Western is vaxxing up and masking up

Western students, faculty and staff are vaccinated at higher rates than the surrounding Bellingham community
Window magazine staff

Western continues to be a national leader in our response to the coronavirus pandemic and in our efforts to promote campus safety and protect the health and wellbeing of our students.

The university’s COVID testing program for the 2020-21 academic year was recognized by the National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine as a best practice. And as the university welcomed more than 15,000 students back to campus this fall, all students, faculty and staff were required to be vaccinated or receive a medical or religious waiver.

By late October, just under 95 percent of students had submitted proof of their vaccination, and more than 97 percent of employees were fully vaccinated. Both vaccination rates are higher than the surrounding Bellingham area, where about 75 percent had received at least one shot.

And beginning in mid-October, all visitors 12 and over attending campus events or programs will need to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test. Everyone 5 and over must also wear a mask while indoors or outside in crowds. Meanwhile, masks are required in almost all indoor spaces and outside in crowded areas, though almost all students typically mask up outdoors no matter how close they are to others.

As we recover from the pandemic, we continue to plan for a day when the coronavirus is not the determining factor in how Western’s campus operates. But until then, we continue to place the health and safety of the university community first and foremost.

Keep track of Western’s response and recovery from COVID-19 at wwu.edu/coronavirus.

Photo by Sela Marino