news 4 days ago

CBC shuts down Tri-Cities campuses because of coronavirus, moving most classes online

Tri-City Herald (Kennewick, Wash.) — Cameron Probert Tri-City Herald (Kennewick, Wash.)

March 26-- Mar. 26--PASCO, Wa. -- Columbia Basin College shut its campus to the public as of noon on Wednesday to the general public.

This new move comes after Gov. Jay Inslee's stay-at-home order. To comply, they are moving most of their services online.

While people won't be able to show up to meet faculty, sign up for classes or go to the book store, the employees continue to work remotely.

"People are still enrolling and we're still taking applications," said Anna Tensmeyer. "Almost every service is being offered."

The CBC Food Pantry is remaining open to students 10 a.m. to noon on Mondays and Wednesdays 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Visitors stopping by the pantry need to follow social distancing measures.

"We recognize these changes will have impacts on students who rely on our campus resources, but these precautions will ensure that we are all doing our part to minimize the spread of the virus and keep our campus community safe," college officials said in a bulletin that went to the college's emergency notification system. "

Students wrapped up classes last week, and are getting an extended vacation through April 13. When they return the majority of students will be taking classes online for the spring quarter.

The school is distributing laptops to students that need them, and providing wireless hot spots so they can connect to the internet, Tensmeyer said.

"We still have laptops left," she said. "We feel good about the supply. ... We're also giving them to faculty and staff to work remotely if they don't have them."

Much like WSU Tri-Cities, the college is using the online conference platform Zoom to host most of its classes for the next quarter.

It remains uncertain what will happen in for lab, shop and other classes that need to have students present.

Before Monday's order, the college planned to hold some number of the classes, but now they are just waiting to see what will happen.

College officials are asking anyone with questions about student services to call Hawk Central at 509-542-4601.

CBC's residence hall, Hawk Hall, will remain open for students living there but no visitors are allowed.

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