Coronavirus

Published: 
Monday, March 2, 2020

Information and Resources: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Frequently Asked Questions >

Updated: April 3, 2020 at 4:25 p.m.

Yesterday, April 2, Governor Inslee extended his "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order until May 4. This extension will not affect the start of Spring Quarter, which still begins Monday, April 13.

As a reminder, Spring Quarter classes will be held through online, virtual, or alternate formats for hands-on and lab classes. Wondering what this means? This video gives a simple explanation of the three types of classes you may be enrolled in.

Prepare for Spring Quarter: What to do next week (April 6 – 10)

  • Get Books. Just like any other quarter, you need to get your books and supplies. The bookstore is open online only and is shipping books and purchased laptops and Chromebooks for free via UPS every day.
  • Take the Technology Survey. If you haven’t yet, fill out the short technology survey in Compass so we can understand your technology needs.
  • Ask Questions. Have questions about technology, tuition, books, housing, or other financial barriers? Use Compass to schedule an online meeting with your Financial Aid Advisor or Educational Planner as soon as possible.
  • Practice Using Zoom. We’re hosting SPSCC Student Test sessions in Zoom so you can practice logging in before virtual classes begin. Check the schedule and how to join a practice session.
  • Enjoy the Sunshine! Next week’s weather is looking pretty nice. Get outside, enjoy the sun and fresh air, and find ways to relax before Spring Quarter starts.

First day of class: What to expect (April 13)

  • Log into Canvas to Access Classes on Monday, April 13. Instructors for each class will have more information about the plan for their class for the entire quarter in Canvas. Please note that there will not be any in-person interactions, even with social distancing, until the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order is lifted.
Update from March 30, 2020

After an order on March 23 by Governor Inslee to “stay home” for at least two weeks, SPSCC immediately moved all student services to remote operations and has stopped all in-person activities for the duration of the order.

We’ve also decided to hold classes through online, virtual, or alternative delivery for all of Spring Quarter. Here’s what that means:

  • Online - There is no change to Online classes. Online classes do not have a set meeting time. Online class fee still applies.
  • Virtual - Face-to-Face classes will meet virtually. Virtual classes meet at the same day and time as the schedule says. Online class fee will not be charged for this kind of class.
  • Labs and Hands-On - Alternative delivery of these classes may include in-person interactions, practicing social distancing. As we get closer to the start of the quarter, students will be updated by their instructors via Canvas for these programs and classes:
    • Advanced Manufacturing
    • Architecture, Engineering & Construction Technology
    • Automotive
    • Baking & Pastry Arts
    • Craft Brewing & Distilling
    • Culinary Arts
    • Dental Assisting
    • Medical Assisting
    • Nursing
    • Nursing Assisting
    • Science Labs
    • Welding

At this time, SPSCC still plans to begin Spring Quarter on Monday, April 13. If the Governor’s order to “stay home” extends beyond the start of Spring Quarter, we may make adjustments to some classes and programs.

Update from March 23, 2020

Governor Inslee issued a statewide order for Washington residents to “stay home” for at least two weeks. The goal of this order is to have as many Washingtonians as possible stay home and avoid going out for any reason, other than meeting essential needs such as purchasing food or seeking medical care. 

Effective immediately, SPSCC will continue all remote operations, services, and online instruction, but stop in-person activities for the duration of the order. At this time, SPSCC still plans to begin Spring Quarter on Monday, April 13, as previously planned.

We will follow up with further impacts to Spring Quarter classes and programs this Wednesday, March 25.

Update from March 19, 2020

Today, we launched a temporary spscc.edu homepage focused on providing information and updates at SPSCC due to COVID-19. There are special sections to help current students, new students, and Running Start students. This page will be updated regularly as we learn new information.

Update from March 16, 2020

To increase our practice of social distancing, SPSCC will transition to alternative operations from Monday, March 23, through Friday, April 3.  These alternative operations will allow us to serve students with minimum in-person interactions.

Here is what to expect from March 23 – April 3:

  • Campus hours for public services will be 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.;
  • Remote or virtual access to advising, Financial Aid, enrollment steps, and more (more information coming soon);
  • This change does not change our plan for class delivery; Winter Quarter still ends March 20 and Spring Quarter begins April 13.

If for any reason you need to come to campus, take steps to protect yourself and others while you’re here: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick; and
  • Put distance between yourself and other people.

This is unfamiliar territory for all of us and we appreciate everyone’s compassion, patience, and understanding as we work together to maintain the safest, most effective learning environment possible given these unprecedented conditions.

Update from March 13, 2020

This afternoon, Governor Jay Inslee announced an executive order that included several actions to limit the spread of COVID-19. One of those actions is that all colleges and universities in our state must restrict in-person activities while continuing their core functions. Our announcement yesterday to move classes to virtual or alternate formats aligns well with the Governor’s order.

Update from March 12, 2020

Today, March 12, the Thurston County Board of Commissioners declared the COVID-19 outbreak a local emergency. To prioritize your health and safety, SPSCC is taking quick action to move classes to virtual or alternative delivery starting Monday, March 16, through at least May 1.

Here are the highlights from the longer update below:

  • Classes move to virtual or alternative delivery March 16
  • Winter Quarter will end early on March 20
  • Instructors will prepare for online instruction March 23 – 27 and April 6 – 10
  • Spring Quarter will start late on April 13 and classes will resume with virtual or alternative delivery, except April 13 and 14

Classes move to virtual or alternative delivery March 16
Classes will move to virtual instruction beginning Monday, March 16. Classes with labs or hands-on components will plan for in-person classes with social distancing practices in mind. Students will be updated by their instructors.

Winter Quarter will end early on March 20
Winter Quarter classes will end early on Friday, March 20, and there will be no finals week. Students will be directed by their instructors how to complete final assignments.

Instructors will prepare for online instruction March 23 – 27 and April 6 – 10
Adjustments to quarter schedules allows instructors to prepare face-to-face classes for virtual instruction. Faculty will get more information about these plans, training, and technical resources being made available, from the VP for Instruction.

Spring Quarter will start late on April 13 and classes will resume with virtual or alternative delivery, except April 13 and 14

  • Spring Quarter classes will begin on April 13 (previously April 6).
  • On April 13 and 14 only, instructors will hold face-to-face classes in person to learn from students who does not have access to a computer or internet.
  • Beginning April 15, most classes will resume with virtual or alternative delivery. Classes with labs or hands-on components will plan for in-person classes with social distancing practices in mind. Students will be updated by their instructors.
  • There are no planned changes to the end of quarter; finals will be held June 17 – 23.

Other campus services and operations
SPSCC will stay open unless we learn of a confirmed case of COVID-19 connected with our campus and close for disinfecting. Staff and faculty in good health should report to work as usual with social distancing in mind.

  • Student Services and personal supports are here and available to you. Please reach out when you need support – we are here for you.
  • Food services will remain open.
  • Students are encouraged to use online scheduling for appointments such as financial aid and advising.
  • Extra student supports to prepare for online learning, such as help using Canvas, Compass, or other computer and online skills, will be available from April 6 – 10. More information will come soon.
  • If high schools cancel classes, Running Start students should still report to SPSCC classes.
  • On-campus childcare will remain open.

To address some of your questions, we have created a Frequently Asked Questions webpage and are compiling list of SPSCC events impacted by social distancing. We will continue to provide updates to these pages and guide you while working to ensure the health and safety of our community.

Please continue to take care of yourselves and be kind to those who may have family or friends affected by the spread of COVID-19.

Update from March 11, 2020

Thurston County Public Health and Social Services announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Thurston County. The county shared that public health was working to identify and contact everyone who may have come into contact with the confirmed case, and that the investigation is ongoing. SPSCC will share any updates on impacts to students and employees as we learn more.

Update from March 10, 2020

This afternoon, we have a few announcements and updates from SPSCC as we prepare for the potential impacts of COVID-19. As of today, there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at SPSCC or in Thurston County.

College Events

SPSCC is limiting college events to 100 people or fewer. Contact your event organizer if you have questions about an event you plan to attend.
Upcoming college events canceled or postponed include, but not limited to: Yelm 2020 Visit; Expanding Your Horizons; Large events in Minnaert Center; All-Washington Academic Team Ceremony; and others.

College-Related Travel and Study Abroad

We have also made some decisions around upcoming travel and travel-related programs.
Study Abroad: All upcoming Study Abroad programs are canceled until further notice.
Employees: We are canceling all staff and faculty travel outside of the U.S. through the end of Fall Quarter 2020. We are also canceling all travel plans to NCORE in New York for SPSCC staff and faculty. Changes to other existing travel plans should be discussed between the employee and their supervisor.

Planning Ahead for Larger Impacts

Campus leadership is preparing for possible scenarios in which SPSCC is directly impacted by COVID-19, including:

  • Preparing for possible closures for disinfecting;
  • Creating a plan to move classes online if needed, and planning for classes and activities that cannot be moved online;
  • Planning for telecommuting; and
  • Defining leave and paid status for employees who miss work due to COVID-19.

What To Do Right Now

The health and safety of our college community is our foremost concern. Our custodial staff continue their hard work according to planned cleaning schedules. Additionally, we are working to purchase and provide wipes to clean shared computers in as many areas as possible, as well as provide sanitizer in shared spaces.

Remember that the best thing you can do for yourself is to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, cover your coughs and sneezes, avoid touching your face, and stay home when you are sick. Students and employees in good health should continue to come to campus. Any campus closures would be communicated by Omnilert, our emergency notification system.

We will continue to share updates as they relate to COVID-19. Thank you for doing your part to keep our community safe and healthy.

Update from March 5, 2020

This evening, we have updates on two events affected by COVID-19 closures and impacts:

  1. NWAC Basketball Championships: The NWAC, in conjunction with Everett Community College (EvCC), has suspended the NWAC Men's and Women's Championship Tournament due the COVID-19 related closure of EvCC. SPSCC Clippers Men's Basketball was set to play against Shoreline on Saturday at 8 a.m. on March 7. Updates will be available at the NWAC website.
  2. All-Washington Academic Team Ceremony: SPSCC, with the support of the State Board, has canceled the March 24 All-Washington Academic Team Ceremony out of an abundance of caution. Updates will be communicated to community and technical colleges in the state via email with updates available at the All-Washington webpage.
Update from March 4, 2020 After speaking with the Department of Health this morning, we have learned that the SPSCC student was not exposed to COVID-19, as previously thought. SPSCC students and employees should continue to attend classes and work normally.
Update from March 3, 2020

Earlier this evening, a student informed us that they were exposed to COVID-19 at a social gathering with people who later tested positive for the virus. The student was exposed 9 days ago and neither they nor their spouse have shown any symptoms of coronavirus disease. The student has attended classes at SPSCC's Olympia campus since their exposure.

The student has been in contact with their health care provider and will be tested in the coming days for COVID-19. The student has agreed to notify SPSCC of the test results and has volunteered to stay off of campus until they are notified by their health care provider that it is safe for them to return.

At this time, no campus closures are planned. SPSCC students and employees can attend classes and work normally. We are responding proactively tonight by doing concentrated disinfecting in the areas where the student attended classes (buildings 32 and 35). We will continue to follow best practices to reduce the spread of illness, as recommended by the CDC and Washington State Department of Health.


Many parts across the world are experiencing an expanding outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. This virus can spread from person-to-person and the number of cases detected in the United States and many other countries is growing. Currently, COVID-19 is spreading in several communities in Washington, though risk of exposure is highest for healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 and those who have had close contact with persons with confirmed cases. The situation is evolving rapidly and the Washington State Department of Health regularly updates the current statewide risk assessment.

Thurston County Updates: Thurston County Public Health and Social Services is updating each day at 3 p.m.

We will continue to provide updates from SPSCC as we learn more.

Illustration of COVID-19
Photo via: Center for Disease Control