COVID-19 Safety Plans
COVID-19 safety is of primary importance to Highline College. COVID-19 safety plans have been updated following current guidelines and requirements from the WA DOH for higher education.
2022-23 Academic Year COVID-19 Response Plan
Updated plan effective Nov. 1, 2022.
The response plan has been updated to reflect current guidance regarding the ending of the state of emergency (10/31/22).
COVID Community Level Dashboard
The COVID-19 Community Level dashboard details the impact of COVID-19 in King County and guides safety planning on campus and in the community. The most up-to-date data is provided by King County Public Health COVID-19 Community Level dashboard.
Below is some guidance on steps you can take to protect yourself during the different dashboard levels.
|If we enter the COVID-19 Community Level of HIGH (with a sustained upward trend) face masks may become required inside buildings on campus.|
The WA DOH for Higher Education and the CDC recommend everyone stay up to date on their COVID-19 Vaccination. Use the CDC’s COVID-19 booster tool to learn when you can get boosters to stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines.
Vaccination clinics have been offered on campus through a partnership with King County Public Health. Free COVID-19 vaccines in the community can be found at COVID-19 Vaccine | Washington State Department of Health.
The COVID-19 vaccination is no longer required at Highline College. Students, employees, volunteers and contractors are no longer required to complete the COVID-19 vaccination attestation process.
Students who are in programs that require off-campus activities, such as clinical rotations at healthcare sites, must follow the vaccination and isolation requirements of their programs and assigned facilities. Each program will advise students regarding the requirements.
No. Isolate at home regardless of vaccination status and test for COVID-19.
If your test results are negative, you are clear to return to campus once you have not had a fever within the last 24 hours without medication and your symptoms have significantly improved. If your test results are negative and symptoms persist, continue to test every 24-48 hours through at least five days after symptoms start. When returning to campus, it is required you wear a mask and highly recommended that you wear a high-level face mask (N95/KN95) inside public buildings while symptoms are still present. Please use this reference guide to help determine your course of action: DOH “What to do if a person is symptomatic” flowchart.
If your test results are positive, isolate at home. You can return to campus five days after the original onset of symptoms if you have had no fever within the last 24 hours without medication and your symptoms have significantly improved. It is required that you wear a mask and highly recommended that you wear a high-level face mask (N95/KN95) inside public buildings for 6-10 days following your return. Please use this reference guide to help determine your course of action: DOH “What to do if a person is symptomatic” flowchart.
King County Public Health provides a testing site on campus when possible. Additional community locations for COVID-19 testing sites can be found here: Find a Test Site Near You.
If you test positive or are at a higher risk of the virus, getting COVID-19 treatment early can help to protect you from severe illness and hospitalization. Ask your healthcare provider if treatment is recommended for you.
If an individual has COVID-19-like symptoms while they are on campus, they are required to immediately leave campus and follow recommendations to get tested. Positive individuals are required to follow isolation guidance. Please use this reference guide to help determine your course of action: DOH “What to do if a person is symptomatic” flowchart.
Faculty and staff who:
- have a positive COVID-19 test, or a likely case of COVID-19 as determined by a medical professional;
- will miss work because they have responsibility for the care of a family member or dependent with a positive COVID-19 test, or a likely case of COVID-19 as determined by a medical professional;
- and who have exhausted their sick leave balance
will receive up to 5 consecutive days of non-accruing, non-compensable sick leave for each occurrence.
Staff members that are contagious, symptomatic, or otherwise recommended to stay home but still feel well enough to work will be approved for remote work for up to 5 consecutive days. Notification and clear communication with the staff member’s direct supervisor is required.
Yes. Employees and students who tested positive for COVID-19 and have been on campus during the infectious period are asked to complete the Highline College online reporting form. This allows the campus to stay updated on cases and implement additional safety measures as needed. Confidentiality is maintained and your name will not be shared with campus.
The infectious period starts two days before the onset of symptoms. For asymptomatic cases, the infectious period is considered to have begun two days prior to receiving a positive test result. The infectious period continues 10 days after an individual develops symptoms or 10 days after the date of their positive test if they do not have symptoms. If a person with COVID-19’s isolation period is longer than 10 days (e.g., because they are severely ill or immunocompromised), they are contagious through the end of their isolation period. Visit What to do if you test positive for COVID-19 (wa.gov) for more information.
When there is an outbreak on campus, close contacts (when identified) will be notified of possible exposure.
An outbreak is defined by the WA DOH as:
● Two or more COVID-19 cases who tested positive by a viral test,
● At least two of those positive cases are symptomatic
At least two of those cases are asymptomatic and test positive within 14 days of each other,
● The cases were epidemiologically linked in the workplace (e.g., case-patients share a work shift or building or benefit from employee-sponsored transportation),
● There is no plausible epidemiological linkage suggesting transmission is more likely to have occurred in another setting (e.g., household)
outside of the workplace.
Information for students and employees on COVID-19 cases on campus is located on the COVID-19 Reporting dashboard. The following notices are also sent out:
- Students and employees are notified of any changes to public health management and COVID-19 response practices on campus via email and website announcements whenever changes are made.
- Outbreaks: students and employees are notified of outbreaks by email and website announcements.
- Employees receive additional notifications following current L&I requirements through email when positive cases are confirmed on campus.
King County Public Health is notified when an outbreak on campus is identified.
An additional notification is sent to L&I within one business day when the outbreak involves 10 or more workers at a workplace or job site with more
than 50 workers (this number includes subcontracted workers who were at the same work site as a person who tested positive).
- If you are not up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines, including a booster and additional doses, if eligible, you are required to quarantine for at least five days after your last contact with the COVID-19-infected person. You can leave quarantine if you don’t develop symptoms. It is required that you wear face mask and highly recommended you wear a high-level face mask (N95/KN95) inside public buildings on campus through day 10 after your last contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19. More guidance from the WA-DOH can be found here: What to do if you test positive for COVID-19 (wa.gov)
- If you are up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters and additional doses, if eligible, you do not need to quarantine.
- If you have tested positive for COVID-19 with a viral test (not a home test/self-test) within the previous 90 days and have recovered, you do not need to quarantine.
Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, should take the following steps if they’ve been exposed:
- Get tested for COVID-19 at least five days after your last contact with the person with COVID-19.
- If you tested positive using a COVID-19 viral test within the previous 90 days and recovered, use an antigen test (not a PCR test) to test at least five days after your last contact with the infected person.
- If you test positive, follow this guidance: What to Do if you Test Positive for COVID-19.
Yes. However, Highline College requires you to wear a face mask and highly recommends you wear a high-level face mask (N95/KN95) inside public buildings on campus. When possible, with continuous exposure at home present, test every 24-48 hours, regardless of your vaccination status. Continue to test five days after the infected person’s isolation period has ended.
Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette
Encourage frequent hand washing and good respiratory etiquette.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, throw used tissues in the trash
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, throw used tissues in the trash
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow, not hands, when a tissue is not available
- Frequently wash your hands and utilize hand sanitizing stations, which are provided throughout campus.
Face masks are currently optional on campus and individuals have the right to wear or not wear a face mask. Both decisions will be respected. The exception to this option is if King County enters a high COVID-19 Community Level. If this occurs, face masks may be required inside buildings on campus. An announcement will be sent to campus if a decision is made to require them. If you need a face mask, KN95 and disposable surgical face masks are available upon request at the Public Safety office, located on the first floor of Building 6. Departments can place orders through the PPE request form.
Additional COVID-19 resources
Professor Nicki Bly, Public Health Director 9/6/22 1419; updated 9/27/22 0615; updated 9/27/22 1423 as draft effective 11/1/22 Edited 9/28/22 by Danielle Slota, Executive Director, Office of the President.