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Washington State University
Washington State University Office of the Provost

Polices Policies and Procedures

Fall 2021 Operations and Course Delivery FAQs

Updated: July 14, 2021

As President Schulz indicated in his systemwide announcement on June 30, 2021, we are excited to announce officially that all our campuses across the state will be back in person at full capacity this fall, both in and out of the classroom.

To aid the transition back to in-person operations and course delivery, the Provost’s Office has established the following frequently asked questions from faculty. If you are interested in submitting a question, please send the same to The Provost’s Office will add questions and ensure information is aligned with current federal, state, and university policies.

Kindly email the Provost’s Office at


Are unvaccinated students required to wear masks?

Unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff must wear masks indoors.

Can instructors ask to see proof of vaccination from a student? 

No, instructors cannot ask to see proof of vaccination from a student in their classroom.

Will instructors have a list of who’s vaccinated?  Do instructors have to track student vaccinations?

No, instructors will not have a list of vaccinated students and should not track vaccination status. Instructors are not permitted to ask for proof of vaccination.

Do I have to enforce mask rules in my classroom?

No, if a student self discloses an unvaccinated status, faculty can ask the student to leave the classroom and report the violation to the Center for Community Standards. Per existing policies, students demonstrating symptoms of COVID can also be asked to leave the classroom.

What if someone is wearing a mask — may I ask why?

No; individuals cannot inquire why another individual is wearing a mask (regardless if you are a colleague, or if the individual wearing the mask is a student, faculty, or staff colleague). You should not assume someone who is wearing a mask is unvaccinated. There are many reasons why an individual may choose to continue to wear a mask.

Should I ask unvaccinated students to sit together?

No, concentrating unvaccinated students in the same location counteracts the public health concept of herd immunity; social distancing in classrooms is not required, regardless of the students’ vaccination status.

Am I responsible for sanitizing my classroom?

No, however, supplies will be provided through December 2021 for faculty, staff, and students who wish to utilize them. 

What if someone in my class gets COVID?

Any student who receives a positive diagnosis will be required to isolate. Any close contacts of that individual will be contacted by health officials, and unvaccinated close contacts will be required to quarantine for fourteen (14) days. Instructors will need to have contingency plans and be flexible with due dates, tests dates, providing notes, etc., for students who are required to isolate or quarantine.

If there is a conflict between students about mask wearing, what do I do?

If the students are being disruptive, the student(s) can be asked to leave the classroom and referred to the Center for Community Standards. If the students are not causing a disruption, the instructor can choose to proceed with the course delivery and then refer the student’s masking violation to the Center for Community Standards.

If the situation elevates and student is defiant and will not leave the classroom, the instructor is encouraged to call for WSU Police’s non-emergency assistance at 509-335-8548 and ask for their assistance in removing the student from the classroom. The instructor should also refer the matter to the Center for Community Standards.

In all situations, the student may need additional support or access to resources. You can reach out to the Office of the Dean of Students through the Student Care Network or email

If a student is unvaccinated, can I ask them to participate remotely instead of attending class in person?

No, however, as referenced above, WSU’s policy requires unvaccinated individuals to wear a mask. If there is a violation of the masking policy, faculty can ask the student to leave the classroom and report the violation to the Center for Community Standards.

Can I give a student points toward their grade for being vaccinated?


Can I prohibit unvaccinated students from eating and/or drinking in the classroom so they don’t take their masks off?

No, unless the course has a no eating/drinking policy for the entire class.