Walla Walla Community College is moving ahead with our plans to provide in-person instruction and services this fall. With that commitment in mind, over the past few weeks WWCC officials have met and communicated regularly with various state and county officials to determine what policies and precautions are necessary to protect our students and employees from contracting or spreading COVID-19.
Unfortunately, the rapid rise of caseloads in our region means we must continue measures initiated last year. That includes asking everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a face covering when on campus. For the time-being, we also will continue to require all who enter a WWCC building to complete a short daily health log.
When caseloads drop in the future, and in concurrence with CDC and state health guidance, it is our plan to make face coverings optional for those who show proof or otherwise attest that they are fully vaccinated.
Until that time, WWCC strongly encourages everyone to get vaccinated. Science shows that the vaccines are safe and the most effective weapon available against this deadly and debilitating virus. If you or your loved ones have not yet been vaccinated, I urge you to take advantage of one of the free clinics to be held on the Walla Walla campus in partnership with the Walla Walla Department of Community Health.
The next clinic will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on August 11 in the new Student Recreation Center. Please use this link to secure an appointment. Walk-ins are also welcome. Another clinic will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on September 13 on the Walla Walla campus. If those dates or times do not work for you, please visit the Walla Walla County website to find a local clinic that fits your schedule.
We are working now to set a date and time for a similar, free vaccination event on the Clarkston campus.
Many of you may have questions about the College’s COVID-19 protections and policies, particularly as new developments occur. You’ll find more information, plus updates, on our website.
I know we are all eager to return to full, in-person instruction this fall. The clearest path to our preferred future is through widespread vaccination and continued adherence to masking and other health practices. Thank you, in advance, for your diligence and the care you continue to show for one another.
Chad Emerson Hickox, Ph.D.