HCDE COVID-19 Information

This page was last updated on August 17, 2021.

This page is updated regularly with COVID-19 information most relevant to students, faculty, and staff in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering. Visit uw.edu/coronavirus for the most up-to-date communications and information for the full UW community.



Everyone is now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine in Washington State. To schedule a vaccine in Washington State, see the below resources:

Vaccination attestation: 

As soon as possible, please indicate your vaccination status:

You may not ask about the vaccine status of anyone else in the department. However, you are free to volunteer your own status to others (e.g., some people have worn “I’m vaccinated” buttons, which is welcome).

Mask policy

Effective August 14, 2021, the University is requiring everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask or other face covering indoors.

Read the University's COVID-19 Face Covering Policy and the frequently asked questions below for more information.

  • All individuals are required to wear a face covering indoors, regardless of vaccination status, when on site at a University of Washington location. This requirement is applicable indoors when other people are present and in all public and common areas, including, but not limited to lobbies, hallways, stairways, restrooms, elevators, and in shared vehicles.
  • Outdoors, face coverings are optional, regardless of vaccination status. However, a face covering is recommended when in outdoor crowded settings and in settings where there is a decreased ability to consistently maintain a physical distance between others. 

Sieg Building access

The Sieg Building remains locked at the time being, except for faculty and staff with building access. HCDE students can make a reservation to use space in the building. See our guidelines on using space in Sieg Building here.

Returning to campus

On June 3 2021, President Ana Mari Cauce and Provost Mark Richards sent a message detailing the vaccination requirements for UW faculty and staff. This includes all academic personnel, staff, student employees and trainees and is consistent with the student vaccination requirement shared in early May. Based on the UW guidelines, the following HCDE Department procedures have been revised and are now in effect. Updates and changes to the procedures below will be communicated to the HCDE community via email and this webpage.


For the time being, we still need to continue to require masks from everyone (independent of vaccination status) until we have a reliable method to check that status before allowing someone to take off their mask, as required by the State and articulated in the UW COVID-19 Face Covering Policy. At this time, while vaccination attestation is available through Workday, there is not yet a way for supervisors to verify that status. We will keep you posted once we know more, hopefully in a few days. 


Cleaning requirements remain in place until EH&S updates their guidelines. As per the message from the UW President, EH&S will post updates to its COVID-19 health and safety resources over the next several weeks.

Labs and Offices

  • For labs that currently have a safety plan, the social distancing and capacity constraints are no longer necessary for people who are vaccinated. Labs can choose to eliminate individual lab safety plans as long as they are following the UW guidelines (exceptions may apply for those who are doing research with children or in clinical spaces). However, labs should consider how they will manage distancing and masking to accommodate someone who is unvaccinated. Lab PIs will soon be able to verify the vaccination status of students and employees who work for them.
  • For any shared desks or surfaces, please continue to clean according to existing EH&S protocols until they are updated. Cleaning supplies are available in the student lounge and the kitchen on the 3rd floor of Sieg.
  • We will be working on updating our Sieg Building access webpage once we have final guidelines from EH&S. 

Common Spaces

We will work in the coming weeks to re-open the hallway and student lounges, but please note that due to summer lab and office moves that these spaces are currently being used for storage. The Design Lab and Sieg 128 are available for reservations, but the other conference rooms will remain offline until we are able to get them emptied of current items being stored there, which may take a few weeks. The kitchen on the 3rd floor is available for faculty, staff, and student employees. We will aim to have conference rooms, the student lounge, and others back up and running by mid-August.

Front Desk and Equipment Reservations

The HCDE front desk will remain primarily virtual. You can request help via the hcdehelp@uw.edu email or 206.543.2567. If you require equipment to check out (e.g., projectors, cameras, etc. ), please give at least 1-2 business day notice so that someone can be available in Sieg to help you get access to the equipment.

Campus life

  • The Office of Student Life released a student-focused COVID-19 awareness video, which is also included in the Stay Healthy, Huskies toolkit. 
  • Academic and extracurricular services are anticipated to be fully operational at the UW, including the IMA, the HUB, the Libraries, residence halls, and food services.
  • The new autumn quarter planning page has the most up-to-date information on the UW’s plans.
  • The Office of Student Life has announced My SSP, which provides students access to real-time, confidential mental health and crisis intervention support, available 24/7 and in multiple languages. Available at: 1.866.743.7732, online chat, via the My SSP app as well as on the mental health landing page on the Husky Health and Well-Being website.
  • The UW has convened a Back to School Task Force reviewing and updating University protocols for campus spaces including residences, classrooms, labs and libraries.

If students have technology or WIFI needs, please refer to the additional resources listed here:

Health and wellbeing

Please review the Husky Health and Wellbeing webpage that provides resources about coronavirus anxiety, mental health resources for BIPOC students, and general wellness resources including recreation, medical/dental, and safety. 

Additional resources include:


UW Human Resources continues to work with on-campus and community partners to enhance caregiving supports and to inform our community about them. Visit their childcare options and resources page for more information. 

As part of Family care emergency absences, staff can use accrued sick time off for caregiving purposes resulting from the closure of a child’s school or place of care by order of a public official for any health-related reason. A school or place of care is considered closed if the physical location is closed, even if some or all instruction is provided online. 

Questions? Please feel free to reach out to HCDE Administrator Summer Dela Cruz Parks (sldc@uw.edu), Office Manager Jane Skau (janei@uw.edu), or Chair Julie Kientz (jkientz@uw.edu) if you have any questions.