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COVID-19 FAQs

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COVID-19 FAQs 2022-03-17T14:36:50+00:00

COVID-19 FAQs

Last updated: 3-17-2022

Disclaimer: The information contained in this FAQ is based on currently available information as of the “Last Updated” date. This FAQ will be updated as new information becomes available. Note: Addition information specific to vaccinations is available on the Vaccination Information page.

Coming to Campus

No. Prospective students and visitors may come to campus. Part of the orientation process for students includes information about the vaccination requirements.

Complete your COVID-19 immunization attestation form in ctcLink. You will not be able to enroll in classes until you have submitted the form. Even if you are submitting a religious or medical exemption, you must first start the exemption process using this form.

No. All students are required to complete the attestation prior to attending classes.

No. Students who have entered a request through the online COVID-19 Immunization Attestation form but have not yet completed the process may not attend classes. (the medical and religious exemption request requires a two-step process, please complete both parts)

Students might not know that they need to be vaccinated until they come to campus to get information about getting started.. After enrolling, all students are required to comply with the vaccination policy and complete their attestation or request for exemption within 5 days.

Layered approach to COVID-19 Safety

We currently have high levels of population immunity from both vaccination and infections resulting in greatly reduced risk of medically significant disease, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19 for most people.

At the same time, we know that some people and communities, such as our oldest citizens, people who are immunocompromised, unvaccinated and people with disabilities, are at higher risk for serious illness and face challenging decisions navigating a world with COVID-19.
We acknowledge the importance of providing extra safety measures resulting in a layered approach to COVID-19 safety continuing on the campus in spring quarter.

Example of this are being a vaccinated campus with 93.8% of students and 95.5% of employees fully vaccinated, emphasis on staying home if sick/getting a COVID-19 test, providing COVID-19 testing on campus, case investigation team, disinfection of high-touch surfaces and through disinfection when required, providing well-fitting face masks to individuals who would like this extra protection, hand-sanitizer in buildings, plexiglass in high volume areas, and face shields provided to anyone upon request. Many of these are not required but provided due to Highline College’s commitment to COVID-19 safety.

Please refer to the COVID-19 Safety Plan for Spring Quarter 2022 found on the COVID-19 Resource webpage for additional information.

Each individual is responsible to do a self-check of their COVID-19 health prior to coming on campus.
If you have symptoms a COVID test is recommended before returning to campus. Free COVID-19 tests are available in the community and on campus. Isolation protocols are required to be followed when the test is positive. You are not allowed on campus until the isolation period has been completed.
Students and faculty are asked to work together to encourage individuals with COVID-19 symptoms to stay off campus.

No. Starting the first day of spring quarter Individuals have the choice to wear a face mask inside buildings on campus, with the expectation that others’ choices will be respected. (Until the first day of spring quarter face masks will continue to be required.)

Some individuals may choose to continue wearing a face mask or may need to wear a face mask because they or a member of their household is at high risk for severe COVID-19 disease. Individuals who are immunocompromised, medically fragile and/or otherwise at high risk for severe disease should consult their health care provider about whether or not to continue wearing well-fitted face masks.

While face masks are no longer required in buildings on the campus, there may be situations when the use of well-fitting masks may be temporarily required for individuals by the WA DOH and/or King County Public Health. Examples of these situations are:

1. When an individual has tested positive for COVID-19 and is returning to campus on days 6-10 of isolation (face mask not required if they have a negative test).

2. When there is a cluster and/or outbreak in an area on campus the Highline College COVID Case Investigation team will work with the WA DOH/King County Public Health to determine if a group of individuals will be required to wear face masks for a period of time. In some cases, face masks may be required to be worn universally on campus for a period of time.

3. If COVID-19 levels increase in the community to sustained red zone/high transmission level face masks will be required universally on campus. Sustained will be determined by King County Public Health and the WA Department of Health with face masks being implemented at that point or when trending determines.

The college supports students, employees, visitors, volunteers, and vendors who choose to wear a face mask and those who do not. It is up to the individual to decide.

Everyone should evaluate if continuing to wear a face mask is the best decision for themselves. With the availability of well-fitted face masks each individual now has the ability to provide a much higher level of protection than a cloth face mask. KN95, KF94 and N95 face masks are the most effective, providing they are genuine and have been tested to meet a standard safety level. These are better at filtering the virus and widely available for the public. Another option for a well fitting mask is a surgical face mask worn underneath a cloth face mask. Additional information on ways to protect yourself with a well-fitted/higher-level face mask and ensure your mask fits properly is found at: Masks and Respirators (cdc.gov) and Improve How Your Mask Protects You | CDC.

Some individuals will decide only to wear a face mask in crowded areas.

Well fitting face masks will continue to be provided on campus for those who need a mask.

If you would like a face mask to wear on campus disposable surgical face masks (to be worn under a cloth face mask) can be found in buildings 6, 8, 30 and the library. These are available to students, employees, visitors and volunteers. (please bring your own cloth face mask).

KN95 face masks are available for employees and distributed through the PPE COVID request form. Additional information is located in the COVID-19 Safety Plan for Spring Quarter 2022 found on the COVID Resource section on the Highline College webpage.

No. There are buildings or areas inside some buildings where food/drink are not allowed. Please check with the area before eating/drinking.

No. As a vaccinated campus (that allows exemptions) we are not required to socially distance.
· Classroom: there are no restrictions on seating.
· Library and other areas: there are no restrictions on seating.
· Individual offices: there are no restrictions, but Zoom/use of conference rooms/larger spaces continues to be an option.

Individuals who would like the extra protection of a face shield (worn with a face mask) can continue to pick up a free shield at Public Safety.

Students and employees with approved COVID vaccination accommodation for medical or religious reasons are not required to have weekly COVID testing at the current transmission levels King County is sustaining but are strongly encouraged to wear a face mask inside buildings. Following WA DOH and King County Public Health guidance if levels increase to high this could be reinstated at any point in spring quarter.

In response to COVID-19, the Facilities Department has implemented the following measures in accordance with Washington State Department of Health requirements, and recommendations made by the CDC, ASHRAE:

Analyzed and when necessary replaced campus building HVAC filters. All campus building filters meet the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values (measures how much matter passes through an air filter) recommended by the CDC.

If recommended by your safety plan, maximize the amount of outside air drawn into your workspace by opening a ​window or if necessary a door. Please note, some buildings’ ventilation is negatively affected by propping doors and windows open. Please refer to your safety plan or check with the Public Health Director prior to propping doors or windows. Work with Public Safety when opening windows or doors to minimize safety risks.

All of our HVAC systems have gone through regular preventive maintenance by the Facilities’ staff.

All systems that allow fresh air introduction through our designed mechanical HVAC systems have already been set to allow for maximum outside air.

Testing Positive for COVID-19

Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are required to isolate and cannot come on campus. If the individual has been on campus within the last week they are asked to report this information to the COVID-19 case investigation team using an online form.

To return to campus individuals must complete the isolation period. The isolation period is 10 full days from the start of symptoms or date of positive test. Individuals may return to campus after 5 days of isolation if:

1. Symptoms have improved or asymptomatic, AND
2. Without a fever for the past 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medications.

AND if returning to campus days 6-10, the individual is required to:

1. Wear a KN95 facemask or other well-fitting face mask*, OR
2. Test negative with an antigen or at-home test any day after day 5 before returning without a mask. Testing beyond day 10 is not necessary.

If the individual is not able to wear a well-fitted face mask, AND does not test negative, they are required to continue isolation through the end of their isolation period after day 10.

* face mask must be a well-fitted mask such as a KN95, N95, KF84 or a surgical face mask worn under a cloth face mask (cloth face mask worn alone is not accepted)

When there is an individual with COVID-19 in the classroom/other areas on campus Public Safety completes a case investigation. Individuals identified as having been in close contact will be notified.

You are required to quarantine (not come to campus) for five days if you:

• Are unvaccinated for COVID-19
• Have completed 2-doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago but are not boosted
• Have completed one dose of J&J over two months ago and are not boosted

We encourage you to get a COVID-19 test on day five to confirm you do not have the virus before returning to campus. Upon returning to campus, a good fitting face mask is required to be worn at all times.

You are not required to quarantine and can attend class/use services on campus with a good fitting face mask worn at all times if you:

• Are vaccinated for COVID-19 and have received a booster
• Have completed the 2-doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months
• Have completed the 1-dose of J&J within the past 2 month

We encourage you to get a COVID-19 test at day 5 to confirm you do not have the virus. A good fitting face mask is required to be worn at all times while on campus.

Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions :: Washington State Department of Health for more information. (Additional languages available.)

When the college is notified an individual with a positive COVID-19 has been on campus, a case investigation is completed by trained individuals and by King County Public Health. If the individual was infectious and on campus within the past 24 hours, it will be thoroughly disinfected. Areas where infectious individuals had been in the last 24 hours for 10 or more minutes will be closed. This includes restrooms. The entire building is not normally required to be closed but may be for up to two days. If this affects your workspace or classroom, a notice will be provided on the building door.

Students: an alternative classroom will be provided when possible, please follow the syllabus for guidelines.

Employees: please follow department policy, or contact supervisor for additional information.

If notification is received while the area is being used, everyone will immediately be asked to leave and cannot re-enter until disinfection has been completed . Everyone should continue to monitor their health but can be on campus as normal. The risk is considered low by the CDC unless individuals were in close contact with the actual individual while infectious. (We are disinfecting to be extra cautious.)

Any individuals that were in close contact with the infectious person will be immediately notified by the college case investigation team and provided information if they meet the requirements to quarantine. Those not contacted may continue to come to campus as normal.

Critical service areas will be immediately disinfected and will not close. An example of this is the Public Safety department.