Fall quarter starts Sept. 27 with vaccinations required for all students. Vaccinations available on campus every Monday. Visit our class schedule and enroll now for the best selection of classes.

Vaccine-Required Campus FAQs

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Vaccine-Required Campus FAQs 2021-09-17T17:46:50+00:00

Vaccine-Required Campus FAQs

Last updated: 9-9-2021

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.


All staff and faculty are required to get the COVID-19 vaccination by Oct. 18, 2021 as a condition of employment, per Gov. Jay Inslee’s Aug. 18 announcement. This includes employees who do not come to campus. Students, including those who are only attending online courses, are also required to be fully vaccinated by September 27, 2021.

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).

Employees must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18, 2021, although it is strongly encouraged they are fully vaccinated by the start of fall quarter, Sept. 27, 2021.

Currently enrolled students must be fully vaccinated by the first day of fall quarter, September 27, 2021.

Students enrolled for fall quarter 2021 are expected to submit their attestation of vaccination or request for exemption in ctcLink by the first day of Fall Quarter, September 27, 2021.

Students who enroll in programs starting after September 27, 2021, including programs with rolling admissions, are expected to submit their attestations as part of the enrollment process, and no later than five days after the start of their enrollment.

To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines, visit the CDC vaccine website as well as the FAQs about the COVID-19 vaccines and information provided locally by King County. Additional resources on COVID-19 can be found at the WA Department of Health or Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center

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.

The college is hosting a series of vaccine clinics on campus that offers a choice between Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson.  Additional vaccine sites can be found at Vaccinate WA.

If you are a fully vaccinated student, staff or faculty member you will fill out a brief self-attestation form and report the date(s) you received your vaccination(s). PLEASE NOTE: If you are a student the college will not require you to submit a photo of your vaccination documentation unless you are part of a routine audit. Employees will need to show proof of vaccine documentation prior to October 18th.

The self-attestation form asks individuals to acknowledge that the information provided is true and also acknowledge that documentation (proof) may be requested as part of the auditing process.

Instructions are available for completing the student immunization attestation and the employee immunization attestation. Though 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.

Yes. Under new guidance, Highline is required to verify all employee self attestations by October 18.

Highline is also required to develop a process for verifying 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 currently under development.

By law, exemptions are allowed for medical and religious reasons for faculty, staff and students. Philosophical exemptions for faculty, staff and students are no longer allowed.

Those with exemptions will be asked to follow additional guidelines to protect their own health and the health of others. These may include wearing a mask and a face shield in situations where vaccinated students are only expected to wear masks, maintaining at least 6’ of social distance from others before unmasking in areas that are designated for eating and drinking, and/or wearing a mask in outdoor spaces when social distancing of 6’ or more is not possible. Specific requirements (accommodations) will be included in the letter from the college stating that an exemption to the vaccination requirement has been granted.

Students, staff and faculty who believe they qualify for an exemption from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine must fill out an online exemption form.

If you intend to request an exemption from the vaccination requirement, you must begin that process using the immunization attestation form in ctcLink. You may submit your exemption request now, and you will be contacted to complete the process when it has been finalized. Both medical and religious exemption requests will require additional documentation.

Per Gov. Inslee’s Aug. 18 and Aug 30 announcements, staff, faculty and students are no longer permitted to use a philosophical exemption against the COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

Instructions are available for completing the student immunization attestation and the employee immunization attestation. Though 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.

If you need assistance accessing the forms in ctcLink, please contact the ITS Help Desk. Plans are being developed to provide support for completing these forms in-person on campus as we get closer to the start of fall quarter.

Coming to Campus

No. Prospective students and visitors may not know that Highline is a vaccination-required campus. Part of the orientation process for students includes information about the vaccination requirements.

As a reminder, face masks are required to be worn inside buildings regardless of vaccination status.

Yes. Individuals who are in the process of completing their vaccination are allowed to come to campus.

As a reminder, face masks are required to be worn inside buildings regardless of vaccination status.

Students enrolled for fall quarter 2021 are expected to submit their attestation of vaccination or request for exemption in ctcLink by the first day of Fall Quarter, September 27, 2021. Those who are filing an exemption will be required to wear a face covering anywhere indoors while on campus.

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.

No, the online “log-in and log-out” of campus is no longer required in fall quarter. Prior to arriving on campus, monitor yourself for symptoms related to COVID-19. Do not come to campus if you feel sick, On building doors there will continue to be posters with COVID-19 symptom information denying anyone with symptoms entry.

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.

Mask Guidance (Masks, masks, masks!)

Per Department of Health guidance face masks are required inside buildings on campus, except where noted in Highline’s face mask protocols.

Places where masks are NOT required:

  • While working indoors in areas not generally accessible to the public and when no customers/students, volunteers, visitors, or non-employees are present, but only if the employee is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. An example is  an area with cubicles/desks that non-employees do not enter where masks would be optional for fully vaccinated.
  • An employee working alone if they are isolated from interaction with others and normally have no in-person interruptions.  Example is a sole occupant of an office/space with a closed door who is unlikely to be visited.
  • Designated employee break rooms in work areas following COVID-19 safety protocols.
  • Outdoors on campus: Face masks are not required on campus when outdoors.

However, it is strongly recommended that all people, regardless of vaccination status, wear face masks in crowded outdoors settings, such as when there is decreased ability to consistently maintain a physical distance of 3 feet.

Face masks are available in various offices if employees or students find that they need one while on campus. Everyone is encouraged to carry one or two spare masks with them in a sealed plastic bag. The complete face mask protocols are available here.

Yes. Anyone who qualifies for an exemption is required to wear a face mask indoors, except in areas designed for eating/drinking.

Yes. Proclamation 20-12.3 requires all visitors, volunteers, and contractors to wear face masks indoors, except for areas designed for eating/drinking, regardless of vaccination status.

Yes. Regardless of vaccination status,all staff, faculty and students must wear face coverings when meeting for office hours or similar purposes in individual offices.

Increased COVID-19 safety requirements may become necessary and will be based on guidance for higher education from King County Public Health, Washington Department of Health and the governor.

Get vaccinated, wear a face mask and “gel-in” to buildings or wash your hands with soap and water, maintain 3 feet social distance when possible, and if you would like the extra protection of a barrier, request a face shield to be worn with your face mask. Face masks and face shields will be available to all students and employees while on campus in fall quarter.

Employees can request a face shield directly from their supervisor who will enter the request online.

Student processes for face shield requests are currently being developed. This FAQ will be updated with that information as soon as it is available.

Employees and students are only required to disclose their vaccination status through official processes for attestation or verification, which are currently under development. Any individual is free to choose whether to discuss their vaccination status with others, but are not required to answer the question to co-workers.

HIPAA is designed to protect your medical records held by “covered entities” (medical service providers). While Highline is not a covered entity, we will still protect individuals’ vaccination data, and it will only be used for official reporting and verification processes. Disclosing your status to the college does not violate HIPPA.

Contact Tracing

If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19, do not come to campus. If symptoms develop while on campus and you think you might have COVID-19, leave immediately. It is recommended by the WA DOH and CDC that you get tested. While waiting for results, stay away from others, including staying apart from those living in your household. Information on when to contact your health provider or call for emergency services can be found at What to Do If You Are Sick | CDC. Regardless of vaccination status, you should get tested if you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms.

If you have a positive test, you are encouraged to fill out a COVID-19 reporting form to assist with contact tracing.

If you are unvaccinated, self-isolate until:

  • After day 10 without testing
  • After day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later)

If you are vaccinated, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Get tested 3-5 days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days after exposure or until a negative test result.
  • Isolate if you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

If you are still looking for more information about COVID-19, please see the King County Public Health FAQ or the Centers for Disease Control FAQ.