Overview

To ensure the safety and health of our college community, TCC will continue to take a series of actions in response to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis.

Our decisions continue to be informed by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department TPCHDD), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health best practices. We also partner with the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, work closely with other public higher education leadership and take direction from Gov.  JayInsleee. Our goals continue to be:

  • Protect the health and safety of students, staff and the community.
  • Adhere to the guidance of public health experts, State and federal government mandates.
  • Provide ongoing communications to students, staff and the public.
  • Support students and staff in the transition to online instruction and working remotely.
  • Ensure equitable access to instruction, technology and other resources for student success.
  • Plan for the future of TCC that ensures the safety of our community.

Hours & Services 

Student support and academic services are being offered online and in person. 

Covid-19 Flowchart for TCC Students & Staff 

 

Frequently Asked Questions - Updated March 29, 2022

 

 

 

Table of Contents

Masks and Compliance

Classroom Preparation

Workstation Preparation

Vaccine Information and Exemptions

Employee Vaccination Timeline

Student Vaccination Timeline

COVID-19 Symptoms

COVID-19 Contact Tracing at TCC

Support and Resources

Reminders, Additional Info and Resources

Masks and Compliance

Masks

Indoor mask wearing is no longer mandatory at TCC, but is still strongly encouraged. We respect each person’s choice to wear a mask or not. Please be receptive to those who may request that others wear a mask in small enclosed spaces.

Mask stations will be placed at all buildings on the campuses. If you need more masks, please call Campus Public Safety at 253.566.5111.

Mask guidelines:

  • TCC is no longer requiring masks indoors, as of March 28. We strongly recommend masks indoors, and are supportive of everyone's masking choices.
  • We recognize each individual has the personal right to protect themselves. As a campus, we are committed to embracing diversity of though and opinions. The same applies with mask wearing; and we expect all of us to practice respect and tolerance for decisions regarding masks.
  • The Early Learning CenteELCELC) on the TCC Tacoma campus will continue to require masks indoors. This is due to a contract with Puget Sound Educational Service District, who upholds their agreement for the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program and Early Head Start program. These programs require masks at all of its centers. Masks at tELCELC apply to all staff, children, and parents/guardians who enter tELCELC. 
  • Review the CDC guidelines of what is an acceptable mask.

Compliance

  • Health monitors (new employees who will be stationed in key areas around the campus) will help with providing masks, restocking supplies and more.
  • Masks are no longer mandatory indoors, but are readily available. Ask a campus member or health monitor where they can access masks on campus.
  • Students and staff will have the choice to wear a mask, with the expectation that others' choices will be respected. Because indoor masks are no longer required, it is up to individuals if they choose to wear a mask. Individuals cannot require others to wear a mask around them.

Classroom Preparation

As TCC’s campuses phase back into in-person operations, classrooms will need to adjust to ensure the safety of both employees and students.

  • Masks are strongly encouraged indoors, but no longer mandatory for campus participation. Mask stations will be located in most buildings. Health monitors will assist with masks. If a student needs accommodation regarding a mask, please contact Access Services at access@tacomacc.edu.
  • Disinfection wipes will be available in all classrooms to maintain a hygienic atmosphere. CDC has reported that in most situations, the risk of infection from touching a surface is low. The most reliable way to prevent infection is regularly wash hands. For general sanitation, we encourage faculty and students to use the wipes after each use. Facilities will clean the areas daily. If you need more wipes, call Campus Safety at 253.566.5111.

Communicating to Students

  • Faculty are encouraged to provide TCC’s safety protocols in thesyllabiabi, course resources in Canvas or other ways you communicate to students and reinforce these protocols during the first day of class.
  • Suggested syllabus language:
    “TCC has implemented safety protocols based on guidance from public health agencies. This includes hand washing and self-attesting your vaccination status. As a member of our campus community, students, faculty, and staff are expected to follow all health and safety protocols and policies. These protocols apply to everyone who physically enter the campus grounds. TCC is committed to protecting the health and safety of the campus community. By participating in this course, you agree to abide by TCC’s ongoing safety protocols.”
  • Clearly communicate your preference of how you wish to interact with students. Since masks are no longer required indoors, it is up to students if they choose to wear a mask. We also must respect those who choose not to wear a mask and cannot deny them service in such a case. If meeting outside the class, and either party declines to wear a mask upon request, please respectfully work together to meet in a larger space, such as a loggy or conference room or outdoors, or meet virtually. 

Digital Access to Classes

Faculty are encouraged to adopt a method of recording class sessions through Zoom, Microsoft TeamPanoptopto, or other means. Having a method of digital access will ensure that students who are required to quarantine and miss in-person classes do not fall behind in coursework.

Support can be provided by TCC’s eLearning team

Workstation Preparation

Employees can request a plexiglass barrier or other safety equipment through the Facility Maintenance Request on the Portal or at 253.566.5152.

Cleaning processes will be implemented throughout campus, but employees are encouraged to frequently disinfect their workstations to maintain a hygienic atmosphere for themselves and other members of the campus community. Employees can request additional cleaning supplies through Campus Safety at 253.566.5111.

Supervisors are free to provide digital access to meetings or gatherings through Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or other programs to ensure a safe working environment.

Telework Processes

TCC recently revised iteleworkork policy. Employees can review the updated policy here.

The college will considteleworkork requests on a case-by-case basis based on the needs and priorities of college operations. Email humanresources@tacomacc.edu for more information.

Vaccine Information and Exemptions

Vaccinations are an essential tool in battling the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Per Gov. Jay Inslee’s higher education proclamation 20-12, TCC opted to be a fully vaccinated campus this summer. This means staff, faculty and students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and self-attest their vaccination status. Only medical and religious exemptions will be considered.

As a condition of employment, all higher education employees must be fully vaccinated or have an approved medical or religious exemption.

TCC students must self-attest their vaccination status or receive an approved medical or religious exemption. Students who choose not to self-attest can only attend online classes and will need to check-in at Building 14 if on campus for services.
See updated vaccination and Covid-19 case numbers on our dashboard at tacomacc.edu.

Employee Vaccination or Exemption Attestation

Employees must submit a self-attestation form to verify their vaccine status through ctcLink. Employees should submit this information as soon as they have completed both doses of tModernarna or Pfizer vaccine, or after their first and only dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Employees may submit exemptions for legitimate medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs. Employees claiming exemptions will also need to complete the self-attestation form through ctcLink.

Instructions on how to complete the self-attestation form can be found here.

New employees will be required to self-attest their status. Instructions on how to complete the self-attestation form can be found here. 

Employee Verification Process

TCC is required to verify proof of vaccination for employees. Human Resources, under the guidance of our legal counsel, has developed a process to verify authentic vaccine cards. Another process has been developed to review medical and religious documentation. No documentation will be kept for records.  

Student Vaccination or Exemption Attestation

Students must submit a self-attestation form to verify their vaccine status through ctcLink as soon as they have completed both doses of tModernarna or Pfizer vaccine, or after their first and only dose of the Johnson & Johnson
vaccine. Students may submit exemptions for legitimate medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs. Students claiming exemptions will also need to complete the self-attestation form through ctcLink.
Students who do not self-attest can only enroll in online classes. If they come onto campus for any type of service, they must check in at Building 14.

Instructions on how to complete the self-attestation form can be found here.

Spring Quarter 

For spring quarter, students who are enrolled in on-campus classes or plan to participate in any on-campus activities and/or services must self attest their vaccination status or receive an approved religious or medical
exemption. 

Students will be unable to enroll in on-campus classes unless they have self-attested their vaccination or exemption status.

Students who are taking exclusively online classes will not be required to self-attest.

Students can self-attest anytime - it goes into effect within an hour. It is good for the academic year.

COVID-19 Symptoms

Before you leave for work, assess your health. How do you feel? Do you have any symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms vary, and are updated by the CDC, but the most common are:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

There is additional information about COVID-19 at the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department website.

What to do:

  • Stay home if you are experiencing any COVID-19 related symptoms.
  • Notify your supervisor right away. If you would like to work from home, please ask your supervisor.
  • Seek medical advice about whether or not you need to be tested for COVID-19. TCC offers free self-administerPCRPCR tests available in the Library, the Food Pantry, and Gig Harbor Campus. Click here for information about testing sites. 
  • Refer to TCC’s flowchart about how to handle symptoms.

COVID-19 Contact Tracing at TCC

Employees must self-report immediately to their supervisor if they develop symptoms of, were exposed to, or test positive for COVID-19.

To report a confirmed positive case:

Contact covidreporting@tacomacc.edu to self-report and initiate the contact tracing process. All information shared will remain confidential.

For employee-related questions, contact ShaMcRavinvin of Human Resources at smcravin@tacomacc.edu or 253.566.5374. She can provide additional information about available leave and other resources.

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department will be contacted for support, if necessary.

Student Cases

If a faculty member has a student who has been exposed or tested positive for COVID-19 in their classroom, please contact covidreporting@tacomacc.edu to initiate the contact tracing process. Students should report if they are positive to their faculty instructors.

What happens if there is a positive case in a classroom or work setting?

These are the general guidelines:

  • The employee or student should be sent home and referred for medical treatment.
  • Contact Facilities for the area to be cleaned.
  • Individuals who have been identified as having close contact (within six feet for a cumulative 15 minutes or more of contact) will be notified and advised the following:
    • Vaccinated individuals: Should be tested five days following the date of the exposure and continue to wear a mask at all times until they receive a negative test result. They should watch for symptoms. If there are no symptoms, vaccinated people do not need to quarantine or be restricted from work following an exposure, if they follow the masking and testing recommendations. If positive, isolate for 5 days after the exposure date or at the onset of symptoms and observe strict mask use for an additional 5 days. 
    • Non-vaccinated individuals:
      • Quarantine for 5 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19. Practice strict mask use for an additional 5 days.
      • Watch for fever (100.4°F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
      • If possible, stay away from people you live with, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19. Watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure.
      • If you have symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact your health care provider.  

Positive Test 

I think or know I had COVID-19, and I had symptoms

You can be around others after:

  • 5 days since symptoms first appeared followed by strict mask use for an additional 5 days and
  • 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving*

*Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation​

I tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms

If you continue to have no symptoms, you can be with others after 5 days have passed since you had a positive viral test for COVID-19. Practice strict mask use for an additional five days.

If you develop symptoms after testing positive, follow the guidance above for “I think or know I had COVID-19, and I had symptoms.

Further actions and communications

For the workspace and classrooms, the general guidelines listed above would apply. Faculty and staff are recommended to contact covidreporting@tacomacc.edu, who will provide directions about what actions to take, whether  to get tested, quarantine and/or stay home.

Examples:

  • If a student is confirmed positive and was sitting within six feet of other students for 15 or more minutes, than those students would be notified. It is not required to notify the entire classroom about an exposure - only those who were in close contact. However, if the faculty member decides it's necessary, please work with collePIOPIO for guidance.
  • In the workspace, if an employee comes into work sick, leaves and tests positive for COVID, the supervisor will be asked to help collect contact tracing information, such as who was in close contact with the individual. Supervisor will assist with notifying those who were in close contact. It is not required to notify the entire department about an exposure - only those who were in close contact. However, if the supervisor decides it's necessary, please work with collePIOPIO for guidance. 

TCC's contact tracing team will work with the TPIOPIO and the Health Department if there is an outbreak (two or more positive cases in a setting) and will guide the communications and further actions, if necessary.

Support and Resources

TCC employees and their family members have access to the Employee Assistance PrograEAPEAP) for free and confidential licensed mental health counselinEAPEAP is a resource to provide guidance on both personal and work-related issues, among other services including free online workshops. Visit eap.wa.gworklifeife (org code: TCC) or call 888.728.1408 for more information.

Supervisors and Human Resources are encouraged to support employees as they transition back into the workplace or express other mental health obstacles.

For students, free and confidential counseling is available through TCC’s counseling department. TCC’s professionally trained counseling team is available for remote sessions to help students navigate obstacles in college and life. Book an appointment or find more information.

Combating COVID-19 Task Force

This task force, led by Sonja Morgan, Jill Edwards and Tamyra Howser, provides guidelines and recommendations to the college about Covid-19 issues. The task force also addresses social and emotional needs of the college and how to best
support members. Please contact the three chairs if you have a question or suggestion.

Reminders, Additional Information and Resources

Reminders 

  • Stay home if you are ill – even if you are not experiencing COVID symptoms.
  • Masks strongly encouraged indoors but no longer required, with the exception of the Early Learning Center.
  • Wash your hands – the chance of contracting COVID from surfaces are low – but the CDC recommenhandwashinging to be an effective tool. 
  • As a fully vaccinated college, TCC will continue to require self-attestation or a qualified religious or medical exemption for campus participation.
  • Because TCC is a fully vaccinated college, we are not required to mandate social distancing. However, those who wish to practice social distancing are welcomed to do so.
  • Follow the reliable news from the CDC and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department about the pandemic.
  • TCC will keep its Safe Start page updated – read this page for news and updates. It’s important to be engaged!  

Additional Information

  • Visitors to the campus no longer need to fill out a health check form. The campus is fully accessible to the public.
  • Athletics has its own safety protocols. Contact Athletic Director Jason Prenovost for questions. 

Additional Resources 

Visit the following links for more information: