COVID-19: Updates

Get Virtual Assistance

Virtual assistance for many student services is now being offered through Zoom virtual lobbies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Grays Harbor College.

Resources and Information

Get resources and information about COVID-19 and how to keep yourself healthy.

Updated 3/25/20 @ 5:35 p.m.

A special message from President Minkler

Dear Chokers,

I wanted to take a minute to reach out to all of you, our students, and let you know that we, the faculty and staff at Grays Harbor College, are thinking of you during this challenging time. Yesterday, I let GHC Employees know that we would be following Governor Inslee's 'stay home and stay healthy' order for at least the next two weeks. This means that, while GHC services will remain open, our employees will only be available to serve students remotely. The Aberdeen, Raymond, and Illwaco campuses will be closed to the public and employees will have limited access to campus. Many of our employees were concerned by this news as they value the face-to-face interaction with all of you, our students. However, as the Governor stated, we are in a race against time and social distancing is a key weapon in fighting this virus. As soon as it is safe, GHC will return to serving students face-to-face, but for now all of us need to do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home. What does this mean for students?

Honestly, these are unprecedented times and we are working as quickly as possible to provide you with the answers you need to plan your life and continue your educational endeavors. What do we know at this time? GHC plans to begin spring quarter one week later than scheduled, with a start date of April 20th. During spring quarter, classes will be offered online, virtual, or by alternate delivery methods for the entire quarter. Here is what that means:

  • Online – Some classes will be online. Online classes do not have a set meeting time.
  • Virtual – Some classes will meet virtually. Virtual classes meet at the same day and time as the schedule says.
  • 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:
    • Automotive
    • Medical Assisting
    • Nursing
    • Science Labs
    • Welding
    • Diesel Technology
    • Carpentry
  • By Mail – A limited number of courses, including some in the English as a Second Language Program may use instructional packets sent by mail.

More details about the delivery of classes will be shared with you as they become available. Faculty are working as we speak to determine the best delivery options for each course.

What can you do right now?

Registration is underway now for spring quarter! GHC Staff are ready to help you get registered. To access on-line services, visit our Virtual Assistance web site where you will find staff waiting to connect with you between 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. Or, you can contact our Welcome Center Staff at enrollment@ghc.edu.

Additionally, the e-Learning office is preparing to support you with remote instruction. If you have issues with Canvas, or other questions around remote instruction, you can contact them and they will be available to help. They can be reached at elearning@ghc.edu (preferred) or 360-538-4085. Also, please continue to check the FAQ page listed above as we will be updating that page as information becomes available.

The Harbor Landing Food Pantry

The one exception to facilities being closed on campus is the Harbor Landing Food Pantry. The Food Pantry will remain open to serve students and you can get the hours of operation by visiting the Harbor Landing Hours of Operation web page.

Stay Home, Stay Healthy

GHC has resilient and dedicated students as well as committed and innovative employees who are finding new ways to serve students in these unprecedented times. Fortunately we have the technological infrastructure to offer our services remotely and allow our student to continue with their education. Together we will get through this and come out stronger in the end. Take care of yourself and each other. My message to you all today, Chokers, 'stay home and stay healthy'!

Sincerely,

Dr. Jim Minkler
President, Grays Harbor College

Previous Updates

GHC is Ready to Serve Students!

Grays Harbor College is still operating - we're just doing things differently. Our college has moved services and instruction online to the greatest extent possible. This is both a directive of Governor Inslee and the right thing to do to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus and keep you and our community healthy. You can access support services by e-mailing or calling us using our departmental phone directory. While we've never gone through something like this before, and things are changing quickly, one thing that won't change is our dedication to educating and serving you – our students.

Register for Spring Now!

GHC is delaying Spring Quarter by one week (beginning April 20th instead of April 13th) to give students time to prepare for on-line classes. However, GHC Staff are ready to help you get registered now. To get started, contact the Welcome Center to at enrollment@ghc.edu; 360-538-4026. Additionally, the e-Learning office is preparing to support you as the quarter begins with remote instruction. If you have issues with Canvas, or other questions around remote instruction, you can contact them and they will be available to help. They can be reached at elearning@ghc.edu (preferred) or 360-538-4085. Please continue to check the FAQ page listed above as we will be updating that page as information becomes available.

What's Open on Campus

  • Open Computer Lab, room 2312
  • Bookstore - Limiting access to no more than 3 patrons at a time using social distancing protocols

GHC Classes Operating On-Line & Services Remain Open via Remote Access Options (e-mail, phone, etc.)

What Can Students Expect In The Days Ahead?

Tuesday, March 17

  • Tuesday (3/17) is the last day that the College (including Aberdeen, Raymond and Illwaco sites) will be open to students and the public on our regular schedule until at least April 24, 2020. Faculty and staff will continue to be available through email, phone, Canvas, and in some cases, using other communication tools as well. We will continue to work with you through this entire period.
  • Continue to communicate with your faculty about the status of your finals. Please look for any communication from them on how they plan to finish Winter Quarter.

Wednesday through Friday, March 18-20 and Finals Week, March 23-27

  • Exceptions to the in-person closure will be the student open computer lab on the 3rd floor of the Manspeaker (2000). The open lab will remain open to students Friday, March 20 and on Monday, March 23. The Library will be open for all services Friday, March 20, if you need to checkout or return books, return or renew Chromebooks (must have proof of Spring registration to renew), use computers and printers, or get reference or computer help.
  • In many courses, faculty are conducting winter finals remotely or completing the quarter prior to finals week.  Please look for communication from your faculty members on wrapping up the quarter. If you haven’t heard from them, please reach out to them to find out if the finals plans have changed.
  • The college will be closed to the public, but staff are still working – some remotely and some on campus. To better support you, we are adapting many processes so they can be completed via email or phone calls. This means you can still contact staff with questions through email or phone calls.
  • In limited circumstances, you may be able to come to campus for things such as lab completion, testing (by appointment), industrial technology classes, textbook pick-up/returns, laptop check outs, or other reasons that are being developed.  Typically, students will not be allowed on campus, and buildings will be locked. Look for further messages from the college about how some of these services will be provided.
  • The Food Pantry will be open for drive-up service during its regular hours (Tue 10-2, Wed 4-6, and Thurs 9-11).
  • If you need to submit a financial aid appeal, the process will be the same as in previous quarters: submit your appeal electronically using the Suspension Appeal Form.  With your Appeal Form, please attach your educational plan under the Documentation section of the form or make sure your advisor has put it in the portal.  If you need assistance with your appeal please contact the financial aid office at 360-538-4081 or finaid@ghc.edu. We will be happy to help you work through the process. 
  • We are working diligently to identify ways for students to return checked out equipment.  Rented textbooks can be returned in the drop-box outside the HUB, located next to the door outside the bookstore.  Additionally, we are working on installing a secure drop-box where students can drop off forms and information. There will be more information about that in the coming days but please call the appropriate office if you have any questions.
  • Research help is still available if you are working on papers. Librarians can be reached by phone at 360-538-4054, through e-mail at lib-ref@ghc.edu, and Chat Reference is available 24/7!
  • Make sure you are checking your my.ghc email address, as some communications may go to that address.

For Spring Quarter and Beyond

  • GHC Staff are available now to help both new and returning students register for spring quarter!  To get started, contact the Welcome Center to at enrollment@ghc.edu ; 360-538-4026.
  • Spring quarter classes are going to begin April 20, allowing the week of April 13-17 to be used for students to prepare for the remote delivery of classes. Additional information will be coming to you as spring quarter approaches.
  • The e-Learning office is preparing to support you as the quarter begins with remote instruction. If you have issues with Canvas, or other questions around remote instruction, you can contact them and they will be available to help. They can be reached at Elearning@ghc.edu (preferred) or 360-538-4085.
  • If you are a student employee, the closure may impact your ability to work your hours. We are working on identifying appropriate work for student employees to participate in to maintain their hours. Supervisors will notify student employees when those options have been finalized. Please contact your supervisor if you have any immediate questions.

Please know that over the next few weeks we will be developing new procedures for many of the items above and other processes that are important to student success. Many of those new processes will be outlined in an FAQ page linked to this page in the coming days. Please check the FAQ frequently as it will be updated regularly when new information becomes available.

GHC faculty and staff are here to help you.  We appreciate your patience, resilience and empathy as we move through this experience.  We will get through this together!

Grays Harbor College Moving to Modified Operations

Starting March 17th, Grays Harbor College will move face-to-face instruction to online delivery except for labs and hands-on career technical programs. Core student support services remain open, but social distancing will be practiced to avoid the convening of large groups of people. Students will be contacted by their instructors regarding plans for the rest of Winter Quarter.

Placement Testing By Appointment Only

Placement testing is currently by appointment only. If you need to take a placement test, please call 360-538-4099 to make an appointment.

Workforce Funding: Modified Operations

During Grays Harbor College’s time of limited operations, due to COVID-19, our staff will be serving students from home offices. For information or to schedule phone appointments please call (305) 985-2017 Monday - Thursday 8:30 am – 12:30 pm. Outside of those hours please call (971) 266-1774. You can also reach us by email at wfspinfo@ghc.edu. New applicants please fill out the electronic application below and submit them to wfspinfo@ghc.edu. Thank you for your patience.

Cancelled: Bishop Center Performances of Oliver!

At this time, the remaining performance of Oliver at the Bishop Center for Performing Arts has been canceled.

Grays Harbor College Remains Open

Grays Harbor College continues to operate and all locations are OPEN. There is now a confirmed case in Grays Harbor County and we are actively monitoring and working with Public Health officials to continue to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and faculty. At this time, the Grays Harbor Public Health & Social Services Department do not believe the patient was involved in exposure to people in any school settings and are not recommending closing schools.

Canceled: Bishop Center Performances of Oliver

At this time, the remaining performance of Oliver at the Bishop Center for Performing Arts has been canceled.

Grays Harbor College Remains Open

Grays Harbor College continues to operate and all locations are OPEN. There is now a confirmed case in Grays Harbor County and we are actively monitoring and working with Public Health officials to continue to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and faculty. At this time, the Grays Harbor Public Health & Social Services Department do not believe the patient was involved in exposure to people in any school settings and are not recommending closing schools.

Bishop Center Performances of Oliver

At this point in time, the performances will go on as scheduled. We are in daily contact with the Grays Harbor County Public Health and Social Service, and would like to assure you if the situation changes in Grays Harbor, the college will reassess the situation. Please watch this page as well as the Bishop Center for Performing Arts page on Facebook.

Updated: Basketball Championship Tournament Canceled

Both the Men's and Women's NWAC Basketball Tournaments have been canceled.  Additional information will be posted here as it becomes available.

Grays Harbor College Remains Open

No members of the GHC community have been diagnosed with COVID-19. All GHC locations are OPEN. Classes and events are being held as scheduled until further notice. Class formats may vary from course to course as you complete winter quarter. Please check with your instructor as well as check your email and Canvas for details. If college-wide changes in service delivery are made in the days or weeks ahead, you will be notified through our GHC Alert system that sends out emails and text messages. Now is a great time to go to the GHC Alert pages and make sure your notification settings are correct.

Grays Harbor College Events

At this time, March 11th, there is no plan to cancel planned events at GHC. Bishop Center events such as the Musical Oliver will take place as scheduled over the weekend unless the situation in our immediate area changes.

The GHC Men’s Basketball Team is scheduled to play in the rescheduled NWAC Tournament at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City at 6:00 p.m. Thursday night, March 12th – Go Chokers!

Emergency Planning Update on COVID-19

The situation in Washington State and around the world regarding the spread of COVID-19 is changing rapidly, and even though there have been no diagnosed cases in Grays Harbor or Pacific Counties, we are focused on being prepared should that happen. The GHC Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been activated and held a second meeting Tuesday morning (March 10th) continuing the development of Continuity of Operations planning should the decision need to be made to reduce or move to a remote delivery of services in order to safeguard our community.

Decisions will be based on gathering current information from recognized health authorities. We are committed to serving our students the best we can under the circumstances while not endangering them or our staff.

What to Do If You Are Not Feeling Well

Public health agencies are now emphasizing the need for people feeling sick to call their health care providers first, before showing up in waiting rooms. In this way, they can direct the person to the appropriate resource and that resource will be prepared to receive and isolate the sick person. Please see below for additional resources.

Grays Harbor College Emergency Planning Update on COVID-19

With reports that ten people have died in the King County area, Western Washington State is being considered the ground zero for the COVID-19 virus in the United States. Even though there are no known cases of COVID-19 in Grays Harbor or Pacific Counties, given the fact that the virus seems to be spreading, GHC has been engaged in emergency management planning in the event we need to close our Grays Harbor College campus and/or rural centers. Throughout the week, we have received updates from colleges throughout western Washington, sharing their plans and providing updates of what is happening on their campuses.

Will GHC’s main campus, Stafford Creek CC, and rural centers need to close?

We do not know yet if there will be closures of our college, rural centers, childcare, or office. One week ago the answer to this question may have been “not likely, but we need to prepare just in case”, however today that answer has changed. As of March 6th, the date of this post, we have to acknowledge that what we are seeing in King and Snohomish counties is more than likely to be played across our region. Today, University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce sent out a press release moving classes online through the end of winter quarter. With this in mind, it is incumbent upon us to prepare in the mindset of when, rather than if, this should happen.

GHC is preparing so that we will be ready to take fast action if needed. Everyone’s health and safety is our highest priority. Unlike weather closures, however, where the term used is “suspended operations” when we close, the term may more appropriately be termed “reduced operations,” since our continuity of operations planning will allow various functions of the college to continue even if face-to-face classes are not being held.

Event Planning

Should we cancel events? At this time, March 6th, there is no plan to cancel planned events at GHC. Many events that GHC students and employees were planning on attending this weekend in other parts of Western Washington have been cancelled, like the NWAC Basketball Tournament in Everett and the NWAC Softball Tournament in nearby Lacey. We will continue to monitor the situation in our own service area and work in concert with the regional Grays Harbor Public Health & Social Services along with the Washington Department of Health.

Decision-Making

The GHC Emergency Operations Center (EOC) team is coordinating the planning for the continuity of operations should the college need to partially close down and go into a reduced operations mode. As part of the EOC, the President will follow the advice and direction from our regional Grays Harbor Public Health & Social Services, the Pacific County Health Department (both North and South County Offices) along with the Washington Department of Health, the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges, and other state officials.

Notifications

If we have reduced operations, students and employees will be notified through our GHC Alert system that sends out emails and text messages. If you have not done so already, go to the GHC Alert pages and make sure your notification settings are correct. Updated information will also be placed on this page.

Grays Harbor College Emergency Planning Underway for Novel Coronavirus

While the United States is not experiencing large numbers of people with the novel coronavirus at this time, Washington State does have the first confirmed death from COVID-19 and Lake Washington Technical Institute has closed for a couple of days as a result of nursing students and a faculty member having been in contact with the healthcare facility where this took place.  As a precaution, Grays Harbor College is reviewing and updating our emergency management plans so that we understand what actions we would take should there be an outbreak in our area, specifically we are looking at continuity of operations of the college if that should happen.

Will There Be School Closures?

We do not know yet if the virus will spread in our area or if there will be closures of our college, rural centers, childcare centers or offices. But we are preparing so that we will be ready to take fast action if needed. Everyone’s health and safety is our highest priority.

Decision-Making

Unlike our local decision making with weather-related closures, the President will follow the advice and direction from our Grays Harbor County Regional Health District, the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention and state officials.

Notifications

If we have suspended operations, you will be notified through our GHC Alert system that sends out emails and text messages. Now is a great time to go to the GHC Alert pages and make sure your notification settings are correct. 

Additional Resources

How is it spread?

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

  • The air by coughing and sneezing, or close person-to-person contact
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.

Symptoms of Coronavirus May Include

  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Cough

If you have traveled to/from Wuhan City, China and have symptoms, contact a health care provider.

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 Centers for Disease Control.

How to Prevent Illness

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus. The CDC recommends everyday prevention measures, including:

  • Everyone 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.

What To Do If You Are Not Feeling Well

Stay home when you are sick. Do not report to work or attend classes if you are ill. Instructors, consider providing students with ways to complete work from home. This is good advice no matter what illness is going around.

If you are concerned about your flu-like illness, call your health care provider for advice and share any travel history. Stay home, rest, and stay hydrated.

How To Stay Informed

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 #.

Grays Harbor College will update this page when any relevant developments occur.

Last updated Monday, March 2nd, 2020.