Coronavirus FAQs

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Campus & Student Information

Is SPSCC open during Thurston County's Phase 3?

Yes. SPSCC is open for limited services during Phase 3 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday – Thursday. Most services are available virtually or by phone from 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Please review Phase 3 Guidelines before visiting campus.

Visit the SPSCC hours page for a full list with hours and links to Zoom virtual waiting rooms.

If we have suspended operations, subscribers will be notified via our emergency notification system, Omnilert.

Do I need to wear a face covering? What should I do if I need one?

Yes. Washington's statewide mask mandate went into effect on Friday, June 26. Everyone on our campuses must wear a face covering in accordance with this order. If you do not have a face covering and need a disposable mask while on campus, you can pick one up on the Olympia Campus at the Start Here desk (building 22, 2nd floor) or Student Life front desk (building 27, 2nd floor) or on the Lacey Campus at the One Stop (building 1).

For more information and resources, the Department of Health has put together this thorough Cloth Face Coverings and Masks webpage that includes instructions on how to make a cloth face covering, links to the “Do’s and Don’ts” of wearing face coverings, and Frequently Asked Questions.

Are classes being taught online?

SPSCC will continue to offer online and hybrid classes for Summer and Fall Quarter 2020.

As we continue to prioritize the health and safety of our community, we want you to clearly understand the types of classes and instruction we’re offering so you can make the best class choices for yourself. When reviewing the Class Schedule, use the “Location” tag and refer to these definitions:

Online – There is no change to Online classes. Online classes do not have a set meeting time (sometimes called asynchronous).

Hybrid – Hybrid is a mix of Online and Face-to-Face learning (with social distancing, if allowed), or a mix of Online and Virtual learning.

Face-to-Face – Few classes are scheduled as Face-to-Face (Location tag “Oly”).

Are there financial resources to help me attend SPSCC?

If you are experiencing financial hardships as a result of the outbreak, contact your Educational Planner or Financial Aid Advisor via Compass to request CARES Act funds.

CARES Act Funds for Coronavirus Relief – In March 2020, the federal government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This Act allows SPSCC to provide direct emergency grants to students whose lives and educations have been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak. In addition to supporting unexpected coronavirus-related expenses like food and housing, these funds can support direct education expenses such as tuition, books, and essential technology (such as laptops). 

SPSCC Dashboard: COVID-19 Student Needs

Is food available on campus?

Currently, food is not available on campus. The Food Pantry is offering pre-boxed visits on Tuesday and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. beginning July 7.

The Food Pantry and the Thurston County Food Bank are offering a drive-up event at the loop in front of Bldg. 21 (off of Mottman Rd SW entrance) on July 1 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Drive through, pop your trunk, and receive a full visit box.

  • Free food, all households welcome
  • Please stay in your vehicle
  • People arriving on foot will be served
  • Keep 6′ of space between others at all times

A list of all pickup events can be found on the Thurston County Food Bank website.

The Bookstore is closed. How can I buy or return books?

The bookstore is open online, even though the on-campus bookstore is closed. Books, supplies, laptops, and Chromebooks are stocked and available to students. Free shipping. Orders are being shipped by UPS each day.

If you have an outstanding rental, you can return it using a free shipping label through your account on the bookstore website. If you have problems, contact bookstore manager Scott Cahill at

I'm using Veterans benefits. Can I attend classes virtually?

The VA is working with U.S. Congress to preserve your VA education benefits during this crisis. Both Senate and House lawmakers have passed a bill to protect student veterans from losing benefits due to colleges transitioning classes to virtual learning.

Are CCE (noncredit) classes running?

Most CCE (noncredit) classes have been rescheduled for Summer Quarter and beyond. If there is a change to a class you have already registered for, you will be contacted via email and phone.

Are events still happening?

SPSCC is not hosting college events or in-person social interactions until further notice. See Events Impacted for Social Distancing.Check with the event organizer if you have questions about your upcoming event.

Staff & Faculty Information

State & Local Resources

    About Coronaviruses

    What is a coronavirus?

    Information in other languages>

    Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually cause mild respiratory illnesses such as the common cold. Some coronaviruses have caused more severe illness, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). SARS-CoV-2 is a new coronavirus that was not identified in humans before December 2019.

    Stay informed with CDC and Department of Health recommendations and updates. The Washington State Department of Health has established a call center to address questions: 1-800-525-0127 and press #.

    What are common symptoms of COVID-19 illness?

    Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. It takes 2 to 14 days after a person gets the virus in their body to become ill. Novel coronavirus is new, and we are learning more each day about symptoms it causes and how long it takes for people to become sick.

    How does the virus spread?

    Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:

    • The air by coughing and sneezing;
    • Close contact, which the Washington State Department of Health defines as someone who was within six feet of someone with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes;
    • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands; or
    • Rarely, fecal contamination with coronavirus present.
    Who is most likely to contract the virus?

    The CDC has identified people at Higher Risk of getting very sick from this illness, including older adults and people who have serious medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease.  

    COVID-19 is not connected to any ethnicity, race, or nationality. Do not make determinations of risk based on race, country of origin, language spoken, or for wearing a mask. If you are an SPSCC student or employee who has experienced harassment or discrimination, please fill out a Bias Incident Report.

    Who should seek medical evaluation for COVID-19?

    The Department of Health has guidance available for people who have or think they may have COVID-19. Visit the DOH coronavirus webpage and select "What should I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms?"

    What is social distancing?

    Social distancing is staying about 6 feet away from others and avoiding large gatherings. It is a tactic to help slow the spread of a virus.