Latest Updates & FAQ

Latest Updates

CBC Students,

I want to congratulate you on the good work you accomplished during summer quarter, and share my excitement for fall quarter, just four weeks away. I’m writing with a few important updates regarding students and vaccination. These updates will make our campuses safer, while ensuring all students can continue to succeed at CBC.

CBC’s Approach to Students and Vaccination

This fall, vaccinations will be strongly encouraged but not required for CBC students. You may have seen the news yesterday that the governor has mandated vaccinations for college employees, starting October 18. The governor’s order does not apply to students, unless they are student workers or in healthcare settings. We will reach out directly to our student workers in the days ahead with more information, once we receive additional information from the state on how to address these new requirements.

There is a change that will happen for winter quarter. Starting in January, CBC students who are not fully vaccinated will be required to declare a personal/philosophical, religious, or medical exemption in order to visit our campuses. [UPDATE: By governor’s order, a personal/philosophical exemption will not be allowed for students, as declared Aug. 17, 2021 in Proclamation 20-12.5.] As mentioned, this approach makes our campus community safer, and allows all students to continue to succeed at CBC. We expect to begin collecting attestations from students regarding vaccination or exemption as early as October.

Vaccination against COVID-19 is proven to be safe and effective and the best way to protect yourselves and your community. If you have doubts, please speak with a healthcare provider about your concerns, and check out the facts and myths about vaccines at the CDC’s website.

Another Free Vaccination Clinic at CBC Next Thursday

If you are not yet vaccinated, please visit our next free vaccine clinic which is happening in one week, on Thursday, August 26, from 10am to 1pm in the T Building on CBC’s Pasco Campus. The first 100 participants will receive a $50 gift card, courtesy of the CBC Foundation. Please see the attached fliers for more information. Other opportunities for vaccination can be found at the WA Vaccine Locator, and walk-in vaccinations are available at many large retail outlets.

Thank you for your attention to this important issue. I look forward to seeing all of you succeed in the coming school year! Go Hawks!

I’m sure many of you are already aware of the governor’s announcement today requiring vaccinations for employees in K-12 and higher education. While we do not yet have the governor’s order in writing, we do know it will require all CBC employees to be fully vaccinated by October 18. (Please see the chart below for an exact timeline of required doses.) That means our employees must receive the final dose of their chosen vaccine by October 4, allowing the vaccine the two weeks it needs to provide full protection by October 18. While this announcement does align with the updates we shared yesterday, the one difference is there will be no philosophical or personal choice option for employees who wish to be exempt from vaccination. Employees with sincerely-held religious beliefs or medical conditions that preclude vaccination may apply for exemption from the vaccination requirement.

I understand many of you have questions – just as we do. Please know that we are working on the answers.

There are a few statewide meetings that will be happening tomorrow about the impacts of this new directive. Please allow us time, especially our Human Resources Office, to get answers and build the policy and processes we will need to comply with this order. Once we have that in place, we will share it with everyone.

I know for some of you this news is a welcome relief and for others a source of great concern. For some, the thought of vaccination may cause anxiety and fear. I deeply value each of you and again implore you to please speak with a healthcare provider about your concerns. Please consider the facts and myths about vaccines at the CDC’s website, and be open to vaccination as a proven, life-saving solution for you personally and the community we value.

We want to continue to provide opportunities for everyone to get vaccinated. CBC’s next free vaccination clinic comes next Thursday, in our T Building, from 10 am to 1 pm. All three vaccines will be available. We even have $50 gift cards from the CBC Foundation for the first 100 participants. Other opportunities for vaccination can be found at the WA Vaccine Locator.

We will have full details on our policy and processes regarding the governor’s mandatory vaccination available to you as soon as possible. I appreciate your patience. 

covid-19 dosage chart

I will apologize in advance for the length of this message, but would rather be thorough than risk leaving some questions unanswered. I am writing to share a series of important updates, given the recent spike in COVID-19 transmission and hospitalizations in our community. In some cases, these updates represent a change to previously announced plans. The urgent challenges posed by the Delta variant clearly require a new approach to ensure we are keeping our campus, our employees, and our students safe.

Columbia Basin College will transition, in the months ahead, to requiring vaccination for students, faculty and staff. Many have expressed concern over the potential impact to student completion and enrollment with such a requirement. I share these concerns. It is imperative we help students appreciate the safety, effectiveness, and importance of vaccination. We will also communicate the availability of exemptions for students who qualify and vigorously promote online learning opportunities at CBC.

I’m deeply appreciative of the thoughtful feedback received from faculty and staff over the past few weeks. I’m grateful for the honest and open discussions in Administrative Council, Emergency Management, Coffee & Conversation and more. Continually, I’ve been moved by the obvious care and concern demonstrated for all of our campus community.

The updates below touch upon many areas of our operation, including our plan to resume in-person services, campus check-in procedures, and more. Please review this material carefully and completely.

Resumption of In-Person Services
  • CBC will delay its resumption of in-person services, with the start date moved from September 7 to October 18. All other aspects of the plan are unchanged. This delay is informed by current projections the Delta variant will decline locally in October. If the Delta variant persists, the date may be pushed back further. Employees who wish to return to working on campus earlier than October 18 may do so at any time as approved by the appropriate supervisor and appropriate protocols are evaluated (i.e., staggering of staff, adherence to social distancing, implementation of PPE). Telework agreements for fall quarter that are already submitted or in-process are still expected for staff working 1 or more days remotely until December 31, 2021. 
Vaccination Requirements
  • As previously announced, CBC will encourage but not require vaccinations for students, faculty and staff this fall quarter. (The exception to this is for our faculty and staff working in the Dental Hygiene Clinic, as well as the Health Sciences Programs and the Spanish Medical Interpreting Program given their programs work in a “health care setting” under Proclamation 21-14 (August 9, 2021). Affected faculty and staff and their representative unions are being notified of the vaccination requirement, along with verification requirements and limited exceptions under Proclamation 21-14).
  • Beginning in winter quarter, CBC will require vaccinations for students, faculty and staff. Exemptions will be allowed for medical, religious or philosophical reasons.
  • Please note, we will continue to monitor the situation to determine whether any changes are warranted to our requirements or process including virus transmission within our community, U.S. Food & Drug Administration approval process of COVID-19 vaccines, and state mandates.
Vaccination Attestation eForm
  • By October 18, all employees will be required to fill out an attestation eForm identifying their vaccination status. Unvaccinated employees will be required to indicate whether they qualify for a medical, religious, or philosophical exemption. We will alert all employees when the vaccination attestation eForm becomes available.
Fall Quarter
  • This fall, approximately 25% of our instruction includes an in-person element. This approach to fall in-person instruction will be largely unchanged; however, our VP for Instruction Michael Lee will meet with interested faculty members who are scheduled to teach classes in-person in fall to ensure faculty have what they need to be effective in the classroom and understand any updates to protocols.
  • In-classroom social distancing for fall quarter will return to a 6-foot distance standard. The course schedule will be adjusted to accommodate the 6-foot distances. Health Science classes will remain at three feet since all Health Science programs are obligated to follow the governor’s recent statewide vaccine mandate for all healthcare workers. Social distancing in non-classroom spaces on our campuses will remain at three feet.
  • Our Welcome Week will continue as a mainly online experience. A full schedule will be published in the coming weeks with speakers and various ways to connect via Zoom with your colleagues and departments. We anticipate having a drive-through event that will also allow employees to visit campus and socialize safely outdoors, if desired.
  • Out-of-state travel for employees and student groups will be considered by supervisors on a case-by-case basis with a focus on allowing essential travel only.
Temperature Stations/Attestation for On-Campus Work
  • Starting Wednesday, August 18, employees will no longer be required to visit the H Building to check-in when arriving on campus or HSC on the Richland Campus. This change is designed to reduce the levels of foot traffic and congregation at these check-in points, thereby reducing the possibility of virus transmission. Employees working on campus will continue to be responsible for submitting a daily COVID-19 Attestation eForm on the employee intranet to their supervisors. Employees will self-monitor their own temperature prior to reporting to campus each day. Thermometers are available for employees upon request at this eForm or can be picked up at the Warehouse.
  • Students who come to campus will continue to check-in in the H Building on the Pasco Campus and on the first floor of the HSC on the Richland Campus. Students are provided and expected to wear a sticker indicating they have checked in while they are on campus. Additional check-in stations are being evaluated for fall quarter and masks and education materials will continue to be available for students.
  • Beginning Monday, August 23, all visitors (and others without an SID) entering a building on campus must complete a Visitor COVID-19 Attestation eForm (currently in development). For those scheduled to visit campus, the department expecting them should send them the link to the eForm for completion prior to the visit. Visitors not expected by anyone on campus will be required to check in at the H Building or the first floor of the HSC on the Richland Campus, or fill out a Visitor COVID-19 Attestation eForm. Signage will be strategically located on campus for visitors as well.  
Winter Quarter
  • CBC will target October 1 for an announcement of protocol for winter quarter and our projections for remote vs. in-person instruction.

All of these updates are in alignment with the most recent guidance from the governor’s office, and are subject to change as our conditions or requirements evolve. We greatly appreciate your understanding and your willingness to adapt to these changes, for the health and safety of the entire CBC community. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with questions, feedback and suggestions.

If you are hesitant about getting the vaccine, I would strongly encourage you to speak with your healthcare provider. Please also consult the CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions webpage and their Myths and Facts webpage that both address many concerns. I have heard more than one person base their decision on misinformation, relying on material they have read online or heard in the media, rather than relying on facts.

I also wish to thank you for the patience you’ve demonstrated as we continue to work through the many challenges posed by these important issues. I especially want to acknowledge the members of our Emergency Management Team who continue to meet regularly and grapple with these difficult topics. I’m proud of the work that’s been done to protect our college community while remaining faithful to our mandate of providing access to higher education for all.

This September 7, Columbia Basin College will finally resume in-person options for all of our services on campus, marking the end of what will be nearly 18 months of mostly remote operation.

There will be many questions in the months ahead. We’ve answered many on our “Resuming In-Person Services at CBC,” webpage. We are committed to continuing to prioritize safety and wellness as we plan our resumption of in-person services for all areas this fall.

We are profoundly grateful for all of the sacrifices and flexibility demonstrated by our hundreds of faculty and staff throughout this remarkable period in our College’s history. We know few community or technical colleges in our state have been as successful in keeping students engaged and moving forward on their academic paths. Thanks to their hard work, we are well positioned for the transition ahead.

Our recent survey of employees generated 65 pages of responses, all supporting our mission of serving students, but revealing many differences of opinion how you’d like to approach your job. Many of employees long to return to campus, and some prefer working from home.

It has become clear, however, that CBC cannot continue to be the kind of institution we are without a resumption of in-person services for all areas as an option for our students. Our strength is our people, and face-to-face interactions are critical for enrolling, retaining and serving students. Nearly 20% of CBC students who responded to our online survey listed “access to reliable internet at home” as a challenge to their education. More than 65% said they prefer face-to-face instruction on campus. Despite all our success in remote operations, our enrollment has declined by about 10% since the pandemic began. Some areas on campus have been offering in-person services while much of the campus community has been learning and working remotely, but it is now time for all service areas to resume in-person options as a much needed step towards serving our community fully and equitably.

While we circle September 7 on our calendars, we will continue to assess our situation month-by-month, monitoring conditions in our community and re-evaluating our strategy. We will continue to listen, and to welcome your insight, suggestions and concerns. We will continue to exercise patience, grace and adhere to the principles of “Yes, And” that are an integral part of our culture and define how we show up every day as an institution to serve our students, our community and each other.

One theme that has stuck with us this past year is how “Hawks Rise Above.” We’ve shown time and time again our ability to identify and overcome barriers to student success. We’ll celebrate that tradition again this fall, working together.

Winter quarter brings a special shot of enthusiasm as we begin our college’s strategic planning process. Together, we have the chance to map out Columbia Basin College’s future. This process allows us to recognize and invest in our strengths. It also allows us to ask the kind of challenging questions that may open new opportunities for the college’s growth. I’m hopeful all of you will take an opportunity, in the months ahead, to add your voice to CBC’s Strategic Plan.

Thank you to the many students who completed our fall student satisfaction survey. We’ve seen an increase in comfort with remote learning, and in overall satisfaction with instruction and student support. We still have some students unfamiliar with the wide array of resources available to help with remote learning . . . we again encourage all students to visit our Available Services webpage and take advantage of the wealth of resources in financial aid, tutoring, disability support, student technology, advising, and much more.

We have made it easier for students to take advantage of our Quiet Study Spaces this quarter, as we’ve eliminated the online sign-up process and transitioned into a simple “drop in” operation. On our Pasco Campus, our Quiet Study Space is located in the H Building, just outside the Gjerde Center, open from 6 am to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, while in Richland the RA110 computer lab is available from 9 am to 3 pm Monday through Thursday.

It’s important all students, faculty and staff understand CBC stands fully committed to health and safety. Our strict protocols for on-campus activity remain in place. All are required to wear masks, and wear them effectively, per CDC guidelines and the governor’s directives. It does not matter whether a person has previously contracted and recovered from COVID-19, nor does it matter if someone has been vaccinated. Social distancing and masking up on campus remain critical to the health and safety of our campus community.

January traditionally brings a major community event to campus: the Spirit Award and MLK Day Celebration. This year, our celebration will be virtual, enjoyed on CBC’s social media channels on January 18. Please mark your calendars and join us for a memorable MLK Day presentation.

Columbia Basin College has decided to continue the current practice of mostly online instruction through both winter and spring quarter of 2021. We will continue to look for new opportunities to expand our hybrid course offerings and in-person services, and we expect to increase these offerings as conditions allow. However, students, faculty and staff should expect mostly online instruction to continue through spring of 2021.

As a college, we are still working to get additional hybrid course offerings added to the class schedule for more in-person learning opportunities for those interested. The full schedule will be released at 8 a.m. on Monday, October 19. All the details will be available at the following link: CBC Class Schedule.

Columbia Basin College has received notification of three positive cases of COVID-19 among current residents of Sunhawk Hall. All three individuals are asymptomatic, meaning they are showing no symptoms of the disease. All three were tested on Friday, September 4 and received news that they tested positive September 9. All three are now self-isolating in their rooms, for a period of at least 10 days from their test date. Per health district protocol, these individuals will have to test negative before coming out of self-isolation.

We are grateful the three individuals who tested positive do not currently report feeling any ill effects. Sunhawk Hall residents who have not tested positive are not under a required quarantine. Per Benton Franklin Health District Health District guidance, however, all of these residents have been advised to limit contact with others as much as possible.

All current residents of Sunhawk Hall were notified yesterday, Wednesday, September 9, regarding this news via email.

We are committed to continuing to do all we can to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community, and are working directly with the health district on our next steps:

  • All common areas of Sunhawk Hall are now closed until further notice.
  • All of Sunhawk Hall’s high-traffic areas are being deep-cleaned to CDC protocols.
  • Arrangements are being made with an off-site contractor for laundry pickup and delivery services for all residents, for as long as the common areas remain closed. This laundry service will come at no cost to the residents. Food options from CBC’s Food Pantry are also available to residents, to limit the need to leave Sunhawk Hall.
  • Free COVID-19 testing will be provided to all residents of Sunhawk Hall. Any residents considered close contacts should also expect to be contacted by the health department via telephone for the purposes of contact tracing. Contact tracing will also include non-residents of Sunhawk Hall who are believed to have come in close contact with the three individual positive cases.

Please remember it is important for each of us to continue practicing the fundamentals of COVID-19 prevention, including social distancing, frequent hand washing and wearing face coverings around others.

A Columbia Basin College employee has tested positive for COVID-19. This is the first positive case on our campuses in over two months.

The employee was last on our Pasco campus on August 13, while they were providing essential services. The employee is currently self-isolating at home with family. The employee reports they did not come in close contact with anyone while on campus. We are continuing to stay in contact with our colleague to provide any kind of support we can.

As community transmission has become quite common in the Tri-Cities, moving forward we will align our announcements to the College of positive cases with the current guidelines of local and state health authorities. Should we see evidence of community spread of COVID-19 on our campuses, as indicated by two or more positive cases within a 14 day period, we will send an all-campus announcement and notify our local health authorities. For every case, however, we will continue to notify those who may have come into close contact with any suspected or confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus. We will continue to adjust our alert levels on our website to reflect the current situation. We will also continue to follow every recommendation of our local, state, and national health authorities to protect our campus community.

Meanwhile, it remains important for each of us to take care of ourselves, our family and friends, and follow these steps:    

  • Stay home when you are sick – this is very important for all illnesses, but especially for the duration of a respiratory illness. Do not return to campus for 24 hours after a fever has broken or other symptoms have ended – whichever is longer;
  • Engage in social distancing (more than 6 feet) at all times; 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol; Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes with unwashed hands; and
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes by coughing into your elbow or a tissue.

If you have symptoms or believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, please self-isolate and call your healthcare provider for medical advice. Additionally, please confidentially notify CBC’s Emergency Management at 509-542-4777 and your supervisor as soon as possible. These steps will help us protect our campus community and slow the transmission of the virus, as well as provide support to our employees and students who may be sick or self-isolating at home. 

Two Columbia Basin College students have tested positive for COVID-19.

Both students were last on our Pasco campus on Wednesday, June 10, 2020, while they were attending an approved class. Because we now have three students that have tested positive – all from the same class – we are resuming remote instruction for that class until Monday, June 29. We have also secured the classroom and will hold no other activities in that location until June 29.

The Benton-Franklin Health District will engage in official contact tracing with the student and notify any individuals necessary. We also engaged in the appropriate cleaning and disinfecting protocols for the areas impacted.

While this is concerning, it is reassuring to know that our screening stations and health and safety protocols are operating as they should. These types of situations continue to serve as a reminder why it is so important for each of us to continue to take the following steps regardless of where we work or study on the CBC campus:

  • Stay home when you are sick or experiencing any symptoms. This is very important for all illnesses, but especially for the duration of a respiratory illness. Do not return to campus for 72 hours after a fever has broken or other symptoms have ended – whichever is longer;
  • Engage in social distancing (more than 6 feet) at all times;
  • Wear the required face cloth covering at all times when on campus;
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol;
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes with unwashed hands; and
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes by coughing into your elbow or a tissue.

If you have symptoms or believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, please self-isolate and call your healthcare provider for medical advice. Additionally, please confidentially notify CBC’s Emergency Management at 509-542-4777. These steps will help us protect our campus community and slow the transmission of the virus, as well as provide support to our employees and students who may be sick or self-isolating at home.

A Columbia Basin College student has tested positive for COVID-19.

The student was last on our Pasco campus on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, while they were attending an approved class in the CTE Building. They have been home in self-isolation since then. They indicated they have been adhering to the health and safety protocols for campus and did not come in close contact with anyone and had their cloth face covering on at all times. Although no one was identified by the student as a close contact, we have notified our employees and students who were working or studying in the CTE Building.

We have also been in contact with the Benton-Franklin Health District. They will engage in official contact tracing with the student and notify any individuals necessary. We are also engaging in the appropriate cleaning and disinfecting protocols for the areas impacted.

These types of situations continue to serve as a reminder why it is so important for each of us to continue to take the following steps regardless of where we work or study on the CBC campus:

  • Stay home when you are sick or experiencing any symptoms. This is very important for all illnesses, but especially for the duration of a respiratory illness. Do not return to campus for 72 hours after a fever has broken or other symptoms have ended – whichever is longer;
  • Engage in social distancing (more than 6 feet) at all times;
  • Wear the required face cloth covering at all times when on campus;
    Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol;
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes with unwashed hands; and
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes by coughing into your elbow or a tissue.

If you have symptoms or believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, please self-isolate and call your healthcare provider for medical advice. Additionally, please confidentially notify CBC’s Emergency Management at 509-542-4777. These steps will help us protect our campus community and slow the transmission of the virus, as well as provide support to our employees and students who may be sick or self-isolating at home.

The Governor extended the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order through Sunday, May 31, with a phased approach to gradually re-open businesses. We were notified that the Governor approved us to resume some essential workforce development programs, which are very limited, but will allow many of our students to return to campus to continue their programs.

What this means for CBC is that beginning on Monday, May 11, those programs identified below will resume some lab instruction on campus on the date indicated.

  • Monday, May 11 - Machining Technology, Engineering Technology, Medical Assistant, Radiologic Technology, Surgical Technology, and Paramedic
  • Tuesday, May 12 - Phlebotomy and Emergency Medical Technician
  • Wednesday, May 13 - Automotive
  • Monday, May 18 - Welding

Not all courses within the programs identified were able to be offered under the restrictions imposed for Phase 1, therefore, it is only some lab courses that are resuming on campus.

Our campus will remain closed to the public and we will continue to serve students and the community remotely in order to continue to comply with the Governor’s orders as well as protect the health and safety of our community.

Safety is our highest priority

CBC is complying with the safety requirements identified by the Governor for Phase 1. Beginning Monday, May 11, all employees and students who are returning to any of our campus locations will have to follow the approved health and safety protocols below.

  • Health and symptom screening of all employees and students each day;
    • If a student’s class is located on the Richland Campus, temperature checks and health screenings will take place at the front entrances of the Health Science Building and Wortman Medical Science Building.
    • If a student’s class is located on the Pasco Campus, temperature checks and health screenings will take place at the CTE Building.
  • A comprehensive COVID-19 exposure control, mitigation and recovery plan physically posted at each location and available for inspection by state and local authorities;
  • Designated site-specific COVID-19 Supervisors monitoring enforcement of the new protocols;
  • Safety training for all employees and students;
  • Social distancing of at least six feet by every person at all times;
  • Personal protective equipment appropriate, or required, for the activity being performed;
    • Please note that all CBC students and employees are now required to have facial coverings at all times in CBC buildings and locations. For those who do not have one, a limited number of facial covers will be available for you.
  • Increased sanitation and cleanliness; and
  • Daily attendance and employee logs created and retained for at least four weeks.

Please note that these new protocols are not suggestions or recommendations. They are new rules that all of us will be required to follow. I know it may be awkward at times and difficult, at first, to adjust to a “new normal.” However, these protocols are necessary to protect all of us and make sure we stay safe and healthy.

Following today’s extension of Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, Columbia Basin College campuses will continue operating remotely through May 31, 2020.

While we are working remotely, general business operations, most student services and appointments will continue by phone, email or video conference. Visit our available services webpage for more information. Contact Hawk Central at 509-542-4601 for all questions regarding Student Services.

Confirmed COVID-19 Case

A Columbia Basin College employee has tested positive for COVID-19.

The employee was last on the CBC Pasco campus on Friday, April 24, while they were providing essential services. They have been home in self-quarantine since then. Their on-campus contacts were limited as classes were moved online on March 17 with the majority of employees, services and functions operating remotely since that time.

Benton-Franklin Health District engages in contact tracing and has notified any individuals that came in close contact with this employee. Close contact is defined as within six feet for 10 minutes or more.

We realize this news is concerning and want to assure you we are putting the health and safety of our employees and students first in our decisions. We continue to follow Governor Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, the recommendations of the CDC and our local health officials.

If You Are Not Feeling Well

Consistent with our previous communications regarding COVID-19, it is important for each of us to take the following steps when we are not feeling well:

  • Stay home when you are sick – this is very important for all illnesses, but especially for the duration of a respiratory illness. Remain home for 72 hours after a fever has broken or other symptoms have ended – whichever is longer;
  • Engage in social distancing (more than 6 feet) at all times;
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol;
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes with unwashed hands; and
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes by coughing into your elbow or a tissue.

If you have symptoms or believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, please self-isolate and call your healthcare provider for medical advice. Additionally, please confidentially notify CBC’s Emergency Management at 509-542-4777. These steps will help us protect our campus community and slow the transmission of the virus, as well as provide support to our employees and students who may be sick or self-isolating at home.

As a College, we continue to follow Governor Inslee’s directives and prepare for changes to those directives as swiftly as possible. The updates below reflect our most recent planning efforts – keeping in mind that changes are occurring rapidly.

We are not certain at this time if the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” directive will be lifted on May 4, but what we do know is that life will not be returning to normal any time soon. When we are cleared to return to campus, our return will be slow and measured. We will follow strict social distancing practices as well as implement new protocols for the health and safety of our campus community. Until there is a COVID-19 vaccine available, experts say that such measures are the only way to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19.

Online Learning Continuing through Summer and Fall Quarters

For the health and safety of our students and employees, we have decided to extend online learning through both the summer and fall quarters. We recognize that for some students, this may be a disappointment, and we understand those frustrations. There are several reasons for this extension:

  • When we are allowed to return to campus, we do not have classrooms large enough to accommodate the current class capacity of students while incorporating the 6-foot social distancing standards;
  • We want to minimize the opportunity for someone being on campus who may be asymptomatic, but unknowingly contagious. If they later get sick, all individuals they have been in close contact with will need to self-quarantine for 14 days. If that happens, it could result in shutting down classes or departments causing further disruption to everyone’s class schedules; and
  • We want to provide all of our students, faculty, and staff some stability amidst all the uncertainty right now. One of the ways we are doing that is to make decisions as soon as possible that are in the best interests of our students. This limits the need to react quickly to a new order in the future that might cause further disruption to our students’ educations. Making the decision now allows students the opportunity to plan as needed for the summer and fall quarters.

We are still hopeful that courses with labs and other classes better served by being on campus will be able to return soon, following strict social distancing measures, as noted above. If so, those classes would be able to continue with on-campus instruction in summer with some potential modifications. Once the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” directive is lifted or modified by the Governor, we will announce which classes will be moving back to campus.

We are currently working on updating the schedule to reflect these changes. The schedule is set to release on May 8, with registration for both summer and fall beginning on May 18.

Commencement Ceremony

After careful consideration of the risks associated with the COVID-19 outbreak and input received from a survey of this year’s graduates, we made the difficult decision to cancel our in-person commencement ceremony and will instead be hosting a virtual celebration. All 2019-20 graduates are invited to participate in our 2021 ceremony, if they wish to do so, and will also receive a celebration package that includes their tassel, diploma cover, a letter from the President and a graduation gift.

Canceling in-person commencement was not an easy decision for us to make. Each year, we excitedly await the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of our graduating students. Although the announcement may come as a disappointment to some, we feel compelled to prioritize the health and safety of our students and staff, their loved ones, and our entire campus community.

The virtual celebration will occur at our regularly scheduled date and time, June 19, at 7 pm. It will also be available for viewing after that date. Look for more details about the event soon on our graduation webpage and social media.

The altered format of our commencement event does not detract in any way from our incredible Class of 2020. Graduating from college in the midst of a pandemic is a truly remarkable accomplishment, and we are so proud of each and every graduate!

Following Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, Columbia Basin College campuses will continue operating remotely through 11:59 pm on May 4.

As previously announced, online instruction will continue for the majority of classes for the entire spring quarter. While we are working remotely, general business operations, most student services and appointments will continue by phone, email or video conference. Visit our available services webpage for more information. Contact Hawk Central at 509-542-4601 for all questions regarding Student Services.

Probable COVID-19 Case

A Columbia Basin College employee informed us late last night that they are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. They have not been tested and their health care provider has decided to not test them. However, they have been in close contact with two people who were later identified as confirmed cases, and it is considered probable that they have COVID-19.

This employee has not been on campus since March 24 and is now at home in self-quarantine, as are the other employees who were identified to have been in contact with this person. Our thoughts are with our colleagues during this time. We remain in communication with these employees and are committed to supporting them.

The Benton-Franklin Health District engages in contact tracing and notifies individuals in cases such as these. We are also in the process of notifying the other employees who may have come into contact with the areas where this employee was known to have been. If you are not notified, you were not identified as a close contact or someone who came into contact with the areas where the employee had been.

We live with the new reality that COVID-19 is in the Tri-Cities community and should assume that anywhere we travel the potential is present for transmission. With that said, we have proactively taken precautions on campus and have continued to follow the direction of the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order and recommendations of the CDC and local health officials, including:

  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures
  • Social distancing requirements
  • Majority of services and functions operating remotely since March 17
  • Campuses closed to the general public on March 23
  • College commenced remote operations on March 25
  • Spring Quarter instruction will be delivered online

CBC students or employees who have symptoms consistent with the COVID-19 virus or believe they have been exposed should self-isolate and call your healthcare provider for medical advice. Additionally, please confidentially notify CBC’s Emergency Management at 509-542-4777 as soon as possible, and before coming on campus or in contact with others.

Please sign up for our Emergency Notification System and continue checking your email and our webpage for new information and updates.

There are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) at any CBC campus.

Following Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” statewide order, all Columbia Basin College campuses will begin remote operations on March 25 at noon and continue until April 7. While the campuses are operating remotely, general business operations, most student services and appointments will continue remotely. Visit our Available Services webpage for the most up-to-date information.

The CBC Food Pantry is allowed to remain open for students with limited hours under the Governor’s orders. New hours are Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 am to noon, and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 4 pm. Everyone who visits the Food Pantry must follow strict social distancing measures.

Contact Hawk Central at 509-542-4601 for all questions regarding Student Services.

We recognize these changes will have impacts on students who rely on our campus resources, but these precautions will ensure that we are all doing our part to minimize the spread of the virus and keep our campus community, friends and neighbors safe and healthy. We have done everything possible to ensure that you can still access the resources and supports you need remotely.

Emergency Notification System and continue checking your email and our webpage for new information and updates.

 
If you have symptoms consistent with the COVID-19 virus or believe you have been exposed, please self-isolate and call your healthcare provider for medical advice. Additionally, CBC employees and students in these situations are asked to notify our Emergency Management Department at 509-542-4777 as soon as possible, and before coming in contact with others or before coming on campuses once they reopen. Confidentially reporting exposures or potential exposures will allow us to evaluate appropriate measures to keep our campuses and community safe.

There are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) at any CBC campus.

Following Governor Inslee’s directive on March 13, Columbia Basin College is still operating, but we have moved campus services and classes online to the greatest extent possible to protect the health and well-being of the Columbia Basin College community. Remote operations and online learning will continue for the majority of classes for the entire spring quarter.

Today, to further minimize the spread of the virus, we are officially closing our campuses to the general public.

Campuses will only be open for faculty and staff who provide core services on campus that cannot be done virtually. We will also remain open for students and prospective students to access core services unavailable remotely. While on campus, strict social distancing measures must be followed.

Students can now access support services and appointments online or via phone. We launched a new webpage that will be maintained with the most up-to-date information about available student services.

If you have symptoms consistent with the COVID-19 virus or believe you have been exposed, please self-isolate and call your healthcare provider for medical advice. Additionally, CBC employees and students are asked to notify our Emergency Management Department at 509-542-4777 as soon as possible, and before coming on campus or in contact with others. Confidentially reporting exposures or potential exposures will allow us to evaluate appropriate measures to keep our campuses and community safe.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we continue to work through these uncertain times together.

Please sign up for our Emergency Notification System and continue checking your email and our this webpage for new information and updates.

There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on CBC campuses. The College moved to Alert Level: Heightened (Orange) because of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Tri-Cities area as reported by the Benton-Franklin Health Department . CBC had already deployed measures and responses under the Heightened Alert Level prior to the designation change. Safety measures are ongoing.

Students, faculty and staff are asked to please notify CBC's Emergency Management as soon as possible, and before returning to campus, at 509-542-4777 in the following situations:

  • You have been diagnosed, tested or suspected to have COVID-19; or
  • You have been directed, recommended or asked to self-quarantine.

Confidentially reporting exposures or potential exposures will allow CBC to evaluate appropriate measures to ensure safety to our campus community. Additional information about the symptoms of COVID-19 can be found on the CDC's website .

There are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus at any of CBC’s campuses.

In light of the announcement that Governor Jay Inslee made today, Columbia Basin College will be moving as many classes as possible to an online format effective Tuesday, March 17. CBC classes will be canceled on Monday, March 16. Our campus services will remain open, with the exception of the Fitness Center which will be closed for the remainder of winter quarter.

With the move to an online format, we recognize that some classes will be unable to be conducted online. Student learning experiences, which may not be able to be replicated in an online environment such as labs and clinicals, will continue to be offered in their current format but will utilize social distancing strategies. This will allow us to continue serving students without fostering the potential spread of the virus.

Students should receive a message from each instructor by 4:30 pm on Monday, March 16 regarding the individual plans for the remainder of the quarter.

Your spring quarter classes will now begin on Monday, April 13, instead of Monday, April 6, and end as originally scheduled. The majority of your classes will be converted online and those that cannot be converted online will continue to meet face-to-face utilizing appropriate social distancing measures. Individual instructors will be reaching out with more information on how your classes will be structured for spring quarter.

We are putting together information about successful online learning to help students who aren’t familiar with taking online classes. We are also developing ways to help support students who may not have their own computers or internet access.

If you are ill, please do not come to class or work. Consistent with CDC recommendations, we are asking all employees and students who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness such as coughing or shortness of breath, to stay home and not come to work or school for 72 hours after their fever is gone, and symptoms get better, whichever is longer. Faculty members will work with students to provide suitable arrangements to make up for absences if they are sick or caring for someone who is ill.

Please sign up for our Emergency Notification System and continue checking your email and our website for new information and updates.

To date, there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus at any of CBC’s campuses.

The health, safety and wellbeing of the CBC community continues to be our top priority. CBC continues to maintain normal operations at this time. We are preparing to ensure we are ready to respond as needed. We are basing our decisions on the most recent available information from the Benton-Franklin Health District and the Washington State Department of Health and will follow their advice when making decisions related to campus operations.

At this time, our focus is to minimize disruptions to student learning. We are encouraging everybody to protect themselves by staying home if they are ill, washing their hands and consulting their healthcare providers if they have symptoms or concerns. We are also encouraging everyone to sign up for our Emergency Notification System so they will receive timely notifications if anything changes.
We have no known cases of coronavirus exposure or of anyone having a case of coronavirus at any of our CBC campuses, and there are no suspected cases that are awaiting test results. This includes students, faculty and staff.

Frequently Asked Questions

Masks are required to be worn indoors on CBC campuses, regardless of vaccination status, unless an employee is working alone in an office. Face coverings may help reduce the spread of infectious particles into the air when the wearer speaks, coughs, or sneezes. As such, everyone will be responsible for wearing face coverings combined with social distancing and hand washing to help maintain a safe and healthy learning and work environment. 

Masks are not required for fully vaccinated individuals who are outdoors and maintaining social distancing.

Everyone on campus is expected to wear a face covering indoors, including contractors, third-party vendors and other short-term visitors.  

What qualifies as a face covering?

Face coverings may help reduce the spread of infectious particles into the air when the wearer speaks, coughs or sneezes. Examples of cloth face coverings include bandana, neck gaiter, homemade sewn cloth or mask.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cloth face coverings can be made of nearly any material you have available. Cloth face coverings should:

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face;
  • be secured with ties or ear loops;
  • include multiple layers of fabric;
  • allow for breathing without restriction; and
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.
How to wear a face covering?

Face coverings are required to cover your nose and mouth. The comprehensive information on mask use and maintenance including the best way to remove a face covering to avoid spread of germs to your face.  

Is it required to wear face coverings?

Everyone on campus is expected to wear a face covering on campus except for employees who are working alone in their offices. Everyone is expected to provide their own face coverings and wear them effectively at all times when indoors. For individually who are fully vaccinated, masks are not required outside when practicing social distancing.

The College has available cloth face coverings for purchase at cost from the CBC Bookstore, and disposable masks available for emergency use.  

Are there exceptions to wearing a face covering?

If you have a medical or disability-related reason why it is not appropriate for you to wear a face covering, contact your supervisor or instructor to document your situation and obtain an exemption from the requirement. Alternatives will be evaluated.

Also, if you are required to wear a higher-level of PPE for the performance of the work, such as in welding labs, clinicals or other health care settings, you are responsible for wearing the required PPE, rather than the cloth face covering.

What if someone isn’t wearing a face covering?

Politely inform the individual of the responsibility for wearing a face covering and notify Campus Security of the need to address the matter further where non-compliance continues. If you provide service to students or the general public, you are required to refuse service to individuals who are not wearing face coverings. If you are teaching a lab and a student refuses to wear a face cover, you should immediately send the student home.

What happens if I refuse to wear a face covering

Please know that failure to adhere to wearing a face covering as a mandatory protection will result in being asked to leave the campus, being declined service by any of our areas of operation and for students, the effect on non-attendance/absenteeism will be evaluated, along with applicable violations of the Student Conduct Code.

For faculty and staff, failure to adhere to wearing a face covering as a mandatory protection will result in being asked to leave campus, considered insubordination and violation of workplace safety rules, and considered for disciplinary action.

CBC will have more COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund available in the near future to help students who are presented with expenses due to the COVID-19 virus – no matter how large or small. These funds are intended to cover costs that might disrupt your education such as childcare, course materials, housing/rent, food/groceries, tuition, utilities, healthcare, technology and do not require repayment.

View more details about the CARES Act and when to apply!

SARS-CoV-2 (Novel Coronavirus) is a virus strain that originated from China and traveled to the US from travelers from China and Europe. The disease contracted from the virus is COVID-19 (Corona Virus Disease 2019). It is of particular concern due to serious illness it can cause including pneumonia and death.

Health experts are still learning the details about how this new coronavirus spreads. In general, human coronaviruses are most commonly spread from an infected person to others through the air by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands with viral load, touching an object or surface with the virus on it then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes, and, in rare cases, contact with feces.

Individuals with underlying health conditions and of advanced age are particularly vulnerable to serious illness from the virus.

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • 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

This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.

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 CDC .

There are multiple vaccinations available to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please visit the CDC Website for more information on the available vaccines, and visit the WA Vaccine Locator for information on obtaining a vaccine locally.

Other tips for preventing the spread of COVID-19 from the WA Department of Health include:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others.
  • 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.

All CBC campuses are operating mostly remotely, with about 300 courses with in-person learning available during fall quarter of 2021.

Starting October 18, by governor’s order, all employees will be required to be fully vaccinated. During fall quarter of 2021, students will be encouraged, but not required to be vaccinated.

Custodial crews are continually cleaning frequently touched surfaces throughout campus with disinfectants specifically approved by the EPA use with COVID-19.

Employees and students that are allowed on campus must:

  • Complete COVID-19 Safety Training;
  • Check in at the screening station;
  • Wear a face covering;
  • Maintain social distance; and
  • Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.

Additionally, COVID-19 Cleaning Kits with proper cleaning supplies have been distributed to faculty and staff for use on commonly touched surfaces.

We will continue to follow these practices to prevent the spread of illness, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For reliable, up-to-date COVID-19 information, please visit the Washington State Department of Health and Benton-Franklin Health District websites.

CBC is continually evaluating the current COVID-19 situation and will make adjustments to campus operations based on recommendations from state and local health department officials.

While the campuses are operating remotely, general business operations, most student services and appointments will continue remotely. Visit our Available Services webpage for the most up-to-date information.

Students can now access support services and appointments online or via phone. Please check our Available Services webpage frequently for the most up-to-date information about student services.

If we have suspended operations, you will be notified through our Emergency Notification System, which sends out calls, emails and text messages. Now is a great time to make sure that your notification settings are correct. We also communicate updated information through our website and social media channels.
The CDC is the best source of information about how the virus spreads and how to protect yourself, in addition to the most current national and global assessments. Other resources include:


Counseling Services:
Your mental and emotional health are important to us. Students have access to our on-campus personal counseling service, C.A.R.E. Students can make an appointment free of charge by emailing counselingFREECOLUMBIA_BASIN or calling 509-547-0511.

Employees have access to an Employee Assistance Program, which can be accessed by calling 1-800-777-4114 or visiting the Washington State Employee Assistance Program website and using "columbiabasin" as the username to login.
The Washington State Department of Health website has information in 11 languages .
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 #.

Any student, employee, volunteer or contractor who is at all concerned that they may have or have been exposed to COVID-19 to call CBC’s Emergency Management at 509-542-4777 to talk confidentially about your concerns before coming to campus. The CBC COVID-19 Flowchart and Decision Tree will determine next steps regarding returning to campus.

Washington State Department of Health Contact Tracing Information Graphic is a great resource to understand when you should stay home and for how long.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has a webpage dedicated to when you can be around others based on different scenarios that involve COVID-19.

The CDC page compares COVID-19 and flu, given the best available information to date.
Vaccines are widely available in our community. The WA Vaccine Locator can direct you to a free vaccination site. For more information on the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, please visit the CDC’s website.

Current CBC Alert Level

Alert Level: Direct Impact

There have been one or more cases detected on CBC property.

To provide a broad understanding of the impact to the College, we will be sharing information through four alert levels when making announcements. The levels are as follows:

Alert Level: Prevention and Preparation

There are no known cases in Washington State, but there have been cases elsewhere.

Alert Level: Moderate

Increasing number of cases in Washington State and/or health officials have concerns about the virus spreading.

Alert Level: Heightened

There have been cases detected in the Tri-Cities area.

Alert Level: Direct Impact

There have been one or more cases detected on CBC property.

contact

  • Phone:509-547-0511

  • Address:2600 N. 20th Ave., Pasco, WA 99301

Outside of A Building on Pasco campus