Facilities address plans after break

At this point, there will be no changes to dining, housing, UREC, Chinook after spring

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JACK ELLIS

Jeff Elbracht, director of University Recreation facilities, said the staff have not changed their operational plans and administrators will make decisions daily.

BROOKLYNN HILLEMANN, Evergreen reporter

WSU housing and dining services as well as facilities like the Chinook and the University Recreation Center (UREC) plan to continue operations as normal after spring break. 

It was announced Wednesday that WSU will move in-person classes to online formats in response to the recent COVID-19 outbreak. 

With no date in sight for the return of in-person instruction, WSU is anticipating some students will remain at home after spring break. 

Brian Keithley, associate director for housing and dining financial services, said there will be no changes to the dining services and facilities at this point. They will remain operational after break. 

“We’re not closing things down,” he said. 

Keithley said housing and dining services have increased their efforts to prevent the spread of the virus. Facilities have added more staff to constantly wipe surface areas down. 

“It’s wash, rinse, repeat,” Keithley said. 

Jeff Elbracht, director of University Recreation facilities like the Chinook and the UREC, said the staff have not changed any of their operational plans. 

He said changing the hours of facilities is an issue that administrators are having to evaluate on a daily basis. 

Elbracht said there has been an increase in sanitation over the past several weeks. There are more hand sanitizer stations available and staff has increased cleaning frequency. 

“The best thing people can do is take their own precautions when they work out,” he said. 

The number of people using UREC facilities has remained constant, he said. It is unknown if this could change with the number of students deciding to remain home after break.

Elbracht said the UREC will be communicating with employees to find out what their plans are and how to make accommodations for them. 

Sarah Hachman, junior majoring in risk and crisis communication as well as strategic communication, anticipates a quiet campus. 

Hachman is originally from Billerica, Massachusetts. She will be staying on campus for work during and after spring break. She said many students are eager to go home, while others want to return after break. 

“Some people I know are trying to convince their parents to let them come back after break,” she said, “but for out-of-state students, they get the chance to go home and see their families.”

According to WSU’s Coronavirus Updates page, residential, dining and healthcare facilities will remain open on the Pullman campus. Employees are expected to report to work as normal and should consult Human Resource Services COVID-19 FAQ if they have questions regarding leave and work options.