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COVID-19 and Seattle Central Updates

Seattle Colleges Unaffected By New Restrictions

According to Governor Jay Inslee’s new coronavirus restrictions, indoor gatherings and spaces will be under new restrictions for a month, starting Monday, November 16. However, higher education will be exempt from this, and the current restrictions and adjustments Seattle Colleges have in place will remain unchanged.

Two New Cases of Coronavirus At Seattle Central

Seattle Central has gained two new cases of coronavirus over the weekend of November 14-15. According to a college-wide email, the two cases affected a student and a member of Seattle Central’s staff respectively. The student attended an in-person program at a facility off campus. The staff member tested positive after working in the Broadway Edison building. Contact tracing has already taken place, as has disinfection.

New confirmed exposure

On Tuesday, November 3, the school sent out an email about a confirmed exposure at Seattle Central to all students and staff, clarifying where the student was located and asking everyone to follow protocols carefully. The email is as follows:
Dear Seattle Central Community, 
We are writing to notify you that we had a confirmed exposure to the novel coronavirus on campus last week, involving students and faculty.

On Monday, we were notified that a student who had been in a class last Tuesday in the Broadway Edison building has tested positive for COVID-19.  
Two other people (a student and a faculty member) who were in proximity to that student have been asked to test themselves and to go into quarantine.
The area involved was regularly cleaned since the potential exposure, but facilities staff cleaned and disinfected the space again yesterday to make sure it is safe.

We ask all students and staff who need to attend classes or work on campus to follow our strict protocols to prevent the spread of infection. These include mandatory safety trainings, attesting that you do not have symptoms for COVID-19 (http://bit.ly/covid-employee-form | http://bit.ly/covid-student-form), always wearing masks, and consistently maintaining at least 6 feet of physical distance between people.

For more details on our protocols, please visit https://newscenter.seattlecentral.edu/coronavirus-update

Seattle Central College offers limited necessary walk-in student services from Sept. 15 to Oct. 1

Starting September 15 and spanning to October 1, Seattle Central College will allow students on campus for a limited amount of in person service at the offices of Financial Aid, Admissions, Registration and Cashiering on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The space will be limited and governed by cleaning and movement restrictions, with likely only one staff member available per desk. This limited opening will be done so that students with technical difficulties or other unique factors will be able to come to campus in person, without an appointment, to apply for college, register, pay their bills, or apply for financial aid. Students will need to check in at the Broadway entrance of the Broadway Edison building, and wait outside until called to the area they want to visit. They must also:

·       Bring picture ID.

·       Wear a mask at all times.

·       Complete the STUDENT Campus Access Form – COVID-19.

·       Maintain a 6-foot distance when possible.

·       Bring a pen or pencil.

·       Memorize their SID if they have one.

It is unclear if the school will open another window again, and if so, when it will occur.

Campus remains closed except for essential staff and other exceptions

Seattle Central College’s main campus and co-locations remain closed to the public with a small list of exceptions. The list is as follows:

·       Essential staff.

·       Staff with appointments made in advance to retrieve materials or equipment from their offices.

·       Students and faculty who participate in a small number of programs that require face-to-face instructions, such as the Seattle Culinary Academy (full list found on the coronavirus update page.)

·       Students with appointments made in advance for in-person services.

The campus will remain closed with these exceptions and learning will continue largely online for Fall Quarter 2020. There are no updates for Winter Quarter 2020 as of yet. The only open entrance to the Broadway Edison building is entrance A at 1701 Broadway Street. Students must enter here even if they need access to another building and consult their professor for access to other buildings.

Higher education is separate from K-12 on guidelines and compliance standards

Effective Aug. 1, higher education will maintain different guidelines and compliance standards than K-12 education according to Governor Jay Inslee’s phased reopening plan. This also separates it from other businesses and industries under the plan. The districtwide Health and Safety team has incorporated these new compliance standards and guidelines into the latest version of their official Infection Control Plan. This ICP is in place to guide the decision-making of the Emergency Response Team—which includes the chancellor, college presidents, leadership teams, and working groups—in their planning for Fall Quarter 2020 and beyond. More districtwide updates can be found at Seattle College’s COVID-19 General District Updates page, as well as links to Seattle Central’s updates page and the pages of other specific Seattle Colleges.

2020-21 Seattle Colleges Foundation Annual Scholarship Program Deadline Extended to Monday, April 20 

The scholarship deadline will be extended to Monday, April 20, 11:59 p.m. This gives students who may be adjusting to the online class structure some extra time to complete their scholarship application. This will not impact the review process nor our timeline to award students. While COVID-19 has created challenges in the day to day operations of our institutions, the Foundation is committed to ensuring that students are supported to be successful in their academic journey.  

It is not too late for students to apply even if they have not yet started. The Seattle Colleges Foundation awards hundreds of student scholarships. Incoming, current, international, and transferring students are eligible. Scholarships will apply to a student’s 2020-2021 school year, which can be used as soon as summer quarter 2020, and can range anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000. 

Responding to Gov. Inslee’s Stay at Home Order

In compliance with Gov. Inslee’s Stay at Home order, Seattle Colleges is closed to the public and only operating essential services at physical locations until midnight April 6. Supervisors will contact employees needed to operate these services.

Seattle Colleges will provide more information about operation and working conditions beyond April 7 as it becomes available.

Plans for Spring Quarter 2020 remain with the following modifications:

  • We will announce a new date for opening core student services—such as bookstore, registration, financial aid, admissions, and cashiering—soon. Remote (online, phone, etc.) services remain available.
  • The Spring 2020 Academic Calendar has been adjusted:
    • April 6 – Tuition due date (originally March 9)
    • April 13 – SPRING QUARTER BEGINS
    • April 17 – Last day to withdraw with 100% refund (less processing fee). Last day to add/register (South)
    • April 24 – Last day to add/register—instructor permission required (Central and North). Last day to change audit/credit status without instructor permission.
    • April 29 – Last day to withdraw without a “W” appearing on transcript.
    • May 2 – Last day to withdraw with 50% refund.  
    • May 13 – Development Day
    • May 29 – Last day to change/audit credit status—instructor permission required.  Last day to withdraw (no refund)
    • June 19 – SPRING QUARTER ENDS

Seattle Colleges remains committed to helping our students achieve their academic goals. We are balancing this with the need to keep our students and employees healthy and safe. This may require more modification to these plans. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

In the meantime, stay home and stay healthy.

Seattle Central College will operate remotely through April 24

Today Gov. Jay Inslee ordered all higher education institutions in the state to switch from in-person to remote instruction and to limit their business operations, from Tuesday, March 17, through April 24. 

Seattle Central College has already implemented these changes through March 27, so we do not need to make any more changes or adjustments for the rest of winter quarter. However, the new directive will impact the start of spring quarter. 

We are waiting to get more direction from the state, before making decisions regarding the mode and timing of our spring quarter and how we will adapt our business and student services. We will share details about our decision as soon as possible. 

In the meantime, please follow the public health guidelines to practice good hygiene, stay away from large groups of people, and stay home if you are sick. If you haven’t signed up for text and phone emergency alerts, please do so now. For the latest updates on our COVID-19 response, visit his website

Thank you for your patience and your flexibility. These are uncertain times, and we are working hard to keep you safe and to minimize the impact of this health emergency on your academic success. 

Sheila Edwards Lange, PhD
President, Seattle Central College

Presumptive positive at Seattle Central

Seattle Colleges will move to remote operations on Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27. All facilities will cease on-site operations except in the case of instructional programs that must meet face-to-face to satisfy regulatory or accreditation requirements.

Courses are continuing using alternative modes, where possible. Employees are expected to  work remotely, where possible, and remain readily available. Please contact your supervisor for more details.

Seattle Colleges will resume operations March 30, pending guidance from public health officials. Seattle Colleges plans to begin Spring Quarter April 6 as scheduled. 

Following this announcement Seattle Central President Dr. Sheila Edwards Lange sent an email to students and staff.

“We have received news of a presumptive positive test result for coronavirus from a Seattle Central College student. Following the recommendations of King County Public Health, we have decided to restrict access to our campus to only authorized employees and contractors, starting at 5 p.m. Friday, March 13, through at least March 27. The decision covers the Broadway Edison, Science and Math, Fine Arts, and Mitchell Activity Center buildings, and the Wood Technology Center in the Central District.”

According to her email, the student attended a single evening class in the SAM building and the staff and students in contact with the student have been notified. “Public health officials have told us that the risk of infection from this incident is low. Cleaning and disinfection of SAM is underway, and we will also clean and disinfect classrooms, offices, and common areas in the rest of the Broadway campus.” Dr. Lange noted.

South Seattle College confirms positive COVID-19 case

South Seattle College has received confirmation of a positive COVID-19 case and will move to remote operations at main campus starting March 10 and for the remainder of Winter Quarter (until March 25). 

Main Campus in West Seattle will be closed during this time (with online instruction and remote work continuing where possible). 

For more information read here

IN-PERSON CLASSES SUSPENDED AT SEATTLE CENTRAL

Dear Seattle Central Community, 

After carefully assessing the extent of the coronavirus outbreak in Seattle, we have decided to suspend in-person classroom instruction at Seattle Central College, starting on Monday, March 9. The suspension is planned through at least March 25.  

This message provides details specific to Seattle Central College: 

  • We do not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 affecting any student, faculty, or staff. We continue to follow the guidance of King County Public Health, which does not recommend the closure of a school unless there is a confirmed case at that school. 
  • There will be no classes at all on Monday, March 9. Faculty will use that day to prepare. 
  • The decision means that classes and finals will no longer be held in person this quarter. Check with your instructor to see how your class will conclude for the quarter. We will make sure these disruptions to in-person instruction will not negatively affect your grades or academic progress.   
  • We made this decision as a sensible way to add social distance and minimize the potential exposure to the coronavirus by students, faculty, and staff. It followed our decision on Thursday to cancel public events at our campus involving more than 50 people. 
  • Our campus will remain open for business, including our library, computer labs, business offices, and the Mitchell Activity Center. Employees will continue to report to work. Where appropriate, employees may work remotely. 
  • We are restricting public entry to just one door on the Broadway side. All other entries will be accessible with a key card. Please be conscientious about making sure those doors close after you enter or leave.  
  • We will take advantage of the in-person teaching suspension to clean and disinfect all classrooms and public areas in our Broadway campus and our co-locations (The Seattle Maritime Academy, Wood Technology Center, and Health Education Center). 

Please continue to follow hygiene best practices established by the CDC for prevention, including staying home if you feel sick, coughing and sneezing etiquette, clean hands etiquette, and refraining from touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. 

For more updates, remember to visit www.seattlecolleges.edu/coronavirus. 

If you haven’t signed up for emergency text and phone notices, please do it now. Even if you have signed up already, access your account and check that your contact information is still current. 

 No amount of planning can cover all the possibilities, but please be assured that we take this situation very seriously, and that our top concern will always be the safety of our students, faculty, and staff. 

Sheila Edwards Lange, PhD 
President, Seattle Central College. 

A Special Message from Seattle Public Library Chief Librarian

Due to current guidance from public health officials and in the interest of protecting the high-risk populations we serve and the high-risk populations who volunteer for us, the Library is canceling all programs, events, meeting room bookings, outreach activities  and Bookmobile services during the month of March. At this time, all physical Library locations continue to operate with standard hours.

Novel coronavirus ends in-person classes for rest of winter quarter, UW announces

“Due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, classes at the UW starting on Monday, March, 9, will no longer be held in person for the remainder of winter quarter, the university announced Friday morning.”

A message from King County Health March 4th

Local health officials announced new guidance to King County residents aimed at reducing their risk of exposure to COVID-19. While all residents can take steps now, people with underlying health conditions are urged to pay special attention to recommendations to avoid large gatherings of people. Public Health – Seattle & King County also announced on Wednesday ten additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in King County residents, including one death. This brings the total of confirmed cases to 31, including nine deaths.

Official full report from Public Health Insider

A message from Seattle Colleges District Communications

Seattle Colleges has launched a website providing information and resources for students, faculty, and staff across Seattle Colleges regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Updates and new information will be posted regularly as the situation evolves.

Please check this new website regularly: seattlecolleges.edu/district/emergencies/coronavirus.aspx

Also, if you haven’t already, make sure your contact information is correct and current for Seattle Colleges Alerts at www.getrave.com/login/seattlecolleges.

At time of sending of this email, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students or employees at any Seattle Colleges locations. Additionally, no Seattle Colleges nursing students have had learning experiences at Life Care Center in Kirkland or at Evergreen Health, where patients were exposed to COVID-19. At this time Seattle & King County Public Health is not recommending widespread school closures or cancellation of activities at schools.

A message from Seattle Central President Dr. Edwards Lange

The following is a message from the Seattle Central President Dr. Sheila Edwards Lange sent to the students and staff of Seattle Central on the morning of March 2nd. We will continue to update the site with information as we have it.

-The Seattle Collegian Editorial Board

Dear Seattle Central Community,

As you know from the news coverage this weekend, Washington state and King County are now reporting several cases of COVID-19 virus infections, and Governor Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency.

None of the known infections or exposure involved members of our Seattle Central community. We are monitoring the situation closely, and checking regularly with regional and national authorities for advice and recommendations.

Our college and district have existing protocols and procedures for health emergencies. We have activated our emergency incident command process to speed up decisions, planning, and response. This afternoon, the district office will publish a website with updates and information. We will send the link out to the campus community as soon as it goes live.

We have instructed our facilities staff to increase the frequency of cleaning high-contact surfaces such as door knobs and handrails. We are stocking up on more supplies, such as hand sanitizer fluid for our dispensers.

The main thing you can do now is to take basic preventive measures to reduce your risks from this virus, the flu, or other respiratory infections:

* Stay home when you are sick.

* Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

* If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

* Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

* Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

* Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

* Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

* If you have traveled recently to a high risk area, check with your supervisor about the possibility of self quarantine.

Remember that fear brings out the worst in people. It is wrong to make assumptions about risks based on the ethnicity or national origin of anyone. Fear must never become an excuse to mistreat or discriminate against someone.

We will send updates with any new details as soon as we can share them.

Information for Higher Education Facilities: Administrators and Employees

Information Sheet: Higher Education Facilities Information for Administrators and Employees (PDF)

General updates from the Washington State Department of Health

Sheila Edwards Lange, PhD

President, Seattle Central College

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