2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for the Wenatchee Valley College Community
ONLINE AND REMOTE SERVICES // WVC is serving students and the public remotely. Call 509-682-6800 to speak with
a staff member.
Spring quarter is delayed one week and will begin April 13. Classes will be offered online to the greatest extent possible. Students, please contact your instructors the week of April 6 for more information.
While the United States is not experiencing large numbers of people with the novel coronavirus at this time, WVC is working to provide information to our college community about the virus and to keep our students and employees abreast of any new information about if and how the virus will affect normal college operations.
To date, there are two confirmed cases of the virus at Wenatchee Valley College's campuses.
At this time, we are taking direction directly from public health agencies, including the Chelan-Douglas Health District (CDHD) and Washington State Department of Health. We are working with these agencies to keep our campus community safe and informed.
Currently, the WVC facilities department is responding proactively. They clean the Wenatchee campus regularly, following best practices for sanitization to prevent the spread of illness. Custodians are focusing their efforts on sanitizing areas with large numbers of students, including classrooms, computer equipment, labs and common areas. Campus is cleaned using anti-viral cleaners. Custodians will continue to follow these practices to prevent the spread of illness, as recommended by the Washington State Department of Health.
The Washington State Department of Health recommends "routine environmental cleaning," including:
- Routinely cleaning all frequently touched surfaces, such as workstations, countertops, handrails and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
- Cleaning and maintaining sports equipment and facilities on a regular basis.
If you are planning an event or meeting on campus, please use the following guidelines when deciding whether or not to cancel or reschedule your event. Remember this is an evolving situation. Let your participants know that you might need to cancel at the last minute and that they should make contingency plans just in case.
NOTE: Check back for updates. This information will be updated as state agencies and officials continue to make decisions and recommendations about how large events and gatherings should be handled.
Should you cancel or postpone?
- Non-essential large gatherings are not encouraged at this time. Organizers should consider postponing the meeting or event, or using remote technology if possible (Zoom, Skype, etc.) to help avoid the spread of coronavirus.
- Consider high-risk populations. If your event is open to the public or is likely to involve many high-risk individuals,
it may be best to postpone or use remote technology. According to the Chelan-Douglas
Health District, high-risk populations include:
- People 60 and older
- People with underlying health conditions including heart disease, respiratory illness and diabetes
- People who have weakened immune systems
- People who are pregnant
- Meetings or events of any size should be reconsidered. Even if your event is not large, it may be best to use remote technology instead of meeting in person. The CDC states: “If you can feasibly avoid bringing large groups of people together, consider postponing events and gatherings.”
Canceling your event
If you cancel your event and will not be providing an option for remote attendance:
- Inform your supervisor
- Notify the Public Information Office by emailing PublicHealth@wvc.edu and calling 509-682-6420. Please send both an email and leave a voicemail to ensure your message is not missed during this very busy time.
- Notify your audience of the cancellation as soon as possible. Let them know if there are plans to reschedule the event and who to contact if they have questions.
Event or gathering best practices
If you choose to hold an event, regardless of size, please follow the best practices below:
- Ask that people do not attend if they are sick or have come into close contact with people who are sick. Offer remote options for attendance if possible.
- Encourage attendees to avoid shaking hands.
- Encourage handwashing, use of hand sanitizer and covering mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.
- Ensure that the meeting space is cleaned and disinfected before and after the gathering.
- Provide access to handwashing stations, sanitizing wipes and/or hand sanitizer. If you are a WVC employee or student, you can request supplies for your event by contact Director of Facilities and Operations Rich Peters, firstname.lastname@example.org, 509-682-6465.
- Share the resources available at wvc.edu/PublicHealth. On this page, you can also download or print posters and handouts about best practices for staying healthy.
Ongoing communication about your events and the decisions you make surrounding them can ensure members of the WVC community stay informed and healthy.
Yes. In the event that operations are impacted, WVC will seek to continue providing essential services and, most of all, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone in our campus community.
Will classes be affected?
In the event of a closure, classes will operate as they would during inclement weather, such as a snow day. WVC is already making preparations for alternate instruction methods. A majority of our classes utilize Canvas, an online learning management program, for online learning, resources and documents. There are also other options available for instructors and students.
How will a decision be made?
WVC will follow advice and direction from local health districts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Washington State Department of Health and other state officials.
Will WVC close?
In the event of a closure, we are making preparations to ensure we can continue to offer essential services remotely (email, phone, Zoom video conferencing) and offer classes online. Any in-person classes will follow social distancing of at least six feet and 10 or fewer people per room, as recommended by the CDC.
If we have closures, suspended operations or any other changes to normal operations, you will be notified through our emergency RAVE Alert system that sends out emails and text messages.
Sign up by texting "CAMPUSALERTS" to 67283. The text alert system is open to all students, employees AND members of the public. If you choose to sign up for text alerts, you may incur expenses through your carrier when alerts are issued.
Don’t miss a notification. Check your notification settings through your RAVE account. Learn how on our RAVE webpage.
Campus closures vs suspended operations
Not sure if you should come in once you receive an alert? It depends on whether the campus is closed or if operations are suspended. Review the suspended operations and college closure procedure:
- Closed campus: Classes are canceled, but college operations will continue and the college will be open for business. If an employee does not report to work, they must choose one of several leave options available to them (outlined in procedure 1500.600) or work from home if mutually agreed upon between the supervisor and employee.
- Suspended Operations: The procedure used to ensure the safety of public health, property and campus personnel when emergency conditions exist. Campus is closed to students and all non-essential personnel.
All of this information and more about employee leave and compensation can be found on the campus closure and suspended operations procedure page.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
The CDC recommends the following actions to minimize your risks:
- Stay informed and up-to-date by monitoring the CDC website.
- Get vaccinated for influenza (the flu) and other respiratory diseases.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- If you think you are sick, call your primary care provider first for assistance.
There are also several actions the CDC recommends not taking:
- Do not travel to China.
- Do not use face masks. CDC does not recommend the use of face masks for the general public to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Do not show prejudice to people of Asian descent out of fear for this new virus. Do not assume that someone of Asian descent is more likely to have the virus.
According to the CDC, stigma and discrimination can occur when people associate a disease, such as COVID-19, with a population or nationality, even though not everyone in that population or from that region is specifically at risk for the disease. Stigma can also occur after a person has been released from COVID-19 quarantine even though they are not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others.
Some groups of people who may be experiencing stigma because of COVID-19 include:
- Persons of Asian descent
- People who have traveled
- Emergency responders or healthcare professionals
Stigma hurts everyone by creating fear or anger towards other people. Everyone can help stop stigma related to COVID-19 by knowing the facts and sharing them with others in your community.
This is a good time to emphasize Wenatchee Valley College’s commitment to equity and inclusion. Name-calling, racist tropes, or any type of harassment against individuals or groups is never welcome on our campus. Please keep in mind that many of our community members, including our international students, may be dealing with difficulties stemming directly from the impact of COVID-19.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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. Also check with local agencies for up-to-date information in your area.
On-campus health clinic
CLOSED: The Wenatchee campus on-campus clinic will remain closed until spring quarter begins on April 6. Make an appointment by calling 509-662-6000.
If you are feeling unwell, you can visit the on-campus health clinic on the Wenatchee campus. The clinic is staffed by certified personnel of Columbia Valley Community Health and is open to all WVC students and employees. It is located in Van Tassell Center and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Wednesday. Appointments or walk-ins are welcome and most insurances are accepted. Schedule an appointment by calling 509-662-6000.
If you think you have the 2019 novel coronavirus, it is important that before seeing your health care provider you tell them about your symptoms and/or close contact with someone who is confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, COVID-19 infection. This will help the health care provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected.
Your mental and emotional health is also important. Students and employees may use our on-campus counseling services. Learn more at wvc.edu/Counseling or contact a counselor directly at 509-682-6850. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, contact the local Wenatchee hotline at 509-662-7105 or 1-800-852-2923, or the Omak hotline at 509-826-6191 or 1-866-826-6191.
The CDC also has resources Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19.
Chelan-Douglas Health District and Okanogan County Public Health
Okanogan Behavioral Healthcare
OBHC provides holistic behavioral health services that promote wellness and recovery in Okanogan County. Learn more at kbhc.org.
Washington State Department of Health
The Washington State Department of Health has information in 11 languages. Visit their site for more information in those languages.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The CDC is the national health protection agency. Follow along with their COVID-19 information at cdc.gov.