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Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 coronavirus.

Central Washington University is committed to keeping the campus community informed during emergencies and situations that might disrupt normal operations. This page is activated when there's an active alert. Additional information is posted as it becomes available.

Find out what you need to know about COVID-19.

Emergency Notifications

Monday, August 2, 2021 - 1:45pm

Air Quality Alert

The Washington State Department of Ecology has issued an Air Quality Alert in effect until noon PDT Thursday. A Smoke Air Quality Alert has been issued. Wildfires burning in the region combined with forecasted conditions will cause air quality to reach unhealthy levels. Pollutants in smoke can cause burning eyes, runny nose, aggravate heart and lung diseases, and aggravate other serious health problems. Limit outdoor activities and consider staying indoors if it is smoky. Please follow medical advice if you have a heart or lung condition. Information about air quality is on the Washington Department of Ecology Web site at or call 360-407- 6000.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - 9:45am

Did You Miss A CWU Alert?

The CWU Alert system notifies students, staff, and faculty of emergencies that impact the operation of the Ellensburg campus, including campus closures and delays.

If you missed an alert, check your personal contact details in MyCWU.

The notification system automatically sends text messaging, email, and phone messages using the information in your “Personal Details.” Check your content today to ensure it’s current.

Monday, September 14, 2020 - 8:00am

In-Person Classes Cancelled 9/14

Due to the hazardous air conditions in Ellensburg, all in-person classes are cancelled for 9/14. All online classes are still scheduled.

Monday, September 7, 2020 - 2:45pm

Make Responsible Choices

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives in ways we never could have imagined seven months ago. As we reopen the Central Washington University campus, it is tempting to assume that we can engage in activities and behaviors we would not have considered risky in the past. But that is not the case.

The thing about the coronavirus is that even if we don’t have symptoms, we can spread it to others who are at greater risk. That is why it is important for all of us to make responsible choices in order to support the health and safety of the entire community.

That means following proper health and safety practices, such as frequently washing our hands, wearing a face covering, and maintaining physical distance from others. It also means thinking twice about going to a party or participating in a group activity where distancing and face coverings are not possible or are ignored.

Not acting responsibly can have serious consequences. The Student Conduct Code (WAC 106-125) outlines behavioral expectations governing conduct for all CWU students. These behavioral expectations include abiding by local, state, and federal laws, university policies, and public health requirements.

Students alleged to be engaging in prohibited behavior may be subject to disciplinary action through the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities as outlined in the Student Conduct Code (WAC 106-125). If found responsible, student outcomes may include removal from courses, trespass from university owned property, disciplinary probation, or suspension.

If you have any questions regarding student behavior or expectations please contact the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities at 509-963-1817 or via email at

Be safe and have a great fall 2020 quarter.

Friday, September 4, 2020 - 2:30pm

Take All Necessary Precautions This Fall

As the fall quarter begins, CWU wants to remind everyone in our campus community to prepare your family and your home for the potential impact of COVID-19.

We are asking our students, faculty, and staff to follow these preventative measures, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after using the restroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • If soap and water are not immediately available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and if you feel sick, stay home
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds, and other social distancing measures.
  • Stay informed. CDC’s COVID-19 Situation Summary will be updated regularly as information becomes available or visit CWU’s COVID-19 FAQs page.
  • For information regarding the impact of the virus in Kittitas County, visit the Kittitas County Community Impact Dashboard.

Additionally, those who are at a higher risk of becoming ill, or who care for those in a high-risk demographic, should review these additional guidelines and suggestions from the CDC.

Friday, March 20, 2020 - 6:45pm

Public Health Order: Stay In Place

The Kittitas County Public Health Department issued an official Public Health Order directing CWU to strongly encourage students, "whether they live on or off campus, to stay in place. If students have returned to their permanent residence, they should remain there” while attending spring quarter virtually. It is vital that you respect this Public Health Order and help contain the virus that is spreading so quickly everywhere.

Students, per the county Public Health Director’s warning, should remain where they are and attend Spring Quarter virtually:

  • If you are in Ellensburg, you are expected to stay in place.
  • If you are currently away from the CWU Ellensburg campus, you are expected to stay in place.

For more information, click here.

Friday, March 13, 2020 - 2:45pm

Update: Spring Quarter Delayed One Week

CWU Rave Alert! for all CWU sites and centers. The start of spring quarter 2020 will be delayed by one week, beginning on April 8 and ending June 8. To the fullest extent possible, all academic operations will be moved online. For more information, read the attached memo: Update: COVID-19 Spring Quarter 2020.

Thursday, October 17, 2019 - 9:15am

ShakeOut Earthquake Drill

CWU ALERT: This is a TEST of Central Washington University's emergency alert system. This is only a TEST. CWU is participating in the Great Washington ShakeOut, an earthquake preparedness campaign. In the event of an actual earthquake you should drop, cover and hold on. Drop to the ground, take cover by getting under a sturdy object, and hold on until the shaking stops. If you are unable to drop, cover, and hold on, get as low as possible and protect your head and neck and move away from windows or other items that can fall on you. If necessary, the SURC is designated as the primary reunification area. If the SURC is not usable the reunification area will be identified at that time. For more information visit Also visit this site for official CWU information and resources.