Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has moved up the date to end the state’s indoor mask requirement to after March 11 (from the previous date of March 21) in most locations, including schools. Masks will still be required in certain settings (see chart below).
This moment is possible because of the tenacity of our EWU community. From practicing social distancing to hand washing, wearing masks and getting vaccinated–we have shown what it means to be Eagle Strong.
At this time, EWU will evaluate how this will impact the university’s original plan to continue requiring masks until after our two spring breaks: semester programs on March 21 and quarter programs on April 4.
University leadership will be having conversations with faculty, staff and students to gather feedback on how we can continue to provide a safe and healthy environment for all and address the concerns of the campus community. We will continue to consult with local, regional, and state health experts as we make science-based decisions going forward. There will be detailed information coming out by March 10 covering future academic terms and details regarding mask-wearing expectations, vaccination status requirements, teleworking, testing and other Covid-related topics.
Planning is also underway for in-person commencements this spring. For the latest information, visit: https://staging-inside.ewu.edu/commencement/.
As we have learned, each variant presents its own challenges and our responses have to be calibrated based on the rate of infection and the degree the variant causes serious illness. We also need to recognize acute needs of faculty, staff and students and work to create a learning environment that addresses everyone’s needs. As COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates continue to change in the future, we will continue to be responsive in using the critical tools we have available to us – vaccinations, masking, testing, distancing, and other protocols.
COVID-19 has challenged our resiliency, and forced us to consider and reconsider how we maintain a safe and healthy environment while continuing to live our lives. Through it all we have used the grit so often associated with EWU and, with grace, accepted each other’s needs. Today we share our gratitude with one another for coming to the point we can consider how and when we can safely lift mask mandates.