Message to On Campus Graduate Students About Spring Semester 2021 Arrival to Campus

TO: Gonzaga On-Campus Graduate Students
FROM: Kent Porterfield, Vice Provost for Student Affairs
SUBJ: Arrival to Campus -Spring Semester 2021
DATE: January 11, 2021

Happy New Year! The spring semester at Gonzaga University is nearly upon us, and we are looking forward to having students back on campus very soon. I am writing to share some important information about your return to campus. Please note that Spring 2021 semester will likely look very much like Fall 2020 semester in terms of our requirements and guidelines for public health and the prevention of COVID-19 infection.  Our safety precautions continue to be intended to protect the health of our campus and Spokane communities, and we remain dedicated to providing to an exceptional student experience, in and out of the classroom.

For Undergrad, Graduate and Law students, our Spring version of the Arrival and Return to Campus Guide, along with additional and updated resources, is available on our ZagOn 2021 website.

Last week, President McCulloh sent a communication that included information you need to know as you begin preparing your return to Gonzaga. Many of these requirements are specific to students living on campus; however, we ask that all students, no matter your place of residence or academic level, be aware of and adhere to these requirements.

As a reminder, here are some things you need to know: 

  • Reduce and minimize contactwith those outside your immediate family, or those with whom you have been staying, for the final 7-10 days before arriving on campus. This lowers the risk of exposure to someone who may unknowingly be shedding the virus.
  • Begin using the ZagCheck App daily. If you need assistance accessing the App, go to the ZagOn website and look for the link to the Self-Screening App
  • Get a COVID-19 test at home in the 72 hours prior to your planned departure and return to campus only if that test is negative.  If the test comes back positive, we ask that you remain at home and contact our COVID-19 Hotline at (509) 313-7070, ext. 1, for support, including guidance on beginning your studies remotely.
  • For students living on campus – whether for the first time or returning from the fall – we are offering a more formal Spring “check-in” process focused on student health and wellness. 
  • If you are arriving prior to January 16, free drive-up testing is available at the Spokane Arena Centralized Location (720 W. Mallon Ave, Spokane, WA 99201), Monday - Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Visit for more information.
  • On campus and off campus student surveillance testing will begin January 20. You will be notified by email each week if you are selected for testing.

Following are answers to your questions regarding check-in, health screening and testing, the COVID-19 vaccine, and how to keep yourself and others safe: 

Screening and Testing

On Campus Graduate Students

You are invited to participate in a health screening (details below) and testing that is being offered January 17-19 from 8 am to 8 pm in the Hemmingson Ballroom. If your screening shows COVID-19 symptoms or an exposure, you will be tested at our testing site on 729 E. Boone Avenue. Walk-in testing will occur in the Hemmingson Center Ballroom.

Lastly, as a reminder, please use the ZagCheck app to report symptoms and exposures this semester.

About the Health Screening for Students

The screening will be conducted by Gonzaga’s contact tracers, and it will include a temperature check and a self-attestation using the ZagCheck app.

Temperature check 

  • Normal (less than 100.4 degrees) – you will proceed to ZagCheck screening
  • Fever (100.4 degrees or greater) – you will immediately be sent to test at 729 E. Boone Ave.

Additional Screening

  • ZagCheck (please be prepared to share your self-screen result)
  • At Home Test Result Check
    • If you have not completed a test prior to returning to GU and you have a green ZagCheck (no symptoms or known exposures), you will be referred to test in the Hemmingson Center Ballroom. You will then be asked to shelter at your place of residence (see below) until you have received your test result.
    • If you have not completed a test prior to returning to GU and you have a red ZagCheck (symptomatic or a known exposure), you will immediately be sent to test at 729 E. Boone Ave. You will then enter quarantine or isolation as instructed. 

What Happens After I am Tested?

After testing between January 16-19, you will be asked to shelter in your place of residence until you receive your test results. While sheltering, you should:

  1. Monitor for symptoms. Call the COVID-19 Hotline (509) 313-7070 (ext. 1) if symptoms develop.
  2. Not socialize or interact with anyone outside of your household unit (i.e., room, apartment, suite, etc.).
  3. Not attend in person events, classes, meetings, etc.
  4. Utilize take out options for on campus dining and eat at your place of residence.
  5. Continue wearing your face covering, practicing proper social distancing, and hand washing.

What Happens if I test Positive?

If you test positive, you will be placed in isolation housing following our standard protocols.

Are COVID-19 Vaccines Available?

At this time, we do not have detailed information from the State of Washington or Spokane Regional Health District about vaccinations on campus. Information will be shared as it becomes available.

How Can I Best Protect Myself and Others?

A successful semester requires that all community members assist with prevention and self-monitoring behaviors. Prevention strategies are simple and include the following:

  • Wash your hands frequently using plenty of soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Wear face coverings any time you are out of your private space. Handle your face coverings carefully and wash hands after removing the face covering you just used.
  • Use a clean face covering every day.
  • Stay 6 feet away from people (social distancing) even with a mask on.
  • Avoid contact with those who are sick, and stay home if you are sick.
  • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
  • Disinfect common spaces you use before and after use. This includes tables, desks in classrooms and other community-shared furniture or equipment. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touch surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.

I hope that you have enjoyed a safe, happy and healthy winter break. We are looking forward to seeing Zag students next week. Blessings to all and prayers for a successful spring semester. ZagUp and ZagOn!


Kent Porterfield
Vice Provost for Student Affairs