Guidance available for vaccines and return‑to‑work

A nursing student gives a COVID-19 vaccine.
WSU Nursing student Leanne Nixon gives a COVID-19 vaccination.

WSU employees who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be exempt under certain circumstances from quarantine and other university precautionary measures in the event of potential coronavirus exposure, according to systemwide guidelines.

The guidelines allow vaccinated employees who are asymptomatic and within the federally recognized protective coverage period of the vaccine, currently set at 90 days since administration of the second dose, to bypass the otherwise standard quarantine or isolation period following exposure. Fully vaccinated students and employees also no longer will need to participate in required or voluntary testing programs.

A full copy of the university’s guidelines can be viewed online.

With vaccination sites now operating and eligibility expanding, the University wants employees to become more familiar with the guidelines.

To determine when you’re eligible to receive the vaccine under the state’s phased distribution process, use the Washington PhaseFinder tool. It also will provide locations of the nearest vaccination sites. WSU employees who live outside the state of Washington but engage in critical work at an in-state location may be eligible for vaccines allotted to Washington state and should use their WSU mailing address when filling out information in the PhaseFinder tool.

Following vaccination, common side effects that mirror COVID-19 symptoms like fever, chills and fatigue can appear. WSU employees should not report to a WSU work location if they are feeling ill. These side effects typically emerge within 48 hours of vaccination and should clear after a few days, according to the CDC. Once symptoms dissipate and as long as they not associated with exposure to a close contact with someone who has COVID-19, employees may return to a WSU location.

Anyone who develops COVID-like symptoms more than 48 hours after vaccination should not report to a WSU site and should contact their health care provider for guidance.

It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity against the virus that causes COVID-19 following vaccination, meaning it is still possible to contract COVID-19 afterwards.

So long as it’s been at least two weeks after being vaccinated, employees can return to a WSU location after a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 exposure, as long as it was within the 90-day vaccine efficacious period and the employee doesn’t develop any symptoms.

All faculty, staff and students must adhere to current health guidance while on WSU property, including wearing masks, remaining physically distant, frequently washing their hands, and attesting prior to arrival, among other precautions.

After attesting for 14 days without COVID-19 symptoms, those who are fully vaccinated are exempted from any required testing. Fully vaccinated faculty, staff and students also don’t need to participate in the university’s existing voluntary testing program unless directed to do so by a health care provider. WSU may require documentation that a student, faculty or staff member has received both doses of the vaccine.

More information about WSU’s COVID-19 vaccinations guidelines can be found online.

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