Statement from Cullinan regarding COVID-19

EWU President Mary Cullinan sends mass email enlighting students about the coronavirus

By Randle Kinswa, News Editor

In a campus-wide email that was sent March 2 to everyone who is involved with the day-to-day operations with EWU, University President Mary Cullinan addressed safety measures regarding the coronavirus.

Dear EWU Students,

The situation concerning the worldwide coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is rapidly evolving. Governor Inslee has declared a state of emergency for our state as a number of cases have been identified.

Many Eastern students as well as faculty and staff are feeling fearful and uncertain. Please know that our university is working collaboratively and aggressively to safeguard the campus. As always, my primary focus is the safety and wellbeing of our campus community.

We’re closely monitoring the situation. We have an emergency plan and are following established emergency management procedures. At this time, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on our EWU campuses or with any of our students, faculty or staff.

“At this time, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on our EWU campuses or with any of our students, faculty or staff.” -Mary Cullinan, EWU President

To best protect ourselves and our campus community, I encourage you to follow the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control (CDC):

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as cellphones,
tablets and laptops, using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; if soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

“Avoid close contact with people who are sick.” -Mary Cullinan, EWU President

Stay home if you are sick; you will not need to provide a doctor’s note or permission from the Dean of Students to receive an excused absence.

Depending on the severity of any outbreak in our region, we may need to make changes to our normal operations, such as cancelling or rescheduling events, providing greater flexibility for students to complete coursework, or using technological solutions, such as Zoom meetings, to reduce the need for large groups to gather.

We have launched a website with information, resources, and FAQs about COVID-19: featured/ewu-monitoring-coronavirus/. This site will help you and your families better understand the steps EWU is taking for your wellbeing and the resources available to assist you if and when you are not feeling well. I encourage you to share this site with your families.

I also strongly encourage you to subscribe to EWU’s emergency alert system, EWU Alerts, which sends emergency updates directly to you via text messaging and e-mail. Subscribe to EWU Alerts at

Please know that, as we make these decisions, we do so with your safety as our top priority. As with any other challenge, we will be more successful as we work together. I will make sure you are informed as we go forward. •