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. Jay Insleee. 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.
Covid-19 Flowchart for TCC Students & Staff
Isolation, Quarantine and Close Contact Protocols
Frequently Asked Questions - Updated Sept. 8, 2022
Table of Contents
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.
- TCC is no longer requiring masks indoors. We 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 Center (ELC) 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.
As TCC’s campuses return to 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. . If a student needs accommodation regarding a mask, please contact Access Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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 the syllabi, course resources in Canvas or other ways you communicate to students and reinforce these protocols during the first day of class.
- 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.
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.
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 email@example.com for more information.
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 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.
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.
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
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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.
If a faculty member has a student who has been exposed or tested positive for COVID-19 in their classroom, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to initiate the contact tracing process. Students should report if they are positive to their faculty instructors.
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 email@example.com, who will provide directions about what actions to take, whether to get tested, quarantine and/or stay home.
- 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.
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 Brqandon Kilgore, 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.
- 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 recommends handwashing to be an effective tool.
- TCC will continue to require self-attestation or a qualified religious or medical exemption for campus participation.
- 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!