Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Prevention & Response

Latest Updates

5/15/20: Face masks required on campus beginning May 20
We encourage you to wear a mask immediately. Please review these guidelines and care instructions regarding the use of face masks to protect the health and safety of all on campus. [ Read more]

5/7/20: Anticipating the fall semester
Our committee of staff, faculty and students representing all four colleges are already looking to the fall semester and planning for multiple scenarios of what campus life may be. [ Read more]

5/4/20: Oregon coronavirus state of emergency extended
Gov. Kate Brown signed an executive order Friday that extends Oregon's state of emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak an additional 60 days. [ Read more]

4/23/20: Temporary closure of TIUA
Tokyo International University of America will close temporarily until the restart of the American Studies program is foreseeable. [ Read more]

4/6/20: Resources for Employees
As we all try to adapt to new routines and find balance with unique challenges and responsibilities, the HR team wants to point you to some resources to care for yourself and your community. [ Read more]



General Questions

We have been tracking and monitoring the spread COVID-19 since January. Bishop Wellness Center Director Don Thomson has convened a COVID-19 Response Team that meets twice daily, as well as a larger campus wide committee that convenes weekly.

We are also tracking updates from the Oregon Health Authority and Marion County Health & Human Services to ensure that we are taking the right precautions to prioritize health and safety for those in our community and beyond. Updates will continue to be posted at the top of this page on a regular basis.

To protect privacy, Willamette University cannot release information about any student, faculty or staff member who is being monitored, tested or treated for novel coronavirus. When a member of the WU community is confirmed to have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the relevant local health department will initiate appropriate protocols to protect the health of anyone in contact with that person.

In the case of a known or suspected person with COVID-19 on campus, Willamette would be in immediate contact with Marion County Health & Human Services and the Oregon Health Authority, which would then direct Willamette’s response. This response would include isolation and quarantine directions, guidance about campus closures, communication about exposure to known parties, etc. The Oregon Health Authority has provided comprehensive guidelines for university campus communities.

Please refer to this page for the most current information. We’re also providing daily updates through the bulletin, and major announcements will be communicated via campus and community email.

Please email questions and suggestions about COVID-19 to, or call the COVID-19 hotline at 503-370-6584.

All custodial staff and subcontractors have increased the frequency of disinfecting frequent touch points, including surfaces in kitchens and restrooms, door knob handles, push bars, handrails, classroom chairs, tables, counters, light switches, furniture, etc. WU has deployed extra custodial support throughout the day to disinfect touch points and surfaces in high traffic facilities like Goudy Commons, Kaneko Dining Services, Rick’s Bistro, Hatfield Library, Putnam University Center and Sparks Athletic Center.

In addition to full-time staff, additional student worker “flu fighters” have been on staff since October disinfecting touch points throughout campus during their day and evening shifts. We will continue to recruit additional flu fighters to increase their numbers and shifts.

In accordance with federal guidance, the Mark O. Hatfield Library is closed until further notice. Borrowing through Summit and Interlibrary Loan is suspended immediately. Books may be returned to the book drop in front of the building, and late fines are suspended until further notice.

The library’s extensive electronic collections are accessible on this page. We also provide online access to reference and instructional services and a liaison librarian. If you have any questions, please direct your emails to

Access to MOHL Collections While the Library is Closed

We will endeavor to meet the needs of the campus to the best of our abilities under these unusual circumstances.

Prioritization of requests:

  1. Items to be put on reserve for an entire class (creating a scanned copy)
  2. Items for Seniors completing a thesis
  3. Items for Faculty

Digital Collections – Digital books and periodicals remain accessible from campus and remotely. If you have difficulties please contact us at for assistance.

Interlibrary Loan

  1. Requesting and borrowing of articles (digitally) continues via ILL button in the library catalog. Fulfillment may be delayed.
  2. Requesting of physical items from Summit and ILL has been discontinued indefinitely. Summit has shut down until further notice and the vast majority of institutions have discontinued physical ILL lending as well

Items in the Mark O. Hatfield Collection

  1. Course Reserves – Faculty please contact or your liaison librarian to discuss getting items digitized for posting in WISE.
  2. Articles from the bound periodicals – Please use the “scan on demand” button in the library catalog. We will email you the scanned article as soon as we can.
  3. Book chapters – Please send the full citation including chapter(s) needed to We will scan the chapters and return them to you as quickly as possible via email. There is no turnaround guarantee.
  4. Full Books (Seniors completing a thesis or faculty) – Please send the full citation to
    1. Living within 60 miles of Campus: Indicate “On Campus Pickup” in your email subject heading, and we will pull the book, check it out to you, and send you a numerical pickup code associated with the book via email. (For privacy reasons we won’t label books with your name). It will be placed on a book cart in the library vestibule for you to pick up. You will have 2-days to pick it up once you receive the email. Once we check it out to you, you are considered responsible for the book. You will need a valid ID to access the vestibule.
    2. Living more than 60 miles from campus: Indicate “Deliver via Mail” in your email subject heading. We will check it out to you and and send you and email indicating the item(s) we have sent. Once we check it out to you we will consider you responsible for the book, including returning it to the library. Be sure to include the mailing address in your email.

While Hatfield Library fines will continue to accrue during the period of time the library is closed, once things return to normal, all fines for items that are returned will be waived. You still will be responsible for any lost items.

The museum is closed until further notice.

Campus Recreation and Athletics have decided to close the fitness center, aquatics center, Henkle gymnasium, and Cone Field House to all students and members of the public, effective Wednesday, March 18.

Going forward, The Sparks building will remain swipe-access only, between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. During this time, those with swipe access will be able to utilize the Sparks classrooms as well as restrooms and locker rooms.

These resources can be found on our website and will be updated as we accumulate more of them. Resources for staying active can be found on our website.

For CLA undergrad students, if you are leaving campus due to COVID-19 concerns, please keep your mail key, you’ll need it when you return. If you would like your mail forwarded, you may fill out a Mail Forwarding request form located on JASON. Simply request “Temporary” forwarding.

Unfortunately, we are unable to forward any packages, so we recommend that you have them temporarily shipped to your home address. In the event that you receive a package here on campus, while you are away, and are unable to pick it up you can provide written permission in an email to: stating the name of person who can retrieve packages on your behalf. We will not release your package to anyone without proper identification.

In order to abide by the “social distancing” requirements and to lessen the chances of spreading the COVID-19 Virus, The Mail Center staff will no longer deliver mail/packages to departments.

We are limiting access to the Mail Center to staff only and will be distributing packages and mail at the Service Windows in the lobby of the Putnam UC. Please send a representative from your respective department to pick-up your mail and packages.

  • Mail Center service window hours: Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Best time to retrieve mail or packages: 2 p.m.

To enforce social distancing during this time we have placed blue tape on the floor in front of both Service Windows. Please stand behind this tape until you are instructed to safely come to the counter where a staff member will assist you.

Due to limited staffing in the Mail Center, and the unpredictability of deliveries from USPS, UPS and Federal Express, we cannot guarantee consistent timelines for incoming and outgoing deliveries. Because of this, you may want to have your items shipped directly to your home address.


Starting March 30, 2020, and running through the end of the spring semester, appointments in Bishop will be provided via remote telehealth. Bishop Wellness Center has implemented Zoom for Health Care, a HIPAA compliant, secure video platform designed for health care providers. Students not wanting to use this medium or those without access to reliable internet can also schedule phone calls with providers. More information regarding telehealth appointments in Health Services and Counseling Services can be found on our website.

Students and Campus Residents

The most up to date information from the CDC regarding when to seek care can be found here. If you have any questions, it's best to call your health care provider for additional guidance.

No. Bishop Wellness Center does not have the ability to test for COVID-19. If needed however, Bishop Wellness can help students find care in their local community. More detailed directions from the CDC about seeking care can be found here.

As with any virus, the best way to protect yourself is to avoid being exposed to this virus. If your roommate is sick:

  • Avoid prolonged and close contact if possible.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Encourage them to cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue, and then throw the tissue away.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe often.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and warm water are unavailable. Encourage your roommate to do the same.

Per current CDC guidelines, people who have had contact with COVID-19 patients are asked to maintain self-quarantine for 14 days. Students who are in isolation will have boxed meals provided based on dietary restrictions and preferences from daily café menu.

Willamette will provide housing according to CDC, state and local guidelines to students who do not have the option to leave. If there is an outbreak on campus that is sufficiently severe to force the college to suspend normal operations, and there are no travel restrictions, students who are not ill would likely be best served by returning home.

Pay attention to and honor your reactions. You may be feeling fear, frustration, anger, ambivalence, perhaps at the same time. All feelings are valid. This is a very new situation for all of us and it is okay and normal that it is stirring up emotions.

Check for bias in your fears and be kind to one another. Many people from Asia and of Asian descent are experiencing racism and discrimination. Remember that in some Asian cultures, many people choose to wear masks for prevention, coping with air pollution, or for fashion.

Take a break and relax. There is life outside of this current crisis. Be sure to schedule a break, relax, or do things you enjoy like meditation, listening to music, or taking a walk. Figure out what works for you and give yourself permission to do it!

Maintain a healthy routine: Keep your regular schedule for sleeping, eating, studying, working, socializing, etc. Avoid alcohol or other drugs to cope with your stress, as these can get in the way of your body’s ability to heal itself.

Limit information: Too much information leads to overload and more stress. Limit your exposure to the news and information about the virus. Make sure to choose a reputable and non-sensational news source like the CDC or the Oregon Health Authority.

Connect with others: Being home is comforting to many, and family may be a great support. Friends can be great, too. If you are not able to physically be near your support people, try to stay connected. Use Facetime, Skype, Snapchat, whatever works for you in order to see people’s faces.

Establish a Routine. Study from home much the same way you study at Willamette. Set a time to wake up, eat breakfast, and get dressed. Having an established routine can provide structure for your life and signal your brain “it is time to get work done”.

Have a Dedicated Study Area. Create a place to study that is separate from your relaxation area. This can also help you to contain your academic stress to the study space.

Take Notes for Distance Learning Classes. It is important to put your phone away, turn off notifications from messages and social media, and close irrelevant webpages to minimize distraction. Taking notes during the distance learning classes can also keep your hands busy and help to turn your attention to the class content.

Keep a Routine for Physical Activity. Set break times for your study session (i.e. every 45 minutes) to get up, move around, and activate different parts of your brain. You can stretch, walk around the room, get a class of water, and take a look at the view outside the window.

Don’t Forget Your Social Time. Build in some social time during your day can motivate you to stay focused when studying. You can set a time when you are less productive to reach out to friends and family. Connect with them in whatever way is best for you.

Create a Study Plan and Share It with Others. Write down what you need to accomplish in the next 3 days, and break bigger tasks down into small tasks to complete each day. This can make things less overwhelming and help you to get more motivated in getting them done! You can also share your study plan with your friends (study buddies!) to keep yourself accountable.

Avoid Multitasking. You can designate your less productive time of the day to attend to chores. Set your schedule in a way that you can focus on one thing at a time (i.e. studying, chores, relaxing, exercising) and know that you will have designated time later for other things on your to-do list.


Yes, residents may stay in campus housing through the remainder of the semester until halls close on May 13. It is CRITICAL that you let Housing know that you intend to stay. Please follow this link to a Google Form. *For graduating seniors who were intending to stay until commencement, and still need to stay past May 13, please arrange for an extended stay directly with housing. These requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

As indicated in the first question, please follow this link to a Google Form. If you have trouble using this link, please make sure you are signed in with your Willamette email and not a personal one.

If you are staying here for spring break, you do not need to move out of your room. It may necessitate Housing asking you to relocate to a different housing assignment for the rest of the semester. That will be dependent on the number of residents who remain on campus through the remainder of the semester, and will be decided at a later date. A relocation would be due to ensuring the health and safety of all on-campus residents.

The University is following the directives of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Oregon Health Authority. If you are leaving, we ask that you travel no more than 25 miles from Salem. (This does not apply to students living off-campus.) Whether you are heading out of state for spring break, traveling to visit a friend or family who lives an hour away, taking a day trip to the coast, or going shopping in Eugene you will not be allowed back into the residence halls. If you leave Salem for more than 25 miles it should be with everything you own after having checked out with your RA. If you have a question regarding this directive please contact housing.

We are turning off people’s card swipe and thus access to the residence halls, Goudy and all campus buildings soon and only turning on those for students who have let us know that they intend to stay.

Please schedule a time with your RA to come to campus and check out of your room. Beginning Friday, March 20, please email <vp-student-affairs> to schedule a time to check out of your room. You have 2 hours to move. You do not have time to visit with friends, you really only have time to get your items and depart. Please practice physical distancing measures to lessen the spread of the virus.

Please communicate with Housing by emailing <vp-student-affairs> on what plan works best for you. We are currently anticipating that residents will do one of the following: 1) have you pick up your belongings at another time before the semester ends, 2) have a close friend or family member pick up your belongings after arranging a time with Housing or 3) have Willamette staff pack up your belongings and store them where we have space and availability until you can arrange for pick-up.

Residents are allowed two boxes to store over the summer if they are returning to the halls fall 2020.

Willamette is providing a partial refund of room and board costs for students who have departed campus; details have been provided directly to resident students and their families by email.

Absolutely! The housing selection for next year is proceeding as planned, beginning with Current and Rising Seniors on Tuesday, March 17th. Please read the information in the emails from Housing and visit our Housing Selection website.

No. Please plan as if you are studying abroad. If your trip is canceled, we will work with you to find some options.

We will quarantine and move someone who tests positive for COVID-19 to a location away from other residents who are asymptomatic. We will work with any student who has been quarantined to ensure that they have access to meals.

Yes, regular cleaning and facility management will be maintained. Additionally, facilities staff has added additional sanitizing stations to each hall and are taking extra precautions.


Lunch on Wednesday, May 13 is the last meal to be served at Goudy Commons for the Semester. Willamette’s dining service venues will be closed for the summer. Our August reopening date is yet to be determined.

Bon Appétit and Willamette are working together on a dining services and catering plan for the fall semester. We will use the summer to retool and prepare our spaces, procedures and staff for the fall. Services will look much different in order to keep you safe.

Please work with housing and dining if you need assistance during this time.

Employee and Student Worker Information

Willamette employees are covered by Willamette’s Sick Leave Policy.

Willamette’s employees accrue sick time at the rate of one day per month. Some staff, like new employees, may have less sick time than others. If a staff member needs additional sick time due to COVID-19, they should work directly with HR. Faculty may work with HR or their Dean’s office. Willamette will review the need for additional sick time on a case-by-case basis.

Employees who are sick should not come to campus and should notify their supervisors as soon as possible.

Yes. It is appropriate to use sick leave to care for school age children because schools have closed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

If a supervisor determines that an employee’s job duties can be completed remotely, the employee is expected to work remotely. Supervisors should work with their teams to designate all employees as either:

  • Employees whose work can be completed remotely; OR
  • Employees who must report in-person to work, in other words, they will not be able to complete their duties unless on campus.

Supervisors should work as expeditiously as possible to transition those employees whose work can be completed remotely to working off campus.

Fewer people on campus will mean less opportunity for the COVID-19 virus to spread. As well, it will mean that employees who must report to work on campus are better able to distance themselves and there will be fewer touchpoints that could allow a virus to spread.

For employees working remotely, the supervisor and employee should:

Human Resources will receive the completed submissions.

Yes. Supervisors have the authority and responsibility to determine who needs to report to campus. The following types of positions are assumed to need to report to work on campus:

  • Public Safety/Emergency Management
  • Facilities Operations/Critical Facilities Management
  • Certain housing functions
  • Certain administrative functions required to support campus operations and faculty, staff, and student needs
  • Certain positions that need access to physical items, e.g., files, books or equipment to continue working.

If you need an accommodation for your health or the health of a family member, you should contact Human Resources.

The CDC offers guidance and recommended precautions for household members and intimate partners of people with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or a person under investigation.

For student employees remaining on campus, supervisors and student employees should work together to determine if the student employee should continue to report to work.

If a student employee is leaving campus or should not report to work, supervisors and student employees should work together to find ways for the student employee to complete their duties remotely, or to find projects or other work that can be done remotely.

Likewise, if the change to online instruction impacts the current duties of a student employee, the supervisor should work with the student employee to try to find other duties or projects to complete.

If a student employee and their supervisor are unable to find work for a student employee to complete, the student employee should contact Career Development. Career Development,, is starting to gather projects and other work - remote and otherwise - for student employees. Career Development will match current student employees with those projects as they become available.

If Career Development is unable to find appropriate work for a student employee, the student employee may seek to adjust their financial aid award by appealing through Financial Aid.

Students also have access to Sick Leave per the University's policy, see Instructions on Recording Student Sick Leave in Workday.

Events and Programs

The NCAA recently announced that they were canceling all tournament play for the spring season. Following that decision, the Northwest Conference President's Council reconvened and made the decision to suspend athletic activity indefinitely.

With the NWC decision in mind, Willamette University has opted to suspend non-conference play and practices as well. Our intent in proactively making this decision is to help provide clarity that allows student athletes to plan the coming weeks and semester with one less matter of uncertainty.

If any events are canceled, the organizers of those events will notify you as soon as possible and the cancellation will be noted on the events page of our website.

Acting on recommendations from the federal government, Willamette University is instructing supervisors, faculty, staff and student organizations to conduct workplace meetings and gatherings online via Zoom or by conference call.

On April 1, it was announced that due to the continuing global crisis of COVID-19, the on-campus commencement ceremonies scheduled for Sunday, May 17, have been canceled. Willamette is exploring alternate ways to celebrate the achievements of our members of the Class of 2020. We will reach out to our graduating seniors with updates as they become available.

Classes and Attendance

Willamette made the transition to distance learning Monday, March 16, and classes will remain in an online format through the end of the semester. Our campus will stay open, but students are free to leave campus at any time.

If returning home is not feasible or desirable for some of our students, they may remain on campus. Students who stay on campus will still take their classes remotely, and essential services such as the Bishop Wellness Center and campus dining facilities will continue to be available to them. Our goal is that all core services, including advising, student academic support and career development, will remain accessible whether students are on campus or participating remotely.

Students are expected to attend class regularly for the entire semester, but our faculty will be as accommodating as possible. We recognize this is an unusual situation and will make adjustments accordingly. If you think an illness will affect class attendance or performance, please contact your professor.

We are committed to working with you in the event that a field experience or internship is postponed or canceled due to COVID-19-related issues. We are also working with faculty and department chairs to ensure that everyone has individual plans in place to accommodate whatever situation arises.

We have standard procedures in place for covering classes when a faculty member becomes sick or incapacitated. For instance, you may be assigned to another section, or we may bring in another faculty member to continue teaching the course.

Please check the COVID-19 and Study Abroad at WU page for details.

Travel by Willamette Students, Faculty and Staff

Willamette University is not allowing any air travel by faculty, staff and students engaged in university-related activities. Requests for exceptions must be made to a vice president, provost or dean and then forwarded to the Provost’s Office.

All Willamette University students, employees and affiliates are strongly encouraged to consider how personal travel plans could be affected by the spread of the virus. Self-isolation for 14 days will be required for people returning from Level 2 and 3 countries. Employees must tell their supervisor and HR of travel plans to a Level 2 or 3 country before departure. Contact HR for more information.

Parent and Family Information

We are committed to providing timely and accurate information to Willamette parents via email and on the COVID-19 page of the university website.

No, you do not need to send emergency supplies. We will continue to provide for the needs of students even if the coronavirus appears in our campus community.

There are no cases of COVID-19 on campus, so there is no need to bring them home. If you and your student choose to remain on campus, please know that Willamette University is taking every precaution we can to keep your student safe and healthy.

No. Bishop Wellness Center does not have the ability to test for COVID-19. If needed however, Bishop Wellness can help students find care in their local community. More detailed directions from the CDC about seeking care can be found here.

Students who are in isolation will have boxed meals provided based on dietary restrictions and preferences from the daily café menu.

Students would continue to remain eligible for any financial aid they receive through the university. In addition, as a result of COVID-19, the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Office recently released guidance that provides schools much greater flexibility in administering federal financial aid programs (Pell, SEOG, Federal Direct Loans and Federal Work-Study). If you have questions, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.

Please check the COVID-19 and Study Abroad at WU page for details.

Visitor Information

Although we do not have any known cases of COVID-19 on campus, CDC guidelines have prompted us to suspend our campus visit programs until further notice, and our admission events for the spring semester have been postponed. We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves, and we will update you with more information about on-campus programs moving forward.

We are suspending events that bring large groups together indefinitely. We will share updates regarding upcoming events as soon as possible.

If any events are canceled, the organizers of those events will notify you as soon as possible, and the cancellation will be noted on the events page of our website.

Yes. The following virtual visit and tour options will allow you to connect with members of our community from a distance:

COVID-19 Facts and Prevention Measures

Coronavirus, now officially "COVID-19" - short for Corona Virus Disease identified in 2019 - is a new virus that has never been seen in humans. It started from an animal source in Wuhan, China and spread quickly. The best prevention known thus far is containment and quarantine, hence travel restrictions to and from impacted countries, the cruise ship docked in Japan, temperature checks at airports, etc.

This is never before seen virus and we're learning more about it every day. The most up to date information regarding the symptoms of COVID-19 from the CDC can be found here.

We are learning more about transmission every day. The most up to date information from the CDC about how COVID-19 spreads can be found here.

Because there is currently no vaccine for coronavirus, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The same precautions taken with any respiratory disease are applicable for coronavirus, including:

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Staying home when you are sick
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue away
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Washing your hands often with soap and warm water or in an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and warm water are unavailable

The most recent guidance from the CDC regarding the use of facemasks can be found here.

Guidance from medical experts changes as we learn more about this virus. The most recent advice from the CDC can be found here. If you are symptomatic AND you think you have been exposed per the CDC guidelines, please call ahead to the provider so that they can make the necessary arrangements to see you.

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