Frequently Asked Questions
All faculty, staff, and students are required to wear a face covering when on campus beginning May 11, 2020. 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.
Though CBC is working mostly under remote operations and is not open to the public, everyone on campus is expected to wear a face covering, 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.
You may also wear N95 or surgical masks already in your personal possession, though these are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
How to wear a face covering.
Face coverings are required to cover your nose and mouth. The CDC provides proper fit instructions, including the best way to remove a face covering to avoid spread of germs to your face. Remember, face coverings are only helpful when they are worn correctly and used in combination with other recommendations. You are still responsible for following social distancing rules (limiting contact and staying six feet away from other people), wash your hands often, avoid touching your face, and cover your coughs and sneezes.
Can I make my own face covering?
Yes! You are encouraged to make your own face covering when possible. Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost using a variety of patterns. You don’t even need to sew! The CDC has provided tutorials on how to make cloth face coverings.
Looking for a super quick and easy way to make your own face covering? Although the narrative is in Spanish, this quick DIY video shows how to make a mask from a sock and paper napkin (requires scissors, but no other tools).
Will the College provide me with a face covering?
CBC encourages you to wear your own mask.
When/where on campus are employees required to wear face coverings?
Faculty and staff are required to wear a face covering on campus starting May 11, 2020. You must wear a face covering anytime you are working around others. If you are working alone or as the sole occupant of an area, such as your office, you do not need to have your face covered, unless you are coughing and sneezing.
CBC will provide each faculty and staff member with a cloth face covering for those who choose not to wear one of their own. If you choose to use a face covering issued by the College, you can pick one up at the beginning of your next shift, on Friday, May 8 or thereafter, on campus from your immediate supervisor, or at the Receiving Department (when picking up other equipment). The Receiving Department is operating Monday through Friday (8 am to 3 pm). One mask is being issued per employee due to supply limitations.
When/where on campus are students required to wear face coverings?
Students are expected to provide their own face coverings and begin wearing them while on campus as of May 11, 2020. Students who do not have access to or means to buy a mask may ask for one at the health screening station prior to the first class period of the day. Again, there are a number of easy to make masks with little supplies, including one made from a sock with a pair of scissors (no sewing involved).
The College has purchased and is awaiting the arrival of cloth face coverings for purchase at cost from the CBC Bookstore. An announcement will be forthcoming once the face coverings are available for purchase.
How do I care for a cloth face covering?
A cloth face covering should be machine or hand washed frequently to ensure it remains clean. Your face covering should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use. Regular machine washing and drying is sufficient
How do I safely remove a face covering?
You should wash your hands carefully before removing your face covering. Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth. Wash your hands again after removing the face covering.
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 has a COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund available 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.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and usually cause mild to moderate illness in people. This new virus is a public health concern because:
- It is newly identified, so much is still unknown about it.
- Two other human coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, have caused severe illness.
Symptoms of coronavirus may include:
- Difficulty breathing
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 .
- Get a seasonal flu vaccination, if possible. While it will not prevent the novel coronavirus, influenza is currently in widespread circulation, and initial symptoms can be similar to novel coronavirus.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home from school or work if sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Don't share food and drinks.
- Clean and disinfect shared surfaces and objects that are touched frequently.
Please stay home. Consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, we are asking all employees and students who are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, to self-isolate and call your healthcare provider for medical advice. Do not return to campus for 72 hours after a fever has broken or other symptoms have ended – whichever is longer.
Additionally, for employees and students, please notify CBC’s Emergency Management
at 509-542-4777 as soon as possible, and before coming on campuses once they reopen,
if you are diagnosed, tested or suspected to have COVID-19 or if you have been directed,
recommended or asked to self-quarantine. Confidentially reporting exposures or potential
exposures will allow us to evaluate appropriate measures to keep our campuses and
Students are also advised to notify their instructors. 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. Employees are advised to notify their supervisor for any absenteeism and to evaluate leave options available to them.
To prevent the spread of any respiratory diseases, the CDC recommends you:
- 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.
All CBC campuses transitioned to remote operations on Wednesday, March 25, at noon following Governor Inslee’s statewide "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order. The order has been extended and the campus will continue operating remotely through August 1.
Online learning that went into effect on March 17 will continue through fall quarter. Some labs will resume on campus.
Before remote operations, CBC’s Custodial Services team was taking proactive measures to support a safe and sanitary campus. CBC also supplied numerous hand sanitization stations in high traffic areas throughout campus. Single-use items such as hand wipes, tissue and surface disinfectant wipes for common campus spaces will be available once campus reopens based on regional product availability. We will continue to follow these practices to prevent the spread of illness, as recommended by the Washington State Department of Health..
All CBC services remain open but have transitioned to remote operations as of Wednesday, March 25, at noon following Governor Inslee’s statewide “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. The order has been extended and remote operations will continue through August 1.
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.
- Washington State Department of Health .
- Benton-Franklin Health District.
- Novel Coronavirus Fact Sheet.
- World Health Organization .
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.
Based on recommendations by the CDC, if you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, self-isolate and call your healthcare provider for medical advice.
If you are not experiencing any symptoms, but have been within six feet for more than 10 minutes or have had direct contact with infectious secretions (e.g., being coughed on), while not required, you may choose to voluntarily self-isolate until you learn that the person tested negative. If they test positive, you may choose to continue self-isolating for 14 days total. If you exhibit symptoms at any time, contact your healthcare provider.
We are asking that 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.