WWCC is closely monitoring developments related to the Novel (new) Coronavirus (COVID-19) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Cases are present in the United States and Washington State. To keep our campus community informed, WWCC has created this webpage. This page is intended to provide information about Coronavirus (COVID-19), information regarding precautions that WWCC is taking and preventative measures you can take, as well as information regarding the efforts various government systems are taking to stem the spread of the virus.

This page is not intended to be all-encompassing and should not be considered to be providing medical or legal advice. In all instances, you should consult with a relevant expert for guidance specific to your circumstances.

Updates:

WWCC Update

I know many of you have questions about how Walla Walla Community College will operate in response to Governor Inslee’s order that we all stay home to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Details

Message from 3/12/2020

Greetings,

Walla Walla Community College has been closely monitoring developments related to COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. After careful consideration, the College has suspended all school-sponsored student and community events until further notice. Canceled events include, but are not limited to, sporting events including baseball and softball games previously planned for March 13-15, as well as the WWCC College Rodeo and Cowboy breakfast, theater, and drama productions. All non-instructional student events such as open mics, sports viewing-parties, and so forth, as well as instructional program community advisory committee meetings likewise are canceled until further notice.

Winter quarter instruction will continue largely as planned for the remaining three instructional days of the quarter (March 13, 16, and 17), with the exception that finals scheduled for March 18-20 will be conducted entirely online. In cases where online finals are not an option, finals may be given during times normally reserved for instruction (March 16-17), or skipped entirely and a grade assigned based on work completed up to that point in the quarter. Students requiring accommodations can expect those accommodations to be provided as always, and the testing center will continue to function with social distancing and hygiene protocols followed carefully. For additional information regarding continuity of operations, please visit https://www.wwcc.edu/elearning/elearning/continuity-instruction-faculty/

Spring quarter is scheduled to resume on April 1. Faculty are expected to report to work as usual, but no instruction will occur on April 1, 2, or 3 for either online or face-to-face courses. During that time, full- and part-time faculty will make any needed modifications to their curriculum to convert face-to-face courses to majority-online instruction when classes resume on April 6. Students needing access to technology will be welcomed to computer labs on campus, which will be sanitized frequently, and social distancing will be practiced.

Because this is a rapidly developing situation, I encourage everyone to check a dedicated coronavirus page on our website, www.wwcc.edu/coronavirus, which we are updating regularly. The page includes frequently asked questions related to the coronavirus as well as phone numbers for campus, regional and state health services.

These are difficult decisions but necessary to ensure the safety of everyone in our communities.

Please keep in mind that it’s important for all of us to follow the safety protocols designed to thwart the spread of the virus in our communities. A reminder of the basics: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Don’t touch your face. And, please stay, or go, home if you are feeling unwell.

Thank you for your flexibility and understanding as we collectively work to keep our WWCC communities safe.

Sincerely,

Chad Emerson Hickox, Ph.D.
Acting President

 

Effective immediately and until further notice, Walla Walla Community College is canceling all upcoming school-sponsored events, including those scheduled for this weekend:  WWCC College Rodeo, Cowboy Breakfast, baseball and softball games, and theatre and drama productions.

This decision did not come lightly but is necessary to ensure the health of our students, staff, and communities as we respond to the current COVID-19 crisis.

 

WWCC Campus Communications

Message from 3/6/2020

All,

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.

Message from 3/2/2020

Walla Walla Community College is closely monitoring developments related to the Novel (new) Coronavirus (COVID-19) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.  Cases are present in the United States, individuals in Washington State have been positively diagnosed, and regrettably there have been fatalities in Washington State from the disease.

Walla Walla Community College’s first and most important priority is the safety of our students and employees.  We have created an Incident Management Team that is in direct contact with the Walla Walla County Department of Community Health and we will be continually updating this page as new information becomes available.

There are no special or protective actions or orders currently in place for the Walla Walla or Clarkston areas at this time.  However, to keep our community healthy, please follow standard preventative measures such as:

  • Stay home when you are sick and/or running a fever.
  • Frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose. If hands are visibly dirty, use soap and water to clean hands.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and clean hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer (if soap and water are not readily available).

 

At this time, the Walla Walla County Department of Community Health has identified a presumed positive case of COVID-19 in Oregon. While the person is an Oregon resident, they are hospitalized in Walla Walla, Washington. A copy of this release can be found here OR on the Oregon Health Authority Facebook page.

 

This is a rapidly evolving situation, and updates are available from the Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including updated Travel Notices for countries with community transmission.

 

We will continue to communicate with the College community and, if you have questions, please feel free to contact: Campus Security and Environmental Health & Safety at [email protected] or 509-526-7233 (SAFE).

As a reminder, the risk of novel coronavirus is not at all connected with race, ethnicity or nationality.

Message to International Students:

Dear WWCC International Students:

You may be feeling concerned about the coronavirus, also referred to as COVID-19, which has been in the news. If so, you’re not alone.

Here’s what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones:

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Wash your hands with soap and water regularly for at least 20 seconds. Alcohol hand sanitizers are also effective.
Try not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Stay home when you are sick (except to get medical care).
Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. If you use a tissue, wash your hands afterwards.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Are you sick or worried you’ve come in contact with someone who is?
Chances are you have the flu or a common cold. Staying home to take care of yourself is one of the best ways to avoid spreading these illnesses.

Hope the rest of your quarter goes well and stay healthy!

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What action(s) is WWCC taking to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus and protect students and staff?

WWCC’s first and most important priority is the safety of our students and employees. WWCC has:

  • Established an Incident Management Team to oversee response efforts
  • Developed plans for future scenarios should the College be impacted by the Coronavirus
  • Increased the frequency of surface cleaning in high traffic areas (doorknobs, railings, mam counters, etc.) with EPA approved products
  • Posted information throughout campus related to disease prevention
  • Created this webpage to post information and to raise awareness

Is there a concern for campus safety?

To date, there are no confirmed cases related to the WWCC community. The WWCC Incident Management Team is closely monitoring the evolving coronavirus situation with the goal of protecting the health and . wellbeing of our college community. We have been in communication with various experts including the Walla Walla County Department of Community Health.

If this situation were to change, updates would be posted to this site, information would be sent out via email, and if needed, the WWCC Emergency Alert System.

What if the college is notified an individual was found to have a confirmed case of Coronavirus?

WWCC continues to closely monitor the situation in collaboration with the Walla Walla County Department of Community Health. If there was a confirmed case of coronavirus on campus, WWCC is prepared to respond and the established plans and protocols would be utilized. Guidance and recommendations from Walla Walla County Department of Community Health, the CDC and other responding agencies would be closely followed. Any changes to our current status would be posted to this site, information would be sent out via email, and if needed, we would utilize the WWCC Emergency Alert System to notify student, faculty and staff.

Resources: