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Update on Whitworth operations

September 15, 2020

Dear campus community,

With air quality expected to continue in the Very Unhealthy range for the next 24 hours, we must once again suspend in-person instruction and other activities for Wednesday, September 16. Like you, I'm quite frustrated and a little disheartened by the disruption this situation has caused. That said, the health of our community is our priority, and just like the decisions we've made about addressing the challenges presented by the COVID-19 virus, we continue to make decisions at Whitworth that rely on scientific evidence and the advice of regional public health experts.

As I write this message, Whitworth's Air Quality Index (AQI) sits at 259. Based upon conversations I had today with Spokane Regional Health District and Dr. Bob Lutz, it is still too dangerous to allow for regular on-campus activities. Even short exposure to air as bad as we're experiencing can cause real health problems for the wider community. Fortunately, most classes can continue in remote formats until the air quality improves.

Although I have not set a specific AQI baseline needed to resume in-person instruction and some activities, we will need to see our AQI on campus get much closer to 200 in order to move in that direction. I'm hopeful that we will continue with the improvement we've seen for the last 24 hours, and with some luck, we might be able to resume some activities as early as Thursday.

Thank you for your patience. This is a situation none of us was expecting. Please continue to observe important COVID-19 health protocols. Hang in there, Pirates. I think we're closer to the end than the beginning of this situation.


Beck A. Taylor | President​