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On-Campus Activity Campus Check-In COVID-19 Exposure

Greetings Campus Community, 

As Fall Quarter draws to a close, the Flu Team wanted to provide an update on COVID restrictions and reporting and share some of the successes and challenges we continue to face.  The good news is that the precautions we’ve all taken are limiting the spread of the virus in our community. At the same time, we’ve seen an uptick in positive cases and hospitalizations around the country and so we want to continue to urge caution. 

Most immediately, we want to notify the campus that out of an abundance of caution we decided to close the BC Bookstore through Friday, December 11th, based on a positive COVID test.  Those who may have been exposed have been notified and we plan to reopen the bookstore on December 14th.   During the closure, the bookstore will not schedule pick-up appointments or allow in-store shopping.  On-line orders will not be processed, charged, or shipped, but textbook rentals may be returned by mail or in the drop box located at the north entrance of the B building lobby. 

Increasing Services – Carefully 

Since the beginning of the fall, BC has opened a limited number of campus services, including the Early Learning Center, the Bookstore, the athletic fields, and a few student services within the U building (Student Success Center).   All of this was in addition to other services and courses already operating on campus (e.g. Public Safety, Payroll, some Health Science courses, etc.). 

Throughout it all, our employees and students have been working hard to ensure they follow our COVID guidelines. The limited number of activities on campus have been going very smoothly and your willingness to follow our guidelines have played a significant role in keeping the community safe. 

Responding to Potential and Confirmed COVID-19 Cases 

In an effort to ensure the continued safety of our community, the Flu Team continues to respond quickly to potential exposures by contacting impacted individuals, asking people to quarantine and disinfecting areas that may have been exposed.  All but a very small number of potential cases have turned out to be negative, and we are unaware of any situations where an infected individual spread the virus on campus.  The lack of spread is a direct result of everyone doing their part to reduce exposure, quarantine when needed, operate remotely, and in no small part to the work of our essential personnel such as custodial and public safety. Another major contributor to this success is the establishment and use of our daily check-in database (built by our very own IT Team!) that helps us rapidly understand who may have had contact with exposed individuals and where it may have occurred.  

A prime example of our response is the recent positive case in the ELC.  Key Flu Team members, along with help from HR and the ELC staff, worked together to swiftly shut down the center and notify families and employees of additional precautions.  I’m pleased to report that the ELC is back in business as of Monday morning, December 7th.  

How We Communicate 

We also want to highlight our communication plan about when and why we might notify the campus about a COVID exposure.  To ensure the privacy of our employees and students, we typically communicate only with those who are COVID-19 positive and people with whom they may have been in contact, or who may have had contact with their workspace. For situations that have the potential to be more widespread (such as the ELC), the Flu Team will communicate via email to the campus community.  It is our hope that this balanced communication plan will protect the privacy of those affected, along with ensuring the safety of the rest of the community.   

Stay Safe If Traveling 

With break rapidly approaching, we recognize that some of you may consider travel in the next few weeks.  We strongly urge you to follow public health guidance and consider either forgoing travel this year or completing a 14-day self-quarantine before returning to campus, should you travel out of state. Employees are encouraged to work with their supervisors upon returning to Washington, should they decide to travel out of state. More guidance on travel recommendations can be found on the CDC website

Thanks again for your support, patience and understanding! 

Dennis D. Curran

Vice President of Administrative Services

Campus COVID-19 Supervisor

Bellevue College, K100G

Dennis.curran@bellevuecollege.edu

425-564-2446

Dear Bellevue Community,

As of this morning, the Bellevue College Early Learning Center (ELC) is closed through December 4th because an individual within the ELC tested positive for COVID-19. The individual was in the ELC November 23, 24 and 25. Those who came into close contact* with the infected individual have been notified. The affected individual was only at the ELC and was not present anywhere else on campus. 

When BC leadership learns that we have an ill employee/student/visitor, we swiftly provide notice to each individual we believe had direct contact with that person, and direct them to self-quarantine. If you have not been notified, it means that we do not believe you had direct contact with the individual.

The individual is currently under quarantine. As of now, the ELC is closed through December 4th and will be deep cleaned in the next 48 hours. The remainder of the campus facilities remain closed to most activities; however, student housing and other previously approved classes and functions will continue to be open and operate on campus grounds.    

BC continues to follow best practices outlined by local and state health officials.  As a reminder, the best way to ensure your health and that of others is to practice good hygiene including wearing a cloth face mask, physical distancing, washing your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home if you’re feeling sick.  

We know that this news may be unsettling or cause for concern. We encourage you to educate yourself on what you can do to protect yourself and your family on the Public Health – Seattle & King County website. You can learn more about BC’s response and resources on our COVID-19 website.   

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as needed.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Sincerely,  

Dennis D. Curran

Vice President of Administrative Services

Campus COVID-19 Supervisor

Bellevue College, K100G

Dennis.curran@bellevuecollege.edu

425-564-2446

Definitions:    

*Close contact:  Close contact is defined by CDC as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic clients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.  (source: CDC – October 23, 2020).  

Dear Bellevue College community, 

On Sunday, Governor Inslee issued a proclamation which enacts a number of new measures in an effort to curb the growing number of positive COVID-19 cases.  Many of the new restrictions impact social gatherings and retail business operations, but do not affect higher ed, which is still operating under Washington State Proclamation 20-12.1 and the Campus Reopening Guide.  The attached document provides additional information.

The college will continue to operate largely in remote status, while still allowing essential operations to continue on campus grounds.  Employees who have permission from their supervisor, and students who have permission from their instructor, are allowed on campus, but must adhere to campus COVID guidelines.  Most important among these guidelines are wearing a mask while on campus, physically distancing from others, and completing a COVID questionnaire every day you are on campus.  

Visitors 

Visitors who have an official need to be on campus and in or around a facility are now required to fill out an online visitor questionnaire.  It is similar to the employee and student questionnaires.  Official visitors may include parents accompanying a student, contractors performing maintenance, invited speakers, etc.  In all cases, the visiting person should have a need to be on campus.  The online questionnaire will help the Flu Team conduct contact tracing, should the need arise. 

Travel and Gathering Guidance 

We are nearing the time of year when many people gather with family and friends.  Please note that gathering in groups—even with people you know—may spread COVID-19.  You may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still spread COVID-19 to others.  

Public health experts are urging all of us to “stay put” —  to celebrate only with the people we already live with, whether that means staying at home or in a residence hall.  The Department of Health’s Safe Gatherings webpage offers helpful ideas on ways to celebrate safely and how to have conversations with friends and family about social events. 

If you have been around groups of people who may not have worn masks, health experts recommend getting a COVID-19 test.  Take into account that it can take a few days to receive test results. 

For those of you planning to travel during break, we strongly recommend you voluntarily self-quarantine for 14 days, especially if you travel out of state, before returning to campus.   

Student Assistance

For students experiencing barriers in classes due to having COVID-19, the Disability Resource Center can provide academic accommodations to assist with getting through courses. Please contact them through their website: https://www.bellevuecollege.edu/drc/ or by email: drc@bellevuecollege.edu for more information.

As always, thanks for your patience and understanding in our continued effort to keep our community safe.  

Dennis D. Curran

Vice President of Administrative Services

Campus COVID-19 Supervisor

Bellevue College, K100G

Dennis.curran@bellevuecollege.edu

425-564-2446

This COVID-19 update contains information and resources so you can be informed and stay safe. We’re all in this together — six feet apart!

Top 4 ‘Need to Know’

  • COVID-19 cases are spiking nationwide, and Washington has reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases every day since Nov. 4. Wearing a mask is critical to stay well and keep our community healthy. Learn more about masks on the CDC website. >> More info
  • Need a COVID-19 test or know someone who does? Public Health – Seattle & King County has launched new free testing sites. They have a lot of info. about other free resources too, in multiple languages. Please share! >> More info
  • Coming to campus? Make sure to get permission from your instructor/supervisor in advance, and fill out our campus check-in form. >> More info
  • Thinking about conducting an activity on campus? Fill out an activity proposal form first (only faculty/staff can submit). >> More info

What’s Open at BC

  • The Early Learning Center
  • Student Housing (for residents)

Stay Healthy

  • Interim President Locke is encouraging everyone to get their flu shot. Watch and share the video!
  • The Drive-Thru Flu Clinic at BC was a huge success! If you missed it, here’s info about free flu shot clinics:
  • The UWKC Benefits Hub at Bellevue College can help eligible students sign up for affordable healthcare through Apple Health. Open enrollment began Nov. 1, and it ends Dec. 15.

Financial Help

  • The Washington COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund is open for applications. Families can benefit from a one-time $1,000 or $3,000 payment depending on their application. Any immigrant families that did not qualify for the federal government stimulus check back in March can apply online. Additional resources and translated materials can be found on the King County Immigrant and Refugee Program website.  

COVID-19 News

Official State Info

New information and follow-up guidance about COVID-19 is continually evolving. Here are some additional websites to help you stay informed:

Stay well,

The Flu Team

This COVID-19 update contains information and resources so you can be informed and stay safe. We’re all in this together — 6 feet apart!

Top 4 ‘Need to Know’

  • Coming to campus? Make sure to get permission from your instructor/supervisor in advance, and fill out our online assessment form. >> More info
  • Thinking about conducting an activity on campus? Fill out an activity proposal form first (only faculty/staff can submit). Remember this form is for activities, not individual visits to campus. Employees should speak with their supervisor regarding individual campus visits. >> More info
  • Cases of COVID-19 are increasing in King County. What should you do if you or someone you know in our BC community tests positive for COVID-19 and might have been on campus? We have an online reporting form. Info is kept confidential. >> More info
  • Save the date! BC is planning a drive-thru flu shot clinic on Friday, Nov. 6 that will be open to BC faculty, staff and students. >> More info

What’s Open at BC

  • The Early Learning Center
  • Student Housing (for residents)

Stay Healthy

  • These are challenging times for everyone, and your mental health is important. BC has great resources that can help:
    • Counseling Center (students): BC counselors are available for online appointments.
    • Employee Assistance Program (faculty/staff): A free, confidential program created to promote the health, safety and well-being of public employees.

Financial Help

  • The UWKC Benefits Hub at Bellevue College is offering emergency funds through the @edquityapp to help bring emergency grants and resources to students experiencing a financial crisis. Students enrolled in 6 credits or more (or a degree seeking program) at BC who need emergency aid, such as funding for housing or food, can apply today. >> Download the Edquity app (or sign up online).

COVID-19 News

Official State Info

New information and follow-up guidance about COVID-19 is continually evolving. Here are some additional websites to help you stay informed:

Stay well,

The Flu Team

Greetings!

Now that Fall Quarter is underway, the flu team wanted to provide some COVID-19 updates to our community. There are a number of details in the email, but the keys points are: 

1.       Winter Quarter instruction will be remote (similar to Fall) 

2.       The BC “Safe Back to School Plan” has been approved and is now in effect, and it provides details on how our College is addressing the COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with statewide guidance from health officials. It includes requirements for employees, including the need to wear masks and complete an on-line health assessment. 

3.       Beginning next week, food services will begin operating for limited hours in the Housing Pizza Café with social distancing and other health guidance measures.  

Winter Quarter 

Winter Quarter registration is just around the corner.  Our plan is to continue most of our instruction and services remotely for Winter Quarter, but we hope to slowly bring a few more critical classes and services back to campus. Again, we’re taking a cautious approach because recent research suggests the possibility of a major resurgence of COVID-19 during the Winter, and we want to minimize any potential disruption caused by a spike in the county or state that would require us to adjust our plans. 

BC “Safe Back to School Plan” 

Over the last several months, we drafted the “Safe Back to School Plan” and put measures into place to comply with this guidance. While the campus is still primarily offering instruction and services remotely, these measures add an additional layer of safety for those who must be on campus. All employees should complete our COVID 19 training module before returning to campus for the first time (or as soon as possible). We are still cautiously and deliberately determining which activities and classes need to be on campus and will keep you informed of developments.  

Wear a mask 

As a friendly reminder, everyone on campus is required to wear a mask from the moment they step on campus until they leave.  Please ensure the mask covers your mouth and nose. The only exception is when working alone or through an approved reasonable accommodation with HR (employees) or the DRC (students).   

The College provides masks for employees who need to work on campus.  If you have questions on where to get a mask, please contact your supervisor. 

The mask mandate helps ensure the safety of our campus community and beyond.  We’re all in this together, so thank you for your support in wearing a mask while on campus. 

On-line health assessment 

Every employee and student who comes to campus must fill out an on-line health assessment prior to coming to campus; those who do not have access to the internet can complete it as soon as they arrive on campus by using a college computer.  The link to the health assessment can be found on the college home page and the college COVID page

Employees Only-How to order PPE 

Requests for PPE can be submitted monthly or as needed through the Request Center under Campus Operations – Custodial Services.  Employees ordering PPE will need to sign in order to submit a request.   

Housing Pizza Café Opening 

Along with bringing some of our food service workers back to campus, opening the Pizza Café will help serve our students and staff living in housing, as well as the essential employees who come to campus. More information about the Pizza Café can be found online at bellevuecollege.edu/dining/housing-cafe/

Sincerely,

Dennis D. Curran

Vice President of Administrative Services

Campus COVID-19 Supervisor

Bellevue College, K100G

Dennis.curran@bellevuecollege.edu

425-564-2446

Dear Colleagues, 

Soon, BC employees and students will be required to complete a health assessment questionnaire each day they come to campus (we are also working on a process for visitors, to be announced soon). To protect privacy and make the process simple, the Flu Team and IT developed a short online health assessment on our website at www.bellevuecollege.edu/campuscheckin. It takes just a couple minutes to complete. The online health assessment will replace the current practice of contacting Public Safety, but employees will still need to obtain permission from their supervisor before coming in.   

Timeline 

·        Beginning August 17th, 2020, anyone entering the T Building, for any reason, must complete the assessment prior to entering the building.   

·        Beginning September 1st, 2020, all employees and students are required to complete the online health assessment questionnaire every day they come to campus. 

Best practice is to complete the questionnaire prior to coming to campus; those who do not have access to the internet can complete it as soon as they arrive on campus by using a college computer. The attached document provides instructions on how to translate the questionnaire to a different language. 

Assessment Information 

The assessment captures information such as the date, approximate times, and specific location (buildings and rooms) of your visit. This will be provided to Public Safety and the custodial team so they can secure and disinfect our buildings each day (NOTE: Public Safety and custodial teams will not be provided any health information, only the date and location visited).   

The health screening questionnaire contains a list of potential COVID-19 symptoms. Upon finishing the questionnaire and clicking the “Submit” button, you will receive instructions on what to do, based upon the answers provided and how those answers intersect with guidance from state and local health authorities.   

Health response data will be kept confidential. Employee responses will be stored in a secure database accessible only by Human Resources staff. Supervisors will be able to see if an employee completed a daily health assessment, but supervisors will not be able to see answers to the specific health questions. Student responses will be similarly stored in a secure database accessible only by the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and a Co-Chair of the CARE Team. Instructors will be able to see if a student completed a daily health assessment, but instructors will not be able to see answers to the specific health questions. 

Additional Information 

In the next few days, we will publish a list of FAQs to provide more detailed information on the workflow and the role that supervisors and instructors play in this process.   

Masks 

As a reminder, everyone on campus is required to wear a mask from the moment they step on campus until they leave. The only exception is when working alone or through an approved reasonable accommodation with HR. The state defines “working alone” as: “Someone is considered to be working alone when they’re isolated from interaction with other people and have little or no expectation of in-person interruption.”  Examples of “working alone” can be found on the state page that explains mask requirements

The College is providing masks for employees who need to work on campus.  If you have questions about where to get a mask, please contact your supervisor. 

Thank you for helping to keep our campus community safe. 

Dennis D. Curran

Vice President of Administrative Services

Bellevue College, K100G

Dennis.curran@bellevevuecollege.edu

425-564-2446

Dear Colleagues,

A lot has happened since the last COVID-19 communication on June 8, so we wanted to provide an update on new developments, as well as where we are headed in the next few weeks and months.

On June 19, 2020, King County was approved to move into Phase 2. While this instituted several changes for businesses within the county, higher ed was largely unaffected because the guidance for higher ed moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2 doesn’t change much. We do have the ability to offer a few more classes on campus if they are related to a critical work programs (e.g. nursing), but that won’t impact the majority of our courses which will continue to be taught remotely.

The Phase 2 guidance (see paragraph #25) does have one important stipulation: any employee or student coming to Washington from any state that is non-contiguous to Washington must self-quarantine for 14 days before working or attending class on campus. Please keep this in mind if you plan on travelling to any area other than Oregon or Idaho while King County is still in Phase 2.

Governor Inslee also issued a new proclamation on June 24, 2020 specifically geared toward the reopening of higher ed. This proclamation goes into effect on August 1st and allows colleges to expand activities on campus, provided we follow a number of requirements. Among other things, we’ll have to comply with all federal, state and local public health requirements, use appropriate PPE and follow six-foot social distancing rules.

We still anticipate that most classes for Fall Quarter will be taught remotely. Since the proclamation was only recently announced, we’re still examining how it intersects with Phase 2 and Phase 3 guidance. In addition, we are not yet clear on how the increase in COVID cases in King County and across the state that was reported over the weekend will impact our plans. More information will be forthcoming.

We also wanted to share some important updates:

  • Outdoor recreation rentals will resume in the near future. Renters will need to keep groups down to a maximum of five participants and follow a number of other guidelines. The BC athletic department is drafting guidelines for usage of the soccer and baseball fields.
  • The Food Lifeline program will continue on campus every Friday through the month of July.
  • As we are able, we will very slowly open up the campus to rentals, starting with an organization that wants to hold vehicle-based services in one of our parking lots. As with all other programs, they’ll need to comply with Phase 2 guidelines.
  • For additional information, check out the Flu Team website.

Thank you again for your patience and flexibility. It’s been a long haul and we still have a way to go, but the steps we’re taking are making a difference in the health and safety of our campus and our community.

Dennis D. Curran
Vice President of Administrative Services
Bellevue College, K100G
Dennis.curran@bellevevuecollege.edu
425-564-2446

Dear BC Community,

The purpose of this email is to notify all BC employees that beginning today, June 8, 2020, per guidance from the Governor, all employees will be required to wear a cloth facial covering or face mask while on campus.  Exceptions to this rule include when working alone in an office (without interactions with others) or when in a vehicle.

The College will provide masks for employees as long as we are required by the State to wear a mask while working on campus.  We have currently filled all Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requests from departments through the end of June.  Campus Operations will soon put out a call for a second order of PPE to cover July 1—August 31, 2020.    If exposure dictates a higher level of protection, appropriate masks will be provided. The state Department of Labor & Industries’ Coronavirus Facial Covering and Mask Requirements or Which Mask for Which Task guide has additional details on the wearing of masks, but most of our employees only need to wear a basic cloth mask.

Any employee needing a reasonable accommodation for this new workplace requirement will need to contact Human Resources at hr@bellevuecollege.edu. Employees who work with hearing impaired individuals or who rely on facial cues during communication may request a clear window facial mask or covering from Campus Operations. A good resource for those employees who would like to make their own clear window facial mask, can be found HERE.

There has been an increase in racial profiling across the country toward individuals of color who are wearing masks. Specifically, recent reports show a rise in bias against Black males who are wearing masks to protect themselves and others against the spread of COVID-19.  Employee safety is of utmost concern and we are committed to a campus environment free of harassment and discrimination.  Please support your fellow employees.  To report a bias incident, please fill out a report at http://www.bellevuecollege.edu/reportconcerns. For more “anti-racism and COVID-19” information, please go here.

Thank you for doing your part to keep yourself and others healthy.

Kristen Jones, Ed.D. (she/her/hers)

Acting President

kristen.jones@bellevuecollege.edu

425-564-2260

Student Resource Portal Employee Resource Portal Community Resource Portal

 
 

King County has confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more cases have been identified in the U.S. Currently, the Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control are tracking and monitoring COVID-19 in our area to provide updated guidance for the epidemic. We at Bellevue College are focused on communicating clearly and accurately as we prepare for the potential of more infections.

The situation in King County continues to evolve quickly, so please check their website often for updates.

You can also stay informed by visiting the Washington State Department of Health website, and by subscribing to the Public Health Insider blog. The Washington State Dept. of Health also established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington state, how the virus is spread, or what to do if you have symptoms, please call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.