Services are temporarily suspended in Campus Center building.

Campus Center (CC) building remains closed through September 30, 2022.  Students, please check Canvas for class updates. Services normally located in CC are available in Morse Center second floor including library, tutoring, TRIO and Student Life. Campus Store has limited services in G building from 7:45 a.m.-1 p.m.

COVID Updates

Bellingham Technical College Is A Fully Vaccinated Campus

BTC is committed to making our campus safe for students and employees. 

As a fully vaccinated campus under Higher Education Proclamation 20-12.5, all students are required to attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status in order to attend BTC (faculty and staff are also required to attest).

Complete the online vaccination status attestation form to attest or request an exemption. Requests for exemptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Check this page regularly for updates to campus guidelines, procedures, and FAQs related to COVID.

Check btc.edu for daily updates regarding the current status of BTC operations and services, including any disruptions due to COVID, weather, or other reasons. 

Vaccines & Booster Shots:

BTC encourages all students, faculty, and staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and, if eligible, to also receive booster shots as they become available. To make an appointment:

PrepMod.doh.wa.gov. People without internet access may call 360.778.6075.

Local Testing Services and Information:  

TestDirectly.com

Whatcom County Health Department COVID-19 Testing

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Updates

  • May 03, 2022 Updated Vaccinated Campus Guidelines and Procedures

  • March 11, 2022 Updated Vaccinated Campus Guidelines and Procedures

  • March 9, 2022 Governor's Masking Mandate, Office of the President

    March 9, 2022 Governor’s Masking Mandate

    To: BTC Students

    As you may know, the Governor will lift the indoor masking mandate on March 12, 022, and has updated his Proclamation 20-15.16 Washington Ready to reflect this change in requirements. As we have done since the beginning of the pandemic, BTC is going to follow the guidelines set by the Governor and the Department of Health, who are in turn guided by the CDC and the scientific community.

    Effective Saturday, March 12, 2022, face coverings will no longer be required generally on the BTC campus. Government and health officials agree that the pandemic is not over – these changes to guidelines are being made to reflect the increasing knowledge we have of the virus, the growing number of fully vaccinated and boosted individuals in our communities, and the decline of the most recent surge. BTC urges everyone to assess their own level or risk and comfort with the new guidelines and encourages everyone to continue to wear a mask if they so choose.

    It would also be wise to bear in mind that this removal of masking requirements, in addition to maintaining exceptions for health care, congregate housing, and public transportation, may or may not be permanent: the CDC and Washington State Department of Health may well re-instate stricter requirements if the pandemic does not continue to abate.

    Here is how the situation will change at BTC:

    As a general rule, students, employees, volunteers, visitors, contractors, and guests at BTC are not required to wear face coverings in order to be on campus but may continue to wear a mask if they desire.
    Note: Students in Nursing and Allied Health programs are covered by separate guidelines and will still be required to wear face coverings in some settings. Check with program staff and faculty for details.

    All other provisions of the Higher Education proclamation 20-12.5 will remain in place:

    • Attestation of vaccination status
    • Maintenance of three-foot social distancing
    • Facilitation of optimal ventilation
    • Compliance with building check-in where established
    • Adherence to the COVID Illness Response
    • ProceduresContinuation of cleaning and sanitation procedures

    To reiterate, this new condition does not mean the pandemic is over. We still need to be mindful and careful about our personal and public health responsibilities, and considerate and compassionate with everyone’s individual circumstances. Just as there are reasons for not wanting to wear a mask, there are individuals in our community who, for various reasons, may choose to continue to wear a mask all or part of the time on campus. While we will operate within the Governor’s guidelines, we will also respect everyone’s personal wishes.

    If you have any questions, please email covidquestions@btc.edu.

    Office of the President

    Walter Hudsick, Interim President
    Bellingham Technical College

     

  • January 31, 2022 COVID-19 Isolation & Quarantine Guidelines

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Illness Procedure

Illness Procedure

Updated March 11, 2022: Below text in PDF: Student Illness Response Procedure 3/11/2022

Preface

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, when less was known about the disease and no vaccine was yet available, BTC established a COVID Response Team and a rigorous process for responding to reports of student illness in order to meet the public health requirements at that time. Now, in 2022, more is known about the nature of the coronavirus and how it spreads. Additionally, vaccines and booster shots, as well as therapeutics, have been made widely available. Because of these changing circumstances, BTC’s process for response to campus illness has changed.

As a Fully Vaccinated Campus, BTC programs and departments will be able to continue their work while we respond to incidents of COVID-19 exposure. And as we move through this next phase of the pandemic, we remain mindful of the lessons we have learned and how we can apply those lessons not only to COVID, but to all contagious or infectious diseases our campus may encounter, including the annual flu. 

This procedure articulates the principles and establishes the process necessary to maintain a healthy campus community in a sustainable way during the pandemic. The college will continue to provide support, counseling, and information to our campus community as we move forward.

Principles

Stay healthy and engage in healthy practices: BTC encourages all students to manage their health through proper diet, exercise, and stress reduction to the extent possible. Please check these links (CDC Healthy Living, WA DoH You and Your Family) for general advice and consult with your health care provider.

Engage in good public hygiene practices: Wash your hands frequently. Get a flu shot. Stay current on all recommended vaccinations. Get the COVID vaccine and booster shot (if you are eligible). Mask up and take extra precautions during cold and flu season. Make staying healthy and keeping your community healthy a consistent practice. (CDC Hygiene, CDC Vaccine Information for Adults, WA DoH Immunization). As a Fully Vaccinated Campus under the Governor’s Higher Education Proclamation 20-12.5, BTC requires all students to get vaccinated. Though the masking mandate will be lifted effective March 12, 2022, BTC urges everyone to assess their own level or risk and comfort with the new guidelines and encourages everyone to continue to wear a mask if they so choose.

If you’re sick, stay home: It is the intention of BTC to instill in students the importance of honestly reporting all incidents of illness. In these cases, it is the responsibility of the individual to stay home and not come to campus. If you are sick unrelated to COVID-19, contact your faculty member. Stay off campus until 24 hours after symptoms subside. If you contract or are exposed to COVID-19, observe the COVID-19 response protocols outlined below.

It is your responsibility to notify faculty when you are ill and to stay current with coursework: BTC is committed to the success of students who may be affected by illness. To the extent possible, faculty will work with you to help you stay current with coursework and access alternative means of instruction; however, it is ultimately your responsibility to contact your faculty member and meet stated course deadlines. If you are unable to do so, you may withdraw from the class (standard refund dates apply).

COVID-19 response

As a Fully Vaccinated Campus, the college will not generally be closing or pausing instructional cohorts if illness is reported; the college follows Whatcom County Health Department guidelines regarding quarantine and isolation for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. When appropriate, the college will inform specific campus populations of an incident of COVID-19, advise them of those guidelines, and possibly require modifications to operations. Also see btc.edu for daily updates regarding college services and operations.

If you exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, get a test. If you test positive for COVID-19, report that to your faculty immediately. Follow directions from the Whatcom County Health Department regarding COVID-19 exposure or infection; you may not be released to return to class until certain conditions are met or a medical release is provided. Any student developing a temperature of 100.4°F or higher while on campus is considered to have a fever and will be sent home. You are to report to your instructor if you develop symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle aches, or new loss of taste or smell).

If you have been in close contact (within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes within 24 hours) with someone who has been confirmed with a positive case of COVID-19, report this to your faculty as soon as possible and use the CDC guidance on how to self-monitor and when to contact your health care provider.

If you have a sick family member at home with COVID-19, notify your instructor as soon as possible. Follow the isolation/quarantine requirements established by the Washington State Department of Health.

Faculty who receive notification of a student illness or exposure in their class or cohort will advise all students of the potential exposure and provide them with guidelines for recommended response by vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

Faculty who receive notification of a student illness or exposure will report the information to the COVID Response Team. The Team will contact the reporting student directly with clear instruction on the protocols to follow in response to their circumstance. Students may not return to campus sooner than allowed by the response protocol and will be subject to Student Code of Conduct sanctions if they do so. The COVID Response Team will be the follow-up contact for reporting students.

If there is a second report of symptoms, contact, or positive testing within the same class or cohort, the COVID Response Team will work with the appropriate faculty and dean or director to develop any operation modifications.

Campus awareness

The college will notify programs or departments about public health issues of general concern. All communication about such incidents will come from the college and should not come from individuals.

Process compliance

Individuals who fail to comply with the COVID reporting procedure will be subject to discipline under the Student Code of Conduct.

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Student FAQs

BTC COVID-19: Student Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Fully Vaccinated Campus: March 14, 2022. 

Here is Student FAQ March 14,2022 PDF Version.

QUARANTINE & ISOLATION*

  1. Q: Under what circumstances does someone have to quarantine/isolate and not come to campus?
    A: Anyone who has tested positive for COVID or developed COVID symptoms must isolate for at least 5 days after the date of testing positive or the onset of symptoms; longer if symptoms persist. Except those who are fully vaccinated and have received a booster shot (if eligible based on timeline), anyone who has come into close contact (within 6 feet for a total of about 15 minutes within a 24-hour period) with someone who has tested positive for COVID must quarantine for at least 5 days.

  2. Q: If I have been told to quarantine/isolate and not come to campus, can I automatically return after 5 days?
    A: No, you need to be cleared by a member of the BTC COVID Response Team before returning to campus. If you are still experiencing any symptoms, continue quarantining/isolating.

    *Note: In accordance for those working in healthcare settings, isolation and quarantine periods and other requirements may be different for nursing and allied health students, faculty, and staff.

MASKING

  1. Q: The Governor is lifting the indoor masking mandate on March 12, 2022. Can I still opt to wear a mask while on campus?
    A: Absolutely. BTC urges everyone to assess their own level or risk and comfort with the new guidelines and encourages everyone to continue to wear a mask if they so choose.

    Also note that nursing and allied health programs are covered by separate guidelines; students, faculty, and staff in those programs will still be required to wear face coverings in some settings (this also applies to visitors to nursing and allied health program facilities).
  1. Q: I am concerned about being around people who are not wearing a face covering. Can I ask them to wear a mask?
    A: You can certainly ask; however, you cannot require. That said, we must all be mindful that many within our community remain vulnerable and, as such, all are encouraged to continue wearing face coverings while around others outside of their household.

  2. Q: I recently had COVID / had COVID symptoms / was exposed to someone with COVID. Why do I have to wear a mask when I come back to campus?
    A: Though the masking mandate is being lifted for the general public, the Department of Health still recommends masking under certain circumstances. Currently, that includes masking while around others during periods of isolation or quarantine, and an additional five days after coming out of isolation or quarantine.

VACCINATIONS & BOOSTER SHOTS

  1. Q: Is the COVID vaccination status attestation still required?
    A: Yes. As a Fully-Vaccinated Campus, BTC requires all students, faculty, and staff to attest to their COVID vaccination status.
  1. Q: Can our campus require everyone to provide proof of vaccination, including, students and employees?
    A: Under the Governor’s proclamation, students are not required to submit documentation, if vaccinated, and both employees and students are entitled to request medical and religious exemptions, except for special programs.
  1. Q: Is proof of vaccination required or can self-attestation information be verified?
    A: For students, the self-attestation form does not require proof of vaccination, only the dates that shots were received. Immunization status may be verified with the Washington State Department of Health. Assertion of medical or religious exemption status by students will require additional documentation and accommodation.

  2. Q: Will online students be required to complete an attestation?
    A: Online students who will never come to campus for any reason may request an exemption from the vaccination requirement through the online vaccination status attestation form. They will have to complete additional documentation.

  3. Q: Will the campus know what percentage of employees and are vaccinated?
    A: Yes, the aggregate information about vaccination rates among students and employees will be made available.

  4. Q: How will we know who is vaccinated? Can we ask them?
    A: Individuals are free to discuss their own status but should not ask others about their vaccine status.

  5. Q: Will instructors know which students are vaccinated? Will they ask students?
    A: Instructors will be provided with class rosters that indicate which students have submitted a vaccination exemption but the information will not be shared any further. Individuals are free to discuss their own status but should not ask others about their vaccine status.

  6. Q: Are booster shots required?
    A: Though not required, BTC encourages all students, faculty, and staff to get a booster shot if they are eligible.
  1. Q: Do students have to attest if they have received a booster shot?
    A: Students are not currently required to attest if they have received a booster shot; however, in cases of confirmed or potential exposure to someone who is COVID positive, the COVID response team may ask for booster status, as that may determine appropriate next steps.
  1. Q: What are the consequences for misrepresentation of vaccination status?
    A: Individuals who provide false information on the vaccination self-attestation will be subject to discipline under the Student Code of Conduct

OTHER

  1. Q: What are the social distancing requirements now?
    A: All instructional and service activities will keep a three-foot or greater social distance standard to the greatest extent possible. We understand that we may only be partially successful at this goal.
  1. Q: Are we still checking temperatures, completing daily health attestations, and checking in at building entrances?
    A: The daily health attestation is no longer required for students or employees, no daily health checks will be performed, and building check-in stations have been removed except for areas where students co-mingle.

  2. Q: Will students and staff entering Settlemyer and the Library be checking in on each floor, or at the entrances of Campus Center?
    A: Students will be checking in upon entrance to the Settlemyer Hall and Library space, not at the entrance to the CC building or on each floor.
  1. Q: What is recommended if someone feels sick?
    A: Follow the respective COVID Illness Response Procedure found on the BTC COVID website page for students.

  2. Q: Can students be on campus outside of class time and use the common areas?
    A: Yes, campus is fully open; however, some areas may need to limit on-campus services intermittently as needed in cases of confirmed exposure. Check edu for daily updates.

  3. Q: How does BTC share COVID updated communications with students?
    A: Student email blasts go both to the students’ BTC addresses and to the personal email address that they provided before being admitted. BTC also sends follow up text messages as a prompt for students to check their email. 
  1. Q: What if I have more questions?
    A: All additional questions can be directed to covidquestions@btc.edu.
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