COVID-19: Campus remains closed but many support services are available virtually. View updates.

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Covid-19 2020-05-17T06:20:04+00:00

COVID-19 Information and Resources

Important Updates: May 2020

Student feedback through a survey has led to the decision to hold a virtual commencement ceremony in June 2020. Read more in Dr. Mosby’s May 5 message below.

Campus will now be closed through May 31. All instruction will continue through remote teaching, with the exception of specific classes that are part of our health care programs. Read more in Dr. Mosby’s May 4 message below.

Many support services are available virtually. You can also view resources for remote learning to prepare for summer quarter.

May 5, 2020

Dear Highline College students,

In an effort to celebrate all of the hard-working Highline College students who will be graduating this spring, we will host the college’s first virtual Commencement this June.

I want to thank the hundreds of students who responded to our Commencement 2020 Survey. Your necessary feedback informed the college’s decision to hold a virtual commencement. We take your creative recommendations for alternate ways to honor our grads to heart and hope to implement many of them with the help of our Commencement Committee.

Originally scheduled for June 11 at the Kent ShoWare Center, Commencement is one of the largest events Highline College puts on each year, regularly drawing thousands of students, families and community members to one single location. However, in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and in accordance with Gov. Jay Inslee’s four-phased approach for reopening businesses and modifying physical distancing, we are unable to host an in-person Commencement this spring.

Depending on the social distancing restrictions at the time, Highline College will plan to honor our 2020 graduates with an in-person reception in winter 2021. This celebration will include programming, photos, family, music and recognition of our incredible scholars

Additionally, fall 2021 marks the college’s 60th anniversary since it was founded in 1961. Our 60th Year Celebration will provide a unique opportunity to honor our 2020 graduates with a special ceremony. We envision a “Community Homecoming” event with alumni, retirees, students, staff and faculty in attendance.

The Commencement Committee has been hard at work, talking to colleagues at other institutions, attending webinars, reading articles and exploring options for a virtual celebration of our graduates. Our first virtual Commencement is sure to be a special one.

Please expect more information to come, and as always, email ask@highline.edu. with any questions.

Thank you and stay safe.

Best,
John

John R. Mosby, Ph.D.
President
Highline College

Previous Updates


Dear Highline College students,

I have been thinking about all of you during this most unusual spring quarter. I hope you are well and finding some time for yourself. Self-care is very important during this stressful time.

As you have likely heard, Gov. Jay Inslee announced the extension of the state’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order through May 31. While our collective efforts are working to slow the transmission rates of COVID-19, Washington state is not yet ready to resume a full return to normal activities. On Friday, he shared Washington’s four-phased approach to reopening business and resuming activities.

For all of us at Highline, much will remain the same. As I announced on April 2, alternate modes of instruction — whether it is online, remote or another form of teaching — will continue for the duration of spring quarter. The quarter will end as scheduled on June 11, 2020.

Under Phase 1, specific classes are allowed to be held on campus as long as they demonstrate that they meet the Governor’s strict health guidelines. For Highline, those include classes within our health care programs, such as Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Home Care Aid, Medical Assistant and Respiratory Care classes. Instructors will communicate directly with students if their classes will be held in a face-to-face format on campus.

As I stated in my April 22 message, remote teaching and learning will continue during summer quarter. There will be no face-to-face instruction on campus next quarter, with the exception of the health care classes listed above.

Remain Off Campus

Through at least May 31, the campus will be physically closed to all students, faculty, staff and the public. Most college services will continue to function remotely. Highline staff members are here to help you with resources and support services available online.

Keep Yourself and Others Safe

Gov. Inslee estimated that each phase will last for approximately three weeks, but stressed that data, not the calendar, will determine when we move from one phase to another. Social distancing is critical to stemming the spread of COVID-19, and I urge you to observe the order to keep yourself and loved ones safe and healthy.

If you have any questions, email ask@highline.edu.

Wash your hands,

John

John R. Mosby, Ph.D.
President
Highline College


Dear Highline College students,

I hope this message finds you safe and healthy.

Now that we’re settling into spring quarter, I want to share plans for summer and fall quarters.

Summer Quarter

Remote teaching and learning will continue summer quarter. There will be no face-to-face instruction on campus next quarter, with the possible exception for allied health programs. We are waiting on guidance from Gov. Jay Inslee.

As you view the class schedule, you’ll see classes are designated in one of three ways: virtual, hybrid/virtual, or online. Here’s what those designations mean:

  • Virtual: Your class will meet at the time listed in the class schedule. For example, if your class begins at 9 a.m. in the class schedule, then it will begin at 9 a.m. on Zoom. You will be attending the class at the same time as your classmates, just as you would on campus.
  • Hybrid/Virtual: Class times are listed in the class schedule. The portions of the hybrid course that would have occurred on campus will now be offered on Zoom. The rest of the course will be online.
  • Online: These classes don’t have a set time to attend, as do virtual classes. You can view video lectures whenever is convenient to you.

Fall Quarter

We are hoping to resume in-person classes during fall quarter. But in light of the uncertainty, we are scheduling our class delivery methods with flexibility in mind. Classes for fall quarter are designated in these five ways:

  • Face-to-Face: Class times are listed in the schedule and will be held on campus. Based on the state’s response to COVID-19, these courses may shift to virtual or hybrid/virtual using Zoom. Your instructor will let you know prior to the start of fall quarter.
  • Virtual: Your class will meet at the time listed in the class schedule. For example, if your class begins at 9 a.m. in the class schedule, then it will begin at 9 a.m. on Zoom. You will be attending the class at the same time as your classmates, just as you would on campus.
  • Hybrid: Part of the class will be held online without a set time to attend. The other part will occur in a face-to-face format on campus at the time listed in the class schedule. If on-campus instruction is not yet allowed by fall quarter, then in-person instruction will switch to virtual using Zoom. Your instructor will let you know prior to the start of fall quarter.
  • Hybrid/Virtual: Part of the class will be held online without a set time to attend. The other part will occur at the time listed in the class schedule in a virtual format using Zoom.
  • Online: These classes don’t have a set time to attend, as do virtual classes. You can view video lectures whenever is convenient to you.

Virtual Student Support Services

During summer quarter, we are planning to continue offering student resources and services online. Much will depend on when — and how — in-person activities can resume in our state and on our campus. We will provide updates once we know.

Thank You

Thank you for continuing with your education. You know, as we do, that it is an investment that will pay off for your life and career. We are doing everything we can to make sure you still can reach your educational goals. And while the situation is challenging, I know we can get through it. I’m reminded of a sign I saw recently: “We’re all in this together. Just 6 feet apart.”

If you have any questions about your classes, contact your instructor. They are here to help you. We also welcome your questions at ask@highline.edu.

Best,
John

John R. Mosby, Ph.D.
President
Highline College



Dear Highline College students,

I miss seeing our campus filled with students and activities. I hope this message finds you well.

In a press conference earlier this evening, Gov. Jay Inslee announced the extension of the state’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order through May 4. Social distancing is critical to stemming the spread of COVID-19, and I urge you to observe the order to keep yourself and loved ones safe and healthy.

This new date does not affect the start of spring quarter instruction, which will begin Monday, April 6, using online and alternate modes of instruction for most courses. The extension does impact our plans for a limited number of classes that must be held in a face-to-face format, particularly health care programs. We are working on a solution for those courses and will provide an update soon.

In the interim, I want to share a few reminders and new ways we are ready to help support you throughout the quarter.

Spring Quarter Plans

As mentioned earlier, classes will begin April 6. The method of instruction — whether it is online, remote or another form of teaching — will be in place for the duration of the quarter, even after the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order has been lifted. The quarter will end as scheduled on June 11, 2020.

We’ve compiled Resources for Remote Learning to help guide you through this change. And, you can also find answers to common questions in the “Getting Started With Your Classes” section of Student FAQs. If you have other questions, send them to ask@highline.edu or contact your instructor.

Virtual Student Support Services

To provide greater access to Highline’s resources and services, I am thrilled to share with you our new Zoom Virtual Lobbies. Currently there are over a dozen participating services, with more to be added in the coming days and weeks.

Also visit Virtual Support Services During Spring Quarter for information on many campus programs and services. The Counseling Center, to name just one, has spent the last week becoming certified in tele-mental health. During spring quarter, counselors will be conducting both drop-in and scheduled appointments using Zoom.

We are trying a variety of ways to make sure you feel supported this quarter.

Scam Alert

The federal government is seeing an increase in scams related to federal stimulus payments including phone calls, text messages and e-mails phishing for information. Here’s some important things to know:

  • The government will not ask you to pay anything up front to get this money.
  • The government will not call to ask for your Social Security number, bank account or credit card number.

As always, be cautious when clicking on links in emails from unknown sources.

Thank You

I appreciate your patience as we work through the logistics of moving most instruction and services online. I am grateful to you, our students, for your resilience, and thankful for our amazing faculty and staff who are committed to making sure you continue to receive an excellent education.

As always, we welcome your questions at ask@highline.edu.

Best,
John

John R. Mosby, Ph.D.
President
Highline College

Dear Highline College students,

This week, the college received confirmation that a Highline employee tested positive for COVID-19.

We realize this news is concerning and want to reassure you that we are working closely with the employee and local health care professionals. We will remain in contact with this employee throughout the recovery process to ensure that they get the care they need before returning to work.

Employees who were confirmed to have been in close contact with the employee have been directed to self-quarantine at home until the suggested 14-day quarantine period ends. If you did not receive a notice, you were not identified as a close contact. If you have not been in close contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19, you are considered to be at low risk for infection.

We will continue to follow CDC and King County Public Health guidelines and take every precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As you know, campus buildings have been closed during spring break to allow our Facilities department to clean and disinfect. We are most grateful for their work and believe this to be an important strategy in keeping our campus community safe and healthy.

If you have questions, send them to ask@highline.edu.

Thank you for your patience, concern and empathy throughout this time.

John

John R. Mosby, Ph.D.
President
Highline College


Dear Highline College students,

We have been busily working to outline clear measures about how we will successfully operate under Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order.

Through at least April 6, the campus will be physically closed to all students, faculty, staff and the public.

Most college services will continue to function remotely. There will be few exceptions made to allow specific identified members to enter campus. The purpose of these exceptions are to provide needed and safe operations of the college; ensure critical operational functions of the college; ensure timely payment of employees; provide critical support to students; and to provide required preparation time for online instruction, which is set to begin April 6.

Here are several key announcements:

  • Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order: We expect the campus to open with limited in-person hours to support our social distance efforts at the time that state officials lift the stay-at-home restrictions.
  • Tuition: To make a tuition payment, visit online payments. For questions, email cashier@highline.edu.
  • Financial Aid priority deadline for summer quarter has been extended to April 28.
  • Bookstore orders can be submitted online, with free shipping of books and materials during the stay-at-home period. Stay tuned for details.
  • Public Safety: The office will continue its normal operating hours to ensure the safety of our campuses.
  • Highline faculty and staff are working on tips to help you succeed in an online environment. More info to come.
  • Admissions: For questions, email admissions@highline.edu.
  • Benefits Hub is available for emergency assistance.
  • Food Pantry: For information, visit Community Pantry at Highline College or email communitypantry@highline.edu.
  • Computer Labs: During the Governor’s stay-at-home order, campus computer labs will remain closed. We will continue to offer remote support during this time.
  • With the decision to extend online and remote teaching and online student services for the entire spring quarter, we recognize that some students are in need of technology resources to be successful. Highline will be able to provide some limited resources (such as Chromebooks and Wi-Fi hotspots) so that students can participate in online learning. The Technology Resource Loan Program will allow students to request technology support for spring quarter. Depending on demand, there may be a random lottery selection due to the limited supplies on hand. If you would like to be entered in the selection pool for these resources, fill out the Student Technology Resource Loan Request.

All other Highline departments and programs are working remotely and available to support students, staff and faculty. To contact them or to review online resources, visit Virtual Support Services.

A team of Highline College employees will reach out to you next week to check in and answer questions. And feel free to email any questions or provide feedback to ask@highline.edu. We look forward to talking to you!

More information to come,
John

John R. Mosby, Ph.D.
President
Highline College


Dear Highline College Community,

First, a recap. As I stated in my March 17 campus message, Highline College will begin the spring term on March 30. For the first week of the quarter, instruction will be suspended to give faculty time to plan alternative modes of instruction, including online, Zoom-based and old-fashioned homework packets to ensure we serve our entire student community.

All faculty — tenured, tenure-track, one-year and adjunct — will be paid beginning March 30, allowing them to work with colleagues, coordinators and others to design appropriate instruction for students. All classes, regardless of modality, will begin on Monday, April 6, 2020. The quarter will end as scheduled.

For those limited classes that cannot be performed online, social distancing protocols will be practiced. Students will be updated by their instructors.

Now, some news. After consultation with the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, our neighboring colleges and the Governor’s office, I have made the decision to extend online and alternative modes of instruction and student services for the entire spring quarter. More information and planning will be forthcoming in future communications as this is a fluid situation.

Even though this presents additional challenges, I believe it is the right thing to do for the health of our entire campus community.

Next, a bright future. Together, we have reason to be proud. We successfully completed winter quarter, so let’s celebrate that accomplishment. Many thanks to all students, staff and faculty who made this happen. Each completed course and quarter means students are that much closer to achieving their educational dreams. Highline remains committed to providing that opportunity for our community.

Take this next week to rest and connect with loved ones. I look forward to reconnecting with you soon.

Thanks,
John

John R. Mosby, Ph.D.
President
Highline College


Dear Highline College Community,

Good afternoon. To recap last week’s news, Gov. Inslee issued an emergency proclamation aimed at increasing social distancing efforts and limiting face-to-face instruction to reduce and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Effective Monday, March 16, at midnight, all college and universities in Washington must transition instruction to alternative formats through Friday, April 24, at noon. We will be moving quickly to make sure social distancing for all on campus is in alignment with public health directives.

Last Week of Winter Quarter

Thanks to the hard work and flexibility of the campus community, we will complete winter quarter — including finals — as planned by March 20.

In-person classes and finals should move online or to alternative formats, such as Zoom, Canvas and Panopto wherever possible. If necessary, for the completion of the program, the Governor’s proclamation allows for the continuation of limited in-person learning for classes and finals that cannot be offered online, such as labs and clinicals, as well as career and technical programs. In these cases, we will continue to follow social distancing protocols and limit the number of students in a room at any given time.

During the last week of winter quarter campus remains open for limited services in support of students.

Below is a listing of buildings that will remain open during the final week of winter quarter. All buildings open at 8 a.m. unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday and Wednesday (3/17 and 3/18):
B1: until 5 p.m.
B6: until 5 p.m.
B30: opens at 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
B99: until 5 p.m.
Classrooms: until 7 p.m.
Library: until 5 p.m.

Thursday (3/19):
B1: until 5 p.m.
B6: until 5 p.m.
B30: opens at 7 am until 5 p.m.
B99: until 5 p.m.
Classrooms: until 5 p.m.
Library: until 5 p.m.

Friday (3/20):
B1: until 3 p.m.
B6: until 1 p.m.
B30: opens at 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.
B99: until 3 p.m.
Classrooms: until 3 p.m.
Library: closed

Spring Quarter

Highline College will begin the spring term on March 30. However, there will be a suspension of instruction for the first week to give faculty time to plan alternative modes of instruction, including online, Zoom-based and old-fashioned homework packets to ensure we serve our entire student community. All faculty — tenured, tenure-track, one-year and adjunct — will be paid beginning March 30, allowing them to work with colleagues, coordinators and others to design appropriate instruction for students. All classes, regardless of modality, will begin on Monday, April 6, 2020. The quarter will end as scheduled.

For those limited classes that cannot be performed online, social distancing protocols will be practiced. Students will be updated by their instructors. This will also allow Highline’s executive leadership to continue to work diligently over the next few weeks to strategize and make final adjustments so technology is available and our core operations and services will remain available to maintain business operations.

While these practices are in place until April 24 at noon, depending on this fluid situation, prepare for the possibility that these alternative modes of instruction may last the entire spring quarter.

Highline College continues to remain open to serve all those who rely on our services, including our library, computer labs, business offices and student housing, but staff schedules and open hours may change.

Student Services will remain open to provide continued student support. To address the requirement for social distancing, all Student Services areas will be limiting face-to-face interactions and will be offering services online. Student Services will continue to stay in communication with students through email and phone calls.

While essential services remain open, telework is now the first choice and priority for as many employees as possible. Each office should immediately reassess their essential services and develop work plans that encourage social distancing among employees. Employees should only be on site to perform tasks that are critical to the functioning of the college and cannot be performed remotely. Adherence to social distancing protocols will be followed in all locations. In the upcoming week, the college will provide hours of operation to the campus community.

Surveys

Last week, all staff, faculty and students were sent surveys to assess technological needs as we transition into alternative instruction and ways to provide services. I’m pleased to say that over 1,000 students and 200 staff and faculty responses have been received. If you have already submitted, thank you. If not, please look for that email and complete the survey. It will only take a few minutes and will greatly help these efforts. Tim Wrye will be sending out additional information later this week.

Follow Up, Questions and Concerns

As we continue into these unchartered waters, I know there are questions. Some of them can be answered, others will take more time.

  • Students: Send questions to ask@highline.edu
  • Staff and faculty: Contact the Vice President or Executive Director in your area. For any personnel-related matters, always contact Human Resources.

In times of crisis, there is often panic and rumors. It’s imperative that you continue to check this page for official, current, Highline College–related information as well as our frequently asked questions.

I want to take a moment to thank Gov. Inslee for his leadership and coordination to protect the health and safety of everyone in Washington. Thank you to our staff and faculty for your continued dedication to providing critical services to our students. And thank you to our students for your patience and commitment to achieving your educational goals.

One last thing: Remember to wash your hands!

In gratitude,
John

John R. Mosby, Ph.D.
President
Highline College

Dear Highline College Community,

Today, Gov. Jay Inslee announced a prohibition on in-person instruction for all 2-year, 4-year, public, private and career colleges in Washington state except for those classes that are unable to be offered online, such as those in our Professional Technical programs, which will practice social distancing. Inslee is also allowing essential campus operations and services to continue. We are incredibly grateful for the governor’s thoughtful approach, during this time. The prohibition will begin Tuesday, March 17 and extend through Friday, April 24.

Inslee’s emergency order is in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout Washington state.

I have spoken to our executive leadership and they have already prepared for this possibility. More information on our plan moving forward will be communicated on Monday, March 16.

While there is not yet a confirmed case of coronavirus at Highline College, I take the governor’s directives and concern very seriously. I appreciate the governor’s desire to protect the health and safety of our students, and I share that goal.

We knew this was a very real possibility and continue to utilize our emergency operation plans already in place. We will be acting immediately to help our campus community succeed and adjust.

I understand this action will affect students in different ways and encourage robust communication between instructors and students. We expect winter quarter finals to be delivered in alternative modalities to the greatest extent possible to limit student traffic on campus. If you have any concerns about attending class on Monday, please contact your instructor.

We encourage everybody to check this page frequently and sign up for campus emergency alerts.

If you have specific questions about this recent developments, please email ask@highline.edu.

Lastly, I want to discuss self-care. Take time to do something for yourself, whatever makes you happy. Give yourself permission for grace, to pause and self-care. Also, check on your friends, family, neighbors who might be facing challenges. Kindness, among all this uncertainty, is needed right now toward one another. Thank you for your patience, resilience and empathy as we move forward during this trying time.

Best,

John R. Mosby, Ph.D.
President
Highline College

Dear Highline College Community,

Yesterday, Governor Inslee announced a new emergency proclamation to restrict gatherings of more than 250 people in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties. I take the Governor’s directives and concern very seriously, while continuing to adhere to King County Public Health’s recommendations of not closing colleges and schools unless there has been a confirmed case of coronavirus. At this time, no one at Highline College has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

I understand that this is a challenging and stressful time for our entire community. Please follow all guidelines to help protect yourself and prevent the spread of COVID-19. By engaging in more self-care and healthy practices, together we can do our part to make the situation better for everyone.

In the coming days, the college will continue to engage in all of our options, including dramatically increasing remote work and developing alternative instructional strategies for the start of spring quarter. We are not alone in these efforts, as our neighboring colleges — Renton Technical and Green River College — are also reviewing their options. Regularly check your Highline email for key updates.

When you are on campus, practice social distancing, such as holding online instead of face-to-face meetings, to help slow the spread of COVID-19. We are making changes here on campus to help people from having to be in close proximity to one another. For example, you’ll notice fewer tables in Building 8, allowing for more room between people. For making purchases from the Bookstore, students can now order online and pick up in Mt. Skokomish to avoid waiting in long lines.

Wherever you are, take steps to prevent illness, such as protecting yourself and others:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cough into a tissue or the bend of your elbow.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

I appreciate all of you for your patience, flexibility, understanding and hard work:

  • Staff: Thank you for continuing to serve the college on campus and remotely.
  • Students: Thank you for persisting in your studies as our faculty have worked tirelessly to find ways to assist in your course completion.
  • Faculty: Thank you for your responsiveness in rapidly changing course delivery to assist our students toward academic completion.

As we work to complete winter quarter, which concludes March 20, we are looking at various options for spring. We take seriously the concerns we hear from all members of our campus community and are working hard to address them given the fluid nature of the situation. Stay tuned for updates in the next week. Until then, refer to our Coronavirus Information and Resources page for tips on keeping healthy and frequently asked questions. And if you have questions about personnel matters, such as sick leave and telecommuting options, contact Human Resources.

Once again, thank you for your patience, resilience and empathy as we move through this trying time.

Best,

John R. Mosby, Ph.D.
President
Highline College

Dear Highline College Community,

Highline’s campus remains open and face-to-face classes are not being canceled. At this time, no members of the Highline community have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The college continues to follow the recommendations of King County Department of Public Health in all matters related to the coronavirus. Public Health is not recommending closing colleges and schools at this time unless there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19.

However, while classes will continue to be held, we are giving instructors options. Instructors may elect to continue holding classes in person with no changes. Or, they could decide to move their courses online or use a videoconferencing tool such as Zoom. When instructors decide to make such changes, rest assured that they will take into account the unique needs of our student population.

Highline serves the most diverse student population in the state. Many of our students have limited or little access to technology. Simply moving instruction online will not serve all our students equitably or well. Unlike some of our peer institutions, we need to provide a wider range of options to students and instructors.

Instructors are encouraged to notify students as soon as possible if they elect to change the delivery method for their courses. Likewise, students should contact their instructors if they have questions about attending classes.

We will strive to be as flexible as possible in accommodating students’ unique situations. Students are urged to contact their instructors to make arrangements if they need to miss class for any reason. Highline’s goal is to continue to provide quality education to everyone while avoiding penalizing students during this evolving situation.

Here are resources for accessing online tools:

For answers to other questions, see Frequently Asked Questions.

If you are sick, or need to care for a sick family member, stay home. Your health and safety is our primary concern. If you suspect you may have come into contact with someone with COVID-19 or are feeling unwell, read what to do.

We are committed to keeping you informed and working with you to keep our college community safe. As this event continues to evolve, we will share information and updates.

Best,
John

John R. Mosby, Ph.D.
President
Highline College

Dear Highline College Community,

This has been an active and busy week for our community. I want to take a moment and thank our students, staff and faculty for your patience and understanding as we address this evolving coronavirus situation. For many, this is unchartered territory as our world is dealing with the outbreak and tragedy. I want to end this week with some updates about what to expect in the coming days and weeks.

Monitoring the situation

Highline College has officially activated our Incident Command System (ICS) to enable effective and efficient management of the COVID-19 response. The ICS is a structured response team to organize people from across the campus, to enable information sharing and problem solving. This will ensure campus stakeholders are involved in the response process and the campus is working as a cohesive unit. In addition, I’m in frequent contact with my fellow college presidents and local officials, state representatives and K-12 superintendents to ensure our campus receives information in a timely manner. It’s vital that information is shared and responded to immediately to ensure the safety and security of our community. You can expect constant updates from my office.

Living our values

COVID-19 is a global concern that can make anyone sick, regardless of their race or ethnicity. Highline is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all who study, work or visit. In times of fear and uncertainty, there is often misinformation shared as a result of bias and, at times, discrimination and xenophobia. Unfortunately, there has been instances of anti-Asian bias and harassment in our society and on this campus. At Highline, we simply do not tolerate this behavior.

If you experience or witness any bias or harassment, report it to Highline Public Safety at (206) 592-3218. You can also report it to the Student Assessment and Information Team (SAIT). The goal of the SAIT is to take an informed, proactive and preventive approach to addressing potentially threatening behaviors.

Any Highline student in need of more personal support during this time is encouraged to contact the Highline Counseling Center at (206) 592-3353. King County Public Health has also created a site dedicated to anti-stigma resources.

Planning on campus

In accordance with King County Department of Public Health guidance, we encourage supervisors to provide telework options to employees whose job duties can be performed remotely without hampering operations or instruction.

If you have a medical condition impacting your ability to report to work, contact your supervisor and HR at hrstaff@highline.edu.

Next week, Human Resources will send out information regarding sick leave and preparing for disruptions to business continuity, if necessary, in the event of a campus closure. While I don’t anticipate a closure, we want to be prepared and thoughtful in our efforts. Additionally, HR will provide reminders about FERPA to ensure we don’t violate federal laws or student privacy when speaking with parents or guardians.

Following recommendations

Highline College will always follow the guidelines of the King County Department of Public Health in all matters related to the coronavirus.

Testing for COVID-19

Governor Inslee announced state plans to cover the costs of COVID-19 tests for residents without health insurance. Additionally, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued an order to Washington health insurers to cover required COVID-19 testing and provider visits without copays or deductibles. That order is in effect through May 4.

Spreading COVID-19

Important tip from public health experts: “… you generally need to be in close contact with someone with COVID-19 to get infected. Close contact includes scenarios like living with or caring for a person with confirmed COVID-19, being within six feet of a person with confirmed COVID-19 for about 10 minutes, or if someone with COVID-19 coughed on you, kissed you, shared utensils with you or you had direct contact with their body secretions.” (“What to Do If You Have Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 or Are Worried That You May Have COVID-19,” King County Public Health, Public Health Insider, 3/5/20).

Caring for each other

Receiving these updates and hearing about coronavirus can be overwhelming and, for some, extremely stressful. Please know our campus is fortunate to have an incredible collection of students, staff and faculty that care for one another and a group of leaders who will always put Highline College first. I encourage everyone to take care of yourself, listen to your body and please err on the side of caution in all your activities. From washing your hands multiple times of the day to not sharing food or drinks, your habits have extraordinary power.

Take care,
John

John R. Mosby, Ph.D.
President
Highline College

Dear Highline College Community,

Late yesterday, we received new guidance from state and local health officials aimed at reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19. At this time, King County Department of Public Health is not recommending closing colleges or schools. If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19, Public Health will work with the college or school to determine the best measures, including potential closure.

Public Health is recommending, but not requiring, the following steps:

  • People at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible, including public places with a lot of people and large gatherings where there will be close contact with others. People at higher risk include:
      • – People 60 and older.
      • – People with underlying health conditions, including heart disease, lung disease or diabetes.
      • – People who have weakened immune systems.
      – People who are pregnant.
  • Workplaces should enact measures that allow people who can work from home to do so. Taking these measures can help reduce the number of workers who come into contact with COVID-19 and help minimize absenteeism due to illness.
  • For those planning events or gatherings, consider postponing them, which will avoid bringing large groups of people together.
  • All people should not go out when they are sick.
  • Avoid visiting hospitals, long-term care facilities and nursing homes to the extent possible. If you need to go, limit your time there and keep six feet away from patients.

At this time, no members of the Highline community have been diagnosed with COVID-19. However, given these new recommendations, if you fall into a high-risk group and/or you would like to work remotely from home, contact your supervisor for next steps. Supervisors will work with their department or division leaders to develop these plans. In addition, the college may reschedule upcoming large campus events on a case-by-case basis.

As always, the health and safety of all students, faculty and staff remain our top priority. We are monitoring the ongoing situation and will send updates as needed. And, we will continue to update our Coronavirus Information and Resources page. There, in addition to recommendations for the prevention and spread of the virus, you’ll find newly added FAQs, including those specific to students and faculty and staff, including this one:

Q. I have a student who has told me they are feeling ill. What should I do?
A. Encourage the student to stay home and contact their health care provider. If they do not have a health care provider, share MultiCare’s free virtual care services, using the promo code COVID19 to waive the regular $25 fee.

Finally, a reminder that thorough hand washing is the single best strategy you can take to protect yourself and others from spreading any virus.

Best,
John

John R. Mosby, Ph.D.
President
Highline College

Dear Highline College Community,

I’m writing today to provide updates regarding the novel coronavirus. Please know that the safety of our students, faculty and staff is our top priority.

As you may have heard, over the weekend public health officials announced that the first death in the United States attributed to the novel coronavirus has occurred in King County. At the time of writing this, there are 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in King County. While these individuals are not a part of the Highline College community, our hearts are with those who have been impacted by this outbreak.

Currently, no members of the Highline College community have been diagnosed with COVID-19. In preparation for potential changes to this status, state, county and local agencies are taking steps to prepare our communities should conditions change. In an abundance of caution, we are preparing as we would for any other potentially disruptive situation, such as a natural disaster.

What Is the College Doing?

The Highline Emergency Response Team (ERT) is monitoring the situation closely and has created an emergency response plan to ensure the health and safety of our community. Communication is key in an evolving situation such as this one. To that end, this webpage includes recommendations from the Washington State Department of Health and links to important resources. We will add information as we learn more.

We will also be hanging posters in every bathroom, reminding people of the importance of washing hands thoroughly, which is the single best strategy you can take to protect yourself and others from spreading any virus.

Campus Cleaning Efforts

The Facilities department will be cleaning high-traffic areas and high-touch surfaces more often, with special attention to door handles and keyboards. They will also clean bathroom Dyson air dryers several times a day, which can harbor germs. The college will be ordering large quantities of disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer stations and/or bottles that will be distributed across campus.

Flexibility in Attendance

In the event a student or employee falls ill or needs to care for a sick family member, we are encouraging managers and instructors to be as flexible as possible when it comes to missing school or work. It will be up to individual faculty members and/or their department heads to determine what those policies are. Managers may be able to provide telecommuting options for employees on a case-by-case basis.

Many of our divisions and departments will also be sharing follow-up messages with their faculty and staff based on their unique situations and needs. The International Student Programs team is providing information and support to international students, too, given that many students may be planning on traveling during spring break.

For Employees: View office cleaning and remote work option tips from our ITS department.
For Students: View online resources for doing classwork from home.

What Can You Do?

Practice Good Hygiene

Prevention measures for the coronavirus are similar to those used against the common cold and flu, both of which are currently circulating in high numbers across the country. These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses:

  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if your are sick, especially if you have a fever.
  • Wash your hands often and with soap and water, making a good soapy lather, for at least 20 seconds, which is about the time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Don’t share food and drinks.
  • Clean and disinfect shared surfaces and objects that are touched frequently.

Seek Medical Evaluation if You Have Symptoms

You should seek medical evaluation for COVID-19 if you have any of these symptoms.

  • Ill with a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing AND have traveled from an affected area in the last 14 days.
  • Ill with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing AND have been identified by Public Health as a recent close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case or had recent close contact with someone who is being evaluated for COVID-19 infection.
  • Ill with a severe lower respiratory tract infection and unknown contact during known community transmission.

Avoid Being a Target

Be aware that hackers are using the coronavirus to leverage phishing schemes that trick people into clicking on malicious links and sharing their personal security information. As always, be cautious when clicking on links in emails from unknown sources.

Live Our Values

Our community values will be tested in times like these. We must continue to be united and support each other as COVID-19 becomes more widespread. In times of fear and uncertainty, there is often misinformation shared as a result of bias and, at times, discrimination. COVID-19 is a global concern that can make anyone sick, regardless of their race or ethnicity. Highline College is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all who study, work or visit.

If you experience or witness any bias or harassment, report it to Highline Public Safety at (206) 592-3218. You can also report the behavior to the Student Assessment and Information Team (SAIT). The goal of the SAIT is to take an informed, proactive and preventive approach to addressing potentially threatening behaviors.

Any Highline student in need of more personal support during this time is encouraged to contact the Highline Counseling Center at (206) 592-3353. King County Public Health has also created a site dedicated to anti-stigma resources.

Stay Informed

King County Public Health publishes a page with regular updates relevant specifically to our region. You can sign up to receive free email alerts that will inform you when new information is posted to the site.

The Washington State Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington state, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, please call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.

Sign up for HC Alerts and keep informed of campus emergencies, safety issues and inclement weather emergency closures through text alerts straight to your smartphone. If we have suspended operations, you will be notified through our HC Alerts system that sends out calls, emails and text messages.

Find Information and Resources

We know you may be worried about this new virus. We are committed to keeping you informed and working with you to keep our college community safe. As this event continues to evolve, we will share information and updates on our website and social media pages. You can find additional resources about how you can prepare as an individual, family or business on the Public Health – Seattle & King County website.

Best,
John

John R. Mosby, Ph.D.
President
Highline College