The health and safety of all members of our community are our highest priority. In preparation for the community’s return to campus for fall semester, Cornish is closely following guidance put forth by the American College Health Association (ACHA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) related to the reopening of colleges and universities.
For those students who will be joining us in-person this fall for hybrid classes and/or to access our labs, studios, rehearsal spaces, and equipment, we are asking you to partner with us in helping to keep the community safe. This means mandatory mask wearing, social distancing, good personal hygiene practices, complying with reduced building and classroom occupancies across all three campuses and with all other measures put in place by the college in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the King County Office of Public Health, and other local, state, and federal health authorities.
Signage and personal protective equipment (e.g. masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, plexiglass dividers, way-finding) have been placed throughout our campus buildings, as well single-use cleaning supplies within classrooms, to ensure safe practices and spaces.
We all have a part to play in keeping Cornish healthy. Thank you for your collective efforts to have a safe community!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are all students required to return to campus?
While we are reopening our campus buildings and creative spaces for in-person instruction this fall, we are not requiring students to return to campus. All students have the choice to participate fully remotely this fall if they prefer to do so, and have received information from their departmental chairs about options within their specific major. If making the decision to study remotely for fall, students should be in contact with their academic advisor for assistance.
For those who choose to come to campus for hybrid classes and/or to access our labs, studios, rehearsal spaces, and equipment, we are asking them to partner with us in helping to keep the community safe. This means mandatory mask wearing, social distancing, good personal hygiene practices, reduced building and classroom occupancies across all three campuses and complying with all other measures put in place by the college in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the King County Office of Public Health, and other local, state, and federal health authorities.
Is Cornish requiring testing and/or quarantine for returning students?
In alignment with the recommendations of the King County Office of Public Health, the King County Planning Group for Reopening Higher Education, and the Governor’s Proclamation for the Restarting Higher Education, Cornish is not requiring students to demonstrate a negative COVID-19 test result or to quarantine upon arrival. Should the requirements of those bodies change, Cornish will update its procedures accordingly.
While we are not requiring testing before the start of classes, students, faculty, and staff will be required to utilize the self-screening tools we are putting in place every day before coming to campus. Additionally, any student may choose to self-isolate/quarantine when they return to campus and still participate in their classes remotely.
Students, faculty, and staff will have access to free testing sites throughout King and other WA State counties. We do recommend that students travelling to Seattle from outside of the region review the Centers for Disease Control recommendations for Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
What steps are we taking on campus to ensure the health of returning students and employees?
The Operations team is working hard to make our physical spaces safe in advance of our students’ and staff return to campus. Signage and personal protective equipment (e.g. masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, plexiglass dividers, way-finding) have been placed throughout our campus buildings, as well single-use cleaning supplies within classrooms, to ensure safe practices and spaces.
Below are other examples of the initiatives currently underway.
- Cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection of all college spaces have been intensified.
- Work schedules have been adjusted so that frequently touched surfaces such as door knobs, light switches, elevator call buttons, faucets, can be frequently sanitized throughout the day.
- All classrooms, public areas and large shared offices at MCC, Kerry Hall, and the Cornish Playhouse have been deep cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected floor by floor.
- Lockers will be cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected.
- Automatic/no-touch hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed strategically around Campus.
- Sanitization supply wall stations containing canisters of disinfecting wipes, gloves, tissues and hand sanitizer pump bottles have been placed strategically around Campus and at every building entrance.
- Social distancing floor decals are being placed.
- Plexiglass barriers/sneeze guards are being installed.
- Ample signage will encourage community participation in keeping our spaces clean.
- Security continues to oversee access to campus and minimize unnecessary traffic.
- “Go Packs” will be distributed, containing washable cotton face masks, disposable gloves, and 2 ounce hand sanitizer.
WHAT IS OUR SCREENING AND TESTING STRATEGY FOR Students, Faculty, and Staff?
One Medical, with a site across the street from the College, has been selected as our independent screening, testing, and patient care tool for students, staff, and faculty. One Medical is an app-based platform, with a web browser option (for access from a computer), that includes a daily health screening assessment. All students, faculty, and staff will be required to complete the assessment before coming to campus for class or to utilize creative spaces and/or equipment.
If a community member’s symptoms are flagged as being of concern, a representative of the One Medical team will contact the individual to provide information and instructions regarding the next steps, e.g. in-person COVID-19 testing at the nearby One Medical facility in South Lake Union (closest location is at 970 Denny Way) or at another location convenient to the community member’s residence.
More information about One Medical and a link to download the app will be distributed the week of August 17th.
HOW ARE STUDENTS, FACULTY, AND STAFF BEING EDUCATED ABOUT SAFETY PROTOCOLS?
All students will receive an invitation to complete COVID-19 Health and Safety Training, from our training partners at Get Inclusive. This training will ensure that students understand our new campus policies related to health and safety, as well as best practices for everyone doing their part to protect the community. This training will take 10-12 minutes to complete and will give all students the opportunity to acknowledge they have been informed of our policies.
Faculty and staff will also participate in Coronavirus Awareness training through our HR training platform, SafeColleges. The training will be available beginning August 17th, and all faculty and staff will receive an email informing them of the need to complete the program before coming to campus.
Signage around campus, digital content on our campus monitors, flyers placed in Cornish Commons, emails and social media posts will provide further instruction and reinforce key messaging regarding our safety protocols. Similar information will also be disseminated about One Medical, our daily health screening tool, and NellieCare, our 24/7 medical and mental health platform for students.
What if someone in the Cornish community tests positive for COVID-19?
If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, they will be required to quarantine for a period of 10 days and/or until they have gone at least 24 hours without a fever (in compliance with the guidance of the CDC). If a student is experiencing symptoms or tests positive, they will be required to complete a reporting form available through Compass>Student Life>COVID-19 Resources. This form will notify the Office of Student Life that the student may need additional support and resources e.g. plans for remote access to coursework or getting caught up in classes once the student is well. If the student is a resident at Cornish Commons, they may be required to quarantine in one of the isolation rooms; there are two floors of the building reserved for this purpose.
Additional, virtual, medical, and mental health support will be available to students throughout their quarantine (and the entire semester) by NellieCare, the Cornish 24/7 telehealth platform. For more information about NellieCare and to download the app, click here.
Residents currently assigned in a double occupancy room may be moved to a private floor that has been designated for quarantine, or, if possible, they can choose to self-isolate with their family off-campus. Cornish will inform other residents (and the campus community) of a positive test result, with next steps and resources. We have been working very closely with Public Health to develop these procedures. Students that are self-isolating or in quarantine will have access to food delivery through Nellie’s Cafe / Bon Appetit.
For more information on the safety precautions being taken in the residence hall, please visit the COVID-19 Protocols page on the Cornish Commons website.
If a member of the faculty tests positive and is unable to continue teaching or participating in classroom activity, the class will be moved to 100% remote or another instructor will be assigned to their classes.
HOW WILL HIGH-RISK ACTIVITIES LIKE SINGING BE MODIFIED TO ASSURE THE SAFETY OF PARTICIPANTS?
The health and safety of our Community is our first priority. Across the performing arts, a variety of measures will be put in place to keep faculty and students safe, including:
- Small class sizes in spaces with good air circulation
- mask wearing
- virtual performances
Our department-specific FAQs are a great way to learn more about what is happening within specific majors.
Example from the performing arts: in Music, all ensembles will be offered in hybrid fashion with only a small amount of in-person meetings. These will take place in small, socially distanced groups in Raisbeck Hall (2,100 square foot facility with a new ventilation system). Wind/brass players and vocalists will be socially distanced when playing/singing. All Music performances, will take place virtually or will be pre-recorded.
Example from the visual arts: In Art, access to shop spaces will be scheduled in a staggered manner, to comply with occupancy guidelines set for each space and to enable cleaning of work spaces, tools, and equipment between users. Space usage calendars will be available, and appointments can be scheduled, via Canvas.
For more information about fall 2020 curriculum and department-specific safety precautions, please visit our Department FAQs or reach out to our department chairs. They are happy to speak with you.
What if there is an outbreak on campus?
If two or more cases are confirmed or suspected within a 14-day period, we will notify the Office of Public Health and we will then follow Public Health guidelines regarding how to respond to these cases. If an outbreak is declared, the Cornish campus will pause in-person activity to contain any further spread of illness. This will entail a shift to 100% remote learning and operations. Communication will go out to the community to make sure everyone is informed. Students in residence at the Cornish Commons will be able to stay and participate remotely in their coursework.
Are there any confirmed cases of COVID-19 on campus?
There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the Cornish campus.
What do self-isolation and quarantine mean?
Everyone with COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing) who has a test result pending, shall stay in an quarantine location (your home if you have one or in a government directed or publicly provided location if one is available) in accordance with CDC and Public Health guidance.
If your test result is positive, you must then remain in isolation.
All individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 shall enter and remain in isolation as follows:
- Do not leave your home or recovery facility, except to receive medical care.
- For individuals with symptoms, discontinue isolation only under the following conditions:
- At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); AND,
- At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
- For individuals who tested positive but have not had any symptoms, discontinue isolation when at least 7 days have passed since the date of the first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test, and there has been no subsequent illness.
[Information from King County and the City of Seattle]
Where do I find the public health guidelines for Seattle and King County?
Follow this link for information from King County and the City of Seattle
Health & Safety in the Residence Hall
For more information about preparations underway in Cornish Commons, please see our Housing FAQ and visit the COVID-19 Protocols page on the Cornish Commons website.
How will safety be assured in common areas, particularly in the residence hall?
The common areas of all Cornish campus buildings, including the Cornish Commons residence hall, have been outfitted to adhere to the safety and hygiene requirements of the King County Office of Public Health.
Social distancing floor markers, plexiglass dividers, topical signage, and wayfinding installation will be complete prior to the reopening for fall semester. Room, elevator, and stairwell occupancy restrictions have been determined and are indicated on new signage in each space.
Admittance to common areas in Cornish Commons will be prohibited, with the exception of the laundry room. Common area furniture has been removed. The majority of shared restrooms will remain closed, or limited in use, as residents have access to their in-room bathrooms.
For more information, and for specifics about what life will look like in the Cornish Commons with these changes in place, please take a few minutes to watch this video with Director of Residence Life, Emily June. Please also visit the Cornish Commons website for more information on COVID-19 protocols.
What if a student residing in Cornish Commons tests positive?
If a student in residence at Cornish Commons tests positive for COVID-19, they may be required to quarantine in one of the isolation rooms; there are two floors of the building reserved for this purpose.
Virtual medical and mental health support will be available to students throughout their quarantine (and the entire semester) by NellieCare, the Cornish 24/7 telehealth platform. For more information about NellieCare and to download the app, click here.
Residents currently assigned in a double occupancy room may be moved to a private floor that has been designated for quarantine, or, if possible, they can choose to self-isolate with their family off-campus. Cornish will inform other residents (and the campus community) of a positive test result, with next steps and resources. Students that are self-isolating or in quarantine will have access to food delivery through Nellie’s Cafe / Bon Appetit.
For more information on the safety precautions being taken in the residence hall, please visit the COVID-19 Protocols page on the Cornish Commons website.
WILL THERE BE INCREASED AVAILABILITY OF SINGLE STUDENT ROOMS IN THE COMMONS TO AVOID DISEASE TRANSMISSION BETWEEN ROOMMATES?
Student Success Coaches are working with students who have documented medical needs under the Americans with Disabilities Act to be placed in a single occupancy room. Student Life and Housing are working closely regarding these accommodations. At this time, housing is not able to provide single occupancy rooms based on preference. Additional measures have been accounted for, including two isolation floors in the event we have students who need to isolate.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Will I be required to wear a mask when I am on campus?
Yes. Students and employees who are on the Cornish Campus must wear face coverings (mask, bandana, or other covering of the nose and mouth). The requirement to wear a mask or other face covering was established by Dow Constantine, King County Executive, beginning May 18, 2020. Signage at each building entrance notifies visitors that they must properly wear a mask in order to enter our campus buildings.
WHAT IS CORNISH ADVISING STUDENTS WEAR FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE), INCLUDING SPECIFIC MASK TYPES, RESPIRATORS, AND EYEWEAR?
Cornish will provide 2 masks (two-layered tight weave cotton), as well as hand sanitizer, to each member of the faculty, staff, and student body. Disposable masks will also be available. All students and faculty and staff will be required to participate in online training or view safety videos that include information about proper mask types and usage.
Students who are enrolled in classes or who practice art-making that requires the use of chemical processes are required to provide their own respirators. We recommend a 3M 6500 mask and the 6001 respirator cartridge. Students should note that there is currently a shortage of respirators and resultant back orders, so should plan to source their respirators soon to ensure they are able to secure one. Faculty and instructors will consider this in setting due dates for projects requiring respirators.
In conjunction with recommendations of the CDC and the King County Office of Public Health, eyewear (face shields, goggles, etc) will not be required for general use. The CDC considers face coverings, hand washing, and not touching one’s face to be sufficient. Cornish does not have any specific recommendations or requirements specific to COVID-19 regarding eyewear. Our normal shop PPE requirements are listed in students’ required purchases lists for each course.
Should I wash my mask?
Yes! The CDC recommends that a mask should be washed after each use. It is important to always remove masks correctly and wash your hands after handling or touching a used mask. Cloth masks can be washed by hand or in a washing machine. Surgical masks, another popular option, cannot be washed and should be discarded after one use.
Washing machine: You can include your mask with your regular laundry, using regular laundry detergent and “the warmest appropriate water setting” for the material of the mask.
- Prepare a bleach solution by mixing 5 tablespoons household bleach per gallon of room temperature water or 4 teaspoons household bleach per quart of room temperature water.
- Check the label to see if your bleach is intended for disinfection. Some bleach products, such as those designed for safe use on colored clothing, may not be suitable for disinfection. Ensure the bleach product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.
- Soak the mask in the bleach solution for 5 minutes.
- Rinse thoroughly with cool or room temperature water.
Drying your mask: When using a dryer, set the heat at the highest and leave in until complete try. When using air drying, lay the mask flat to allow it to dry completely (if possible place the mask direct sunlight.
Keep in mind that an over-washed mask could become more porous and lose its usefulness. When that happens, it’s time to get some new masks. You can either buying them or making your own. Whichever you choose, just be sure you clean them after each use.
Will a shuttle service be provided between campus buildings?
Cornish is working with student schedules to minimize the trips between our Capitol Hill and South Lake Union campuses. When you need to move between campuses and do not walk, we recommend following public health guidelines for use of public transportation and rideshare services.