HCDE COVID-19 Information

This page was last updated October 30, 2020

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.

Community update from HCDE Chair Julie Kientz

Julie Kientz, Professor and Chair of HCDE, hosts a quarterly Town Hall webinar and emails periodic updates to the HCDE community about the impact of COVID-19 on the Department. Autumn 2020 Town Hall slideshow  »

UW College of Engineering is in Phase 2

King and Pierce counties are in Phase 2 of Governor Inslee’s Safe Start Plan; UW Seattle Campus is in Phase 2, and the College of Engineering is in Phase 2. Phase 2 does not change significantly from Phase 1, meaning that those working remotely will continue to do so, with the exception of designated critical employees, and applies to the College of Engineering and all related departments.

Returning to campus

As we are in Phase 2, all who are able to work from home are encouraged to do so. All official HCDE business is taking place remotely. Sieg Hall remains closed except for faculty, staff, and academic student employees who have been approved for on-site work. 

Students in HCDE classes

If possible, students are asked to attend remote classes from a safe off-campus location. If a student needs to attend a remote class while on campus, please consider using the HUB or South Campus Center. Unoccupied classrooms are off-limits, to ensure that social distancing is being followed and that classrooms have been cleaned and are not contaminated.

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

Find additional resources available on campus on the Student Life webpage.

Return to research

For research staff to work in HCDE's research labs, the faculty responsible for those labs must develop and enforce a COVID-19 safety plan for their labs. At this time, only the Hsieh/Kientz/Munson and McDonald/Ribes labs have approved on-site safety plans.

Return to work

HCDE faculty and staff are highly encouraged to continue working from home until further notice. Staff and faculty who need to access Sieg Hall to work or even to pick up supplies must adhere to the guidelines presented here.

Health and wellbeing

Please review the Self-care guide from Academic HR and the new 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. 

For employees visiting campus

Required attestations

Daily attestations are required for all staff and academic personnel coming to campus.

Safety training

COVID-19 Safety Training is required for all employees prior to returning to campus.