COVID- 19 Update

Dear first year students:

I want to acknowledge that the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19, and the uncertainty of its impact, is creating much stress for all of us and that is normal. I want to assure you that we in administration are maintaining a pulse on events as they occur, are huddling daily to determine the best next steps for our students and our staff. I will continue to forward updates from UW Medicine’s The Huddle,, and the CoVID-19 response team at UW, to keep you informed on key information. If members of the UW community are diagnosed with COVID-19, including students, information will be shared with you to ensure your safety while protecting the privacy of the community member who has fallen ill.

If you feel sick, stay home! Please contact Dr. Maestas, adminsa at<mailto:adminsa at>, to make her aware. The School will work with you on next steps for your classes and your own health.

In Seattle PCP, College mornings, preceptorships and shadowing experiences are suspended until further notice. Please look for updates from your Foundations deans, College faculty, FCM faculty or the curriculum office for changes across the region.

Service learning activities across the entire region are also suspended until further notice. Please look for updates from Leonora Clarke.

We recognize that break is on the horizon for you, and that some of you may have travel plans. Please read the guidelines on this websites regarding travel, and measures to avoid infection and community spread of the infection:

* Avoid travel if at all possible
* Stay at home if you are sick
* Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. (See KOMO News story with Dr. Paul Pottinger, UW School of Medicine allergy and infectious disease specialist, on the proper techniques for hand washing.<>)
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
* Avoid contact<> with people who are sick.
* Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

Your EHM faulty will update you of any changes in plans for your classes after your break.

The UW Seattle campus would potentially close if students get infected, or if there are infections in the immediately adjacent community. To prepare for this in advance we are developing plans for distance learning and assessment tools, at least for the near term. Our teams in Curriculum, Student Affairs, Academic & Learning Technologies, and Assessment & Evaluation are working on an implementation plan so everyone will be prepared.

UW President Ana Mari Cauce attended the ASUW senate meeting on March 3, to discuss the UW’s COVID-19 response. Here is a recording of that discussion:

For daily updates please go to the COVID-19 page specific to your class on the UW School of Medicine Intranet<> (

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your College mentors and Heads, local site leadership, the counselors, and your colleagues to ask for (and share) support during this uncertain and challenging time for all of us.

Dr. Maestas

Raye Maestas, MD
Associate Dean, Student Affairs UW SOM
Professor, Department of Family Medicine
1959 NE Pacific Street | Box 356340 | Seattle, WA 98195
Assistant: Meryl Yang, adminSA at
*: 206.543.5561

Pronouns: she, her, hers