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Global Innovation Exchange Suspends In-Person Classes

Date: March 06, 2020

Bellevue, Washington

No members of the GIX community have reported symptoms of the COVID-19 infection.

Bellevue, WASH (March 6, 2020) — Out of an abundance of caution for the health and well-being of its students, faculty, staff, and community, the Global Innovation Exchange will suspend all in-person classes and large meetings and events at the Steve Ballmer Building until March 30, following the University of Washington’s announcement earlier today that it will suspend in-person classes for the remainder of the quarter.

Though no members of the GIX community have reported symptoms of the virus, Shwetak Patel, interim executive director, made the decision to enact these precautionary measures to support the health and well-being of the greater community.

“Safety is our top concern,” said Patel. “For now, students and staff will continue classes remotely, with staff following the recommendations from the State of Washington and the University of Washington for further updates.” The UW is working closely with local and state public health officials and following guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to align plans with the most current recommendations from experts. Presently, we plan to continue normal class operations when the spring quarter begins March 30, pending public health guidance.

The Steve Ballmer Building will remain open to its tenants and those who rely on its facilities, such as the makerspace or video-conference rooms, to continue their work.

Refer to and share the UW’s coronavirus information page which is developed in close consultation with public health officials and includes information about considerations for travel, for steps to take if you feel sick and resources available to UW community members. There are also updates available from the Washington State Department of Health and county public health departments.

It is crucial to practice good hygiene to slow the spread of the virus and reduce the odds of infection:

  • Stay home from work and school when you feel sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, and if soap and water are not available use a 60-95% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.

The Global Innovation Exchange is proud to be a diverse community. During this time of uncertainty, we encourage everyone to work together to reduce discrimination and bias while showing compassion and empathy for those at risk or infected by this disease. As with the work of our students, we are best equipped to deal with this challenge when we work together.

For the most current information, frequently asked questions, and more, please visit