March 4, 2020 - Update on Coronavirus

March 4, 2020
Purce Hall

Dear Campus Community,

We value the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff and we are monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  As of the date and time of this email, to our knowledge no members of the Evergreen community have been diagnosed with the COVID-19. At this time, there have been no recommendations from health authorities to suspend campus operations. With this in mind, Evergreen campuses remain open.

There is an understandable level of concern and we continue to work with local health authorities including the Washington Department of Public Health and local public health agencies, as well as following guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to align our plans with the most current recommendations from experts.

The most important steps you can take at this time are to monitor your own health, practice good hygiene and stay home if feeling sick.

This is an evolving situation and circumstances could change rapidly. Please monitor Evergreen’s novel coronavirus information page, which is being updated regularly and includes responses to Evergreen-specific FAQs.

If the college were to suspend operations you will be notified via our emergency notification system Omnilert. You must sign yourself up for this service in order to receive alerts. These alerts can be texted directly to your cell phone.

Staying healthy

The best strategies for prevention recommended by the CDC and Department of Health, include:

  • Wash your hands often, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you’re sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Getting plenty of rest, drinking fluids, eating healthy foods and managing your stress can help you prevent getting COVID-19 and recover from it if you do.

If you are sick

First, it’s important to emphasize that so far, the vast majority of people who have become ill with COVID-19 have experienced relatively mild symptoms, such as fever and cough.

If you are sick, you should take steps you normally would, including focusing on caring for your health, stay home and contact a health-care provider as needed. Students on Evergreen’s Olympia campus may contact student wellness at (360) 867-6200. Please call ahead before visiting your health-care provider or student wellness so that they can provide you with guidance specific to your symptoms. The Tacoma Program is monitoring advisories from the Pierce County Public Health officials.

If a staff member or student believes they are symptomatic or have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, request that they go home or to their residence and call their healthcare provider.

Next steps

Your well-being is our paramount concern, and the college will continue working with public health officials to be as prepared as possible to protect the health of the Evergreen community.

We will continue doing everything we can to keep you apprised, and again, please check back regularly on the college’s novel coronavirus information page for updates and information.

If you have further questions please contact Wendy Endress who is chairing the COVID-19 Planning & Response Team at Please take care of yourselves and be kind to those directly impacted by COVID-19.

Best regards,

COVID-19 Planning & Response Team