Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information + Resources

Bookmark this page for the most current updates and resources regarding the Cornish response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Please note that this is an evolving situation. Further updates are available from the Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including updated Travel Notices for countries with community transmission. Please also see Important Updates About Spring 2020 Semester for Students and Families.


What To Do About COVID 19

Whether you’re concerned, exposed, or received a case positive test, below are some information and resources for navigating COVID-19 provided by the Washington State Department of Health and Cornish College.

  • Concerned about COVID-19? Read here
  • Exposed to COVID-19? Read here
  • Received a Case Positive test for COVID-19? Read here
  • Form for community members who may need resources or assistance as the result of disruption or illness caused by coronavirus (COVID-19). Form here


Covid Update-Looking Ahead (April 5)

Dear Cornish Community,

It was in March 2020 when it became clear that we had entered a global pandemic.  This forced the College to adapt in unprecedented ways.  We were forced to dramatically pivot to keep our students, faculty and staff safe.  The protocols and procedures were developed by a cross constituent group as the Re-Opening Task Force.  This team worked tirelessly to develop the policy to allow the College to operate in new and safer ways for our 2020-2021 academic Year.  The ongoing efforts to monitor the effects of the pandemic were overseen by a smaller group known as our Covid Response Team that was charged with monitoring our community’s health, to offer recommendations for modifications to the College’s policies and procedures following the guidelines of the CDC, federal, state and local authorities, and to implement contact tracing as needed.

As we look ahead to the future with increased availability of COVID-19 vaccines, we’d like to offer information as to what the fall semester might look like.

Below are some frequently asked questions received by my office or to the Covid Response Team:

  • Will classes be in person this fall?
  • Will staff members be expected to work on campus?
  • Will I be able to get vaccinated through the college?
  • Will masks and social distancing be mandated in the same ways?
  • What will our travel policies be?
  • Will campus events, involving the public, including gallery exhibitions and performing arts events, be back on the schedule?

We know that these questions only touch on general areas of concern and I have asked that the Re-Opening Task Force reconvene to review the past academic year with in the next two weeks to begin to map out clear steps that address the ever-changing conditions of the pandemic–more vaccines, new variants of the virus, impacts to delivery of instruction, housing, campus access, and activities and other key areas that will be adjusted as we move through the spring semester and into the summer.

  • Cornish safely offered in-person classes throughout the 20-21 academic year.  We will continue to do so next Fall increasing the number of in-person classes.
  • As more individuals are vaccinated, the College will develop a phased return to the workplace allowing for ongoing modification as developed by the Human Resources office.
  • The College encourages its community members to get vaccinated as soon as they qualify.  The College will not provide vaccinations directly.  Individuals can use the vaccine locator resource to find and schedule your initial appointment.
  • Masks and social distancing protocols and procedures will remain in place at the level appropriate and mandated by federal, state, and county guidelines.
  • Travel for college business is currently restricted and will be assessed as we get closer to the fall semester.  Recommendations for the college community will be based on guidelines from the CDC and Washington State.
  • We are hopeful that we can see a return to modified, public-facing campus events including gallery exhibitions and performances.

We announced on March 22 that we would stay the course and maintain our protocols and procedures from the Comprehensive Plan for the remaining seven weeks of this semester.  We can assume, for now, that this plan will carry forward into the summer through August 2021.  As modifications are made and timelines formalized, these will be announced to constituent groups and posted as appropriate.

I am grateful to every member of the campus community for your diligence in maintaining the safety protocols issued by the college.


Raymond Tymas-Jones, Ph.D.

Cornish College of the Arts

Phase 3 and Remainder of Spring Semester (March 16)

As reported recently, Washington Governor Jay Inslee has announced a shift to Phase 3 effective on March 22, 2021. These implications are varied and will see the loosening of some County and State restrictions that have been in place for over a year. The President’s Cabinet, after consultation with the COVID Response Team, has made the determination that for the remaining seven weeks of the 2020-2021 academic year, the College will continue under the guidelines and protocols set forth in the current version of the Comprehensive Plan: Safe Return to Campus and Workplace.

This Plan has been successful in keeping our community safe and our reported positive cases low, which has allowed us to proceed through this challenging academic year without interruption. As we see an expanded vaccine rollout, we have every hope that we will see a return to a more normalized operation as we move into the summer and into the new 2021-2022 academic year.

Washington State Health Officer Scott Lindquist, MD, MPH recently stated, “I’m concerned about what this means for the future and a possibility of a fourth wave of activity, along with the increases we are seeing with variants of the virus. As we continue working to accelerate vaccination so we can protect more people, it’s critical that we all maintain the precautions we’ve been taking to stop the spread of the virus.”

Please know our commitment has always been about the safety of our students, faculty, and staff. We ask each of you to remain committed to staying the course so that we may all be together again, in person, in the not too distant future.

Vaccine Information and Spring Break (March 10)

Latest Updates

On Monday, March 8,  the CDC released updated guidance for individuals that have been fully vaccinated. While this is welcome news, the Cornish Comprehensive Plan remains in effect for all members of our community. This plan uses a layered approach to protect students, faculty, and staff combining physical distancing, extended sanitation procedures, daily symptom self-attestation via One Medical, face mask protocols, good personal hygiene practices, and a lower density of people on campus have kept our community safe. The COVID-19 vaccine is another layer of protection.

You may have heard that educators have been added to COVID-19 vaccine priority Phase 1B-1. At this time, the State of WA Department of Health released details that indicated this is for PreK-12 educators. Please continue to use the WA State Phase Finder tool or contact your healthcare provider to see if you’re eligible based on your specific circumstances.

With Spring Break quickly approaching, please keep in mind the WA State Travel Advisory included on Page 21 of the Comprehensive Plan. You can find some additional information on travel in WA here. It is also important to note current information and forecasts regarding COVID-19 variants. Now is not the time to ease existing protocols, in fact, it is critical to maintain vigilance as these variants are more contagious. Experts indicate a surge in April is possible due to the UK variant, while a surge in Fall is possible due to the South African variant. Learn more about the variants from the State of WA Department of Health and the King County Public Health.

Whether you plan to stay in the area over the break, or will be traveling, the Comprehensive Plan remains in effect for all members of the Cornish community. As we continue forward, please remember to stay safe, keep your distance, wash your hands, and wear a mask.

– Cornish COVID Response Team

King County Shifts to Phase (Feb. 1)

King County, as part of the Puget Sound Region, has shifted to Phase 2 of the Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery plan. While this higher phase will impact the larger community in which we live, it does not change how Cornish is operating at this time.

All elements of the Comprehensive Plan remain in place, including space occupancy limits, physical distancing requirements, hygiene, and masking. Our guiding principle in the Comprehensive Plan is:

College policies and protocols for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic are rooted in the safety of our entire community, in all activities, both on campus and off, while providing in-person and hybrid learning, as well as safety for the public with whom we interact.

We will continue to monitor local, state, and federal health guidance to communicate important information or any changes to Cornish protocols.

There have been recent news reports about double-masking that may be more effective in preventing spread and exposure. The CDC has not revised its current mask guidance. It still strongly encourages everyone to choose well-fitting masks that cover your nose and mouth with two or more layers of fabric and to avoid surgical masks meant for health care workers. Masks that have been distributed by Cornish have three layers of protection.

– Cornish COVID Response Team

Message to Cornish Community: Cornish COVID-19 Travel Advisory (December 10)

In keeping with the Washington State COVID-19 Travel Advisory, Cornish advises all students, faculty, and staff to self quarantine at their residence if they travel to Washington from out of state, or out of the country. This quarantine would apply to anyone who travels into Washington, or leaves Washington and returns. King County adopted the revised CDC guidelines on quarantine on December 9, 2020. The three available quarantine options are:

  • The 14-day option: This remains the safest option for preventing transmission.
  • The 10-day option: People who cannot adhere to a 14-day quarantine may leave quarantine after 10 days as long as they remain symptom free.
  • The 7-day option: Quarantine may be ended after 7 full days if they remain symptom free AND have a negative test result from a test taken on or after the 5th day of quarantine.

For students residing in the Cornish Commons, early returns are possible, at an additional cost, and should be coordinated with Housing & Residence Life Staff by contacting Meal service via Nellie’s Cafe & Espresso Bar may also be limited prior to the official move-in date and individuals returning early to the residence hall should take this into consideration.

While students will not be penalized for taking this quarantine period, it is the student’s responsibility to connect with their faculty members in each course to make arrangements to make up any missed in-person work. Students can also reach out to their Student Success Coach for additional support in making these arrangements.

Faculty and staff that choose to quarantine may work remotely during the quarantine period if authorized by their supervisor. If unable to work remotely during quarantine, paid or unpaid leave will be used to account for any work days missed.

Should any member of our community need access to a COVID-19 test, they can be scheduled through One Medical, Kaiser Permanente, King County free testing sites, or City of Seattle free testing sites.

In addition, the State of Washington has recently introduced WA Notify, a new tool to alert users if they may have been exposed to COVID-19 using your smartphone. It is completely private, and doesn’t know or track who you are or where you go.

Thank you again for your dedication to the health and safety of the Cornish Community.

– Cornish COVID Response Team

Message to Parents & Guardians from the Cornish COVID Response Team (November 18)

Dear Cornish Parents and Guardians,

We want to take a moment to ensure you are aware of the new restrictions issued by Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee. These took effect at 11:59 p.m., Monday, Nov.16. As you will note, higher education institutions are exempt from these new restrictions. However, the College is evaluating whether to implement any modifications to our current campus safety protocols. If any adjustments occur, communications will be sent to the community.

COVID-19 Cases Within the Cornish Community:

While we can confirm that the College reported its third positive case in our community this semester, there is no outbreak at this time. There is no indication that these cases are directly related to each other. We are in communication with King County Public Health Officials to ensure they have all the information regarding these positive cases in our community.

As throughout the entire country, COVID-19 cases are still increasing locally in our city and county. We continue to implore each member of our community to follow the safety practices included in our Comprehensive Plan, both on campus and off. It is up to each of us to do our individual part in limiting the spread of this virus.

Coronavirus Testing:

Should any member of our community need access to a COVID-19 test, they can be scheduled through One MedicalKaiser PermanenteKing County free testing sites, or City of Seattle free testing sites.

End of Semester:

As was stated at the start of the fall semester, in person and hybrid classes will end on Tuesday, Nov. 24, before the Thanksgiving Holiday. The final two weeks of the semester will occur 100% online with the final day of classes falling on Friday, Dec.11, 2020.

Travel & Holidays:

The CDC has provided extensive COVID-19 travel recommendations here as well as guidelines provided by the State of Washington here. Additional information related to the upcoming holidays can be found on the following links:

CDC Thanksgiving:

Governor’s Message:

Holiday Travel Advisory:

While some may have considered our COVID-19 protocols to be excessive, we hold fast to our commitment to the health and safety of everyone. We know the plans and protocols we have in place work when they are followed. Our Comprehensive Plan will be evaluated and updated for the spring semester as necessary and that updated information will be provided to our community and posted on our website.

Message to Cornish Community - Reopening for Fall 2020 (May 22)

Cornish College of the Arts will reopen for in-person instruction on August 31, 2020. Housing move-in will start on August 22, and new student orientation will begin Aug 24th.

Our faculty and staff are working this summer to develop and implement curricular enhancements that will enable the College to continue providing high quality in-person instruction, while also adhering to important safety protocols. More details about the schedule and courses offered for fall semester will be released soon.

“Our most immediate priorities are the health and safety of our community, and the provision of a world-class arts education” said President Raymond Tymas-Jones. “We are continually monitoring—and closely following—the recommendations of County, State, and Federal health authorities. Our students’ success is our ultimate goal and we aim to foster that success by offering them a safe, dynamic learning environment.”

The College has implemented robust health and safety measures, including: enhanced cleaning of all campus spaces, social distancing and mask requirements in all campus environments (e.g. labs, studios, rehearsal spaces, classrooms, offices), expanded hygiene and sanitation procedures, increased signage and other communications, modified access to shared spaces, limitations on group gatherings, and housing and food service changes, among others.

We will continue to communicate with all of our constituents over the summer. As new information is gained and as new guidelines are introduced by the local and Federal health agencies, we will keep our community regularly apprised. Visit this page and follow us on our social networks for updates.

There will be a Virtual Town Hall for parents and students on June 25th. For more information about that event, contact

Community Message from President Tymas-Jones (April 24)

Dear Cornish Community,

Each day, since March 13th, has revealed new and unexpected fallout that we are experiencing as individuals as well as a community.  Perhaps the most daunting effect of the pandemic is how what was once considered unfathomable is now becoming the new normal. Yet each member of the Cornish community has continued to exhibit the fortitude and dedication to the mission and values of our beloved Alma Mater.  Your imagination, spirit, energy, and passion are leading us forward, and we sincerely thank you for all that you are doing for Cornish College of the Arts.

Now, as we near the final weeks of this semester, the college is looking to next fall and evaluating options for how we will teach, create, learn, and operate with the health and safety of our community as paramount.

We will continue Cornish’s mission to educate and train students during the fall semester and hope to reopen the campus to do so, nevertheless, we recognize that the country will continue to combat COVID-19 for the foreseeable future. Consequently, as a community, we will need to determine what are the threats and risks that will continue to challenge us and how we can mitigate those risks by examining the ways we teach students and schedule classes, address concerts and productions, operate studios and coordinate housing for students who live on campus.

We expect to announce the college plans for the fall semester by the end of June.  This timing will enable the faculty to prepare their classes and curricula so that they can deliver the extraordinary educational experiences Cornish is known for.  It will also provide time for our dedicated staff members to reopen the facilities, integrate new learning technologies, and prepare to implement new health-conscious practices and policies.  In late June, we will have more information about the state of the COVID-19 crisis, and a strategy will be in place.

As we move forward, we will be working to answer many questions:  How and when can we safely bring students, faculty, and staff back to the campus?  What will social distancing look like on campus?  How can we enhance the learning experiences that include multiple modalities?  When will public performances and exhibitions be able to be scheduled again?  What are the financial implications, short and mid-term, for the institution going forward?  These and other questions are being evaluated.   We encourage every student to register for fall classes as soon as possible if you have not already done so.  This will definitely assist the planning.  Our intention is to harness the talent and expertise of our faculty, staff, and students while coordinating with city and state officials.

Cornish will make it through these challenges together.  We will end up stronger and more prepared to do what we do best.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and be well!


Raymond Tymas-Jones, Ph.D.

President, Cornish College of the Arts

Message to Students and Parents: Spring 2020 Semester Updates (April 1)

Message from the President:

The coronavirus pandemic is perhaps the most unforeseen disruptive phenomenon in American higher education. As an arts college, Cornish, within a matter of days, was required to shift from in-person education to remote teaching and learning in order to safeguard against this deadly virus. It is critically important that the College continues to maintain the same high-quality educational experience, while realizing that remote instruction is different. I am proud to acknowledge the dedication and work of the faculty and staff in making this happen.

Still, the impacts of this situation on our campus and world have been unprecedented, requiring our continual adaptation, adjustment, and reassessment. Below are several important updates for Cornish students and their families regarding resultant changes to the Spring 2020 semester.

Please visit our dedicated page to for more detailed information about each of these topics.

Universal Pass

In response to a request from the Cornish Student Senate, the College is awarding all students a grade of “P” for each of their courses at the completion of the spring 2020 semester. This universal pass system is aimed at reducing stress related to letter grades and promoting academic consistency. Our commitment to our students’ arts education is unwavering:  Faculty and departments will continue to closely assess and support student achievement–their work and learning matter! More information >

Housing and Meal Plan Credits / Refunds

Cornish will provide housing and meal plan credits to students who were displaced from the Cornish Commons residence facility as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Cornish Commons will continue to operate under social distancing restrictions and Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. More information >

Requests for Tuition Refunds

While the College administration and the Board of Trustees acknowledge the concerns of students impacted by the lack of access to College facilities, resources, and materials as a result of social distancing restrictions, Cornish is not in a position to provide tuition refunds for Spring 2020. More information >

It is my hope that each and every Cornish student, as well as each member of the faculty and staff, will be able to successfully navigate the uncertainties of these days. We will continue to listen to your concerns and to respond to your needs as best we can. It is up to all of us, as a community, to continue to support one another. Cornish remains committed to providing an educational program of the highest quality, in an environment that nurtures creativity and intellectual curiosity.

Thank you for your input, your commitment, and your fortitude.

Raymond Tymas-Jones, Ph.D.

President, Cornish College of the Arts

Message to Faculty + Staff: Washington's Stay at Home Order (March 24)

Dear Cornish Faculty and Staff,

As you are surely aware at this point, yesterday evening Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued a Stay Home, Stay Healthy proclamation for residents of our state. The order takes effect tomorrow at 5pm and will last for two weeks, culminating on April 6. During this time, we have been asked not to leave our homes except to conduct necessary activities such as grocery shopping, going to the doctor, or working at essential businesses.

I would like to clarify exactly what this means for Cornish. First of all, the ongoing safety of our students, faculty, and staff is the College’s top priority. At this time, the majority of our community members are working and studying remotely. But we do have students who are still in residence at Cornish Commons and we must continue to provide them with the remote learning and support services they need, while also ensuring their safety and security, as well as that of our campus buildings. 

For these reasons, some Cornish staff members may be required to report to campus to fulfill their duties in-person. Accordingly, our Operations team has taken every precaution recommended by the government and health agencies to make our facilities as safe as possible.

Members of the following teams are considered essential to the daily operations of the College, and supervisors will work with them to establish schedules and conditions aimed at keeping each employee and our entire community safe.


  • Security
  • Operations (including Creative Spaces + Event Services)
  • Facilities
  • Housing
  • Cafe/Dining
  • Custodial
  • Information Technology
  • Human Resources
  • Registrar
  • Finance


If you are not a member of one of the teams listed above, you are asked to work exclusively from home after tomorrow, March 25, at 5pm, when the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order takes effect. If you need to visit MCC, Kerry Hall, or any other Cornish buildings after that time, please arrange your visit in advance with Security staff by phone (206) 726-5038 or email While at Cornish, please exercise best practices regarding personal hygiene and social distancing. Additional details, updates, and guidance will be provided in the coming days.

I trust that you understand and will do your best to adhere to these measures. Together we can help to slow the spread of coronavirus and return to our normal lives as soon as possible. I am proud of–and grateful for–the ways in which our community has embraced finding new solutions to the challenges presented by these unprecedented times.

Thank you and take good care,

Raymond Tymas-Jones, President

Message to Class of 2020 from President Raymond Tymas-Jones (March 21)

Dear Class of 2020:

When we began the spring semester of the 2019-2020 academic year, I am certain that no one imagined how our lives would be upended by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  The rapid spread of COVID-19 throughout the entire 50 states of our country has resulted in a myriad of efforts to quell the spread and flatten the anticipated curve of this highly contagious disease.  Governor Inslee and other officials have acted responsibly to do what is necessary to keep citizens as safe as possible. As we have all learned, an essential component to slowing the spread is to maintain social distancing.

The Cornish administration, with the support of the Board of Trustees, has taken action to minimize the threat to the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty. Now, I must consider a decision that absolutely breaks my heart: The circumstances surrounding COVID-19 and the restrictions established by the proclamation of the Governor of the State of Washington on 13 March 2020 necessitate the cancellation of the 2020 Commencement exercises for Cornish College of the Arts.  

I cannot imagine how disappointed each graduate and their family and friends will be to learn this news, but the health and safety of our entire community remain our utmost priority.  Cornish is one of many institutions across the country to determine that, for the present, this decision is the most prudent and necessary. Over the coming days and weeks, I will share with you thoughts and ideas of how Cornish will celebrate the extraordinary achievements of our graduating seniors when it is safe to do so.  

I want you to know that the faculty, staff, and administration are working tirelessly to continue to deliver on our commitment to your future.  The work of the artist is perhaps more critical to the survival of our community than ever, and your preparation to be among those whose contributions to humanity gives hope and peace.  I ask you and your family to do everything possible to remain well and safe.  


Raymond Tymas-Jones, Ph.D., President

New King County + State Orders on COVID 19 (March 18)

On Tuesday, the Governor and Seattle-King County Public Health issued two new directives related to social distancing. One of these directives–“College and higher education campus dining halls are banned from providing on-site dining, but may provide take-out, grab-and-go, and delivery”–necessitated adjustments in our own policies related to our dining areas. All seating and common areas in the Cornish dining facility have been closed, signage has been installed, and other changes have been implemented to discourage assemblage.

Message to Students: Remote Teaching & Learning, Spring 2020 (March 13)

Dear Cornish Students,

Good evening. In light of the announcement from Governor Jay Inslee that institutions of higher education will move to remote teaching through the end of April, as well as the closure of all public and private K-12 schools in Washington State, Cornish College of the Arts will move to remote teaching and learning for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. This move will not impact your financial aid. We understand that this is new terrain for everyone, but we all share a creative spirit that will help sustain your academic progress.

Faculty, staff, and students will work together to support each other through this transition. While remote learning is a new environment for many of us, we believe this is an opportunity for exciting and invigorating arts education. While continuing learning experiences that fulfill your credit-to-degree requirements, this will also offer our faculty, staff, students, and their families the ability to support sudden changes in community needs.

We all need to support active social distancing and see this as a responsible decision to make for our College community.

Below are some notes on what this means for you and what to expect next:

To ensure academic continuity and allow our faculty and staff to plan the remainder of the semester, all undergraduate classes scheduled to meet remotely on Monday, March 16th, Tuesday, March 17th, and Wednesday, March 18th, will be canceled. Remote learning will begin Thursday, March 19.

All public events through the remainder of the semester are canceled;  some may be rescheduled or reenvisioned for later this year. Please know that final grades will not be negatively impacted by this decision. Grades will be determined based on the work you do this semester and per the modifications made by your faculty. Details are forthcoming.

Commencement: We know that Commencement is a celebratory moment and milestone. We are exploring the best ways to honor the achievements of our graduates in a healthy community-conscious way. You will receive details from the Dean of Academic Services by March 23rd.

The Residence hall and dining services will remain open. MCC and Kerry Hall common areas are also open.

Computer labs in MCC and Kerry are available to assist students who need them for remote learning. However theaters, dance studios, visual arts studios, practice rooms, rehearsal spaces, and labs will not be available for use until further notice.

Writing Center and Library services will remain accessible. 

Adobe has agreed to make Creative Cloud free until May 31st for students to have the tools necessary to continue their education wherever they are. Please contact IT ( to get that set up.

College administrators and staff will remain available for appointments and assistance subject to public health guidelines.

All Cornish faculty, staff, and administrators are here to support you in this change and through the semester. Please let us know how you are doing and any ways we may help. We want to hear from you as we navigate through this semester. You can always contact the Provost’s Office directly at

The Cornish spirit and commitment to progressive education has not changed, but the ways in which we learn have to adapt to this new challenge. As artists we are well prepared to improvise in the face of a changing world.


William Seigh

Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs

Message to Students from the Office of Student Life (March 12)

Dear Students,

The Office of Student Life is committed to continuing to provide all of you with support services, as well as modeling the social distancing and hygiene practices recommended by our public health and government officials.Beginning Monday, March 16th, we will be taking the following steps to prioritize both continued student learning and the health of our campus community:

1) The Office of Student Life will be open from 10am-2pm Monday-Friday. One staff member will be present each day to offer in-person services. If you need to speak with someone in person and are not currently feeling ill, please come on in! In general, you can expect to see people in person on the following days of the week.

  • Mondays: Brittany
  • Tuesdays/Thursdays: Nick
  • Wednesdays/Fridays: Kaitlyn

2) All staff members will continue to be available remotely from 9am-5pm Monday-Friday. We can still provide all support services, with the exception of ORCA card replacements, remotely. If you already have an appointment scheduled with one of us, your appointment will take place as scheduled and we will be in touch to determine your preferred method for a “virtual” appointment.

3) If you are in need of an ORCA card replacement at this time, please come into the office between the hours of 10am-2pm Monday-Friday, after visiting the Cashier to make your replacement card payment.

4) You can continue to make appointments with us via our online scheduling links, which can be found on Compass in the Student Life section and in our email signatures.

5) If you are feeling ill, please do not come into the office during our in-person hours. We will be happy to answer your questions and support you via email, telephone, or virtual hangout.

6) We will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments as needed based on the College’s overall response to this ongoing situation.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us!

  • Performing Arts Student Success Coach, Kaitlyn Vallance,
  • Visual Arts Student Success Coach, Nick Russell,
  • Dean of Student Affairs, Brittany Henderson,

With Gratitude,

All Cornish Events Cancelled Through March 30 (March 11)

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in the Seattle area, Cornish College of the Arts has cancelled all remaining events and performances through the end of March. All performances that can be rescheduled will be announced once more information is known. Please refer back to this page and follow us on our social networks for updates. If you have questions about Cornish events, please reach out to our Patron Services Manager. Thank you for your understanding.

Remote Learning: Message to Students (March 10)

Dear Students,

I trust you are enjoying your spring break, finding time to relax, and staying healthy. I hope you are spending your days reflecting on your excellent creative work this semester. I am reaching out today because – in the tradition of Nellie Cornish – we will be transforming the ways we support your learning over the weeks ahead.

Although we do not have any reported or confirmed cases of COVID 19 at Cornish, we are committed to acting with an abundance of caution in order to keep our community well. In accordance with recommendations from federal, state, and county agencies regarding social distancing, I announced to the faculty and staff earlier today that Cornish will move to remote learning for two weeks following spring break (commencing on Monday, March 16th and returning to in-person instruction on Monday, March 30th). This mission-driven decision will allow us to maintain an enriching learning experience for all students.

Below are some notes on what this means for you and what to expect next:

  • Learning will occur remotely between March 16th – 29th, but the College will remain open. Administrative and Academic offices will be open and our faculty and staff will be accessible in person or remotely should you need their support.
  • Student work areas such as the computer labs (equipped with webcams), common areas and Library will remain open.
  • The Residence Halls and dining facilities will remain open.
  • Theaters, dance studios, visual arts studios, practice rooms, rehearsal spaces, and labs will not be available for your use at this time. While we understand the burden this could place on you, we have made this decision to ensure equity among our student body and the health and wellness of our community. Your faculty will work with you to identify alternate options for space and equipment usage.
  • Your faculty and department staff will be in touch with you about remote instruction and resources to support your learning. You can also reach out directly to your department chair via email.
    Information is forthcoming regarding the rescheduling of performing and visual arts events in April. All details are being finalized. Stay tuned for updates.
  • Student Advising appointments will occur remotely if needed this semester. Your Academic Advisor will be in touch with you in the upcoming weeks to schedule your fall 2020 registration or support your preparation for graduation.
  • The College’s Pandemic Planning Committee is meeting daily to assess this evolving situation and we will provide updates regularly. To remain informed, please bookmark the College’s COVID 19 information page, follow us on social media, and check for updates via email.

Please enjoy the remainder of your Spring break, taking the necessary precautions to keep yourself well. We look forward to once again coming together as a community and resuming in-person coursework on March 30. Lastly, I thank you for the creative and collaborative spirit you bring to our College.


William Seigh
Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs
Cornish College of the Arts

Message to Community from the Provost (March 10)

Dear Colleagues,

After careful consideration and following the recommendations of local, state, and federal health agencies to exercise social distancing, remote learning will begin at Cornish March 16th and we expect to return for in-class learning on March 30th. Please note that while classes will be held remotely, the College will not be closed. Announcements will go out to our broader community of stakeholders including students, families, patrons, and the general public today.

  • All performances and events between now and March 30th will be canceled and, where possible, rescheduled.
  • The work of Academic Affairs, operations, and College administration will continue.
  • If circumstances change, we will take appropriate action as necessary and are continuously reassessing the situation daily with the Pandemic Planning Committee.
  • Faculty and staff are expected to maintain their work schedules and responsibilities – and should determine how to participate with all regular campus activities (i.e. departmental and program meetings, assessment and annual program review, curricular development, Academic Standards, Curriculum Committee, service responsibilities, Faculty Senate, etc.).
  • Meetings will go on as scheduled and distance participation will be available if needed via your personal device (e.g. cellphone, table, laptop).

Please see the Provost’s Office Canvas page for initial information about remote learning and tech resources – updates will continue to be posted over the next few days.  Additional information about performances and event schedules and details about community access to facilities and equipment will be forthcoming over the next day.

Circumstances are developing rapidly; please continue to monitor your email. I appreciate your every effort to support our students, each other, and our community as we navigate this challenging time together.



Message to Cornish Event Patrons (March 7)

There have been many questions regarding the current COVID-19 outbreak. Many local venues are postponing, rescheduling, or canceling events at this time. At Cornish, we are committed to communicating clearly and directly with the public as we work together to keep our community healthy. If you’ve purchased a ticket to an upcoming Cornish event, here is all the info you need to know about schedules, refunds, sanitation, etc. Read the message >

Message to Parents / Guardians / Emergency Contacts (March 4)

Dear Parent, Guardian, Emergency Contact,

I wanted to send you an update on Cornish’s current activities surrounding our planning and response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis.

  • The President’s Cabinet has approved an official Pandemic Plan.
  • The Cabinet, along with other essential staff that comprises our Crisis Management Team, members of our Residence Hall staff, and department chairs, met Tuesday morning to go over the new plan and discuss additional planning and questions to address this rapidly evolving situation.
  • The College launched a COVID-19 information page on our website. It contains messages from the President, news updates, FAQ’s, and links to other sources such as King County Health, CDC, and others.
  • The Cabinet is currently meeting each morning for a briefing to assess the latest information from local and federal health agencies.
  • The Provost has requested that all faculty make preparations to ensure the continuity of learning, which may include online instruction, should the need arise.
  • Our operations staff is addressing expanded hygiene/ sanitation protocols.
  • Our Marketing & Communication office is updating information as needed.

Although the college has not, as of yet, made any decision to cancel activities, leadership will continue to meet to discuss strategies for all spring 2020 events and curricular activities. In brief, we are actively monitoring and addressing the evolution of this situation while working with city, county, state and federal agencies.

We are mindful of the concern of all within our community, both near and far, and will continue to place safety at the forefront of our considerations. I encourage you to visit the Cornish web page frequently to keep abreast of the college’s response.


Raymond Tymas-Jones, Ph.D.

President, Cornish College of the Arts

Message from the Provost to all Faculty (March 3)

Dear Faculty,

With increasing concern about the potential impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) on our campus, it is important that we be as prepared with as many contingencies as possible.  I ask that you read the following information in preparation for teaching and learning to continue if you or your students are unable to be present at Cornish or due to campus closure resulting from a pandemic. Also, please complete the attached document and submit it by noon on March 4th.

An important message at this time is, if you feel sick, please stay home for your sake and for all others. This message applies to faculty, staff, and students. We want to make every effort for the work in your courses to continue. To that end, please prepare a variety of plans:

  • Consider your courses and identify a colleague who could be prepared to cover a class if needed – someone familiar with the work you are doing in your course and who could be available during your class meeting time. Please share the name(s) of each person for each class with your Chair.
  • A remote teaching plan is required. Please be prepared to continue your course through Canvas or email assignments that could be completed without your presence.
  • To help us prepare, please complete the attached document by noon Wednesday, March 4th.  If remote learning is necessary for any of your students, plan ways for their work to continue – or be made up through rescheduling. These efforts must be supportive of your students, possible for them to achieve with either faculty or student participating remotely.

In keeping with our participation policies, we must strive to support healthy choices and avoid any punitive practice in designing remote learning.

Chairs, please consider how you would plan to supervise your areas to make sure there is a protocol for unexpected absences:

  • Let faculty know how best to reach you.
  • Determine with faculty how best to let students know of faculty substitutes or of plans to share assignments.
  • Please consider the following Chairs – what can faculty do from home? In applied arts – what is the fall back if we have to close the campus? How will students be able to make up for that time? In performance arts – what are the options for productions should a cast member(s) be unable to rehearse/perform? Consider for future planning – Commencement/BFA/CDT/Senior Recital/Spring Musical. What classes can only happen in person? What courses are not already on Canvas? Please load those courses now.

Canvas has exceptional support functions located on the lower right corner of the Canvas homepage, under “help”. Canvas provides free phone support and has a live chat function within your web browser. They can assist with any and all of your needs. I am grateful for your attention to these many details at this busy time. By helping students understand that we are prepared for coronavirus virus contingencies, we can ease concerns and support their learning at Cornish.

Please continue to take care. Stay well.

Message to Students from the Dean of Student Affairs (January 28)

Dear Cornish Students,

You may have heard recent news of a coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China and that there has been a reported case of the virus in WA state. This email is to provide some additional information regarding the virus and connect you to local and reliable information.

As of January 26, there is only one case of confirmed novel coronavirus infection in Washington state. It is in Snohomish County. “While the risk to the general public is low, DOH is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Snohomish Health District to identify and contact all those who may have come in contact with the infected traveler. These individuals will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.”–Snohomish Health District as of 1/21/2020

While the risk to the general public is low, everyone — and, most importantly, students in communal living situations, including on-campus housing — should take steps that are always recommended to protect yourself and others, and to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, especially during cold and flu season:

  • Stay home when you are sick to prevent others from being exposed to your illness.
  • If you see a health care provider for fever and cough, ask for a surgical mask to help prevent the spread of infection when in the health care setting.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.

If you have recently traveled to Wuhan, China, (within 14 days) and are having fever and respiratory symptoms (such as coughing or shortness of breath), contact your primary care provider. Call your health care provider before arriving so they can prepare for your visit.

This coronavirus outbreak began in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. A number of countries, including the United States, have been actively screening incoming travelers from China. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has raised their travel advisory to a level 3: CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Hubei Province, China, including Wuhan.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing respiratory illness in people and others circulating among animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread among people. Several coronaviruses cause the common cold. Other types of previous coronavirus outbreaks have included severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The CDC states that the current risk to the American public of becoming infected with this novel coronavirus is low.

For information about this evolving public health situation, visit the CDC’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus page. For local information visit the Snohomish Health District or Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department websites.



Message from President Raymond Tymas-Jones

Since the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we have been closely monitoring guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of State, and the actions of governments worldwide as we shape Cornish’s response to the disease’s spread.

While there is currently minimal threat to the college community, the uptick in reported cases regionally, nationally, and internationally should be noted. To that end, I am convening a special meeting on Monday, March 2, with college leadership to continue building on our existing emergency plans, develop protocols for the protection of the community, determine ways to sustain our core academic mission should the campus need to be closed for any period of time, and identify ways to support students, faculty, and staff over the course of a potential disruption. The college leadership will also discuss potential impacts on spring performances and exhibitions including the BFA Shows, Commencement, and summer programming.

With the approach of our Spring Break, residence hall students should feel confident that, should they decide not to travel, the Cornish Commons will remain open with regular operation along with the food service in our café following the usually abbreviated hours of operation.

For now, I am encouraging our community to be mindful of the situation and to follow practical care recommendations from the CDC that include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • 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 using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least twenty seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

The CDC also advises that the use of basic masks should really only be considered as prevention to spreading your germs should you believe you are ill or showing symptoms, and NOT as prevention from contracting the virus itself.

More information about novel Coronavirus can be found in the resources below:

We will continue to monitor the situation and will continue to update the Cornish community via email, text message, our social networks, and on our website as information becomes available.


General Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing respiratory illness in people and others circulating among animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread among people. Several coronaviruses cause the common cold. Other types of previous coronavirus outbreaks have included severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The CDC states that the current risk to the American public of becoming infected with this novel coronavirus is low.

Coronavirus fact sheet (King County Department of Health) >>


Resources for Students

Updates About Spring 2020 Semester

Please visit our dedicated page for important updates about Spring 2020 grading, meal plans, housing plans, and more.

Emergency Fund for Cornish Students

If you are a Cornish student who has been impacted financially by the coronavirus pandemic, please click here to apply for support from the Emergency Fund for Cornish Students.

Coronavirus Resources for Artists

Our roundup of sources of financial and other assistance for those impacted by economic loss due to the coronavirus crisis.

General Information

The CDC regards the following groups as being of high risk of complications from influenza:

  • Children younger than 5;
  • People aged 65+;
  • Adolescents under 18 years of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy and who may be at risk for Reye’s Syndrome;
  • Pregnant women;
  • Adults and children who have asthma, other chronic pulmonary, cardiovascular, hepatic, hematological, neurologic, neuromuscular, or metabolic disorders such as diabetes;
  • Adults and children with immunosuppression (including immunosuppression caused by medication or HIV).

Individuals who are at high risk and become ill should contact their healthcare provider as soon as possible to determine if they need antiviral treatment.



CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants

Cornish College of the Arts has received funding via the CARES ACT intended to provide immediate financial relief to our students. Cornish has signed the Certification and Agreement with the Department of Education verifying that no less than fifty percent of the funding will provide immediate financial assistance to our eligible students.

Per the CARES Act, eligible students are defined as those who are eligible for Title IV financial aid from the U.S. Department of Education under the Higher Education Act of 1965.  Cornish will divide the total amount equally among all eligible students. Cornish has received $316,407 for this purpose, and these funds have been delivered to 495 eligible students via direct deposit or mailed check.

We estimate that 95% of Cornish students may be eligible; however, we do not have the total number of eligible students because not all students will file a FAFSA.  Students whose eligibility cannot be determined have been sent email communication to certify if they are eligible to receive the funds.  Students who are not eligible for Title IV financial aid have been sent information about the Cornish Emergency Fund, which was established to meet additional financial needs for those who have been impacted by the pandemic.

Students who feel they are eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants but have not yet received one should contact


Resources for Faculty + Staff

General Information

Message to Faculty Re: Transition to Remote Learning for Remainder of Spring 2020 (March 13)

All employees are responsible for understanding personal hygiene recommendations to minimize the spread of illness and contagion. Employees are responsible for monitoring their own health and seeking care upon experiencing any symptoms. All employees should note:

  • Faculty and staff should refer to the Provost Canvas site for developing a remote learning plan;
  • Faculty and staff should monitor email and the Cornish website for information and updates;
  • Faculty and staff should sign up via Compass to receive text alerts;
  • Faculty and staff should become familiar with the College’s Pandemic Response Plan;
  • All staff should ensure that their emergency contact information is current with the HR office.

Coronavirus Daily Dispatch

The Marketing + Communications team is sending out regular updates to the campus community with information about the Cornish response to the coronavirus situation, news about COVID-19 and prevention measures, and more. Read the archived editions here. Not on the list? Email to sign up >


Coronavirus Resources for Artists

Our roundup of sources of financial and other assistance for those impacted by economic loss due to the coronavirus crisis.

Tips for Self Care

The Cornish Human Resources office has provided these tips to help us maintain our physical and mental health while working remotely. Download the tip sheet >