Following is the most recent update on the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
We continue to work closely with the Walla Walla County Department of Community Health and the Washington State Department of Health. No cases have been reported in Walla Walla or Clarkston at this time and we are under no restrictions. However, we are taking several pre-cautionary measures to prevent the spread of all viruses. Our custodial staff has been working diligently to clean and disinfect all high traffic areas with EPA approved products. Our Incident Management Team has been working with staff and faculty to develop plans for future scenarios should the College be impacted by the Coronavirus.
We want to remind everyone of these simple safety measures to protect yourself and to prevent the spread of disease:
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Face masks are not recommended for individuals who are not sick.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are often touched.
- If you are sick, please stay home until recovered.
- Take care of your health overall. Staying current on your vaccinations, including flu vaccine, eating well and exercising all help your body stay resilient.
If you or someone you know is at high risk for infection due to underlying illness, please consult with your healthcare provider regarding any additional steps you should take. The CDC has helpful information for individuals at higher risk and special populations on their website.
Additionally, you may have heard that several Washington colleges have been affected by the Coronavirus. We have listed them below with links to information regarding their specific campuses. At this time, WWCC has not been impacted by the Coronavirus on either of our campuses.
- Everett Community College has closed the campus through Sunday to clean after a student tested positive on their campus for COVID-19.
- Lake Washington Institute of Technology closed for the weekend out of an abundance of caution after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.
- University of Washington has taken a precautionary health measure and has decided that all classes and finals will not be held in person for the remainder of the winter quarter.
- The NWAC in conjunction with Everett Community College has suspended the NWAC Men’s and Women’s Championship Tournament. You can find more information on their website.
As Spring break approaches, we know many of our students, faculty and staff are considering or have planned personal or work-related travel. Due to the fluid situation, we strongly recommend all members of our community evaluate any travel plans over the coming weeks, especially to or through areas included in CDC travel alerts. Individuals making travel plans should keep this information in mind:
- If traveling abroad, we strongly suggest that U.S. citizens register travel through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Registration allows you to be easily located by embassy personnel in the event of an emergency.
- Countries may be elevated to the CDC’s Level 2 or 3 travel advisories with little warning. Students, faculty and staff should be aware of the associated risk of disruptions to their reentry to the United States or other countries. Based on the quickly evolving international travel guidance, your return to the United States or to campus may be interrupted by federal or state restrictions.
- If you are planning to travel to Seattle or King County, please refer to these recommendations from King County Public Health.
And lastly, please refer to this release from the Washington State Office of the Attorney General for guidance on possible scams related to the Coronavirus. Scammers may be looking for an opportunity to prey on the fears of individuals during this time and we want to ensure our campus community remains informed.
As a reminder, Coronavirus doesn’t discriminate and neither should you. Please know that viruses cannot target people from specific populations, ethnicities, racial backgrounds or geographical locations. Do not make assumptions about someone’s health status based on their ethnicity, race, national origin or where they are geographically located.
We will continue to provide updates as this situation evolves. Please refer to our webpage for additional resources and information.