Remote learning continues through winter quarter. Many support services available virtually and through Zoom. Free COVID-19 testing available on campus.

Faculty and Staff FAQs

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Faculty and Staff FAQs 2020-08-24T12:41:07+00:00

Faculty and Staff FAQs


King County Public Health is defining “close contact” as being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a person with confirmed COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time (15 minutes or more) or having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on) without wearing personal protective equipment.

  • If you had close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19, but you do not have any symptoms (fever, coughing, shortness of breath):
    • Stay at home for 14 days after your last contact with the ill person. Do not go to school or work. Avoid public places.
    • During the 14 days, monitor your health for fever, cough and shortness of breath.
  • If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath, follow the precautions outlined by the CDC: “What to Do if You Are Sick.” Precautions include staying home and avoiding contact with others, and consulting a healthcare provider from home.
  • If you are a member of the Highline community and your health provider has confirmed or suspects that you have COVID-19, check in with your supervisor so they can take precautionary measures to protect your colleagues.

Find more advice and guidance through King County Public Health and Washington State Department of Health.

Employees (staff, faculty, student employees, volunteers) and subcontracted individuals who meet the following criteria should seek medical evaluation for COVID-19:

  • 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

If an employee meets the above criteria (see “Who should seek medical evaluation for COVID-19?”), it is important to place them in a private room away from others and ask them to wear a mask. (Masks are in short supply and reserved for those who are sick.) Immediately notify your local health department. They will provide you with guidance.

“If you have received a positive COVID-19 test and have been on campus within the last two weeks you will need to inform the Public Safety leadership team immediately so they can begin the process of contact tracing.

The Public Safety leadership team can be reached by the following methods:

David Menke
Phone: 206-592-3443

Francesca Fender
Phone: 206-592-3281

Given the ever-changing COVID-19 situation, new travel restrictions for individuals returning to Washington from another state or country may be imposed at any time. However, employees are not currently restricted from personal travel. We strongly encourage departments to identify remote work for employees returning from personal travel, even if they are not symptomatic.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents returning to the U.S. are directed to voluntary self-quarantine under CDC best practices. The U.S. government recommends that travelers stay home voluntarily for 14 days after traveling from countries with widespread ongoing transmission or on cruise ships or river cruises. Recommended precautions include staying home until 14 days after arrival and maintaining a distance of at least six feet from others, self-monitoring for symptoms, avoiding contact with people at higher risk for severe illness, and following CDC guidance if symptoms develop.

To protect their privacy, the college legally is not able to release personal information about any students or employees who are being monitored or tested for novel coronavirus, including their location.

Should anyone on our campus be diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, the relevant local health department and the college would initiate appropriate protocols to protect the health of anyone deemed to be at risk.

The Human Resources department is available to offer guidance.

It’s perfectly natural to feel stressed and anxious in uncertain times, such as the one we’re experiencing now with COVID-19. We want to help by providing tips and resources. See the Health and Wellness section of Resources for Faculty and Staff.


Under Governor Inslee’s new “Stay Home — Stay Healthy” order, teleworking is mandatory for employees who can do so without hampering critical operations. Managers should also work with their employees to maintain employment and pay to the greatest extent possible.

There is a comprehensive library guide with professional development resources and tips for Highline College employees teleworking during the current coronavirus situation. There are additional resources available for faculty and staff on Highline’s COVID-19 website.

President Mosby has authorized expanded use of sick leave for all staff. Employees may telework and use a combination of leave. With prior supervisor approval, you may use the following types of leave:

Classified employees:

  • Accrued compensatory time
  • Accrued sick leave
  • Accrued vacation leave
  • Personal holiday (full day only)
  • Personal leave day

Exempt employees:

  • Accrued sick leave
  • Accrued vacation leave
  • Personal holiday (full day only)

Staff and student workers should continue to follow their unit’s procedure for requesting sick time off. Refer to the WPEA Collective Bargaining Agreement for more information about leave policies.

President Mosby has authorized expanded use of sick leave for all staff. Employees may use accrued sick leave or vacation to cover an absence while they stay home to care for their child. Employees may telework and use a combination of leave.

During this emergency, policies that require that vacation be depleted before the use of sick leave are currently suspended.