WSU updates COVID-19 policies to reflect state reopening

Vaccinated individuals no longer required to wear masks; daily attestations not required



Cougar Health Services is one of the only places on campus still requiring students to wear masks regardless of vaccination status, said Joel Schwartzkopf, WSU CHS executive director. 

ANDREA GONZALEZ, Evergreen reporter

WSU announced June 15 that daily health attestations are no longer required to access campus facilities.

WSU loosened several pandemic policies over the last several weeks pertaining to daily health attestations, mask requirements, and other COVID-19 guidelines, said Phil Weiler, WSU vice president of marketing and communications. 

Vaccinated individuals can gather in groups and are not required to wear masks anymore, Weiler said. Individuals who cannot or will not get vaccinated are required to wear a mask and continue social distancing. 

“If we can get everybody vaccinated, we’re essentially in the clear,” he said. 

Cougar Health Services is one of the only places on campus still requiring students to wear masks regardless of vaccination status, said Joel Schwartzkopf, CHS executive director. 

CHS will maintain its satellite clinic in Bustad Hall, Schwartzkopf said. High-risk students will be seen in Bustad Hall because the building has a negative pressure ventilation system.

Both students and employees can claim medical or nonmedical exemptions for the vaccination requirement, he said. CHS will have information about how students and employees can go about the exemption process in July. 

Each WSU student can upload their vaccination card on their CHS patient portal, Schwartzkopf said. CHS plans to host vaccine clinics during the Week of Welcome so students who wish to get vaccinated can do so. 

Employees can declare themselves vaccinated via the Workday platform, Weiler said. 

Only certain individuals are authorized to ask for someone’s proof of vaccination, he said. Employees and students falsifying vaccination records face consequences. Misconduct is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 

Whenever an individual feels sick they should stay home and call CHS, Weiler said. A COVID-19 infected student living on campus would then be sent to a dorm such as McEachern Hall for an isolation period.

“We’re encouraging students no matter where they’re at to try and get their vaccines over the summer so that they’re fully vaccinated before they get back to Pullman,” he said. 

Students planning to live in a residence hall should submit their vaccination statuses by early August, Weiler said. Preemptively providing vaccination statuses can help WSU ensure students are housed in a way that also protects those who are at high risk. 

CHS can conduct diagnostic testing and others such as for influenza and strep. CHS can also provide chest x-rays to see if students have pneumonia, Schwartzkopf said. 

“If somebody is not feeling well, they need to stay home,” Weiler said. “[It] doesn’t matter why they’re not feeling well.”