UW Medicine continues to play a critical role in leading the response to COVID-19 in the Puget Sound region. In addition to excellent patient care, we are also providing expertise and assistance in the public health arena to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In order to continue to serve our community in the setting of this public health crisis, we must protect and preserve our workforce.
While we are seeing encouraging signs of a “flattening of the curve” of COVID-19 cases, there is still uncertainty in COVID-19 patient volumes and the potential impact of lessening state restrictions during the month of May. To that end, UW Medicine leadership has decided to extend the current work-related travel restrictions for all employees through May 31, 2020. This includes all travel for conferences and meetings related to professional membership societies/associations and meetings or gatherings related to grants.
As a reminder, on March 20, 2020 the University of Washington restricted international travel for all faculty, staff and students until further notice. There are no exceptions to this restriction as the UW travel waiver has also been suspended. UW Medicine is aligned with these restrictions and recommendations.
Finally, we encourage you to avoid any personal travel outside of the Puget Sound region through May 31, 2020 and review applicable travel warnings and in-country restrictions for your destination.
We strive to keep our workforce healthy and safe so that we can provide a consistent high-quality level of care and service. As part of this effort, we recently introduced the UW Medicine COVID-19 Prevention and Control Bundle and the COVID-19 Healthcare Worker Safety Toolkit that provide a framework for staff and patient safety that includes these key strategies: hand hygiene, physical distancing, personal protective equipment, laboratory testing, environmental cleaning, research, education and communication. Continued work-related travel restrictions are another important aspect of our safety measures.
Thank you for all you are doing to keep our patients, staff and community safe.