EvCC Student Contracts COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

Panic and confusion occur as the school announces closure.

A+sign+reads%2C+%22College+Closed%22+outside+of+White+Horse+Hall+on+Thursday+Mar.+5+after+the+school+closes+early+to+clean+because+of++COVID-19.++

Daniel Albert

A sign reads, "College Closed" outside of White Horse Hall on Thursday Mar. 5 after the school closes early to clean because of COVID-19.

Updated: Mar. 6, at 12:41 a.m.

A Rave Alert was sent out at 11:41 a.m. this morning to update students and staff on the student who tested positive yesterday for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).

The alert shared that the student last attended class on Feb. 27, “We know that there are no Running Start students registered in the student’s class.”

The Snohomish Health District has asked the college to allow them to notify students or staff who may have been in close contact with that individual. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define “close contact” as being within approximately 6 feet of someone who’s tested positive for COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time, according to the alert.

President Willis explained in the alert that the school is continuing to work on their plan for finishing winter quarter and the logistics associated with re-opening offices and classes on Monday. “We plan to have most courses offered online and other classes will continue in person (some lab sections, Cosmetology and Aviation Maintenance, for example).”

This is still an ongoing situation. Updates will continue as we learn more.

The Information below is from the original post.

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Today at 2:46 p.m. (PST) EvCC’s Twitter page announced that the college had been notified by a student that they have tested positive for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). 

The identity of the student is unknown at this time and it is not known when the student was last on campus. 

The update from the school came after a tweet from earlier in the day when the school announced that it would close at 12:00 p.m. today through March 8 for cleaning. 

The announcement only gave the students and staff a 22 minute warning before the closure. 

The sudden announcement seemed to catch students and faculty by surprise. EvCC staff member Boyd Culver was directing traffic out of the parking lot as the students made a mad-dash from their classrooms to their cars.

Culver voiced his confusion of the closure and expressed that he didn’t know about the closure until it popped up on his phone. “I was like, what? I didn’t get an email. It came across the way but I didn’t feel my phone vibrate or anything.” 

Daniel Albert
EvCC staff member Boyd Culver directing traffic out of the parking lot as the students made a mad-dash from their classrooms to their cars on Thursday, Mar. 5 after the school’s sudden closure.

Some students reached out to their social media for answers. EvCC student, Grace Williams tweeted to the school asking if students who took classes with the infected student will be notified that they were in contact with the virus. The school replied back saying that they have requested information and guidance from the Snohomish Health District epidemiology team, “They have a lot going on right now, so please be patient. We will update as soon as we can.”

“I was just about to leave for my 12:20 class when I suddenly got the text,” says Williams in a direct message “I just want to know if I had class with whoever was affected… It isn’t fair for them to withhold this information from us because it’s our health too.” Williams also emphasized that she’s a retail worker and wants to be sure that she doesn’t spread it to anyone else. 

Heather Thomas, the Public & Government Affairs Manager for the Snohomish Health District said they are in close contact with the school, “but it is very early in the contact investigation. Our team needs more time to work the case to provide clear guidance on next steps.”

In an announcement at 5:10 p.m. President Willis said the school will not be providing any further information at this time. “If you were directly impacted, you will be contacted by public health officials as soon as possible.”  

This is live coverage and will be updated as we learn more.  


Stay updated by the Health District at http://www.snohd.org/blog.aspx and look at the FAQ at https://www.snohd.org/DocumentCenter/View/3118/FAQ_coronavirus_03052020?bidId=