COVID-19 Student FAQ

GRC is operating remotely through summer quarter. All GRC locations remain closed to the public, with the exception of programs approved for in-person instruction under Washington State's High Education Reopening Plan, including our Trades, Natural Resources, Aviation, Health Science and Nursing programs.

The College will operate in a hybrid-model for Fall 2021, with increased in-person instruction and expanded student services throughout the 2021-2022 academic year, while continuing to offer remote instruction and online student services. View GRC Phased Reopening Plan for Summer & Fall 2021.

At this time, GRC will be maintaining mask requirements; students, faculty, staff and community members must continue to wear a mask and maintain a safe physical distance of at least 6 feet while on campus. Please visit Steps to Visit Campus prior to arriving on campus.

As GRC prepares for a phased return to campus for fall of this year, the College strongly encourages all members of our Gator community-students, staff and faculty-to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect the health and safety of all. A list of vaccination sites and available appointments are found here:

This student FAQ is subject to change. The content on this page was last updated at May 28, 2020.

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 #.

  • Most classes will remain online throughout the spring term.
  • Some Career & Technical Education (CTE) classes MAY have a face to face component added prior to the end of spring term dependent upon the Governor’s directives and potential changes to the Stay Home – Stay Healthy order.
  • Please check back to these FAQ's often for any changes, continue to check Canvas, and your email for any information from your instructors.


Prior to arriving on campus, all GRC students, faculty and staff coming to campus for approved CTE/CE programs or essential tasks are required to complete the COVID-19 Safety Training and complete the health screening attestation. Students, faculty and staff must complete the health screening attestation every day they plan to be on campus.

The Green River College COVID-19 Safety Training includes information on safe work practices for all personnel. The module courses describe our roles, responsibilities, and steps for preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.

Yes, in fact we encourage all students, faculty and staff to complete the health attestation prior to arriving on campus. 

Complete Health Attestation

Students, faculty and staff must complete the health screening attestation every day they plan to be on campus. For example, if you are on campus for a class that meets on Mondays and Wednesdays, you will need to complete the attestation each Monday and Wednesday prior to coming to campus. 

Infographic showing how covid contact tracing works

Download printable version of Washington Statea Department of Health's Contact Tracing Infographic (PDF)

  • We base our decisions on the directives from the Governor’s office.
  • If there are changes in the Stay Home – Stay Healthy order that impact how classes are conducted, we will make the adjustments as needed and are appropriate.


It is important that you regularly check your Green River email or Canvas dashboard for details about your individual courses from your instructors. If you've forgotten your GRC email password, or need help logging in, please visit our Student Email Help page.

You can also sign up for Green River Safety Alerts and keep informed of campus emergencies, safety issues and inclement weather emergency closures.

Students can access many services offered through Zoom virtual lobbies. Limited in-person meetings will be scheduled, Student Affairs and International Programs will adhere to social distancing and group size protocols to ensure the safety of students and employees. To connect to a staff member in a particular department, please visit our Virtual Assistance site

Internet Essentials (by Comcast) is offering 60 days free internet service for income eligible households. Learn more at

Everyone can now access 1.5 million out-of-home Xfinity WiFi hotspots for free: These hotspots are normally located in business areas, retail locations and transit areas. Learn more at

For households with K-12 and/or college students who do not currently have home internet access, Altice Advantage Internet service has extended their free service until the end of the 2019 - 2020 school year (requires installation fee). Learn more at

Income eligible households can sign up for two free months of internet service with the Connect2Compete program. Learn more at

The Connect2Complete program is also available through Mediacom. Learn more at

Lifeline is the FCC's program to help make communications services more affordable for low-income consumers. To help keep Americans connected during the coronavirus pandemic, the FCC has temporarily waived Lifeline usage requirements and general de-enrollment procedures until May 29, 2020. Learn more at

Net Zero is offering 10-hours of dial-up internet service for free per month. Learn more at


  • Order all textbooks & Supplies on Paper Tree Bookstore online. eBooks are also available through our online eBook store.
    • Financial Aid students will order online.
  • Paying with cash? Call to make an appointment: 253-833-9111 ext. 2069
  • FREE Shipping on all Online Orders


To be inline with Governor Inslee stay at home and social distancing order, our bookstore will be shipping all textbooks & supplies.

Please select 'Shipping', you will see a charge on your order, bookstore will not charge you for shipping when order is processed.

Please ensure your Full Name & Address is on your online order.


Workforce, TRIO, Gator Pledge, Voc Rehab, Veterans, DSS

  • Please follow instructions given by your GRC Staff
  • Call Bookstore for ordering Textbooks & Supplies: 253-833-9111 ext. 2069
  • FREE Shipping on all Orders by Phone/email

This year's celebration will look different than in years past: Due to the ongoing pandemic, we will celebrate the 2020 commencement ceremony virtually.

We are working hard to evaluate options and are doing everything we can to ensure graduates, faculty, and staff can all meaningfully participate in the virtual ceremony.

We are determined to celebrate the Class of 2020. Your hard work, dedication, and perseverance deserve recognition!

Once finalized, details will be posted on our Commencement page.

According to the WA State Department of Health, the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you have been exposed to someone with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 and are experiencing fever with either cough or shortness of breath, you might have COVID-19. You can contact your doctor to see if you need to be tested. If you have tested positive for COVID- 19 or are suspected to have COVID-19 but are not tested, you should follow the below instructions.

Stay home except to get medical care

You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home

  • People: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.
  • Animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while sick. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick; if you must care for your pet, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask, if possible. See COVID-19 and Animals for more information.

Call ahead before visiting your doctor

If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

Wear a facemask

You should wear a facemask, if possible, when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live with you should not be in the same room with you, or they should wear a facemask if they enter your room.

Cover your coughs and sneezes

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can; immediately clean your hands as described below.

Clean your hands often

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water is preferred if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Updated March 17, 2020

Avoid sharing personal household items

You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water and dried before use by others.

Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day

High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

Monitor your symptoms

Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing). Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19. Put on a facemask before you enter the facility. These steps will help the healthcare provider’s office to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected or exposed.

Ask your healthcare provider to call the local or state health department to discuss your situation.

If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or may have COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.

Discontinuing home isolation

For individuals with symptoms who are confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 and are directed to care for themselves at home, discontinue home isolation 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 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

Individuals with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 who have not had any symptoms may discontinue home isolation when at least 7 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test and have had no subsequent illness.


For day-to-day cleaning, Facilities’ Custodial Services uses an anti-viral disinfectant to clean frequently touched surfaces including public workstations, countertops, handrails and doorknobs once per day. According to the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, no additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time.

In the event that the College receives notification that someone who has been on campus has tested positive for COVID-19, a response team including the Facilities Director, Facilities Manager, Environmental Safety Manager and Custodial personnel will assemble. This team develops the plan of cleaning and disinfecting an area. The cleaning scope will be implemented based on the risk of potential contamination as determined, in coordination with input from the Executive Team, Facilities and Campus Safety. Coordinate with GRC’s Emergency Operations personnel and Campus Safety, on communication methods, campus wide.

  • Identify areas that require restricted access during and immediately following enhanced cleaning. Communicate with impacted department(s)
  • Cleaning and disinfecting room’s surface area such as desks, tables, and other furniture, hardware and other high touch surfaces.
  • Every attempted will be made to give advance notice allowing the building occupants to be apprised of the schedule for disinfection of the space and any areas that may require restricted access during cleaning.
  • Identifying staff who will be conducting the cleaning disinfecting. This includes a debrief of the situation, reviewing resources and provided and question answer period.

Review Green River College's Covid-19 Facilities Custodial Plan

While Campus Corner Apartments provides general cleaning of the apartment common spaces on a monthly basis, student residents are expected to clean their private bedrooms, kitchen spaces and bathrooms. Students living in CCA can check out cleaning supplies from the front office located in the Townsend Center at no cost.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Disposable disinfectant wipes are availiable to clean individual employee workstations, phones and keyboards. Disinfectant wipes will be available throughout campus including each floor of academic buildings, at the front desk in SU, at the reception desk in SA, at the front desk in the library, at the first floor desk in Kent, Auburn and at the front desk at Enumclaw. Hand sanitizer stations will also be setup in public locations throughout campus.

Facilities is introducing UV-C technologies campus wide. UV-C helps protect public spaces from pathogens. UV-C is a type of ultraviolet light, also known as Germicidal UV. This is an extremely powerful technology to facilitate clean air.

UV-C components are being installed into the HVAC systems on campus. You won’t see the actual technologies, but air reading would demonstrate improvements in the quality of air.

The CDC, FDA and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) are recommending this means to mitigate the spread along with increased filtration which GRC is actively doing. Dr. Johnson and I have discussed this system in multiple meetings with our campus partners along with posting information on the Facilities web page (Requested by Deb and the Opening Committee). I would just like to add that this investment provides continuing benefits of the mitigation of influenza and colds during future seasons long after the Covid crises.

Description and information of this system: 

  • The UV-C wavelength inactivates microorganisms living on HVAC air ducts and evaporator coils with a kill ratio of 90 percent or higher, depending on light intensity, length of exposure, lamp placement and lamp life cycle. The technology removes both bacterial and viral aerosols from the air.  -ASHRAE
  • Several studies have examined the health benefits of using UV-C lamps to decontaminate the air streams in healthcare facilities. Some have concluded that, by eliminating harmful germs from the air, UV-C can protect a hospital’s most vulnerable patients from getting sick. -ASHRAE
  • Other studies have found a significant reduction in building-related illnesses by using UV-C. These include the alleviation of conditions such as sick building syndrome, mold-related allergies and asthma.
  • UV-C has been found to be effective in eliminating fungus growing in HVAC systems. Rampant fungus can contribute to hypersensitivity pneumonitis, allergic rhinitis and asthma. – ASHRAE
  • UVC radiation is a known disinfectant for air, water, and nonporous surfaces. UVC radiation has effectively been used for decades to reduce the spread of bacteria, such as tuberculosis. For this reason, UVC lamps are often called "germicidal" lamps.  UVC radiation has been shown to destroy the outer protein coating of the SARS-Coronavirus, which is a different virus from the current SARS-CoV-2 virus. The destruction ultimately leads to inactivation of the virus. UVC radiation may also be effective in inactivating the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is the virus that causes the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).  -FDA

Supportive links:

In compliance with the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, Green River College locations are closed to the public, this includes all support services, computer labs, Testing Center and libraries. This means labs and the library are closed for student use and will NOT be open until the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order is lifted. Coursework, assignments, and testing must be done remotely from home or off-campus locations. To learn more, please review our Spring Quarter & Dates update.

If you need to miss an online class due to illness , please contact your instructor for any necessary arrangements for making up coursework. Instructors are asked to accomodate students, within reason, during the span of this pandemic.

Please contact GRC International Programs at 253-288-3300 or for guidance.

No. During Governor Inslee's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order, all physical campuses are closed to students.

When the campuses reopen, the RAC will have four sanitizing stations and individual cleaning products (virex and paper towels) and will be regularly checked to keep stocked. Additional “cleaning and washing awareness” fliers have been created in the space. For example, in the locker rooms we have made fliers at the sinks which say, “Please wash hands with soap for at least 20 seconds”. When reopened, the RAC is encouraging users to use hand sanitizers when they enter and leave the RAC; hand sanitizers have been placed at the front entrance door and at the RAC’s front desk.

With the prolific spread of COVID-19 globally, all sporting events have been cancelled as just one preventative measure to slowing the spread of the virus. We will continue to follow CDC Guidelines and orders from Governor Inslee regarding public events.

In times of fear and uncertainty there is often misinformation shared as a result of bias and, at times, discrimination. COVID-19 is a global concern that can make anyone sick, regardless of their race or ethnicity. Green River College is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all who study, work or visit at any of our locations.

If you experience or witness any bias or harassment, please report it to GRC Campus Safety at 253-288-3350. Any Green River student in need of more personal support during this time is encouraged to contact GRC Counseling Services at 253-833-9111, ext. 2460. King County Public Health has also created a site dedicated to anti-stigma resources.

In situations that are uncertain and evolving such as this, it’s understandable to feel stressed or anxious. We recommend the following steps: Find credible sources you can trust to avoid any panic that can be caused by misinformation. Follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about preventing the spread of the virus. We'll do our best to share up-to-date facts on our website. And, if you sign up for GRC's Safety Alert System you’ll get important messages sent right to your cell phone:

Here are some resources and tips that may be helpful:

  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has guidance on managing mental health and coping during COVID-19 for children and caregivers, as well as guidance for higher education administrators.
  • The Child Mind Institute has published a resource on how to talk to young people about COVID-19.
  • The Hope Center has outlined resources for supporting college students during this crisis.
  • American College Health Association has created a guide to help college health staff and campus administrators address COVID-19 on campus.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has information on travel, media resources, and other research on COVID-19.
  • Anxiety and Depression Association of America Psychologist Jelena Kecmanovic provides some science-based strategies and tips for coping with COVID-19 anxiety.
  • The Washington State Employee Assistance Program provides free counseling and referrals to help with personal or work-related problems that may be impacting your work performance. Participation is voluntary and confidential. For more information, visit the EAP website and refer to the Coping with Disease Outbreak brochure . Employees can request a work schedule adjustment to allow access to the services of the employee assistance program.