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COVID-19 FAQs

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COVID-19 FAQs 2022-10-03T17:16:26+00:00

COVID-19 FAQs

Last updated: 9-9-2022

Disclaimer: The information contained in this FAQ is based on currently available information as of the “Last Updated” date. This FAQ will be updated on Nov. 1, 2022 when new information becomes available. Note: Additional information specific to vaccinations is available on the Vaccination Information page.

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.

King County Public Health COVID-19 Community Level dashboard guides safety planning on campus and in the community. King County Public Health COVID-19 Community Level dashboard (CDC recommends following the local dashboard)

Low Medium High
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines
  • Get tested if you have symptoms
  • If you are at high risk for severe illness, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions.
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines
  • Get tested if you have symptoms
  • Wear a high level mask indoors in public (inside campus buildings)
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines
  • Get tested if you have symptoms
  • Additional precautions may be needed for people high risk for severe illness
If we enter the COVID-19 Community Level of HIGH (with a sustained upward trend) face masks may become required inside buildings on campus.

Students, employees, volunteers, and indoor contractors are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or have an approved exemption (medical/religious). How to input your immunization attestation in ctcLink.

Students who register for only online courses are excluded from the vaccination attestation if they plan to use online student services and do not plan to come to campus.

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

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

If you take only online courses the immunization attestation process is not required.

No. All students are required to complete the attestation prior to attending classes. Students that are fully vaccinated for the COVID-19 vaccine (boosters not required) must provide information regarding their vaccination in ctcLink. Students who are requesting a medical or religious exemption must complete a two-step process that requires the initial request in ctcLink and an additional form to be completed and submitted.

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.

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 are offered on campus through partnership with King County Public Health. Additional testing sites that provide free COVID-19 vaccines in the community can be found at: COVID-19 Vaccine | Washington State Department of Health.

No. Isolate at home regardless of vaccination status and test for COVID-19. Isolate at home while waiting for test results. What to do if you test positive for COVID-19 (wa.gov) If the test is negative and symptoms persist, test every 24-48 hours through at least 5 days after symptoms start. Wear a high-level face mask (N95/KN95) inside public buildings. A high-level or well-fitting face mask is required if inside buildings on campus during this period of time. K-12 guidance: DOH What to do if a Person is Symptomatic flowchart – (specific to if symptoms persist and continued testing).

King County Public Health provides a testing site on campus when possible. Schedule provided at On-Campus COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics and Testing information. Additional community locations: Find a Test Site Near You.

If you test positive or at higher risk from the disease, getting COVID-19 treatment early can help to protect from severe illness and hospitalization.  Ask your healthcare provider to see if treatment is recommended for you.

If an individual while on campus has COVID-19 like symptoms they are required to immediately leave campus and isolate. If this is not possible and the individual must remain on campus inside a building (i.e., waiting for a ride) they must be isolated from others in a space. Any individuals that go into the area must wear a high-level face mask and other appropriate PPE.

What to do if you test positive for COVID-19 (wa.gov)

It depends on if you have no symptoms, mild/moderate or severe symptoms:

1. If you tested positive for COVID-19 and had symptoms, isolate regardless of vaccination status for at least 5 days after your symptoms first appeared. Click here to calculate your 5-day isolation period. You can leave isolation after 5 full days if:

  • Your symptoms are improving 5 days after the start of your isolation, AND
  • You have not had a fever for 24 hours without use of fever reducing-medication

You should continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public for 5 additional days (day 6 through day 10) after the end of your 5-day isolation period.

If you continue to have a fever or your other symptoms have not improved after 5 days of isolation, wait to end your isolation until you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved.

2. If you tested positive for COVID-19 but have not had any symptoms, isolate for at least 5 days after you tested positive.  Click here to calculate your 5-day isolation period. You can leave isolation after 5 full days if you have not developed any symptoms.

You should continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public for 5 additional days (day 6 through day 10) after the end of your 5-day isolation period.

If you develop symptoms after testing positive, your 5-day isolation should start over. Follow the recommendations above for ending isolation if you had symptoms.

3. People who are severely ill with COVID-19 (including those who were hospitalized or required intensive care or ventilation support) and people with compromised immune systems may need to isolate longer at home.  They may also require a viral test to determine when they can be around others.

CDC recommends an isolation period of at least 10 and up to 20 days for people who were severely ill with COVID-19 and for people with weakened immune systems.  Consult with your healthcare provider about when you can resume being around other people.

General Information for Isolation 

1. If you have access to an antigen test(home test), you can further decrease your risk of infecting others by taking a test on day 5 of isolation. Collect the test sample only if you are fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved (loss of taste or smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation). If your test is negative, you can end isolation after day 5, but continue wearing a mask when around other people for 5 more days. If your test is positive, you should continue to isolate until 10 days have gone by since your symptoms first appeared (or until 10 days have gone by since you initially tested positive for COVID-19 if you never developed symptoms). What to do if you test positive for COVID-19 (wa.gov)

2. For the full 10 days, avoid people who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease, and do not go to healthcare facilities (including nursing homes) and other high-risk settings.

3. Repeating initial tests does not change the isolation protocol; a positive test initiates the isolation protocol.  Additionally, individuals who test positive using antigen or at-home tests towards the end of the full 5 days of isolation, and/or on days 5-10, are required to complete the full 10 days of isolation. Testing after day 10 is not recommended. Requirements and Guidance to Mitigate COVID-19 Transmission in K-12 Schools and Child Care (wa.gov)

Yes. Employees and students who have a COVID-19 positive test and have been on campus during the infectious period are asked to complete the Highline College online reporting form.  This allows the campus to keep updated on cases and implement additional measures as needed.  Confidentiality is maintained and the name of the individual is not shared with campus.

Infectious period: starts 2 days before symptoms or if asymptomatic 2 days prior to taking COVID-19 test through 10 days after they develop 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.  What to do if you test positive for COVID-19 (wa.gov)

Information for students and employees on COVID-19 cases on campus is located on the COVID-19 Reporting dashboard.

Notices are sent out:

  • Monthly update: students and employees notified of status quarterly by email and web page announcements. Additional notification may be sent out based on significant change in case numbers.
  • Outbreaks: students and employees notified of outbreaks by email and web page announcements. Refer to 2022-2023 Academic COVID-19 Response plan for additional information.
  • Employees receive notification through email each time when a case is confirmed on campus following L&I requirements.

What to do if you test positive for COVID-19 (wa.gov)

  1. If you are not up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines, including booster and additional doses if eligible, based on age and health status you are required to quarantine for at least 5 days after last contact with the person with COVID-19.  You can leave quarantine so long as you don’t develop symptoms and continue to wear a well-fitting mask when inside buildings on campus through day 10 after last contact with a person with COVID-19.
  2. If you are up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters and additional doses if eligible, based on age and health status you do not need to quarantine.
  3. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 with a viral test  (not home test/self-test) within the previous 90 days and recovered you do not need to be quarantined.

Everyone should take the following steps:

  • get tested for COVID-19 at least 5 days after your last contact with the person with COVID-19.
  • If you tested positive with a COVID-19 viral test within the previous 90 days and recovered, use an antigen test (not a PCR test) to test at least 5 days after last contact with the person with COVID-19.
  • If you test positive, follow guidance in What to Do if you Test Positive for COVID-19.

Yes. Wearing a well-fitting face mask (KN95, N95 or well fitting disposable surgical face mask) is required when inside buildings on campus.  When possible with continuous exposure at home, regardless of vaccination status, it is recommended to test every 24-48 hours until day 5 after the last positive household member’s isolation has ended.

Encourage frequent hand washing and good respiratory etiquette.

– Cover nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, throw used tissues in trash

– Coughing and sneezing into elbow, not hands when a tissue is not available

Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, faucet handles, check-in counters, drinking fountains and restrooms.  Once a day general cleaning with soap and water is enough to sufficiently remove viruses that may be on surfaces following CDC and WA DOH guidance.

Disinfection is recommended when an individual has been in an area within the past 24 hours and was infectious with COVID-19. Normal infectious period starts 2 days prior to symptoms or if asymptomatic 2 days before taking the test through day 10. Case investigation will determine if disinfection is required.