May 29, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee issued statewide emergency coronavirus restrictions known as “Safe Start.” The plan has four phases that gradually increase activities based on the prevalence of disease and the ability to mitigate community transmission of the coronavirus. King County is currently in Phase 2 of the four phases, which allows for limited social gatherings of five or fewer people outside your household and partial re-opening of some businesses and activities.

In June, Governor Inslee announced a proclamation and a campus reopening guide that describe the conditions under which higher education institutions in Washington state can hold selected in-person classes in autumn 2020. SPU has already adopted health and safety expectations for campus based on currently applicable government guidance, and we are actively developing new protocols for Autumn Quarter to align with these recent announcements.

Autumn Quarter 2020 at Seattle Pacific will begin Monday, September 14, and end Tuesday, November 24, with a hybrid format of in-person classes and remote learning.

7/1/20 Updates on campus health and safety

Shared responsibility: Reducing the risk of infection on campus is a shared responsibility, and we ask all members of our community to do their part. Students, faculty, and staff will be expected to follow all applicable government orders, as well as SPU’s own health and safety policies. As no university can guarantee a COVID-19-free environment, it is important to acknowledge the inherent risks of COVID-19 transmission on campus and collectively commit to taking precautions to protect each other. Here are the current campus policies.

Thoughtfully practicing physical distancing: Beginning with Orientation and continuing into Autumn Quarter, we are thoughtfully designing activities and operations to allow for greater spacing of individuals in residence halls, classrooms, and other spaces to reduce the potential spread of illness within our community.

Hand sanitizing and disinfecting: There are numerous hand sanitizing stations across campus, and additional resources will be added to enable more hand-washing and hand sanitizing. The Office of Facility and Project Management has been working closely with a certified industrial hygienist consultant from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to incorporate expert advice and counsel to guide our efforts. Our protocols are designed to meet or exceed federal and state requirements for cleaning and sanitizing public spaces.

Face coverings: There is a growing body of scientific research that suggests face coverings help to reduce the spread of the virus. Based on state and local guidance, SPU has adopted rules requiring that people wear face coverings on campus (subject to limited exceptions), and SPU expects to continue these general requirements into Autumn Quarter.

Daily health self-screening (or self-attestation): As a part of SPU's community prevention, students and employees will be asked to self-screen each morning. This self-screening acknowledges that in the last 14 days — or since their last visit to campus — they have not developed COVID-19 symptoms, have not tested positive for SARS COV2, and have not been in close contact with anyone diagnosed with active COVID-19. Students and employees will be asked to stay home if they cannot meet these criteria.

Virus testing and contact tracing: There is a supply of on-campus COVID-19 tests that can be scaled up to meet the campus needs of testing in partnership with city health services and corporate testing services. If members of our community test positive, the Office of Health Services will coordinate a team of contact tracers to quickly identify and work with individuals in the community at risk of acquiring the virus. This process of testing and tracing can help limit the spread of the virus if infections do take place.

Quarantine and isolation: Individuals who test positive to SARS COV2 or exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 may be asked to isolate. For students living on campus, this may involve moving to a space reserved for individuals to use for a prescribed period as determined by health agencies.

6/29/20: The Seattle Pacific campus and offices are open, but many staff members are working remotely. Most campus buildings are locked, so call the office or department before visiting campus.

Summer classes are also being held remotely. Autumn Quarter is Monday, September 14-Tuesday, November 24. The 2020-21 academic calendar has been updated. 

As we prepare to resume full campus operations, four faculty and staff committees are planning the next steps around teaching and learning, operations and programming, facilities and technology, and student support. All of this work is framed by our mission and our commitment to excellence in teaching, students’ holistic formation, and cultivating close community.

You’ll find the latest information on this website, so check back often.

The Student Union Building

Important dates

  • New student campus housing check-in, September 10
  • Returning student campus housing check-in, TBA
  • New Student Orientation, September 10–13
  • Autumn Quarter, September 14
More academic calendar dates