I’m sure you are all well aware of the air quality issues we are experiencing due to the many wildfires burning throughout the Pacific Northwest. Given the poor air quality, we’ve received many questions about whether we will be starting the new semester on schedule. The health and comfort of students and all members of our community is of the utmost importance to us. We also have a responsibility to proceed with classes and other operations, if at all possible.
Based on consultation with Dr. Bruce Wright, executive director of Health & Wellness Services, and others, we will hold classes and continue business as usual until conditions require us to re-evaluate that decision. We are monitoring all available information in order to keep students safe and healthy.
In the meantime, if the air quality is affecting your ability to attend classes, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 509-335-5757 or your professors. We are asking all faculty members to be flexible and understanding of students who have air quality-related health issues. We encourage all students to:
- Stay inside as much as possible
- Use public transportation rather than walking or biking
- Visit Health & Wellness Services or another health care provider if you have asthma or other respiratory conditions
- Check with Health & Wellness Services or your health care provider prior to wearing a mask if you have health conditions such as heart or lung diseases
If you have health questions or would like to make an appointment, you can reach Health & Wellness Services at 509-335-3575 or visit http://stage.web.wsu.edu/hws.
You can find more information about how to mitigate the impact of poor air quality from:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- The Washington State Department of Health
- The WSU Office of Environmental Health and Safety
We will continue to closely monitor the situation throughout the day and week, and provide updates on any changes as they become available. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs, Washington State University