Winter quarter COVID-19 plan includes mandatory testing

Tamara Sevao

Tamara Sevao, Senior Reporter

While many students can not wait to get home and eat a big Thanksgiving feast, some still worry about catching the virus. 

In an effort to put student’s minds at ease, CWU will be offering free pre-break COVID tests. While that one is optional, the return testing is mandatory. 

In order to return to campus after break, students living on-campus or attending in-person classes will be required to test negative for COVID.

This round of testing will not require students to isolate when waiting for results. However, in the case of a positive result, CWU will take proper action including providing a space for the student to quarantine. 

According to Project Manager Director James Jankowski, CWU has been partnering closely with the Kittitas County Health Department (KCHD.)

“We’ll adjust. We’ll adapt. We’ll learn,” Jankowski said. “We’ll always do what’s best and the safest thing for our students and it’s been great to partner with [KCHD.]” 

The return test will be conducted in various time slots for students to remain safely distanced. It will also most likely be held in the Nicholson Pavillion field house. 

If students want to be tested before returning to Ellensburg after break, they will be able to. However, the test must be within 72 hours of returning and must be a nasal swab.

Staff and faculty will not be required to test when returning from winter break because they do not get medical care from Student Health Services. 

“There’s enough faculty and staff who are not on campus,” Jankowski said. “We encourage folks who can work from home to continue to do so to reduce the density.”

After winter break, CWU hopes to continue monitoring COVID results in order to maintain control. They will test a random group of students each week and will most likely begin with students living off-campus.

“We’ve had pockets of challenges here and there, primarily off-campus,” Jankowski said. “They have been more challenging because that’s where we see most of our numbers but by enlarge though, the students have really done a good job.”

Pre-break testing will be held on November 12 and 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sign ups can be found on the Central News Watch Facebook page.