COVID Updates

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

We will be making daily updates on this page about our campus status.  

Important: Updates and exposure notifications are for on-campus exposures and potential exposures only. 

COVID-19 Safety Plan:

Phase 2: COVID-19 Campus Guidelines

Vaccine Clinic Appointments:

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 17, 2021

    Governor Inslee’s announcement of a statewide re-opening plan to begin on or about June 30 has not yet gone into affect and we have not yet been informed whether and how it directly effects higher ed campuses.  BTC is currently required to continue to follow the guidelines in Governor Inslee’s Healthy Washington plan. BTC students and employees need to continue wearing masks indoors and to adhere to social distancing regardless of their vaccination status. We will post new information as it comes. For the time being, all safety measures remain in place.

    COVID-19 SAFETY PROTOCOLS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS:
    Governor Inslee’s announcement of a statewide re-opening plan to begin on or about June 30 has not yest gone into effect and we have not yet been informed whether and how it directly effects high ed campuses. BTC is currently required to continue to follow the guidelines in Governor Inslee’s Healthy Washington plan. BTC students and employees need to continue wearing masks indoors and to adhere to social distancing regardless of their vaccination status. We will post new information as it comes. For the time being, all safety measures remain in place. www.sbctc.edu/resources/documents/coronavirus/covid-19-protocols-higher-ed.pdf

  • April 13, 2021

    This afternoon, Bellingham Technical College (BTC) received notification that an individual, who tested positive for COVID-19, had potential close contact with the Fisheries & Aquaculture Sciences program. The individual was last on campus Thursday, April 8, between the hours of 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

    Having received this recent information, the Fisheries & Aquaculture Sciences program will cancel the 7625-AQUA 195 Fisheries Practicum-B class on ground activities through Wednesday, April 21, with a planned return to on-campus instruction on Thursday, April 22.

    As recommended by the Whatcom County Health Department, we are asking all Cohort B Fisheries & Aquaculture Sciences program students to take a COVID-19 test. Tests can be scheduled through your health care provider or through the health department approved website: testdirectly.com. Results are usually returned within 12-24 hours, often sooner. If a positive result is received, please notify Stella Gardiner at sgardiner@btc.edu.

    Note: If a Cohort B-Fisheries & Aquaculture Sciences program student has been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 there may be options for that student to attend class. These students must contact Stella Gardiner at sgardiner@btc.edu so that verification of the COVID-19 vaccination documentation can be made in order to approve and confirm an option.

    ·         If Cohort B-Fisheries & Aquaculture Sciences programs students have questions about missed assignments or makeup work, students should contact their faculty. 

    The College will continue to provide timely, accurate, and relevant information as it is available. It is also important to recognize that this is a very stressful time. Please do not hesitate to seek support through BTC’s Counseling office if you feel you need additional assistance. Students can schedule appointments, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.– 4 p.m., including same-day appointments when available. Appointments for counseling can be scheduled by calling 360.752.8345 or emailing counseling@btc.edu.

  • March 2, 2021

    This afternoon, Bellingham Technical College (BTC) received notification that an individual that tested positive for COVID-19 had potential close contact with the first year Machining program. The individual was last on campus Monday, February 22, between the hours of 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

    Having received this recent information, the first year Machining program will move classes online where possible, and cancel all on ground activities through March 8, with a planned return to on-campus instruction on Tuesday, March, 9.  BTC facilities will be sanitizing all locations that were in use, including classrooms, the shop, and shared facilities such as restrooms and hallways. All sanitation of space will follow the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) disinfecting protocols by using anti-viral chemicals that are EPA-approved for COVID-19.

    As recommended by the Whatcom County Health Department, we are asking all 1st year Machining students to take a COVID-19 test. Tests can be scheduled through your healthcare provider or through the health department approved website: testdirectly.com.  Results are usually returned within 12-24 hours, often sooner. If a positive result is received, please notify Autumn Kline at akline@btc.edu.

    The College will continue to provide timely, accurate, and relevant information as it is available. It is also important to recognize that this is a very stressful time. Please do not hesitate to seek support through BTC’s Counseling office if you feel you need additional assistance. Students can schedule appointments, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., including same-day appointments when available. Appointments for counseling can be scheduled by calling 360.752.8345 or emailing counseling@btc.edu.

  • February 2, 2021

    This afternoon, Tuesday, February 2, 2021, Bellingham Technical College (BTC) received notification that an individual that tested positive for COVID-19 had potential close contact with the first year daytime Auto Technology program. The individual was last on campus Tuesday, February 2, between the hours of 8:00-11:00 AM.

    For maximum caution, the first year Auto Technology program classes have moved completely on-line through February 16, with a planned return to class on Wednesday, February 17.  BTC facilities staff have sanitized all locations that were in use, including classrooms, the shop, and shared facilities such as restrooms and hallways. All sanitation of space followed the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) disinfecting protocols by using anti-viral chemicals that are EPA-approved for COVID-19.

    As recommended by the Whatcom County Health Department, we are asking all first year Auto Technology students to take a COVID-19 test. Tests can be scheduled through your healthcare provider or through the health department approved website: testdirectly.com.  Results are usually returned within 24-36 hours.  If a positive result is received, please notify Stella Gardiner at sgardiner@btc.edu.

    The College will continue to provide timely, accurate, and relevant information as it is available.   It is also important to recognize that this is a very stressful time. Please do not hesitate to seek support through BTC’s Counseling office if you feel you need additional assistance. Students can schedule appointments, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., including same-day appointments when available. Appointments for counseling can be scheduled by calling 360.752.8345 or emailing counseling@btc.edu.

  • January 14, 2021

    This afternoon Thursday, January 14, 2021, Bellingham Technical College (BTC) received notification that an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 had potential close contact with the 1st year daytime welding programs. The individual was last on campus Wednesday, January 13, between the hours of 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

    In regards to other welding cohorts; after discussions with program faculty and instructional techs, it has been determined that there was not contact between the individual that tested positive and any students or faculty from the 1st year evening program or either of the 2nd year daytime welding programs.

    Out of an abundance of caution, 1st year daytime welding program classes have been cancelled through Friday, January 29, with a planned return to class on Monday, February 1.  BTC facilities staff have sanitized all locations that were in use, including classrooms, the shop, and shared facilities such as restrooms and hallways. All sanitation of space followed the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) disinfecting protocols by using anti-viral chemicals that are EPA-approved for COVID-19.

    The College will continue to provide timely, accurate, and relevant information as it becomes available.   

    It is also important to recognize that this is a very stressful time. Please do not hesitate to seek support through BTC’s Counseling office if you feel you need additional assistance. Students can schedule appointments, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., including same-day appointments when available. Appointments for counseling can be scheduled by calling 360.752.8345 or emailing counseling@btc.edu.

  • December 18, 2020

    Winter quarter 2021 begins on Tuesday, January 5.  In order to support community health issues, instruction will be online for the first week of the quarter, and faculty are encouraged, to the extent possible, to also be online during the second week of instruction.   

    Here are the exceptions: 
    • L&I programs (HVAC/R & Electrician) may begin on-campus instruction on January 5 
    • The library will be distributing technology to students beginning January 5 
    • Assessment Center will be open by appointment only 
    • Bookstore employees will be working, but the store will be closed for in-person visits for students and other employees. Students may pick up materials purchased online by following guidelines on the Campus Store website.
    • Selected Administrative Services employees including Safety, Facilities, CISS & Business Office 
    • Individual exceptions will be granted in accordance with the current Campus Access Protocol - employees request and receive written approval from their supervisor to document the purpose for the visit, date, and specific building(s) to be accessed.  Click BTC Campus Access July 6+ for the entire document which is located on SharePoint. 

    New Mask Requirement:

    All students and employees are required to wear a multi-layer (3-ply) face mask when on campus. These can be disposable or washable but must be multi-layer. Bandanas, gators and open weave fabric are not approved face coverings. Masks must cover both the mouth and nose.  

    Multi-layer disposable masks will be available at each of the building check-in points. Masks are to be worn at all times while inside buildings in public spaces (e.g., classrooms, multi-person offices, restrooms, hallways, etc.). When outside, masks shall be worn at all times if there is not enough space to continually maintain at least 10 feet or more from others.
  • December 2, 2020

    BTC closed BTC’s Railroad Center for in-person instruction for the rest of the quarter and is moving all instruction online due to the November 23 exposure to COVID-19. 

    Anyone exposed during this time has been informed. 

    BTC will be cleaning this building in accordance with the protocols from the CDC, Washington Department of Health. 

    For additional information, visit the BTC Covid Updates web page. For information about what to do if you have been exposed, read this information from the Department of Health.   

    We know this can be a stressful time of year, and additionally so with a pandemic. If you are feeling sad, lonely or anxious, please reach out to BTC’s Counseling office for referrals and support. Here is that information: Students can schedule appointments, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., including same-day appointments when available by calling Brijean/scheduler at 360.752.8345 or emailing counseling@btc.edu.  

    We understand that you may have additional questions or concerns. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us at any time. We will do our best to support you.

  • November 25, 2020

    Bellingham Technical College learned of a potential exposure in Morse Center. All impacted program classes were cancelled.   

    It has been determined that there was no exposure due to this incident and classes will resume Monday, December 7. 

    We know this can be a stressful time of year, and additionally so with a pandemic. If you are feeling sad, lonely or anxious, please reach out to BTC’s Counseling office for referrals and support. Here is that information: Students can schedule appointments, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., including same-day appointments when available by calling Brijean/scheduler at 360.752.8345 or emailing counseling@btc.edu.  

    We understand that you may have additional questions or concerns. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us at any time. We will do our best to support you.

  • November 20, 2020

    BTC’s COVID-19 Response Team responded immediately to reports of a potential exposure in the Morse building and implemented campus and Department of Health protocols. It was determined that there was potential exposure on campus last Friday. Upon notice of the potential exposure Wednesday morning, November 18, Bellingham Technical College Morse Center was closed and all impacted program classes were cancelled with impacted students not returning to campus until Wednesday, December 2.   

    BTC has sanitized all locations that were in use, including classrooms, labs, and shared facilities such as restrooms. BTC’s sanitation procedures of spaces follows or exceeds the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) disinfecting protocols by using anti-viral chemicals that are EPA-approved for COVID-19.   

    All people who may have been in close contact have been notified of the potential exposure. BTC building check-in protocol helps ensure that we can enhance the Department of Health contact tracing to minimize further exposure.    

    We know this can be a stressful time of year, and additionally so with a pandemic. If you are feeling sad, lonely or anxious, please reach out to BTC’s Counseling office for referrals and support. Here is that information: Students can schedule appointments, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., including same-day appointments when available by calling Brijean/scheduler at 360.752.8345 or emailing counseling@btc.edu.  

    We understand that you may have additional questions or concerns. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us at any time. We will do our best to support you.

  • November 16, 2020

    Thanksgiving Messages and Office of the Governor updates 

    Dear BTC Students: 

    Typically, Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family, friends and other loved ones. For many, the season’s joys are bittersweet, and in this year of a pandemic amongst other regional, state and national events, this time of year may be more challenging for a greater number of us. 

    This holiday season, public health experts are urging all of us to celebrate only with the people with whom we currently live.  If you decide to host a Thanksgiving celebration, public health experts are asking that you celebrate outdoors, limit the guest list to no more than five people outside your household, and keep social interactions as short as possible.   

    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.  

    On Friday, November 13, Governor Inslee issued the Washington State travel Advisory which urges people arriving from other states or countries to self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival, and limit their interactions to their immediate household. 

    On Sunday, November 15, the governor issued COVID-19 Guidance effective through December 14, to mitigate rapidly increasing COVID infection rates.  

    We know this can be a stressful time of year, and additionally so with a pandemic.  We recognize that many of our students are under tremendous stress. We encourage you to seek support through BTC’s Counseling office. Students can schedule appointments, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., including same-day appointments when available. You can schedule a counseling appointment by calling Brijean/scheduler at 360.752.8345 or emailing counseling@btc.edu

    Your dedication to your education and career goals are to be commended, especially under our current circumstances. We are here to support you as you continue your studies. 

     We wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy holiday season.  

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Student Illness

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, or had close contact with a confirmed positive case, you should not visit campus for any reason until you have been released to return by a member of BTC’s COVID Response Team. Please email your Response Team contact as soon as possible for additional details. If you have in-person classes, be sure to notify your instructor that you will be absent.

 

If your program is:

 

Your Response Team contact is:

 

 

 

Cosmetology, Dental (all), EMT, Medical Administration, Paramedic, Radiologic Technology, Surgery Technology, Veterinary Technician

 

Billie Baker: bbaker@btc.edu

 

 

 

Dual Credit, ELA, Impact!, Transitional Studies

 

Elena Belaya: ebelaya@btc.edu

 

 

 

Accounting, Administrative Assistant, Automotive Collision, Automotive Technology, Business/Business Management, Computer Networking/Support Specialist, Culinary/Pastry Arts, Diesel Technology, Electrician, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science, HVAC & Refrigeration, Medical Administrative Assistant

 

Stella Gardiner: sgardiner@btc.edu

 

 

 

BAS Operations Management, Industrial Maintenance & Mechatronics, Instrumentation & Control, Machining, Process Technology, Water & Wastewater Treatment, Welding & Fabricating Technology

 

Autumn Kline: akline@btc.edu

 

 

 

BAS Engineering Technology, Engineering (all), General Education

 

Heide Willbrandt: hwillbrandt@btc.edu

 

 

 

Nursing (all), Nursing Assistant

 

Rika Winquist: rwinquist@btc.edu

 

 

 

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Student FAQs

Q: If I am sick, or have been exposed to COVID-19, can I still come to class?

A: No. You should not be on campus for any reason if you:

  • Are feeling ill or having any symptoms of illness.
  • Have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 10 days.
  • Have been in close contact with a confirmed positive case within the last 14 days. See below for definition of “close contact”.
  • Are waiting for your COVID-19 test results.
  • Have been asked to quarantine by another organization (work, health department, etc.).

 

Q: What is considered “close contact”?

A: 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 test collection).

 

Q: Is it still close contact if I was wearing a mask?

A: Yes, you are still considered a close contact even if you were wearing a mask while around someone with COVID-19.

 

Q: How do I get released to return to campus & in-person classes?

A: To return to campus and in-person classes, you must have been released to do so by a member of BTC’s COVID Response Team. If you have a release letter from your healthcare provider or the Department of Health, this letter must be submitted to your Response Team contact. Upon receiving this, they can release you to return to campus.

 

Q: Will I be penalized for missing class while waiting for release to return?

A: No. However, be sure to stay in touch with your instructors regarding missed assignments and make-up work.

 

Q: Where can I get a COVID-19 test?

A: Local testing services and information can be found here:

 

Q: Where can I get more information on safety guidelines if I was exposed?

A: For the Washington State Department of Health's full guidelines on what to do if you were exposed to COVID-19, click here.  

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Returning to Campus

Students and Employees who plan to come to campus need to follow the below return to Campus requirement steps:

  1. Take mandatory one-time COVID-19 Training here.

  2. Fill out mandatory health screening here.

  3. Use the touchless check-in stations on campus. (Get your ID barcode here.)

  4. All students and employees are required to wear a multi-layer (3-ply) face mask when on campus. These can be disposable or washable but must be multi-layer. Bandanas, gators and open weave fabric are not approved face coverings. Masks must cover both the mouth and nose.  Multi-layer disposable masks will be available at each of the building check-in points. Masks are to be worn at all times while inside buildings in public spaces (e.g., classrooms, multi-person offices, restrooms, hallways, etc.). When outside, masks shall be worn at all times if there is not enough space to continually maintain at least 10 feet or more from others.  

If you are not a Student or an Employee, follow the Visitor requirements instead.

Pickups and deliveries

Anyone – students, employees, or visitors – picking up or dropping off at drop boxes, curbside stations, or loading docks does not have to complete campus health reporting or check-in requirements, but must still wear a facemask on campus, maintain social distancing and follow posted requirements.

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Protocols

Safety precautions to protect BTC students, employees, and visitors 

Under Washington states Campus Reopening Guide, limited instructional activity in lab settings is permitted, as long as safety protocols are followed. Protocols must include: hygiene; social distancing; and cleaning and sanitization. 

BTC’s campus is operating remotely allowing only students who are attending labs to come to campus. Most of the BTC campus remains temporarily closed to the general public, with the exceptions of the Library, Assessment Center, IMPACT!, and the Campus Store.  We are continuing to serve students and the community remotely

Safety & Cleaning Protocols 

  • COVID-19 cleaning protocols established 
  • Safety training conducted at all locations on the first day of returning to work/class, and weekly thereafter, to explain the protective measures in place for all workers and students 
  • Social distancing of at least 6 feet of separation must be maintained by every person at all times 
  • Minimize interactions during class activities; ensure minimum 6-foot separation by physical barriers, and/or demarking floors with tape. Limit the number of students based on class size and activities to allow for 6-foot separation 
  • Furniture removed to ensure social distancing 
  • Cleaning and disinfecting protocols established for campus Custodial crews continually cleaning frequently touched surfaces with disinfectants specifically approved by the EPA for use with COVID-19 

Campus modifications 

Access to Facilities 

BTC’s campus is open to students attending labs for their programs, and the following departments are open for by appointment only: Library, Assessment Center, IMPACT!, and the Campus Store.  The campus remains temporarily closed to the general public. We’re continuing to serve students and the community remotely.  

Students 

  • Unless you are enrolled in a class meeting in person for labs or are purchasing textbooks or supplies from the Campus Store, please do not come to campus. The Campus Store continues to offer free ground shipping on all orders.  

  • Follow building-specific entry and safety protocols, including face covering and health screening. 

Employees 

  • If you need to come to campus, contact your supervisor 

  • Complete Health screening prior to coming to campus 

  • Wear a face covering 

  • If someone at BTC on campus only is confirmed to have COVID-19 

  • After the college is notified about a student or employee who has visited campus in the last 14 days who has tested positive for COVID-19, BTC will provide timely information directly to those who have potentially been exposed. Other employees and students will be notified on BTC website—COVID Updates

  • BTC will not notify the campus community about suspected or possible cases or confirmed cases for individuals who have not been on campus within 14 days of the onset of symptoms or diagnosis. 

  • Areas of campus visited by infected individuals will be closed temporarily for cleaning. 

  • All notifications will comply with FERPA and other applicable laws that protect the privacy of BTC’s students and employees. No student or employee will be identified by name and messages will not contain information that could be used to identify them. 

  • BTC will continue working closely with the Whatcom County Health Department.  

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