In consultation with medical and safety professionals at UW Environmental Health & Safety, UW Medicine Allergy & Infectious Diseases, and San Juan County Health and Community Services, we have established a COVID-19 Prevention Plan for FHL. The goal of this plan is to minimize the risk of disease introduction to and transmission within the FHL and greater island community, while still allowing small research collaborations and courses at the labs. Click on the link at the bottom of the page to view the full plan.

These COVID-19 regulations apply to all FHL visitors, regardless of vaccination status.  If and when UW Environmental Health & Safety allows modified protocols for fully vaccinated individuals, we will update the information here accordingly.


The Prevention Plan is a lot to wade through, so we’ve pulled out key rules and procedures to follow Before & Upon Arrival and During Your Stay. Please refer to the full plan (link above) to view detailed protocols for everything from using shared equipment to participating in field trips, and contact FHL Operations Manager Bernadette Holthuis if you have any questions.

Many of the regulations revolve around allowed interactions within and between COVID-19 pods. A pod is a group of up to six FHL residents who live and/or work together. Everyone in a household belongs to the same pod, and a pod may include more than one household as long as the total number living in those households is no more than six. Off campus residents are not part of FHL pods, and course instructional staff belong to pods that are separate from their students’ pods.

Non-podmates may not ride in vehicles or small boats together, sit for a meal together, share a bathroom, enter each other’s housing units, or be within six feet of each other. Because of the distancing requirement, non-podmates should not be working together on a project that requires them to be in close proximity.


When considering your visit to FHL, make sure you’ve read carefully through the key rules and procedures. Plan ahead for them, especially the quarantine and testing requirements that start two weeks before you arrive. Note that you may need to schedule extra time for your visit, as you will not be able to access shared FHL spaces or equipment during your first ~week here (assuming you take a post-arrival COVID test; otherwise, two weeks).


Since June 2020, FHL has been running in-person courses, apprenticeships, and an REU program in addition to hosting independent researchers and scholars. As of early March 2021, we have had no known cases of COVID-19. We credit this success largely to our visitors following the rules and procedures in our Prevention Plan. We are thankful to everyone for doing their part to keep the Labs and island community COVID-free!


FHL COVID-19 Prevention Plan


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