HCDE COVID-19 Information

This page was last updated on May 14, 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.


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“Why I got vaccinated”

“I am a strong believer in public health and working together toward a common good. I was very excited to get vaccinated to help support people in my community who cannot get vaccinated. This was especially important to me as children, including my own, are currently too young to get vaccinated and need to be protected by those who can.”
– Julie Kientz, HCDE Professor & Chair

Read more stories from UW community members about why they got vaccinated.


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

The UW is setting up a vaccination site for the university community. Details will be posted to this page once available.

Sieg Building access

The Sieg Building remains locked through Spring 2021. 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

  • COVID-19 guidance for in-person events was updated on 3/22. The HUB shared information for event planners with new resources, including new virtual event tools and information on reserving space for in-person gatherings.
  • The WA Notify COVID-19 exposure notification app is live, enabling participants to utilize smartphone technology to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • EH&S has launched a dedicated phone hotline for UW students, faculty and staff to call with questions or to report on positive test results: 206-616-3344. All messages are logged and retrieved daily with appropriate follow-up provided by EH&S staff.
  • EH&S requires this online training for all persons on campus (faculty, staff, and students), even if they have already been working onsite as a critical employee, prior to returning to campus.
  • Daily attestations are required for all staff and academic personnel coming to campus.
  • For staff and student employees/supervisors
  • For academic personnel, including faculty, librarians, medical residents and fellows, postdoctoral scholars, and academic staff

Students in HCDE classes

  • This autumn, the UW will safely return to in-person instruction and activities. Read more from the UW.
  • The course schedule was posted Friday, April 16.
  • 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.
  • Any decisions on requiring vaccinations for students will be made by June 1.
  • 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:

Return to research

For research staff to be able 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, the Hsieh/Kientz/Munson, McDonald/Ribes, Aragon/Atman/Haselkorn/Turns, and the Peek/Findlater labs have approved on-site safety plans. 

Return to work

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.