Last updated: 1-7-2022
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.
Why is Highline College requiring vaccinations?
The decision is informed by several key factors, including:
- The governor’s vaccination mandate applies to all staff and faculty at Highline College, regardless of whether an employee is working remotely or working on campus.
- College students are largely in the age demographic with the highest rate of COVID-19 cases and the lowest rate of vaccination for those over the age of 18. In Washington state, especially in the areas we serve, rates are at approximately 50% vaccinated for 18-34 year olds.
- New variants (such as the Delta variant) are more dangerous, with higher transmission rates, including among young people. This means the virus can rapidly spread through campuses with high numbers of unvaccinated individuals.
- Highline has an obligation — moral, ethical and legal — to create and support a reasonably safe and hazard-free campus and work environment for our students, faculty and staff.
- Local, state and national public health agencies support vaccinations as the primary tool for preventing COVID-19 and ending the pandemic.
Vaccinations are widely available and free. Highline will collaborate with community partners to host vaccination clinics to facilitate access to vaccinations for all members of our community.
- Highline is committed to providing high-quality educational experiences for students, which includes providing access to on-campus resources and learning opportunities.
- We recognize that many individuals in our community experience uncertainty and distrust of a historically inequitable health care system. We also recognize that BIPOC individuals who contract COVID-19 have a higher incidence of severe disease and death, and we believe that vaccinations are the best way to counter that risk.
We will continue to work on ways to provide you information and resources, as well as find answers to the questions and concerns you may have. In the coming weeks we will be offering drop-in hours for conversations centered around fall quarter vaccine requirements and everything related. Opportunities for confidential 1:1 conversation are available during these group sessions as well. Watch your email for invites to these sessions.
Students: all students are required to have the COVID-19 vaccination at Highline College following Proclamation 20-12.3 Higher Education.
This applies to on-campus and online students upon recommendations from the Governor’s Office and the Washington State Department of Health.
Employees: as a condition of employment, per Gov. Jay Inslee’s announcement of Proclamation 21-14.1 all employees at Highline College are required to be vaccinated.
Volunteers/contractors: required to have the COVID-19 vaccination.
Visitors: not required to have COVID-19 vaccination
A person is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) or two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson, J&J, Janssen).
Highline will accept any vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Students: All students enrolled in on-campus or online courses are required to be fully vaccinated (two weeks past the last vaccination dose) prior to registering for courses using the COVID-19 Immunization Attestation form in ctcLink. Exceptions will be made if a student has entered into the form:
- The first of a two dose COVID-19 vaccination (updating of form is required upon completion of second dose)
- Completion of COVID-19 vaccination but are not yet fully vaccinated (two weeks passed last dose)
Students enrolled in programs that start after the start of the quarter, including programs with rolling admissions, are expected to submit their vaccination attestations as part of the enrollment process, and prior to the start of their classes.
Employees: All staff and faculty were required to get the COVID-19 vaccination by Oct. 18, 2021 as a condition of employment. This includes employees who do not come to campus. New employees will be required to complete immunization attestation during the hiring process.
Volunteers/contractors: prior to coming to campus.
On the King County COVID 19 Vaccine Information page, there is a translation button that you can click to access information in 17 different languages.
Students: Through ctcLink, a form is provided that requires information on the COVID-19 vaccination received and the date(s) for dose(s).
Employees: Through ctcLink, a form is provided that requires information on the COVID-19 vaccination received and the date(s) for dose(s).
Instructions are available for completing the student immunization attestation and the employee immunization attestation. Although the forms are the same, anyone with both an employee and student role will need to complete both forms as the data is not shared between employee and student records.
Volunteers: through Human Resources.
Contractors: through company self-verification.
Yes. Under new guidance, Highline was required to verify all employee self attestations by October 18.
Highline is also required to verify student vaccination status to enforce public health guidance. Highline’s process for monitoring and enforcing student compliance within the institution’s disciplinary authority and procedures is through a randomized auditing process. Students taking in-person classes will be randomly selected to verify their vaccination status. If you are selected in the audit you will be notified via email.
Students: The immunization attestation form requires acknowledgment that the COVID-19 vaccination information provided is true and acknowledges documentation (proof) is required to be provided upon request. Upon receiving an email requesting documentation of receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, students have fourteen days to respond. Providing false information or failure to provide documentation upon request will result in disciplinary action. This will be enforced through the institution’s disciplinary authority.
Employees: Highline College is required to verify all employee immunization attestations. All employees are required to provide proof of vaccination to Human Resources.
Boosters are not yet required but strongly recommended. Boosters are available when the vaccine clinic is on campus. Visit the Highline website for updates on when the next vaccination clinic is scheduled.
By law, exemptions can be requested for medical and sincerely held religious beliefs only. Students, staff and faculty must request the exemption and are required to complete a two-step process. Those with approved exemptions will be provided an accommodation plan that details the additional safety requirements they are required to follow when coming on campus.
Those who intend to request an exemption from the vaccination requirement must begin the process using the COVID-19 immunization attestation form in ctcLink. (The same form is used for both vaccination attestation and exemption requests.)
Requesting an exemption requires a two-step process:
1. Select the “medical” or “religious” exemption option in the ctcLink immunization attestation form.
2.An email will arrive normally within seven days providing a form to complete the second step.
a. Medical: A form will be provided for your physician to complete
b.Religious: There are several questions that provide the opportunity to document a sincerely held religious belief against vaccinations. Send back the form (must be filled out completely), and the request for an exemption will be reviewed to meet compliance for approval of an exemption.
3. If approved, the individual will receive an accommodation plan by email that provides specific requirements to come on campus if not vaccinated. (An example is students are required to submit a weekly negative COVID-19 test to attend courses on the campus.)
4. If not approved, the individual will receive an email explaining the request was not approved and next steps required to meet requirements for a vaccinated campus.
Instructions are available for completing the student immunization attestation and the employee immunization attestation (same form used for exemption requests). Anyone that is in both an employee and student role will need to complete both forms as the data is not shared between employee and student records.
If you need assistance accessing the forms in ctcLink, review how to input your immunization attestation in ctcLink or contact the ITS Help Desk.
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.
Face masks are required to be worn properly covering the nose and mouth inside buildings regardless of vaccination status.
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.
Students might not know that they need to be vaccinated until they come to campus to get information about getting started. New or prospective students must wear masks when they come to campus. After enrolling, all students are required to comply with the vaccination policy and complete their attestation or request for exemption within 5 days.
How do I keep myself and others safe on campus?
Check yourself for COVID-19 symptoms before coming to campus. If you think you might have COVID-19, do not come to campus.
COVID-19 has a wide range of reported symptoms – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have symptoms, both vaccinated and unvaccinated. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
– Fever or chills
– Muscle or body aches
– New loss of taste or smell
– Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
– Sore throat
This does not include all possible symptoms, please refer to the CDC for additional information.
The CDC and WA DOH recommend getting a COVID-19 test if you have symptoms regardless of vaccination status before coming back on campus.
If symptoms develop while on campus and you think you might have COVID-19, please leave immediately.
Face masks are required inside all buildings on campus by order of King County Department of Health (9-2-21) and The WA DOH (Order 20-03.6). View Highline’s Face Mask Protocol.
Preventing the virus from entering the lungs is of critical importance. This is especially important with the Omicron variant. Wear a properly fitting face mask that fits snugly against the sides of your face without any noticeable gaps. Ensure it completely covers your nose/mouth and wraps under your chin. Preferably, the mask will have a nose wire or is formed to not let air leak out or get in from the top of the mask. Face coverings are required on the Highline campus inside all buildings and cannot be removed, even briefly unless you’re in a designated food area. However, face masks are not required outside.
Although a double layer cloth face mask of dense fabric is acceptable, Highline College recommends a higher level mask for better protection. The following types of face masks are arranged by the CDC in order of highest protection to lowest:
1. N95, KN95 and KF94 are the most effective, providing they are genuine and have been tested to meet a standard. These are better at filtering the virus and are now more widely available for the public. (N95 can be difficult for some to breathe through, the KN95 and KF94 are easier and more readily available.)
2. Surgical face masks that have been tested to meet a national standard (ASTM2/3).
3. Cloth face masks that have at least two layers of dense fabric.
Clear masks or cloth masks with a clear plastic panel may be used when interacting with people who are deaf or hard of hearing, students learning to read, students learning a new language, people with disabilities and people who need to see the proper shape of the mouth for making appropriate vowel sounds.
Forgot to bring a face mask or need a new face mask? Face masks are available from Public Safety or in the entrance of Building 8, 30 and the Library.
If you’re not wearing an acceptable face mask or not wearing it properly (not over your nose):
– You will be asked to wear a face mask to wear it properly and offered a new mask if needed or will be directed to where they are available on campus.
– If you refuse after being asked to comply, you are required to leave the building. If an individual refuses to leave the building, Public Safety is called to assist.
Repeated issue for students: They will be reported to the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct for possible disciplinary action.
Repeated issue for employee: The issue will be handled through their supervisor and HR, following guidelines for enforcement.
Review Highline’s Face Mask Protocol.
For Employees only:
Vaccinated and unvaccinated employees:
An employee working in an individual office/space, if they are isolated from interaction with others with a door that is closed and normally has no in-person interruptions, can remove their face mask. Example is a sole occupant of an office/space with a closed door who is unlikely to be visited and holds meetings through Zoom, in conference rooms/other spaces or outdoors.
In this situation employees can remove their face mask and eat/drink in their work area. This applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated employees.
In periods of high transmission, it is recommended to limit the time without a face mask inside public buildings.
Employees can no longer take off face masks if working in a cubicle type space. Because of the rise in transmissions due to Omicron, this is no longer allowed. Face masks can only be taken off if the individual has a private office with a door that is closed.
We ask everyone to be aware of social distancing. Increased risk of the virus occurs when individuals crowd together, especially indoors.
Guidelines for higher education do not require social distancing in classrooms, labs or other areas. (The key to keeping safe is proper wearing of face masks and not coming to campus sick.)
In areas of high volume, it is recommended to social distance, but not required. Continuing to use social distance markers on the floor in areas is permitted.
In waiting areas, every other seat is not required.
In conference rooms, every other seat is no longer required.
Social distancing signs can be kept in place as an encouragement, but social distancing is not required.
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
• Do not come to campus. Stay home and complete isolation requirements before coming back on campus.
• Notify the campus if you were on campus during the infectious period. This is very important to help keep everyone safe by allowing disinfection and notification of anyone who had been in close contact to quarantine.
• Use the reporting from: Reporting Form for Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 Individual’s name will not be provided to campus. Only those individuals involved in the case investigation will be provided necessary information and are required to keep information confidential.
• Individuals with symptoms are infectious two days prior to symptoms first starting until the end of the isolation period. (If you started to feel bad with a fever on Wednesday, got a COVID test on Thursday and it was positive, you were infectious starting on Monday.)
• Individuals without symptoms are infectious two days prior to getting a positive test until the end of the isolation period. (If you got a test on Thursday and it was positive, then you were infectious starting on Tuesday.)
Five day isolation period required to complete before returning to campus:
• To calculate your five full day isolation period, day 0 is your first day of symptoms. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed.
• If you test positive for COVID-19 and never develop symptoms, day 0 is the day of your positive viral test (based on the date you were tested) and day 1 is the first full day after your positive test.
• If you develop symptoms after testing positive, your five-day isolation period must start over. Day 0 is your first day of symptoms. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed.
• Isolation period is required to be completed even if you do not have any symptoms as you are still contagious.
Return to campus only after:
• Five days since symptoms first appeared and
• 24 hours without a fever and without the use of fever-reducing medications and
• Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving
• You are not required to get a COVID-19 test showing you are negative before coming back on campus. (Tests may show positive for a period of time after the isolation period has ended.)
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.)
Quarantine is not necessary, monitor as normal for COVID-19 symptoms.
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.
What Has Changed From Fall Quarter?
|Fall Quarter 2021||Winter Quarter 2022|
|Social Distancing required:
– required every other seat in classrooms and waiting areas
– 3 feet between desk/work areas
-distance of 3 feet required to maintained inside buildings other than briefly passing
|Social Distancing not required:
– not required to social distance; signs will be kept in place to encourage when possible (change)- continue to avoid clustering in large groups indoors for more than a short period of time
|Course CAP 20: (in most cases)
-required to sit every other seat
|Course Cap 24: (in most cases)
-not required to sit every other seat (change)
– larger classrooms used when possible
-Group work or projects/meetings <3 feet distance between individuals require a face shield worn with a face mask - face shields requested by department
-students and employees on campus have the option of wearing a face shield for additional protection (change)
-students and employees are responsible for picking up face shields from Public Safety (change)
– required in high volume areas -required in offices where social distancing cannot be maintained (or face shields worn)
-will be kept in place in high traffic areas
-not required in individual offices, but can be used (change)
|Course Lab work:
-required face shield worn with face mask
– face shields requested by department and faculty brought to class
|Course Lab work:
-students/employees have the option of wearing a face shield with a face mask if desired for additional protection (change)
-students responsible to pick up face shield from Public Safety (change)
|Student face masks can be removed:
-vaccinated students can remove face mask in Building 8’s designated areas to eat/drink (only building where it can be removed)
|Student face masks can be removed:
-vaccinated and unvaccinated students can remove face mask in Building 8’s designated areas to eat/drink(only building where it can be removed) (change)
-will be reexamined when COVID-19 transmission levels are moderate/low (new)
|Employee face masks can be removed:
-vaccinated employees can remove face mask in building 8 designated areas to eat/drink
-vaccinated and unvaccinated employees can remove face mask in individual offices with a door that closes
-vaccinated employees can remove face mask in cubicle areas
|Employee face masks can be removed:
– vaccinated and unvaccinated employees can remove face masks in building 8 designated areas to eat/drink (change)
-vaccinated and unvaccinated employees can remove face mask in individual offices with a door that closes continues to be allowed but recommended to keep face mask on as much as possible
-cannot remove face masks in cubicle areas at this time even if vaccinated (change)
|Students with accommodations for COVID-19 vaccination:
-face shield worn with a face mask required
-faculty provided list of students with accommodations and required to monitor wearing of face shields
-faculty report uncooperative students through student conduct process
|Students with accommodations for COVID-19 vaccination:
-weekly COVID-19 negative test required (change)
-weekly testing monitored and managed by college administration (change)
-student conduct process automatic upon not meeting specific criteria
|Employees with accommodations for COVID-19 vaccination:
-face shield required to be worn with a face mask
|Employees with accommodations for COVID-19 vaccination:
-currently being reviewed, until updated former accommodation will continue in place (change)
|Isolation and Quarantine period:
-isolation period 10 days
vaccinated and unvaccinated
-quarantine period 14 days
|Isolation and Quarantine period: (change)
-isolation period 5 days (vaccinated and unvaccinated)
-quarantine period of 5 days
• not vaccinated; or
• completed 2-dose Pfizer/Moderna over 6 months ago and are not boosted; or
• completed 1-dose J&J over 2 months ago and are not boosted
– no quarantine period
• received a booster; or
•completed 2-dose Pfizer/Moderna within last 6 months; or
• J&J within last 2 months
|COVID-19 testing on campus:
|Have COVID-19 symptoms:
-Staying home has always been required, what is new is the strong recommendation to get a COVID-19 test before coming back on campus (change)