COVID-19 Resources

The university remains vigilant and proactive with our response to the coronavirus pandemic. Our primary goal is to keep our community healthy and safe. 

For the safety of our community, please report if you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, if you have had direct, close contact with a person with a COVID-19 infection, or if you test positive for COVID-19.

This page is updated regularly but please check your UWS email for future actions and recommendations from the university.

The CDC updated their recommended time for isolation on 12/27/21 and UWS subsequently updated its protocols to match. People with COVID-19 should isolate for 5 days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people they encounter.

Read more here.

UPDATE: MARCH 12, 2022
Governor Kate Brown announced that under the advisement of the Oregon Health Authority, the state would be lifting the mask mandate for indoor public spaces on March 12, 2022.

In accordance with this change, UWS will no longer require masks for students, staff, faculty and visitors in some campus areas beginning March 12, 2022. These areas include all common areas, private offices and lecture classrooms. Masks will still be required within all hands-on laboratories and the UWS clinic.


Current Students

What should I do if I begin to display symptoms associated with COVID-19, if I test positive for COVID-19, or if I have contact with someone who has a positive or presumed-positive case?

To keep the UWS community safe and healthy, use the COVID-19 Report Form if:

  • You experience COVID-19 symptoms
  • You have had direct, close contact with a person with a positive COVID-19 test
  • You test positive for COVID-19

    The information collected in this form is kept confidential and will only be shared with key UWS officials and local health department.

    See more FAQs below under the COVID-19 EXPOSURE REPORTING FORM AND FAQs popper.

While in labs and the clinic, are gloves and masks required? 

On-Campus Labs

In alignment with state requirements for clinical care, students in on-campus labs and in-person encounters with standardized patients are required to wear a face covering. As state requirements for clinical spaces are updated, these protocols will be reassessed.


Interns working in the clinic will be asked to follow specific health and safety protocols when engaging in patient care. As part of these protocols, students will use personal protective equipment (PPE) including face coverings (at all times) and gloves (only in certain circumstances) when interacting with patients and providing certain treatments. Interns will be trained on such protocols upon entering the clinic. All PPE used in these protocols will be provided by the university. These required protocols will change as regulations are updated.   

How will this impact upcoming NBCE and CCEB examinations?

For specific information regarding NBCE protocols, please contact NBCE. Please visit the NBCE website for updates.

The Canadian Chiropractic Examining Board (CCEB) is offering remote proctoring for components A and B. Remote proctoring is not available for component C. Please refer to the CCEB website for additional information about exam administration.

What should I do if I am sick?

Stay home if you feel sick, even if you are unsure whether your symptoms are COVID-related. Please report your symptoms to UWS and self-quarantine at home until you are cleared to return to campus by a designated university official.

Students who miss in-person requirements due to illness should reach out to their instructors to make a plan for missed coursework and request ID days for missed clinic shifts. Employees should contact their supervisor.

The university may require students or employees to return home if they arrive on campus exhibiting symptoms of infection.

Please refrain from making assumptions about other people’s symptoms.

Canadian/International Students

What guidance does UWS have for international students crossing the border to study at UWS?

As a student under F-1 visa status, you are considered an “essential traveler” for the purposes of crossing the border into the U.S. This means that you can enter the U.S. to study and complete your related clinic rotations.

  • Starting January 22, 2022, the US Department of Homeland Security requires all non-U.S. individuals traveling by land border and ferry to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination. Learn more.


What options are available for travel and health insurance that provide COVID-19 related coverage?

UWS has done some preliminary research and discovered several insurance options that appear to include travel and COVID-19 related coverage. The university suggests working with a broker to identify the carrier and plan that meets your needs. Two brokers that appear to carry appropriate plans are Insubuy and American Visitor Insurance.

Note that not every plan carried by these brokers includes COVID-19-related coverage. Both brokers have information specific to COVID-19 on their websites. UWS does not recommend any particular broker, carrier or plan. Students are responsible for identifying and selecting the plan that best suits their needs.

UWS recommends requesting a written summary of COVID-19 related coverage and restrictions for any plan a student selects.

How will this impact upcoming CCEB examinations?
The Canadian Chiropractic Examining Board (CCEB) is offering remote proctoring for components A and B. Remote proctoring is not available for component C. Please refer to the CCEB website for additional information about exam administration.


Human Resources

Can I work remotely?

The university will continue to allow eligible employees to work remotely. Most administrative departments are open and have staff scheduled on campus on a rotating basis. Supervisors, in consultation with the division vice president, will determine remote work arrangement continuation or return to campus decisions.

Employees who work remotely are required to comply with Policy 3404 Remote and Hybrid Work Schedules. Please visit the ServiceHub remote work resource page if you have questions regarding technology or resources while working remotely.

I have a health condition and I am concerned about coming to work. What should I do?

The university recommends employees with specific health concerns contact their health care provider for medical advice tailored to their individual situations. Employees should then contact the office of human resources to discuss the health care provider recommendations so it can be evaluated from an accommodation and leave standpoint.

Can I use sick leave if I am diagnosed with COVID-19, or if I need to care for a diagnosed family member?

All employees are eligible to use accrued sick leave for absences due to personal illness, including COVID-19, or to care for an ill family member, based on the appropriate policy or collective bargaining agreement. Please refer to the Employee or Faculty Handbook found in Udocs for more information.

Questions should be sent to [email protected] regarding eligibility, qualifying reasons and documentation. 

Do I have options for remote access to health care through my health insurance plan so I can speak with a medical professional without visiting a medical clinic?

Yes, insurance plans offered to UWS employees include alternative resources for care, such as a nurse advice line or virtual care. Visit Udocs for your health insurance plan to learn more about the available options.

The campus clinic is also providing telehealth services for commercially insured patients. This service continues to be complimentary for UWS students, staff and families.

Can I ask another employee about their underlying health concerns?

The ADA prohibits disability-related inquiries unless they are job related and consistent with business necessity. Please contact the office of human resources if you have a concern about another employee’s health or well-being.

Can I ask another employee to go home if they are ill or exhibit concerning symptoms?

In the event that another employee is ill or exhibits concerning symptoms, please contact the office of human resources. The university reserves the right to send employees home. However, employees and supervisors should not suggest another employee go home due to illness without consulting with human resources.

Please refrain from making assumptions about other people’s symptoms, as there are many possible causes for respiratory system symptoms.


COVID-19 Safety Plan

What is UWS doing to minimize potential exposure to COVID-19?

The university has developed a safety plan to protect students and employees as we return to limited on-campus instruction. Note that plan components may change as requirements and recommendations evolve.

  • COVID-19 Report Form – On-campus students and employees are required to use the COVID-19 Report Form if they have COVID-19 symptoms; direct, close contact with a person with a COVID-19 infection; or a positive test result. The information collected in this form is kept confidential and only shared with key UWS officials and local health department.
  • Infection Control Training – On-campus students are required to complete infection control training as part of their coursework. 

What can I do to help minimize potential exposure?

Each of us has a role to play in maintaining the health and safety of our community. Here’s how you can do your part!

  • Stay home if you are sick, even if the symptoms don’t appear to be COVID-19.
    • Students who miss class due to illness should reach out to their instructors to make a plan for missed coursework. 
    • Students who miss clinic shifts should request ID days using the normal process.  
    • Employees should contact their supervisor. 
  • Report if you show symptoms of COVID-19 or if you know you have been exposed using the COVID-19 Report Form.

COVID-19 Exposure Reporting Form and FAQS

To keep the UWS community safe and healthy, students and employees use the COVID-19 Report Form if: 

  • You experience COVID-19 symptoms
  • You have had direct, close contact with a person with a positive COVID-19 test
  • You test positive for COVID-19

The information collected in this form is kept confidential and will only be shared with key UWS officials and local health department.

How is this information used? Is it confidential?
This information is used to make decisions that protect the health and safety of our community. UWS upholds the confidentiality of individuals who make a report and information is only shared with designated university officials and the local health department.

Report your symptoms to UWS and self-quarantine at home until you submit the online report form and receive instructions.

Students who miss in-person requirements due to illness should reach out to their instructors to make a plan for missed coursework and request ID days for missed clinic shifts. Employees should contact their supervisor.

What are the UWS protocols for a person who tests positive for COVID-19?
UWS protocols require that an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 self-isolate at home and not return to campus until it is safe to do so. The self-isolation period is communicated by university officials and is dependent on whether the individual is symptomatic, whether they have been fully vaccinated, advice from the individual’s health care provider, requirements of the local health authority and other factors.

What are the UWS protocols for students and employees who have close contact with a person with a COVID-19 infection?
UWS protocols require that an individual with a close contact to a confirmed positive case wear a mask for 10 days when around others. A COVID-19 test is recommended at day 5 after exposure. If symptoms develop or the person has a positive test result, they should remain off campus and complete a COVID-19 Report Form.

What does “close contact” mean?
Close contact is the term used when a person has been near another person with a COVID-19 infection during the potentially contagious period of the infection and may be at risk of contracting COVID-19. UWS follows the Center for Disease Control (CDC) definition for a close contact, which means that an individual has been within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

What if I have indirect exposure, i.e., I’m exposed to someone who had a close contact with another person who had a positive COVID-19 test?

UWS protocols do not exclude indirect contacts from returning to campus. However, if a student with a secondary, indirect contact elects to stay home until the original close contact has received a negative test result and/or self-quarantined for a sufficient time, UWS will support that choice for a limited time, as long as the student communicates with UWS regarding this decision and follows the recommended protocols regarding time away from class and/or follow up testing. Students who self-quarantine must work with their instructors to make plans to complete their missed coursework. Employees should contact their supervisor and the director of human resources to discuss telework and/or paid time off options.

Can I work or study from home if I am self-quarantining or self-isolating?

Yes. Students and employees can participate in remote learning or work if they feel well enough to do so. Students with in-person lab courses or clinic shifts should reach out to their instructors to make a plan for missed work and/or request clinic ID days using the normal process. 

If you are not feeling well enough to work or study, please reach out to your instructors or your supervisor.

Does the university provide testing? 
The university does not conduct testing on-site. Individuals should contact their health care provider or the Multnomah County Health Department for current testing sites. Information can be found here. 

Vaccine Information

Is the university providing vaccines? 
No, UWS does not provide vaccines. Please refer to the department of health websites for Oregon and Washington, depending on which state you live.

Are you requiring vaccines for employees and students?

University of Western States complies with laws and regulations related to public health and the provision of health care services including the Oregon Health Authority’s temporary administrative rule OAR 333-019-1010.

In compliance with this rule, UWS is required to collect information about COVID vaccination status for any individual who works, learns, studies, assists, observes or volunteers in the UWS Health Center, Connected Whole Health or an Oregon-based CBI site. This information includes proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or documentation of a medical or religious exception.

UWS is also complying with the emergency temporary standard (ETS) issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) which requires proof of vaccination or request for testing for any employees who works on campus effective January 9, 2022. Read more about the standard here.

What is the definition of fully vaccinated?
The CDC definition of a fully vaccinated individual is either 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. The CDC also recommends a booster shot at 5 months after the completion of the primary series of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or 2 months after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The booster recommendation has not changed the definition of a fully vaccinated individual. For additional information, please review the current CDC recommendations.

Can I ask a fellow student/employee is they have been fully vaccinated? 
Questions regarding vaccine status are limited to university administration. Students and employees should not inquire about vaccine status of their counterparts. 

What are other guidelines for fully vaccinated people?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated their guidelines for fully vaccinated people and we are subsequently updating our protocols.

The updated guidelines will be in effect for those that have completed the vaccination cycle.

Where can I find more information about vaccines?
The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) are your go-to sources for state-wide COVID-19 vaccination questions. The best way to get information about the COVID-19 vaccine in Oregon is still to visit the COVID-19 vaccine website. It is updated regularly with the latest information on things like who can get a vaccine, when and where. 

The Washington State Department of Health website updates their COVID-19 vaccine homepage frequently. If you live in the state of Washington, visit this page.

Can UWS faculty or students assist in administering vaccines?
On Tuesday, April 6, 2021 the Oregon Board of Chiropractic Examiners (OBCE) released a statement that chiropractic physicians and chiropractic students are authorized to administer COVID-19 vaccinations.

Aid and Support

What aid can I access?

Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF):  UWS originally received Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act in the spring of 2020. Those funds were supplemented by emergency relief from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act and the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act in the spring of 2021. Higher Education Emergency Relief funds (HEERF) were allocated amongst the institutions and the students they serve. The student portion of the funding was intended to provide emergency grants to students for COVID-related expenses, including food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and childcare.

The goal of UWS is to utilize the student portion of HEERF to assist as many students as possible in meeting their emergency financial needs during this challenging time. Please contact the office of financial aid at [email protected] with any questions.

HEERF Combined Student and Institutional Quarterly Reporting

HEERF Reports – Student Fund

HEERF Reports – Institutional Fund


Loan Information

I have U.S. federally held student loans. Can I receive help with payments during this time?
All U.S. federally held student loan payments will automatically stop from March 13, 2020 through December 31, 2022. Interest accrual has also been deferred until December 31, 2022. If you have questions about this federal relief program, please contact UWS financial aid.

The U.S. government announced that they will give student loan forgiveness up to $20,000 depending on Pell eligibility. There are a lot of unknowns at this time but if you have any questions please contact financial aid or look at this website.

You can sign up for to receive the latest information here

I have a private student loan. Do I qualify for assistance during this time?
Students will need to check with individual lender if any relief is available. For additional student loan questions, please contact please contact UWS financial aid.

Be Safe UWS safety protocols