Western students return to in-person classes

Amid increase in COVID-19, Western changes isolation guidelines
January 25, 2022 at 8:50 a.m.
Senior Grant Chou receives a COVID-19 vaccine booster at Western Washington University's pop-up clinic on Jan. 21.
Senior Grant Chou receives a COVID-19 vaccine booster at Western Washington University's pop-up clinic on Jan. 21. (Hailey Hoffman/Cascadia Daily News)

Staff Reporter

Western Washington University returned to in-person learning Monday after going online for the first three weeks of Winter Quarter as COVID-19 cases skyrocketed. 

“Our Western community has consistently stepped up to meet the pandemic challenges, and this latest wave will require us to continue to be flexible and offer grace for anyone who is ill, has a confirmed COVID-19 exposure, has underlying health issues that put them at greater risk, or is impacted by closures of schools and other caregiving support services,” President Sabah Randhawa said in a letter last Wednesday.

In the week of Jan. 3 to 9, Western had 254 confirmed cases among students and employees, and the following week had 288 more, according to the university's COVID-19 dashboard. The week of Jan. 17 to 23 had a drop to 142 cases. Fall quarter had a total of 169 cases.

Western has tests available free to students daily, but tests are reserved quickly, as stated on the university website. Western has distributed 4,350 tests this month with a 13.2% test positivity rate.

Currently 89.2% of Western courses have “some level of in-person instruction,” meaning classes are fully in-person or hybrid. Approximately 97% of students and employees are fully vaccinated.

Western also released its new isolation and quarantine guidelines for students living on campus on Friday.

Students residing in a suite or apartment space and share a bathroom with six or less students are required to self-isolate for five days after testing positive. Their roommates and suite-mates are required to get tested and quarantine for five days. Isolating students will receive Uber Eats vouchers.

Students who live in a hall-style dormitory will be relocated to the Gamma residence hall to isolate five days and will be delivered meals by staff.

Western is holding vaccine booster clinics from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 26, and Friday, Feb. 4.

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