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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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)
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 #.