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About BTC

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information and resources


Returning to Campus for Summer Quarter

Students and Employees and Faculty who plan to come to campus need to follow the steps below.

Return to Campus info


Bellingham Technical College - Updated 4/17/2020


Dear BTC Students,

We look forward to starting spring quarter with you and providing services and strategies to help support your remote learning throughout this quarter.

Spring & Summer Quarter Classes

  • Remember, all classes offered in spring quarter will be delivered online and are available on Take a Class.
  • Take a Class summer quarter classes have now been updated.
  • Faculty teaching courses that have moved from spring to summer quarter are in the process of contacting students to share more details.
  • Contact Admissions and Advising at advising@btc.edu if you have questions.

Accessing Course/Library Materials and Technology Equipment for Spring Quarter

  • Beginning Monday, April 20, and continuing through Friday, May 1, students will be able to pick up course/library materials and technology support for use during spring quarter.
  • The library will be offering curbside services from 9 a.m.- 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • This service will be available by reservation only, and we require at least 24-hour notice.
  • Click Curbside Service Process (https://btc.ctc.libguides.com/Curbside ) for more information, directions, and contact information.

Retrieving Personal Possessions

  • If you have tools, equipment, PPE, or any other materials stored in campus lockers, labs, or shops, contact your program faculty via email or Canvas and they will help you make arrangements to retrieve your materials.

Important Dates to Remember

Spring 2020:
  • April 15: Tuition due
  • April 20: Spring quarter start
  • April 20: Financial Aid disbursed
  • June 30: Spring quarter end and Commencement Ceremony

Summer 2020:

  • June 23: Tuition due
  • July 8: Summer quarter start
  • July 8: Financial Aid disbursed
  • September 16: Summer quarter end

Visit BTC Campus Health page at www.btc.edu/campushealth for more information and to view past student communications.

I hope you have a good weekend. We look forward to seeing you online next week.

Kimberly Perry, President
Bellingham Technical College

Monday, April 13, 2020
Campus Update from Kimberly Perry, President Bellingham Technical College


Dear BTC Students,

We are looking forward to starting spring quarter with you and are providing support services and strategies geared towards remote learning.

Please read following information for Spring Quarter

Be well,
Kimberly Perry, President
Bellingham Technical College

Friday, March 20, 2020
Campus Update from Kimberly Perry, President Bellingham Technical College


Dear BTC Students,

I know that you are concerned and stressed about what the future may bring. My hope is that today’s communication will alleviate some of that worry. I want to thank you for your flexibility during such a difficult time. I recognize that knowing when spring quarter starts is at the top of your mind.

We will be communicating with you early next week about tentative spring quarter start dates. Please remember that as national and statewide requirements evolve, dates may change due to those new guidelines. If additional measures are announced we will send you updates on date shifts and on any college operation changes.

BTC’s Emergency Response Team has been working diligently to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and protect our campus community, minimize the spread of the coronavirus illness, and to maintain – as much as possible – the continuity of BTC’s operations. Please continue to check your emails regularly for important communications and updates.

BTC continues to operate remotely. All campus buildings will be closed to the public and to students until Friday, April 3. As of today, the plan is to open the campus to the public and students by appointment only starting Monday, April 6.

Student Services has been moved online to the greatest extent possible. There are physical drop boxes located at the College Services building for forms and payments.

For additional information contact:

It is vital to remember to be compassionate to those either directly or indirectly affected by this virus and keep in mind that viruses do not discriminate. It is especially important that we actively work against the anti-Asian bias connected with COVID-19. There is no racial or ethnic dimension to this illness. We are a community of care and support, and we need everyone working together to meet this challenge. This is an opportunity to rise to our best and highest capacities now and in the coming weeks, and for each of us to lead with compassion and strength.

I hope that you find some moments of peace in the coming days.

Kimberly Perry
President
Bellingham Technical College
3028 Lindbergh Ave. | Bellingham, WA 98225
P: 360.752.8334 | F: 360.715.8359

Bellingham Technical College Updated 3/17/2020


To BTC Students,

BTC will remain closed to the public and students for the remainder of the week, Wednesday – Friday, March 18 – 20, 2020. This will allow for continued planning for spring quarter and on-going college operations.

We know that you are stressed and concerned about how to proceed with your educational goals. BTC is working to mitigate issues day by day. We have student supports in place to work with you remotely while we are closed.

This includes:

Please also feel free to continue to correspond with anyone at the college of whom you are already working with.

This was an incredibly fast pivot for all of us, and your patience and flexibility has been so greatly appreciated.

Please do know that we all take the health and safety of our campus community very seriously, and are doing everything possible for you as we navigate this challenging and evolving situation.

Please continue to check your student email for updates.

Take care,

Kimberly Perry
President
Bellingham Technical College
3028 Lindbergh Ave. | Bellingham, WA 98225
P: 360.752.8334 | F: 360.715.8359

Bellingham Technical College Updated 3/16/2020


Dear BTC Students,

Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, all BTC campus locations will be closed for all services to the public and students. We will be using this time to strategize on how to maintain college operations and plan for Spring Quarter.

I had hoped to have an announcement on the official start date of Spring Quarter by March 18, but changing circumstances may affect my ability to do so.

As a reminder, according to the Whatcom County Health Department people who have been sick with cough and fever should stay home until 72 hours after fever has resolved or seven (7) days after the illness began, whichever is longer.

Thank you for your patience and willingness to work together as a community at an exceedingly difficult time.

Kimberly Perry
President
Bellingham Technical College
3028 Lindbergh Ave. | Bellingham, WA 98225
P: 360.752.8334 | F: 360.715.8359

Bellingham Technical College Updated 3/13/2020


Dear Campus Community,

Thank you for your flexibility as we work together as a community to solve ever-evolving issues during this unprecedented time. I know that you are worried, stressed and scared for yourself and loved ones. I know that you are tired, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I know this, because I am. Today I read an article which related what Gene Kranz, the lead flight director of the Apollo 13 mission, said when an oxygen tank on the lunar module failed which meant return to earth was in jeopardy, “With all due respect, I believe this is going to be our finest hour.” We can make this one of BTC’s finest hours, by pulling together as team to take care of our students, one another and our community. This afternoon, Governor Inslee announced the closure of K-12 schools statewide beginning March 17, 2020 with classes resuming Monday, April 27, 2020. He instructed higher education institutions to move as much instruction online as possible for the same time period. The Governor clarified that labs, clinics, and core functions (registration, advising, financial aid, assessment center, library, bookstore, etc.) may continue face to face as long as social distancing guidelines are followed.

As was previously communicated, BTC has taken steps to move all possible instruction online for students finishing winter quarter. Additionally, faculty have been providing grades to date for those students who have met the learning outcomes for their course work. These steps have already removed a significant fraction of students from campus. This reduced number of students allows for appropriate social distancing amongst students and employees.

The college has dramatically increased the amount of sanitizing done each day on campus in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Steps include:

  • Custodial staff have prioritized sanitizing touch points across campus like door handles, elevators, stair railings and other high traffic areas.
  • Maintenance and Grounds crews have taken over garbage, recycling and restocking responsibilities to maximize custodial sanitizing efforts.
  • All Instructional Technicians have been provided training on cleaning and sanitizing processes and are sanitizing shop and labs spaces each day.
  • Sanitizing wipes are being distributed to all buildings on campus for the sanitizing of meeting spaces, keyboards and other spaces.

With current direction from the Governor, the format of BTC’s Spring Quarter will follow the current guidelines:

  • All instruction possible online to be online.
  • Labs, clinics, and core functions (registration, advising, financial aid, assessment center, library, bookstore, etc.) may continue face to face as long as social distancing guidelines are followed.

The official start date of Spring Quarter will be determined and communicated no later than March 18, 2020.

As a reminder, according to the Whatcom County Health Department people who have been sick with cough and fever should stay home until 72 hours after fever has resolved or seven (7) days after the illness began, whichever is longer.

To date, there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the BTC campus community.

Thank you for your continued commitment to providing a quality learning experience. It is greatly appreciated.

Kimberly Perry
President
Bellingham Technical College
3028 Lindbergh Ave. | Bellingham, WA 98225
P: 360.752.8334 | F: 360.715.8359

Bellingham Technical College Updated 3/9/2020


Dear BTC Students,

We understand that planning around the Novel Coronavirus (COVID19) is constantly evolving, which may be creating confusion and, as a result, students have questions. At this time, our plan is to end Winter Quarter instruction early, on Friday, March 20, instead of Thursday, March 26.

Please read this entire message for details about BTC’s response and plan.

While there have been no COVID-19 cases associated with the BTC campus, the early quarter ending will give the College a chance to assess how the situation is developing and prepare for potential continued disruption into Spring Quarter. We should all be ready for potential changes to quarter start and end dates.

The health and safety of our students is top of mind as we work our way through this situation. We are here to support your educational goals and will continue to do so in this exceptional circumstance.

BTC continues working closely with local health officials to stay informed as more local information becomes available. We are moving forward on arrangements to help contain the spread of COVID-19, including the following actions:

BTC’s Instruction Plan:


Because of the hands-on nature of BTC’s programs, the vast majority of instruction at BTC cannot be moved online. Advanced Manufacturing, Allied Health, Culinary, Fisheries, Industrial Trades, Transportation – all these programs require face-to-face learning activities in shops, labs, kitchens or clinical sites. Because of this, we have decided to end Winter Quarter early on March 20 in order to meet our goal of reducing large gatherings and practicing social distancing. All faculty will still teach enough content to meet the learning outcomes of each class.

Some classes can be moved entirely online, and faculty will be moving as many learning activities onto Canvas or other program-specific platforms as soon as possible. Where possible instructional activities will be re-arranged, and more out-of-class work assigned, in order to meet the course learning outcomes with less on-ground contact time. Faculty will hybridize their classes to the extent possible for the remainder of the quarter, moving lecture/theory material online, so as to maximize lab or shop time. Additionally, some programs have specific hours requirements that necessitate meeting beyond the March 20 date. vThe goal is to have as many programs end the quarter, including finals, by the March 20 date as possible, whether in person or online, but there will be some exceptions. In those cases where a faculty member has a compelling need to extend classes past March 20, they will be working with their dean to be able to do so.

How BTC can help:


Students who are immunocompromised or have family members who are may request other specific adjustments; faculty are encouraged to do all they can to work with each student and accommodate their needs. The library has laptops to lend to students and will be providing an extended loan time in this unusual circumstance.

Food Service Changes:


The food service window is reopening for lunch orders, and a variety of to-go options will be available in both the Lindbergh Avenue Deli and Grill and Common Grounds (wrapped and made-to-order sandwiches and premade salads).

General Updates:


BTC is following the recommendations of Whatcom County Health Department, the Washington State Department of Health and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make decisions about campus closures and event cancelations.

Supervisors have the authority and responsibility to send employees home who are displaying or self-disclose that they have symptoms of COVID-19.

We encourage the campus to refer to these trusted agencies for updates outside of BTC’s campus:

BTC Alerts:


We would like to remind everyone to sign up for our BTC alert system to stay informed. If the college suspends its operations, you will be notified through our BTC Alerts system that sends out calls, emails and text messages. Now is a good time to go to the BTC Alerts webpage and make sure your notification settings are correct. You can always check our Emergency Closure and Storm Watch Line at 360.752.8766 for information on emergency closures or delays. It is available 24/7 for your convenience.

We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we work together toward a solution. We are striving to meet both our public health responsibilities and our educational obligations.

Please stay tuned for further updates.

Kimberly Perry
President, Bellingham Technical College

Bellingham Technical College Updated 3/2/2020


Emergency Planning Underway for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

While the United States is not experiencing large numbers of people with the novel coronavirus at this time, BTC is reviewing and updating our emergency management plans so that we understand what actions we would take should there be an outbreak in our area.

There are steps people can take now to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Symptoms of COVID-19 primarily include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These symptoms appear 2 to 14 days after exposure.

  • COVID-19 spreads between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) via coughs or sneezes. It may also spread by touching a surface or object with the virus on it.
  • Prevention starts with practicing good personal health habits: stay home when you’re sick, cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, wash your hands often with soap and water, stay away from people who are ill, and clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.
  • By following prevention guidelines, not only do individuals reduce their risk of disease, they also lighten the load on the health care system and slow the spread of disease.
  • Facemasks are NOT recommended as routine prevention. They are recommended for use for people experiencing symptoms and for health care providers with direct contact with sick individuals.

Will there be school closures?

We do not know yet if the virus will spread in our area or if there will be closures of our college. But we are preparing so that we will be ready to take fast action if needed. Everyone’s health and safety is our highest priority.

Decision-Making

Unlike our local decision-making with weather-related closures, our President will follow the advice and direction from our Whatcom County Health Department, the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state officials.

Notifications

If the college suspends its operations, you will be notified through our BTC Alerts system that sends out calls, emails and text messages. Now is a great time to go to the BTC Alerts webpage and make sure your notification settings are correct. You can always check our Emergency Closure and Storm Watch Line at 360.752.8766 for information on emergency closures or delays. It is available 24/7 for your convenience.

Additional Resources:

Coronavirus FAQ


How is it spread?

Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:

  • The air by coughing and sneezing, or close person-to-person contact
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms of coronavirus may include:

  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Cough

If you have traveled to/from Wuhan City, China and have symptoms, contact a health care provider.

If you have been notified by public health authorities that you might have been exposed, please follow instructions provided by the Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control.

How to prevent illness

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus. The CDC recommends everyday prevention measures, including:

  • Everyone get a seasonal flu vaccination if possible. While it will not prevent the novel coronavirus, influenza is currently in widespread circulation, and initial symptoms can be similar to novel coronavirus.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home from school or work if sick
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Increase social distancing to 6 feet or more
  • Clean and disinfect shared surfaces and objects that are touched frequently.

What to do if you are not feeling well

Stay home when you are sick. Do not report to work or attend classes if you are ill. Instructors, consider providing students with ways to complete work from home. This is good advice no matter what illness is going around.

If you are concerned about your flu-like illness, call your health care provider for advice and share any travel history. Stay home, rest, and stay hydrated.

How to stay informed

The Washington State Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions please call 1-800-525-0127 and press #, or visit Washington State Department of Health.

Bellingham Technical College will update this page when any relevant developments occur. This page was last updated 03/03/2020