CWU wildart

Central Washington University, pictured in May 2020. The school will limit the number of students living on campus this fall as part of COVID-19 precautions.

Central Washington University will limit campus residency by more than half this fall term, cutting the number of people living on campus to 1,800.

More than 4,000 students ordinarily live on campus. The change means no rooms or restroom facilities will be shared, according to a Friday news release.

The decision is in response to growing cases of COVID-19 statewide, and is part of a series of decisions approved by CWU’s board of trustees, it said. As previously announced, faculty will choose whether to teach online, in person or both.

Other safety measures include the use of face coverings, social distancing, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, and protocols for identifying and managing potential positive COVID-19 cases. Daily health checks and employee training will be rolled out.

Students and staff are expected to sign a declaration accepting personal responsibility in maintaining the health of those at CWU and the surrounding community.

Pathways to prevent crowding, socially distanced furniture arrangements and plastic barriers will be set up on campus. Signage reinforcing safety measures also will be posted.

“The successful implementation of the plan will involve every employee and every student,” university president James Gaudino is quoted as saying. “The challenge is unprecedented and cannot succeed without the support of the entire university community.”

The announcement comes after plans to accelerate fall quarter in an effort to wrap up classes before an anticipated increase in cases and prevent students from leaving and returning to campus at Thanksgiving.

Fall quarter will be from Sept. 9 to Nov. 24. Ordinarily it would start later in September and

run through early December.

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Reach Janelle Retka at jretka@yakimaherald.com or on Twitter: @janelleretka