Dear Bastyr Community, 

We are all fatigued from the constant ups and downs associated with the COVID-19 virus and variants. We now face a new variant – Omicron. We are at the beginning of this wave of infectious disease, and all signs point to this variant as being profoundly contagious. 

While we still do not know the full ramifications Omicron will produce, Bastyr, along with many other institutions of higher education in both Washington and California, will apply caution. People’s lives can be dramatically changed by this virus, and we would like to limit exposures while still providing students with a productive educational experience. 

To that end, here is the latest update for Winter Quarter at Bastyr University. 

The first two weeks of Winter Quarter (January 3 to January 17 – to include MLK Jr. Day) will be changed in this way: 

  1. Students and Faculty: if you have a lab or clinical shift, you will be attending these courses in person. If you have a didactic course, these will be remote. If you have questions regarding whether to be in person or remote, you will need to connect with your degree program instructors or staff.  
    1. Faculty - further information will be forthcoming from the Provost’s Office. If you need any information or assistance conducting your course remotely, please reach out directly to your program chair or dean. 
    2. Staff: unless your position requires you to be on campus to fulfill your job, you are not to come to the campus or clinic. Please connect with your manager, department, or division leadership if you have any questions specific to your position. 

Our goal is to reduce the number of exposures without completely shutting down all classes. Please understand that this is a VERY fluid set of circumstances, and we may need to make other adjustments in the future as the world learns more about this variant. 

ALSO, MASK REQUIREMENTS ARE CHANGING… 

Anyone coming onto campus must wear an N-95, KN-95, or equivalent mask. There will be no exceptions. If you do not have this form of mask, they are available at all Bastyr campuses for free. Please see this link to know exactly what our mask requirements will be at the start of the quarter. 

LASTLY, TESTING ON CAMPUS WILL BE EXTENDED TO MEMBERS OF HOUSEHOLD – more details will be forthcoming, but residents in your home will be allowed to receive free testing at our on-campus testing sites. Starting the week of January 3, you will be able to receive testing, with members of your household also able to participate. We are attempting to identify COVID-19 as soon as possible in our students, faculty, and staff. Thank you for considering getting tested, particularly if you have been part of holiday travel or gatherings. 

Thank you for exhibiting the highest level of professionalism, prudence, and care for others during this season. As members of the Bastyr community, we have a high calling…to add to the wellness and health of our communities. Have a wonderful time with those you care about, and come back to Bastyr well-rested and ready to take on the opportunities of 2022. 

Have a happy and healthy time away, 

Devin Byrd, PhD
President