COVID-19 Housing Information

Housing Plans 

Updated: April 13

On Tuesday, March 30, President Sabah Randhawa announced the University hopes that around two-thirds of classes will be in-person, while providing opportunities for those who want to continue to teach, learn, and work remotely.

Housing will continue to work with University, local and state health officials as we plan for increasing occupancy in our residence halls. Safety will continue to be our driving principle when evaluating occupancy restrictions, in-person programming guidelines and other services that may impact resident life on Western's campus.

Take a look at the updates, FAQs and announcements for more information about WWU Housing.

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There's a lot going on.

How can we help?

It's easy to be overwhelmed with information on various impacts of COVID-19 on the campus community.

Check out the resources below for important information for WWU campus life.

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Updated 05-27-2021

The 2021-22 academic year is coming to a close and what a historically strange year it has been. The success we shared in keeping the WWU Housing community safe was because of the commitment from all…  (read more)
Jobs, Vaccine Info, and More | Housing's April Newsletter

Updated 04-24-2021

We hope you have been enjoying the wonderful April sunshine and your spring quarter is off to a great start. Check out the information below to stay up to date on Housing information in the April…  (read more)

General FAQs

Working in tandem with Western’s overall strategy for safety, we are closely following the American College Health Association’s (ACHA) guidelines for campus housing programs. 

As of Aug. 21, 2020:

  • All residence halls and apartments are single-occupancy rooms only
  • All residence halls on the Ridge are currently reserved

University Residences is currently evaluating occupancy restrictions and demand for fall housing. Housing is planning to offer more space by safely reducing some of the occupancy restrictions for fall quarter, under the direction of University, local and state health officials.

We are working hard to create a safe housing experience that will include:

  • Reduced, shared bathroom with increased custodial service
  • Planning for virtual and in-person events and meetings with live-in staff
  • Space on campus for quarantine and isolation for students who cannot travel home
  • Increased sanitation procedures by custodians in high traffic areas
  • Single-occupancy rooms in our residence halls fall quarter
  • Birnam Wood Apartments will house one resident per room
  • All residence halls on the Ridge are currently reserved

Housing is reserving the entire Ridge area for multiple planning purposes for on-campus housing demand and University need.

Due to the construction of the New Residence Hall, Ridgeway Commons, including the dining hall, is currently offline.

We are currently finalizing our winter occupancy timeline. Make sure to check your email and Housing Timeline for updates to your Room Assignment.

We have a multilayered response plan and will identify isolation space in the event a resident tests positive for coronavirus and quarantine space if a resident is exposed, but did not test positive.

Housing will continue to work closely with University, local, and state health departments to adhere to best practices and responses to the coronavirus.

Yes! Your student engagement experience will be different, but our Residence Life team is working hard to provide both virtual and in-person programming and meetings with live-in staff.

For those who decide to live on campus, our team is working hard and thinking creatively to make the on-campus experience as fun and engaging as possible. Below are just a few of our events we are planning for.

Please note: all events and hall activities abide by safety standards guided by University, local, and state health officials.

  1. Floor dinners (outside in a physically distant way when the weather is nice and restrictions lessen)
  2. Recreational events such as fitness classes and outdoor activities (hiking, biking, sports)
  3. Scavenger hunt in the halls to learn about resources on campus and amenities within the on-campus community
  4. Movie nights
  5. Door decorating competitions
  6. Resident Advisor and Hall Council led game nights:
    • Pool tournaments
    • Physically distant lawn games
    • Card games
  7. Physically distant walks with common questions
  8. Skill building and educational events
  9. Socially distant watch parties
  10. One on one and small group dialogues with the Resident Directors, Inclusion Assistants, Resident Advisors and Apartment Advisors

Our commitment to building a safe community where you invest in academic success and personal growth remains a central component of our mission.

We continue to work with campus partners to find effective ways to ensure our facility use is set up to encourage stay safe habits, like social distancing, wearing face coverings, and frequent hand washing.

We understand many residents will want to remain at their permanent address if their in-person classes are now all online.

For residents canceling after paying their deposit, please review Financial Information to learn more about Applicable Fees and Contract Breakage Fees.

How Much Does it Cost to Live On Campus?

Our room and board rates are posted!

Visit Room and Board Rates for up-to-date 2020-21 financial information.

Does it cost more to live in a single room?

We are not charging more than the double room rate to accommodate Housing occupancy restrictions to any residents living with us winter quarter. 

Visit Room and Board Rates for up-to-date 2020-21 financial information.

If the University closes and I am asked to go home, will I get a refund?

Under the guidance of University leadership, along with state and local health departments, we will remain open as an essential function of the University.

If the University determines University Residences must close to protect the safety of its students, Housing will issue refunds for the days the student did not live on campus that quarter.

We expect to have room for all incoming students and active returners wishing to wait until their classes are in-person and housing occupancy returns to normal during the 2020-21 academic year.

Continue checking your WWU email and visit Housing Timeline for up to date information about Housing in winter and spring quarter.

Dining halls will be open during the Fall 2020 to meet the demand of housing occupancy and to meet safety guidelines set by the local, state and University health officials. This may include to-go options as well as in-person dining with physical distancing practices in place. Other safety measures include: 

  • All employees required to wear masks 
  • Health questions will be asked to employees prior to their shift 
  • Temperature checks will be performed prior to the beginning of staff members shifts 
  • Adjusted sneeze guards to act as barriers between the servers and customers 
  • Touchless payment options 
  • Enhanced signage in all locations focusing on physical distancing and hygiene protocols 

Strict cleaning and sanitation guidelines 

  • clearHow dining halls will work for seating and access?
  • ​​​​​​​Dining halls will have bBoth to-go options and in-person dining options.
  • Tables will be further apart as to follow the CDCs physical distancing guidelinesplaced to follow CDC guidelines.
  • Group size will also beis limited for in-person seating options. 

Where can we find information on Dining Services?

For more information on dining visit Campus Dish.​​​​​Dining information will be available to all on-campus students here:  

COVID-19 Testing Info

Students on campus must continue regular testing through the end of fall quarter.

We strongly encourage residents staying over break to get tested with Whatcom County.

Whatcom County Testing Info

WWU Testing

Housing works closely with University, local and state health officials to stay up to date on COVID-19 best practices and safety guidelines. For more information, on testing in the residence halls, visit Campus Virus Testing.

Students are required to get tested every two weeks. COVID-19 tests are free to on-campus residents. Results come within 24-48 hours thanks to our partnership with a local lab in Whatcom County.

To schedule your free mandatory test, follow these simple steps: 

  1. Check your badge every day on the student patient portal in MyWesternHealth .  Your badge will indicate when your next lab test is due. If your lab test is overdue, you will see a YELLOW “Overdue” at your daily visit to your patient portal. This is your reminder to sign up to get tested for COVID-19.
  2. Go to your student patient portal in MyWesternHealth and click on “Appointments” to book an appointment for a test. Please note: some same day appointments are available.
  3. On the day of your appointment, show your QR code located on your home screen. This will act as your “boarding pass” for testing.


Failure to get tested is a violation of the student code of conduct.

All on-campus residents are required to participate in WWU's testing program.

WWU strongly encourages residents to get tested before returning or moving on campus winter quarter, but it is not required.

Please check your WWU email regularly for important information about scheduling your appointment during the first week of winter quarter.

If you test positive for COVID-19, do not come to campus. Contact for information about when to safely arrive on campus.

If you test positive, you will be instructed to move to an isolation space. Residence hall staff will assist you, bring you meals and check-in regularly with you while in isolation.

Please note: The Whatcom County Health Department isolation and quarantine team will also be monitoring your health status on a daily basis.

Whatcom County Health Department (WCHD) will perform necessary contact tracing after Western alerts them to a positive case. Those who tested positive can anticipate being contacted by the health department.

If there is a known exposure to a positive COVID-19 case, we will ask you to go home or get transported to quarantine housing with daily check-ins and meal delivery for up to 14 days.

To learn about what the contact tracing process entails, please visittheWhatcom County Health Department website.   

Isolation & Quarantine

Students exposed to a positive test are instructed to stay in quarantine for 14 days. Students who test positive are advised to stay in isolation for at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared or since the date of their first positive diagnostic test; and at least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; and symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved. Note: A negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR test does not supersede the above expectations. Any extension of a stay in isolation/quarantine will be handled on a case by case basis by Student Health Center and the Whatcom County Health Department. 

Students have the option of completing their quarantine or isolation at their permanent address or in WWU’s quarantine and isolation space.

It is expected you only leave isolation/quarantine space if you are required to go to an appointment at the Student Health Center or have a service animal in need of care. Additionally, guests will not be allowed.

For more information on isolation and quarantine, visit Quarantine, Isolation, and Student Housing.

Spaces will include at a minimum: bed, mattress, dresser and internet access. There will be basic bed linens and towels provided as well as toilet paper, paper towel roll, cleaning spray can, and toiletries. In addition, a care package will be provided that includes non-perishable foods such as granola bars, tea and cup of noodles. We will also provide a tea kettle that stays in the space once the student leaves. We encourage students to bring what will make them comfortable for the 14 days. 

Since you will be in the room for two weeks, please bring anything you need to be comfortable during that time, as well as plenty of clothing. You will not be able to do laundry during the time you are in quarantine/isolation.  

If you are moving to quarantine or isolation, we have a trained team who will be in full PPE to move you and your belongings.

Please note: If you have a vehicle with a WWU parking permit, we can transfer your permit to the isolation/quarantine area.

Yes, you can. The transport team can assist with the transport of your animal too. You will need to pack what your animal needs for 14 days and you will be able to utilize certain outside spaces of isolation/quarantine to care for your emotional support animal. 

University Residences meal plan holders may order their meals online and University Residences staff will deliver lunch at 12 p.m. and dinner and breakfast at 5:15 p.m. daily. The meals will be hung on the exterior door of each resident in quarantine or isolation. Students without a meal plan can purchase a 25-meal plan for the length of their time in isolation or quarantine. They may also choose to have food delivered to their exterior door by friends or family. Isolation and quarantine spaces do not offer any kitchen facilities. 

A practitioner from the Whatcom County Health Department will contact you daily for tele-health check ins. You will receive a thermometer and pulse oximeter to check your vitals and report them back to the provider.  

In addition, you will have a daily virtual check in with a Residence Life professional staff member to address questions and concerns, and provide any support or resources needed.