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Clinic Policy Manual

Suspended and Limited Operations

Subject: Suspended and Limited Operations
Effective Date:  January 2021
Revision Dates:  October 2011, November 2012, January 2015, December 2015, February 2019; November 2019, January 2021


This policy defines workforce and patient care protocols when the School of Dentistry interrupts regular operations, including student classes and seminars, patient care clinics and office operations. Operational interruption may be due to University of Washington (UW) campus closure (“Suspended Operations”). The School may also limit operation when the UW is open and factors negatively affect the ability of the School of Dentistry to function normally. Factors for both types of closures include:

  • Inclement weather preventing safe travel to the School
  • Power Outage
  • Natural disaster
  • Risk of spread of a communicable disease
  • Fire, smoke, or related hazard
  • Immediate threat to the safety of the campus community
  • Damage to or failure of school or university infrastructure, equipment or mechanical systems
  • Other emergency or unsafe condition

General Policy

The pre-doctoral and post-doctoral clinics at the School of Dentistry (main campus and Magnuson) will be closed when the UW suspends full day operations of the Seattle UW Campus. Predoctoral and post-doctoral clinics may also close for unsafe conditions or other factors at the discretion of the dean and clinic leadership. In the event of clinic closures, patients with scheduled appointments in the affected clinics will be notified that their appointments have been cancelled and will subsequently be contacted for rescheduling once operations resume. During such closures, patients of record requiring urgent care must be managed via a teledentistry encounter. Those who cannot be managed with a teledentistry encounter may be seen during regular business hours in the UW Dentistry Campus Dental Center (UWDCDC) by providers designated as Essential Personnel.


I. Types of Operational Status

1.  Regular Operations
All educational and clinical activities are functioning, clinics and offices are open, and patients receive care during regular business hours. Urgent care is available between 4:30 PM-8:30 AM for patients of record at (206) 616-6996.

2. University of Washington Closure – “Suspended Operations” Full Closure
The President of the UW or the President’s designee(s) may declare a temporary suspension of any or all UW operations due to an emergency that adversely affects UW operations, public health, or the well-being and safety of employees and students as specified in the UW Suspended Operations Policy. Campus closure is rare, as the most common closure is due to snow.

If the University of Washington has Suspended Operations for the full day, the School of Dentistry main campus and Magnuson campus, (Northwest Center for Oral and Facial Surgery (NWCOFS) and the Center for Pediatric Dentistry (CPD) will be closed.

The UW Dentistry Campus Dental Center (UWDCDC), (former Faculty Practice in D4, HSB), remains open during regular clinic hours to provide urgent care to patients of record.

Only Essential Personnel should report to work. Please refer to Appendix A, Summary of Main Campus Personnel Responsibilities.

3.  University of Washington Closure – “Late Start” Delayed Operations
The President of the UW or the President’s designee(s) may declare a “Late Start” due to an emergency or inclement weather, such as snow, that may hinder the ability of workforce members to arrive for work or school at their regularly scheduled time. If the University has suspended operations for a late start, the clinic hours of operations for the School of Dentistry main campus and Magnuson clinics will start at the approved late start time.

4.  School of Dentistry Closure – “Limited Operations”
When the UW campus remains open, yet inclement weather or other factors prevent School personnel or patients from traveling to the main campus or Magnuson campus, the School may go into Limited Operations status. Limited Operations includes “Early Release,” when the School closes clinics early to minimize the risk for workforce and patient traveling on roads adversely impacted by weather or other conditions.

Justifications for Limited Operations include:

  • Damage to clinic infrastructure
  • Equipment or mechanical systems
  • Power Outage
  • Downed trees
  • An emergency local to the area
  • Potential impacts to workforce and patient commuting

The dean and the associate dean for clinics or their designee(s) have the authority to cancel the teaching clinics (D2/D3), and the dean and graduate program directors have the same authority for graduate clinics. The dean and the oral surgery and pediatric dentistry chairs or their designee(s) have the authority to cancel clinics at the Magnuson campus.

Emergency Care
The UWDCDC remains open during regular business hours to provide urgent care to patients of record.

Essential Personnel must report to work and all others must check with their supervisor to learn whether alternate work assignments will be given.

II.  UW and SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY Closure Notices and Alerts

All Workforce Members
All workforce members (staff, faculty, students, residents, volunteers and observers) are responsible for verifying the operational status of the University and the School of Dentistry and for continuing to check UW operational status, particularly during snow predictions. Supervisors do not make phone calls to the staff for closures. We encourage staff to sign up for UW Emergency Alert at:, and follow the guidelines in this document. Staff are encouraged to contact their supervisor for additional guidance, if unclear.

The operational status of the University can be determined via:

Notices of Suspended or Limited Operations for the UW School of Dentistry can be found on the School of Dentistry’s Home Page at

III.  Protocol for Suspended or Limited Operations

1.  Operational Status Determined

Operational status of the School of Dentistry is determined by UW campus closure and local factors affecting the School’s main campus and Magnuson campus, such as snowfall, power outage, downed trees, or other emergencies in the vicinity.

The dean or dean’s designee will notify the UW President’s Office or appropriate emergency response office in the event of FULL closure of the UW School of Dentistry if the University is NOT in suspended operations. Main Campus:

Main Campus:

  • The associate dean for clinics or their designee(s) determines clinic operational status for the teaching clinics and is responsible for reporting the decision to department administrators, clerkship directors, and the suspended operations manager.
  • Graduate program directors determine whether main campus graduate clinics will close or operate on a limited basis.
  • The associate dean for clinics or designee(s) is responsible for notifying Health Sciences Administration of limited operation clinic closures.

Magnuson Campus:

  • The oral surgery department chair or designee will determine operational status for the NWCOFS and the pediatric dentistry department chair or designee will determine operational status for the CPD based on the status of the UW campus.
  • The graduate program directors at Magnuson are responsible for reporting the decision to their respective department administrator and for notifying the dean.
  • When the UW is open (not in suspended operations, i.e. full closure), but a move to limited operations may be likely, the leadership of the CPD and NWCOFS will jointly make operational decisions and staffing arrangements through a confidential and predetermined text communication chain. Private contact information for the participating employees will be strictly protected per UW privacy policy.

2.  Intiveo Patient Notification – The associate dean for clinics or designee(s) in conjunction with SODIT director and the director of clinical operations, determines the content and messaging for any alerts sent to patients who have signed up for the Intiveo phone, email or text appointment messaging service. Messages typically are sent before anticipated closures informing patients to check the SOD website for operational status.

3. Essential Personnel Report to Work – Main Campus Essential Personnel must report to the Suspended and Limited Operations clinic manager in the UWDCDC. The roles and responsibilities of Essential Personnel at the main
campus are outlined in Summary of Main Campus Personnel Responsibilities, (Appendix A).

4. Non-Essential Employees – Employees in positions that are not designated as essential do not report to work when operations are suspended. These employees are covered by the pay and time off policies that apply during periods of suspended operations.

Employees may telework during suspended operations so long as they have the advance written approval of their supervisor or manager.

5. Clinic Phone Message Updates – Departmental administrative staff must remotely update clinic voicemail greetings.

6. Door Signage – Signs should be available and posted in advance when a clinic closure is anticipated, see Suspended Operations Signs, (Appendix C), Limited Operations Sign, (Appendix D) and Suspended/Limited Operations Sign – Magnuson Site, (Appendix E). If advance posting is not possible, Essential Personnel will post signs.

7. Website Posting of Operational Status – The associate dean for clinics or designee contacts School of Dentistry IT to post operational status on the School of Dentistry main web page, see School of Dentistry Website Notice, (Appendix F).

8. Patient Evaluation, Referral, and Cancellation – Each department Administrator or their designee is responsible for remotely accessing axiUm to evaluate patients scheduled for treatment and cancelling non-urgent care patients.

Patients of record requiring urgent care and the names of scheduled patients who could not be reached should be forwarded to the clinic managerin the UWDCDC for triage.

9. Clinics Operating During Limited Operations – Clinic director, managers or supervisors report operational status, patient, and staffing census to the Manager of Suspended and Limited Operations, indicating any anticipated understaffing, or ability to share staff for UWDCDC.

10. Staff and Student Reassignment – The associate dean for clinics or designee(s) reserves the authority to reassign staff and students as needed based on patient care needs when the School is in Limited Operations.

If Limited Operations continue for an extended period, clinic supervisors who find their clinic understaffed and would like to request help to cover their clinics may contact other supervisors or the Suspended Operations manager to coordinate relief staffing.

In such circumstances, the “alternate work assignment” form will be submitted to the Dean’s Office payroll staff.

11. Patient Records– Only patients of record are seen during suspended or limited operations. If axiUm is unavailable, changes to the patient record will be done on paper forms for entry later into axiUm when operations are reinstated.

12. Payments – Payments should still be collected at the time of service.


Appendix A, Summary of Main Campus Personnel Responsibilities
Appendix B, Suspended Operations Sign with Map
Appendix C, Limited Operations Sign with Map
Appendix D, Suspended/Limited Operations Sign – Magnuson Site
Appendix E, School of Dentistry Website Notice

Dean of UW SOD: Gary Chiodo, Dean of the UW School of Dentistry, 12/10/2021

Appendix A

 Summary of Main Campus Personnel Responsibilities

The Office of Clinical Services designates those personnel who are able to safely travel to school and have agreed to assist with operating the UWDCDC clinic, either in person or remotely, to provide urgent care to patients of record during Suspended or Limited Care Operations.

Personnel identified by OCS as Essential Personnel have a UW ID badge with a “Green” Coding on the badge, which allows workforce members to have access to the Health Sciences building at times when it is closed by the University. Essential personnel will have access to keys for all clinical areas within the school, notably Sterilization, and dispensary.

Main Campus Essential Personnel/Roles and Responsibilities as of 12-10-21

Essential Personnel
Essential Personnel Role Responsibility Assigned Representative
Suspended and Limited Operations Manager Remotely Coordinate department response/notification of patients; remotely manage Essential Personnel Director of Clinical Operations (or Designee)
UW Dentistry Campus Dental Center Mamager Manage on-site Suspended Operations, Patient check-in, obtain sterilization and dispensary items UWDCDC Manager
Key Warden Manage key box; Represent
Dean’s Office
Administrative Specialist, SOD HR Operations
DDS General Dentistry On Call: Designated Faculty Practice Provider or Resident
Dental Assistant Assist DDS in Faculty Practice Clinic Emergency Care Dental Assistant (w/USDCDC Manager as backup)

Appendix B

Limited Operations signage

Appendix C

Limited Operations Poster

Appendix D

Suspended/Limited Operations Sign – Magnuson Site

Sorry, Operations at the University of Washington School of Dentistry have been suspended or limited, therefore we are CLOSED

For up to date information about closures please go to:

If the University of Washington Seattle Campus is closed, the Center for Pediatric Dentistry and the Northwest Center for Oral and Facial Surgery will also be closed.

Thank you and sorry for any inconvenience.

Appendix E

School of Dentistry Website Notice

ALERT: UW School of Dentistry patient care is not available on (Day/Date) due to inclement weather and University closure.