Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources


Remote and On-Campus Operations

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, LWTech is offering a combination of online and on-campus classes for Winter quarter. This decision was made for the health and safety of students, faculty and staff. The College is relying on guidance from the Office of the Governor, Washington State Public Health, King County Public Health, and the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. 

Vaccine Attestation & Mask Guidelines

2022 Spring Quarter Classes

COVID-19 Resources

Latest Updates

Message from President masthead

Recent Updates

Sent to All LWTech Employees

March 30, 2022

Welcome to Spring Quarter

Dear LWTech Community,

As we prepare for the start of Spring quarter next week, I want to share with you how the college will operate on campus regarding masks and vaccinations. From the beginning of the pandemic we have followed guidance from the Governor’s office, the Washington State Department of Health, King County Health, and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). We continue to be consistent in that approach. While the Governor has not yet updated the higher education proclamation as he did for K12, we are moving forward following the recommendations from Washington State Department of Health, King County Health, and the CDC.

With that, here are our plans for Spring quarter:

Vaccinated Campus

LWTech remains a vaccinated campus, per the Governor’s proclamation.

Students:

Students, if you plan to come to campus for any reason (attending classes or accessing other services), you must attest to your vaccination status. If you haven’t already done so please complete this process as soon as possible.

When you go to the link you have the options of:

  • Attesting to the type and dates of the COVID19 vaccine you have received OR
  • Attesting that you have a medical exemption OR
  • Attesting that you have a sincerely held religious exemption

If you attest to a medical exemption, a college employee will send you a form that must be filled out by your healthcare provider. Please return the form promptly so it can be reviewed as part of your exemption request. Approval or denial will be communicated in writing to your student email address. If you attest that a sincerely held religious belief has led to your exemption, a college employee will send you a set of questions that you must answer. Please return your answers promptly so it can be reviewed as part of your exemption request. Approval or denial will be communicated in writing to your student email address. You can read more about how to plan for your visit to campus on our website.

Employees:

You will also need to provide proof of your vaccination status before you come to campus. You do not need to repeat this process if you have done so already. Please contact Human Resources to provide proof of your vaccination. If you have previously received an exemption please refer to your exemption approval letter for specific masking requirements (and see below).

Masks

Do MORE: Masks Optional. Respect Expected.

Do more. Respected expected. Colorful graphic of silhouetted people of different.

Unvaccinated Students

All students who have gone through the attestation exemption process must wear a mask on campus. If there is direct evidence of an unvaccinated student violating the conduct code, folks can submit a Student Conduct Violation Form.

Unvaccinated Employees

Employees who are unvaccinated, and have received an exemption, will NOT be on campus during regular business hours, and will be required to wear masks during their working hours. This is the same as Fall and Winter quarters.

Vaccinated Employees and Students

Masks are not required for vaccinated employees and students. Faculty will not be able to require masks in their classrooms, just as employees will not be able to require guests to wear masks in their office. With that said, we encourage folks to be sensitive to their colleagues and students. Masking will be up to each individual’s choice. Executive Cabinet and I expect that we all show each other respect and patience as folks have different reasons and needs regarding masks. Please be kind and compassionate with your colleagues.

Campus Operations

We will continue to have flexibility for meetings, which can be held in-person, in hyflex mode, or online. As a reminder, we upgraded our HVAC system before last Fall with fresh air coming in, and our Facilities team have been hard at work, just as they have been the last two years, keeping our campus safe and healthy.

With all of that said, we will NOT tolerate any harassment or bullying of any kind for someone choosing to wear or not to wear a mask.

The college will have masks available in wayfinding areas around campus.

What’s Open On Campus Spring Quarter

With the campus being open more widely Spring quarter, department and office schedules are as follows:

Business Office

Open normal hours: services may be delayed as we navigate the new LionsLink system

EDI Office

Open normal operations hours.

Foundation

Open normal operations hours.

Human Resources and Payroll

Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There will be one dedicated HR team member in the office Monday-Thursday, and remote support on Fridays.

Information Technology Services (ITS)

Open normal operations hours.

Institutional Research

Open normal operations hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with in-person services available on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Instruction

Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The office will be closed on Fridays for LionsLink work.

Marketing and Communications

Open normal operations hours.

President’s Office

Open normal operations hours.

Student Support Services

Advising, Assessment, Counseling, Disability Services, Financial Aid, Enrollment Services, TRIO, Veteran’s Services, High School Programs, and WorkForce Development are open and available on campus on Monday through Thursday. All of these offices are also scheduling online appointments over Zoom Monday through Thursday. Be sure to check out our website for specific department office hours. All of us at LWTech are here to support you. Be sure to reach out to your advisor, faculty, or a member of our staff if you need assistance during the quarter.

Technology Support

As in previous quarters, the college has technology available for students to borrow, including basic tablets with internet access, laptops, and webcams. To learn more, visit our website where you can submit your technology request. We also have tutoring available to you in the Learning Lab, which is now located in the Library in room T217.

Campus Amenities

I’m also happy to share that our library and bookstore, the Stopwatch Espresso stand, and our student-run Bakery and Chef City Grill will all be open this quarter.

COVID Reporting

To view the CDC’s latest guidelines on what to do if you’ve been exposed to COVID, or you’ve tested positive, please visit the CDC website. Please report exposures, positive tests or symptoms by filling out the online form. Do not come to campus if you have any cold-like symptoms.

Final Thoughts

Finally, I’m so pleased that we are able to return to in-person gatherings Spring quarter with in-person staff meetings, Board of Trustees meetings, the Annual Plant Sale which will be online (and in person for part) April 14-30, the Foundation’s Spring Scholarship Reception which will take place on Wednesday, May 11, the School of Health Sciences pinning ceremonies, High School graduation, and Commencement. We have so much to look forward to this quarter!

Executive Cabinet and I will continue to update you with any changes. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me or your Executive Cabinet representative. We will continue to be flexible as we have been throughout the pandemic. We will continue to closely monitor guidance from the public health officials and act accordingly.

Please stay safe, take care of yourselves, and each other. I look forward to seeing you on campus!

Amy

Amy Morrison, Ed.D.

President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology


Past Updates

Update on COVID-19 Mask Requirement

Dear Colleagues,

Yesterday, Governor Inslee announced an update to his earlier statewide indoor mask requirements. Instead of the requirement lifting on March 21, he has moved it up a week to March 11 at 11:59 p.m. While there will be specific guidance for K12 prior to March 11, we are still not sure as to the timing of an updated higher education proclamation. As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will look to guidance from the Governor and our Public Health officials.

What We Know Now

Executive Cabinet and I met this morning and are moving forward with the following plan for the college for the remainder of Winter quarter:

  • LWTech will keep the mask requirement in place at the college until the end of Winter quarter. By that time, we hope to have new guidance from the Governor’s Office. The difference between the end of the Governor’s mandate and the end of Winter quarter is just a few days. Cabinet and I would like to minimize disruptions during finals. We will provide an update for Spring quarter as we wrap up Winter quarter.
  • The Governor’s higher education reopening requirements are still in place (October 2021 version). The Governor’s office knows the higher ed proclamation needs to be revised or rescinded and we do not know at this point when that will take place.
  • Washington State Labor and Industries will revise their workplace safety requirements, presumably by March 11, for employers and employees. As before, those rules will impact colleges as employers for their employees, but not for students.
  • Students are under the higher education reopening requirements.
  • Currently, the Governor is focused on revising the mask requirements for K12, large indoor events, and employers/employees.

I will continue to keep you updated with any new information.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me, any time.

Stay well and take care of yourselves.

Amy

Dr. Amy Morrison

President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Two Major Milestones Around the Corner for LWTech

Dear Colleagues,

Next week we will reach two major milestones as a college, as we Go-Live with LionsLink powered by ctcLink on Monday, then on Tuesday, we will reflect on the second anniversary of when our college was the first in the country to be impacted by COVID-19 (COVID).

Thinking back upon February 29, 2020, and the weeks and months that followed, provides us with an opportunity to remember all of those whom we’ve lost in our own families and in our extended college family, as well as the loss of countless opportunities in our personal lives. In some ways, it feels like years ago, and in other ways it feels like just yesterday.

I know it feels like we haven’t had a break for two straight years, because frankly we haven’t. We’ve prepared for LionsLink in the middle of the pandemic, finalized the Mission Fulfillment Plan and the work outlined in it, and we’ve done this during a time when several new variants of COVID have impacted our work, communities, and homes.

We are incredibly fortunate to live in an area of the country with outstanding healthcare. It’s a tremendous honor to work at a college that is preparing the next generation of health care workers, and I’m incredibly proud of the essential role we play in that work. I’m extremely grateful that our Nursing students who were first impacted on February 29, 2020, are preparing to graduate this Spring.

I continue to be inspired by how our college made the best of being Campus Zero for our students and employees. We are an innovative and pragmatic community, like no other. Our collective flexibility and support of our students and each other has helped us to prepare for the endemic phase of COVID. Like we’ve always done, we make the best decisions we can, with the best information available, and we do so with students at the center, and the health and safety of the college community at the forefront.

Finally, I would like to give a very special thank you to Dr. Suzanne Ames for her tireless and outstanding work as our COVID supervisor for the past two years. She has done a tremendous job of keeping up-to-date on all of the ongoing changes and information from the CDC and Public Health, and she’s kept our campus safe and not just operational, but thriving.

Thank you for your resolve as we maneuvered through all of the changes over the past two years. It is with a great deal of humility and gratitude that I continue to serve as your colleague and president.

Please take care of yourselves and each other,

 

COVID-19 Update: Updated reporting tool information 

Dear Colleagues,

We are transitioning to new COVID-19 (COVID) reporting tool for informing the COVID Supervisor. Please use this link FIRST before directly contacting the COVID supervisor if you have:

  1. Been exposed to COVID
  2. Have COVID symptoms
  3. Have tested positive for COVID

This online tool will automatically give people information regarding the steps they need to take. If they report they were on campus and contagious, the COVID Supervisor will reach out to them to conduct contact tracing.

As I’ve shared before, we are trying to be flexible with employees. Please stay home if you have any cold symptoms – even as mild as a sore throat – and please encourage students to stay home if they have cold symptoms.

The CDC COVID protocols for infections and exposure is continually changing. Here is some helpful guidance as of today:

What do I do if I do not have symptoms, but:

  • I was potentially exposed to someone with COVID?
  • I was exposed to someone with COVID who showed or is showing symptoms?
  • I was exposed to someone with COVID who is not or was not showing symptoms?
  • I was exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID?
  • I am a caretaker for someone who is in quarantine.

In any of these scenarios if you are not vaccinated, or it has been more than six months since you had your mRNA vaccine or more than two months since you had the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you must follow the protocol below:

  • If you are not vaccinated or boosted for COVID-19, you must quarantine for at least five days because of this exposure to someone who tested positive.
  • Quarantine starts from the day of exposure.
  • You must diligently wear a mask for five additional days.
  • You may return to campus after five days if you have not developed any symptoms.

If you are boosted or it has been less than six months since you had your mRNA vaccine or less than two months since you had the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you do not need to quarantine but should wear a mask for 10 days after exposure.

If symptoms do occur after exposure, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not related to COVID-19.

What do I if I live with someone who tested positive for COVID:

Follow the steps above depending on your vaccination status.

  • The CDC has provided guidance around isolating family members or other people in close living situations:
    • If possible, have the person who is sick use a separate bedroom and bathroom. If possible, have the person who is sick stay in their own “sick room” or area and away from others. Try to stay at least six feet away from the sick person.
    • Shared space: If you have to share space, make sure the room has good air flow.
    • Open the window to increase air circulation. Improving ventilation helps remove respiratory droplets from the air.
    • Everyone in the house should wear masks.
    • Avoid having visitors. Avoid having any unnecessary visitors, especially visits by people who are at higher risk for severe illness.

What do I do if I tested positive for COVID or develop cold-like symptoms:

You will need to quarantine.

  • Day zero is your first day of symptoms, or a positive viral test if you are asymptomatic.
  • Day one is the first full day after your symptoms developed or the day you received a positive test result if you are asymptomatic.
  • If you have COVID-19 or have symptoms, isolate for at least five days.
  • After five days, if you no longer have symptoms, you are welcome to return to campus and participate in your normal activities. However, if you continue showing symptoms after your five-day quarantine, you will need to continue your quarantine period for up to another five days (10 days total) or until symptoms disappear, whichever is sooner.
  • You should diligently wear a mask for 10 days.

I am a caretaker for someone who is in quarantine:

  • Work with your supervisor to develop a flexible work schedule and/or use leave if needed.
  • Reach out to Human Resources if you have further questions.

If you have any questions, please reach out to: covidsupervisor@lwtech.edu or (425) 403-6228.

We will continue to listen to the experts and will keep you updated as new information becomes available. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me, any time.

Stay well, take care of yourselves, and each other.

Amy

Dr. Amy Morrison

President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

 

Omicron Update and Subsequent Changes to College Operations 

Hello LWTech Lions:

Welcome to Winter quarter! It’s been quite a busy week so far with the start of the quarter, the remnants of snow, and new information about the Omicron variant. Each day we are learning more and more about the Omicron variant, and how it differs from the original COVID-19 strain, and the Alpha and Delta variants.

Executive Cabinet and I have been discussing this in several meetings, and yesterday, the presidents of the Washington Association of Community and Technical Colleges met to discuss potential impacts to our colleges. In this meeting, the following key predictive data from the University of Washington was shared with us that I want to share with you:

  • Omicron is 2-to-4 times more contagious than the Delta variant
  • Omicron can be shared by asymptomatic carriers
  • It’s predicted that there may be up to 40,000 new cases of the Omicron variant a day in Washington state later this month
  • It’s predicted that 40%-50% of the total population of the state may be Covid positive in the next three to four weeks
  • It’s predicted, as of yesterday, that the current Omicron wave will peak in late February

We know that booster shots, especially Moderna, offer tremendous protection. If you are eligible, please do not wait until the on-campus booster clinic at the end of this month for your additional shot. If you are able to get your booster shot before then, I encourage you to do so.

Also, Executive Cabinet and I recognize that for those of you with immunocompromised family members or children who are not yet able to be vaccinated it is an especially stressful time.

With all of this information at hand, we are making changes to Winter quarter on-campus Instruction and activity.

Changes to Winter Quarter Instruction

Instruction is preparing to move to the hyflex model for many classes which is a proven course model that allows students to combine components of hybrid learning. Many students will have the option to participate online, in-class, or a combination of both. Students can adjust as needed. This will allow for the most flexibility for students and our faculty. Students will hear more about this from their faculty members as we ramp up this new feature.

In preparation for this, the college is purchasing additional technology and has funding from federal COVID relief funding to support this change.

Laptops and webcams are available for students to check out in the library. The library will continue to stay open for student use. If students have an on-campus class and an online class on the same day, they can participate in their online class from the library with their laptop.

We are not immediately moving to fully online instruction. Many students have shared the importance of in-person instruction and the impact it has on their mental health and ability to learn course material. We also want to be sure that we are providing an accessible and equitable path forward for all students.

We learned a lot from the past two years and the impact it’s had on some of our student populations. We now know that:

  • When LWTech moved fully online, students of color and individuals with disabilities were disproportionately impacted: BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) students dropped out at a rate of 30% as compared to 16% of white students from Winter to Spring 2020; BIPOC students reported access to campus resources (tutoring, library, counseling, etc.) as a top COVID-related concern; this was of virtually no concern for white students; and, compared to white students, more BIPOC students planned to access mental health counseling.
  • Many of our students have expressed a desire to have access to in-person mental health counseling. Last quarter, our counseling team had 194 appointments and students waited an average of 12 days to be seen.
  • Students have made it clear that they need and want to get back into their classrooms and labs, especially those who are in our professional technical programs.

Changes to Winter Quarter On-Campus Activity

Beginning Monday, January 10, 2022 we will implement the following changes to on-campus staffing:

  • Reduce on-campus staffing. This will look different for each department. Some departments may move entirely online, others may have limited on-campus office hours, and others may have rolling on-campus schedules for team members. We anticipate some changes for in-person meetings with staff and advisors. Dr. Hayden, our Vice President of Student Services will be sharing this information soon.

I want to be very clear that we are being proactive and that we are not in a crisis mode as we were in March 2020. We are prepared and ready. We know what our options are, and we are able to move to different learning and staffing modalities as needed. Two years into the pandemic, and as the first college in the country to experience Covid on campus, we are more than well prepared.

Finally, I want to acknowledge that these are stressful times, and we know that Winter quarter can be especially stressful and unpredictable. I want you to know that you are not alone. Students can reach out to our Counseling Center staff who are here to help. Employees have resources available through the Washington State Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

We are continuing to listen to the experts and will keep you updated as new information becomes available. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me, any time.

Stay well, take care of yourselves, and each other.

Amy

Dr. Amy Morrison
President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Past Updates >


LWTech Emergency Plan Process

The safety of our students, faculty and staff is our priority. If we need to close the college we will do so. Everyone’s health and safety is our highest priority.

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

If we have suspended operations, you will be notified through our FlashAlert and Omnilert systems that send out calls, emails and text messages. Now is a great time to make sure that your notification settings are correct.

Sign up for LWTech's Flash Alert and Omnilert Notifications

Resources and Links

Website Links 

Additional COVID-19 Resource Links 

 

Additional COVID-19 Information

Human coronavirus is 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 

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 any of the countries with travel alerts or outbreaks, and have symptoms, contact a healthcare 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.

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.
  • Wear a face covering. It is recommended you wear N95/KN95 or better masks in public spaces. 
  • 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.
  • Don’t share food and drinks.
  • Clean and disinfect shared surfaces and objects that are touched frequently. 

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.

To prevent the spread of any respiratory diseases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue away
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water

The proper way to wash your hands is for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating, after going to the bathroom and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

Keep some basic supplies at home. The US Department of Homeland Security recommends that people should keep some basic supplies at home in case they get sick or in case it is difficult to get supplies at a store. Here is what they are recommending:

  • Store a two-week supply of food. Select foods that do not require refrigeration, preparation or cooking. Ensure that formula for infants and any child’s or older person’s special nutritional needs are a part of your planning. Plan for your pets as well.
  • Store a supply of nonprescription drugs, such as pain relievers, cough and cold medicines, stomach remedies and anti-diarrheal medication, as well as vitamins and fluids with electrolytes (such as sports drinks).
  • Store health and cleaning supplies, such as bleach, tissues, a thermometer, disposable gloves, soap and alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.
  • Get copies and maintain electronic versions of health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other sources and store them, for personal reference.
  • Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.

Make a plan now for how you, your household and your neighbors might need to adapt, rely on each other if there is a significant outbreak. Here are some things that could occur:

  • Major events, church and community services and many businesses may be temporarily closed.
  • Public transportation might be reduced or suspended.
  • Childcare centers and schools may be closed.
  • It could be difficult to buy basic supplies.

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 #.

LWTech will update this page when any relevant developments occur. This page was last updated on April 2, 2022, 5:49 p.m.