WSU President to students about parties: ‘This needs to stop. Now.’

Cougar Pride With A Covid 19 Coronavirus Mask
Credit: Dean Hare, WSU Photography Services

PULLMAN, Wash – WSU Pullman students were warned with unequivocal language Friday to stop student gatherings and parties that have resulted in a rise of COVID-19 cases.

“Do better, Cougs”, President Kirk Schulz warned through the WSU Pullman Twitter account Friday.

WSU says Washington health guidelines about gatherings and masks are still in place, “regardless of what’s happening in other states.”

The university’s fraternities and sororities are also freezing social gatherings and the university says it will continue to respond to incidents where health guidelines are not being followed.

“Poor decisions, including those made by students, may cause Whitman County to go back to Phase 2, or even Phase 1… Our numbers are alarmingly high. This is unacceptable. We are potentially putting our community and vulnerable populations at an increased risk.”

WSU’s COVID-19 dashboard shows a spike in cases over the past few weeks, but that the cases have declined in the past few days. The uptick came because of two social gatherings; those gatherings forced WSU to spend an additional $200,000 to test attendees, in addition to their regular testing.

Whitman County Public Health shows high COVID-19 activity in recent days. As of last week, the county was averaging 493 cases per 100,000 people. For comparison, Spokane County currently has a case rate of 143 per 100,000.