Active Alert – Suspended Operations
September 16, 2020 – Due to continuing poor air quality, all WSU Tri-Cities facilities are closed on Wednesday, September 16. Online classes will continue as scheduled. Only those employees necessary to maintain safe operations are to report to campus, all other should stay home.
Smoke from wildfires throughout the northwest is creating poor air quality throughout the Columbia Basin. Data from Department of Ecology air monitoring sites in Kennewick and Burbank indicate that air quality is currently rated as “Hazardous.” The predominant pollutants identified are particulates of 10 microns or smaller (PM10) and those of 2.5 microns or smaller (PM2.5).
Everyone should avoid outdoor activities, if possible. People experiencing respiratory distress should contact a health care professional immediately.
Older adults, pregnant women, children, and people with preexisting respiratory and heart conditions may be more likely to get sick if they breathe in wildfire smoke. If you experience any signs of respiratory distress or other health concerns, contact your health care provider.
There are many steps you can take for limiting exposure to unhealthy, smoky air.
Avoid being outdoors. Use public transportation rather than walking or biking.
Stay inside as much as possible. Keep indoor air clean by closing windows and using an air filter and air conditioning. Make sure your air conditioner’s fresh-air intake is closed and the filter is clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.
Do not add to indoor pollution. Avoid using candles, fireplaces, or gas stoves. Do not vacuum, because vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home. Do not smoke, because smoking puts even more pollution into the air.
Follow your health care provider’s guidance. If you have asthma or another lung disease, follow your doctor’s advice about medicines and your respiratory management plan.
Active Alert – “Stay Home, Stay Healthy”
On Monday, March 23, 2020, Governor Inslee issued a “Stay Home Stay Healthy” order for the state of Washington, in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections. All Washington state residents are to stay home, unless performing a specified essential function. To read the full order, visit the Governor’s website here. The list of essential functions is linked in section 1(b) of the order.
For additional information on how this affects WSU Tri-Cities, visit our FAQ page here, and the system-wide COVID-19 information page at https://wsu.edu/covid-19/. More information regarding COVID-19, its local and state impacts, and protective measures can be obtained from:
- Benton-Franklin Health District’s site HERE
- Washington State Department of Health websiteHERE
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site HERE
We are not aware of any cases of COVID-19 directly impacting the WSU Tri-Cities campus. We are in communication with Benton-Franklin Health District, and we will provide additional information if cases impacting campus are identified by the Health District. Weekly updates via Zoom will also be provided on Tuesdays at 10AM. Questions can be sent to email@example.com.
WSUTC custodial staff has increased cleaning frequencies for high contact locations on campus and is using COVID-19 sanitation guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Washington State Department of Health (DOH) for all routine cleaning including common touch surfaces.
WSU has taken proactive steps such as moving to online classes and increasing telework to enhance social distancing. By limiting the number of people on campus, we can reduce the potential for community spread of COVID-19. The WSU community should continue to be vigilant with social distancing, including:
- Stay home when you are sick – this is very important for all illnesses, but especially for the duration of a respiratory illness
- Students, if you have not returned to Pullman, please stay at home if you are able.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based sanitizer frequently
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes with unwashed hands
- Cover your coughs and sneezes by coughing into your elbow or a tissue
- Frequently clean and disinfect high-touch and common surfaces
- Enhance social distancing (more than 6 feet)
- Stay away from people who are sick
- If you have coronavirus symptoms – fever, cough and shortness of breath – or if you have questions about your personal health, contact your health care provider.
Information included here and in the WSU Alert notification sent 3/24/20 are intended to keep our community as informed and safe as possible and to meet Clery Act compliance.