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WCC's physical campus is closed, online services and learning continue. Stay healthy, stay informed. Find information, resources and how we're handling COVID-19 at www.whatcom.edu/COVID19.

COVID-19 Information and Resources

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates, information and resources

 

For immediate COVID-19 (coronavirus) questions or concerns, please contact the Washington Department of Health Call Center: 1.800.525.0127 and press #

At Whatcom Community College, the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and entire campus community is our utmost priority. All levels of College leadership are monitoring the expanding outbreak of COVID-19 (previously referred to as novel coronavirus) to mitigate risks to campus. WCC is doing what we can to prepare and working directly with the Whatcom Health Department and other local agencies to disseminate accurate information to our campus. If you haven’t already, please sign up for Whatcom Alert messages.

As this is an emerging situation, we will follow advice and direction from the Whatcom County Health Department, Washington State Department of Health, and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Please visit the Whatcom County Health Department website for the latest information on COVID-19. 

 

Latest Updates

 

WCC has five confirmed cases of COVID-19 within our campus community. In order to protect the privacy of those affected and because our physical campus has been closed since March 25, details of additional cases of COVID-19 will not be provided to the entire campus community. WCC will continue to communicate with those closely impacted and update this webpage. Please continue to follow local, regional and national health guidelines to help protect yourself against the spread of disease.

May 26, 2020: Returning to campus and fall quarter update to students
May 4, 2020: Stay Home, Stay Healthy order extended through May 31
April 24, 2020: Classes continue online summer quarter
April 16, 2020: Emergency funding available for students
April 15, 2020: Welcome to Spring Quarter
April 8, 2020: Get ready for spring quarter, students
April 2, 2020: WCC reports third case of COVID-19
March 31, 2020: WCC reports second confirmed case of COVID-19
March 27, 2020: WCC reports first case of COVID-19
March 23, 2020: WCC’s physical campus closed; Online services continue to Campus

WCC's physical campus closed, Online services continue

Whatcom Community College’s physical campus is closed beginning Wednesday, March 25, 2020 to ensure alignment with Washington State Governor Jay Inslee’s statewide “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. Online instruction and working remotely will continue as previously outlined.

What does this mean for students? Students should not come to campus during this time. WCC’s services are still accessible online. Visit the online remote services directory to learn how you can easily access the WCC services you need without visiting campus. Friendly staff and student leaders are ready to help you navigate WCC’s transition to online learning. Spring quarter will be online April 15 - June 19, 2020. Community & Continuing Education students will be contacted regarding the status of their class. For more information about Community & Continuing Education classes, please visit whatcomcommunityed.com.

What does this mean for employees? Employees should not come to campus during this time, unless your supervisor has advised you to report to campus. Employees should continue to work remotely if they can, and communicate directly with their supervisors or division chairs with questions. The main goal is to keep people home and healthy and limit exposure.

We recognize each day is presenting new challenges for you, your families, and our entire community. This statewide directive is meant to keep us all safe. Remember, we’re all in this together. Please continue to check your email and www.whatcom.edu/COVID19 for regular updates.

Preparedness

There are proactive steps we can all take to protect ourselves, our families and our campus community. We understand that individuals should make decisions to protect their own health and safety based on their individual situations. Employees should contact their supervisor to discuss options, if they feel they cannot report to work. Students may decide their personal situation warrants staying home. Faculty and supervisors are encouraged to be flexible and accommodating. 

Social distancing and prevention

It is essential that we all practice appropriate social distancing methods and stay at least 6 feet away from others whenever possible. You should always take steps to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). This includes typical flu-prevention methods such as:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Seek medical attention from your primary care provider as needed
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask:
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to  others
    • The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility)

Help reduce stigma and bias

Please remember diseases do not discriminate. Health risks associated with COVID-19 and other illness are not a direct correlation of race, ethnicity, living circumstances, or nationality. It is especially important now, more than ever, that we share accurate information and refrain from stereotypes. We are stronger as a community when we work to confront bias and fear-based assumptions and encourage a safe and healthy campus environment. Here's how you can help reduce stigma and bias:

  • Rely on and share trusted sources of information about the causes of outbreaks from reputable sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Washington State Department of Health, and Whatcom County
  • Speak up if you hear, see, or read stigmatizing or harassing comments or misinformation
  • Show compassion and support for individuals and communities most closely impacted and anyone who might be sick
  • View this coronavirus stigma fact sheet from the Seattle & King County Public Health Department
  • If you encounter, witness or suspect incidents of bias related to COVID-19, you are encouraged to file a report at whatcom.edu/incident.

Background

The world is experiencing an expanding outbreak of respiratory illness (COVID-19) caused by a new coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually cause mild respiratory illnesses like the common cold and may cause pneumonia. The virus can spread from person-to-person, and cases have been detected in a number of countries, including in the United States and here in Washington State. The virus was first identified in Wuhan, China and has never been seen in humans before December 2019. Learn more in this Novel Coronavirus Fact Sheet, which is available online in multiple languages, from the Whatcom County Health Department.

What is the risk? 

The Whatcom County Health Department is reporting that there is currently risk to all community members of being exposed to COVID-19. Some people have an increased risk of infection, such as: Close contacts of a novel coronavirus patient, healthcare workers caring for a novel coronavirus patient, people who have traveled in the past 14 days to a country where there is widespread community spread of COVID-19. Please visit the Whatcom County Health Department website for the latest information on COVID-19 cases.

WCC is here to support you

We recognize that many of you have friends and families in regions both locally and globally affected by the coronavirus. We want you to know that in this stressful time, Whatcom Community College stands with you and we are committed to supporting your well-being. For counseling services, WCC students can call 360.383.3080 or the Crisis Care Line at 1.800.584.3578. Faculty and staff can utilize the state's Employee Assistance Program by calling 877.313.4455.

Where can I learn more or ask questions?

If you have questions or concerns, please communicate with your supervisor, department or division chair, or WCC’s Director for Safety & Security Raquel Vernola at rvernola@whatcom.edu. For student matters related to your individual classes, please direct questions to your instructors.

Frequently Asked Questions
Is WCC open?
What does online or remote instruction mean?
What if I don’t have access to technology at home?
What assistance is available for accessibility of course content?
What is WCC doing to keep classrooms, computer labs, and facilities clean and safe?
What can building occupants do to support cleaning and disinfection efforts?
Is my event, meeting or gathering at WCC canceled?
What is happening with Community & Continuing Education classes?
What’s happening for spring quarter?
What are the travel recommendations?
Can students get unemployment and go to school?
How can students qualify for food benefits during this time?
Can I still pay tuition and fees with cash?

Previous Emails to our Campus Community

March 20, 2020: WCC moving to remote operations beginning Monday, March 23 to Students
March 20, 2020: WCC moving to remote operations beginning Monday, March 23 to Faculty and Staff
March 18, 2020: Several changes to campus services beginning today, March 18
March 16, 2020: Update to Campus
March 13, 2020: Spring classes moved online, Campus open
March 11, 2020: WCC moving to online classes through remainder of winter quarter
March 9, 2020: Classes Canceled for Faculty Preparation 3/11, Campus Open
March 9, 2020: COVID-19 Preparation: Canvas training available today and tomorrow to Faculty
March 5, 2020: Coronavirus Update to Students
March 4, 2020: COVID-19 Update to Faculty and Staff
February 28, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention
February 4, 2020: Coronavirus FAQs