Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Things you need to know

page updated 1/15/21

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Spring Semester 2021 Protocols & Guidance

WPCC welcome sign with the reminder that everyone must enter through a wellness screening checkpoint at Carr Hall or Jim Burnett HallAs we prepare for the new semester, we want the WPCC community to know we are working to ensure everyone’s health and safety while upholding our mission to provide accessible, high-quality education for our students. The vast majority of classes this semester will be held online to reduce the number of individuals on campus. However, some classes need to be held in person and some positions require employees to be on campus. To that end, we strive to:

  • Provide leadership as we adapt to the evolving educational, social, and economic needs of our community
  • Listen to our students, faculty, staff, stakeholders, and partners to support operational decisions during COVID-19
  • Uphold our core values of innovation, service, success, quality, diversity, and excellence
  • Clearly communicate our plans for continuing to serve students during COVID-19



The following guidelines are established to allow WPCC to safely serve students on campus following guidance from the governor, public health officials, and the North Carolina Community College System.


  • Protect the health and safety of the college’s students, faculty, staff, and visitors
  • Advise employees and students of protocols for being on campus
  • Establish a response procedure for incidents of direct and indirect contact with COVID-19

Protocols for Being on Campus

All students, faculty, staff, and visitors share in the responsibility to maintain a safe environment at WPCC. As directed by the NC Department of Health and Human Services everyone on campus is required to abide by the three “Ws”

Know Your W's Graphic with a mask, distacing and hands washing

Graphic representing a face maskWEAR (UPDATED NOVEMBER 25, 2020)

  • All students, faculty, staff and visitors will be required to wear a cloth face covering, disposable mask, or face shield covering the mouth and nose indoors when in a space with someone who is not a member of the same household.
  • All students, faculty, staff and visitors will be required to wear a cloth face covering, disposable mask, or face shield covering the mouth and nose outdoors if it is not possible to consistently be physically distant by more than six (6) feet from non-household members.

Graphic representing social distancingWAIT

  • Main Campus, Cosmetology Center, Foothills Higher Education Center, and Richardson Complex will be open with the goal of maintaining at least six feet of space between persons present.
  • Common areas, such as the cafeteria and student lounges, will be closed.
  • The number of building entrances will be reduced while maintaining code compliance. Signs will indicate entrances to be used after passing through the health screening.
  • Classrooms, to the extent feasible, will be arranged to allow for social distancing.
  • Individuals are encouraged to use stairs rather than elevators, especially when descending, to reserve elevator capacity for disabled persons.
  • Plexiglass shields will be placed in reception areas.
  • Everyone should avoid close contact with one another – no handshakes or hugs.

Graphic representing someone washing their handsWASH

  • Signage throughout campus will remind students, faculty, staff, and visitors to wash hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.
  • Housekeeping will be cleaning high touch areas (door handles, light switches, elevator buttons, countertops, bathrooms) daily.
  • Housekeeping will be cleaning chairs and desks in between classes when feasible.
  • Cleaning supplies will be available as needed/requested. Students may be asked to assist with wiping down desks and work stations before and after use based on classroom activities.

Wellness Screening

  • Photo of signs pointing to Jim Burnett Hall, one of the wellness checkpoints on the WPCC campus

    All students (including Burke Middle College and Career & College Promise), faculty, staff, and visitors must enter through a wellness screening checkpoint every day before going to their classroom or office. The exception will be positions reporting to work before the checkpoints open.  Those positions may begin their work as scheduled but must report to the checkpoint when it opens. On the main campus, checkpoints will be available in the lobby of Jim Burnett Hall and the student lounge in Carr Hall beginning at 7:30 a.m. The Jim Burnett Hall checkpoint closes at 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4 p.m. on Fridays. The Carr Hall checkpoint closes daily at 1:15 p.m. At the Cosmetology Center the Program Coordinator will facilitate the checkpoint. At FHEC the checkpoint will be the reception area (note:  the wellness screening does not apply to individuals conducting business with tenants other than the college). At the Richardson Complex the checkpoint will be at the reception area.

    • After passing through the wellness screening individuals will receive a wrist band for the day which must be worn at all times on campus. The wrist band indicates that the individual is cleared to be on campus for the day and does not need to go through the check point again if leaving and returning to campus.  Different colored wrist bands will be issued every day.
    • At the wellness screening temperatures will be taken. Anyone exhibiting a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will be asked to leave campus.
    • Anyone who feels sick should stay home.
    • Supervisors should check for wrist bands and send any employees without wrist bands to the wellness screening checkpoint.
    • Faculty should send any students without wrist bands to the wellness screening checkpoint.

Violation of protocols may result in appropriate disciplinary actions in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct and/or terms of employment with WPCC.

Procedures for Incidents of Direct or Indirect Contact with COVID-19

As per the Burke County Health Department close contact with COVID-19 is defined as:

Less than 6 feet away from someone COVID-19 positive for more than 10 minutes without a face covering.

Photo of the entrance to Jim Burnett Hall where the wellness checks are being conductedStudent Guidance

  1. Students must notify WPCC immediately to report COVID-19 suspected or confirmed diagnosis by submitting our Student Self-Report Illness Form.
  2. Students should not communicate COVID-19 suspected or confirmed diagnosis to other students or employees.
  3. Student Services will review the information provided, as well as guidance provided from the Burke County Health Department, and advise the individual as to the action to be taken.
    • If the student is on campus when the initial contact is made to Student Services, and if it is determined that the student should leave campus, and if the student does not have transportation to leave immediately, the student will be directed to a waiting area at Phifer Hall Room 14.
    • The Dean of Student Services will follow up with faculty regarding the status of the student as well as other exposed students.
    • The Dean of Student Services will contact appropriate individuals for class area disinfecting.
  4. The Director of Human Resources will follow up with other exposed faculty and alert supervisors of any quarantine requirements.
  5. In order to comply with HIPAA and FERPA no employee shall discuss any medical information with another employee or student.

The college recommends that everyone assess their health daily to play an active role in protecting the health and safety of the WPCC community.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer guidance on what to do if sick. Learn More.


Protocols and Guidance are subject to change as the pandemic evolves.

Academic Resources

We are assembling resources to assist you with classes. Check back often for additional links and updates.


Campus Wi-Fi for Students

Looking for a place to access wi-fi to complete your assignments? You are welcome to use the WPCC wi-fi in your vehicle at the following campus locations:

  • Handicapped parking spaces in front of Phifer Hall
  • Parking spaces nearest the front entrance of Carr Hall
  • 15-minute parking lot on the left just past the loading dock
  • Student pick-up/drop-off area beside the flagpole
  • Handicapped parking spaces behind Patton Hall

A campus map is available here.

Contacting Instructors

You can find contact information for instructors in the WPCC Directory. It is easiest and fastest to reach instructors by e-mail.


With the current events causing all of us more than enough stress, WPCC is working to provide some relief, at least with issues concerning math and English. We are offering online e-tutoring sessions weekdays. More information, including days/times and computer/device requirements to access tutoring is available at the link below:

Disability Services

If you have a documented medical, learning, physical, or other type of disability, contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) at any time to request accommodations if you have problems accessing classes or any of WPCC’s services.

  • Please be aware that some accommodations may take several days or more to coordinate.
  • For more information or to make accommodation requests, contact Karla Lanier, Coordinator of Disability Services at (828) 448-3153 (e-mail: or Deanna Keller, Disability Services Resource Specialist at (828) 448-3154 (e-mail:

Technology Resources

If you have technology issues or concerns (such as equipment, internet service, Moodle access, etc.) please share your needs on the form below so that we may attempt to offer assistance.

  • Enter the name of the person who is the contact for the request.
  • Enter a phone number where you may be reached
  • Please provide your email address

Internet Access Possibilities

Looking for internet access? Software tools for assignments and projects? Here are links to resources that may be helpful to you.

  • NC Broadband – COVID-19 internet service offerings in North Carolina
  • Adobe Creative Cloud – Free temporary at-home access for students who log into Creative Cloud on campus
  • AT&T – Internet access for qualifying limited-income households for $10/month
  • Charter Communications – Free broadband internet for new customers in households with college students for 60 days
  • Comcast Internet Essentials – Free internet service for new customers and free speed upgrade for current customers
  • EveryoneOn – Search for low-cost internet service and computers by zip code

WPCC Library

The Library/Academic Success Center (ASC) is open on a limited basis, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., to currently enrolled students only. Only twenty students are allowed in at a time. The Library/ASC is currently closed to the public.

Overdue fines accrued during the College’s closure (March 20 – May 1) are waived. Fines accrued before or after those dates can be paid at the Business Office – Moore Hall.

The Senator Sam Ervin Museum is closed until further notice. You can visit the museum’s website for more information.

NCLive Online Chat

zNCLive LogoAccess to NCLive is available to you off-campus. NC LIVE provides electronic access to digital content covering careers, business, investing, health, history, and genealogy.

In the evenings, live chat sessions are available from NCLIVE, the cooperative that ties together 205 libraries across North Carolina and shares a variety of online databases and resources useful for classes and research. If you need assistance with a project or research, we encourage you to use.

IMPORTANT: Chat is only available for the NCLive resources.

Here is where you can find the chat when it is available:

Screenshot of the Library web page showing the location of the NCLive Chat


Ask A Librarian

The WPCC Library staff provides help to you through our Ask A Librarian service. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you post your question and the staff will respond in at least 24 hours.

Ask-A-Librarian is a great way to get help with research and reference questions.

Here is where you will find the page with information and the form where you submit your questions.

Screenshot of the Ask-A-Librarian Web Page with an arrow showing the location of the link to it in the navigation bar that appears at the left of library pages


Online Databases

You don’t have to be on campus to access databases that can help with projects and research. NCLive, Academic OneFile, Gale Virtual Reference, Literary Reference Center, and Opposing Viewpoints are all available via an online login.


Allied Health Databases

Health Sciences students can access various allied health databases off-campus.


Webcam view of the WPCC Campus

A live view of the WPCC Campus (refreshes every 2 minutes)

Graphic with 3 people wearing masks and a plea to everyone to wear a mask

Resources for Needs

We are assembling resources to assist you with classes. Check back often for additional links and updates.


Find Aid Online

COVID-19 is putting strains on everyone socially and economically. Here are links to resources that you may find useful if you have needs.

North Carolina Student Resources

  • Aunt Bertha  – Enter your zip code to locate services like medical care, food, job training, and more.
  • NC 211 – NC 211 provides a wide variety of resources to help during the crisis.
  • NCCARE360 – Have a need? Find a local agency who can help.


WPCC has posted information about student grants through this federal program.


Webcam view of the WPCC Campus

A live view of the WPCC Campus (refreshes every 2 minutes)

Burke County COVID-19 Updates

Get the latest information and updates concerning COVID-19 in Burke County on their COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates page.

Questions and Comments

We are striving to provide the most current information about the Corona Virus and WPCC‘s response to it, but you may have a question or comment that has not been addressed. Please submit your thoughts below and someone will be directly in contact with you.


Resources for COVID-19

Here are some links to online resources about COVID-19 and simple guidelines to help you keep safe and combat getting the virus.


Precautions You Should Take

The following precautions are a part of good health practices:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds each time.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Do not reuse a tissue after you cough, sneeze, or blow your nose.
  • Clean and disinfect any surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • It is also a good practice to start being more aware of the number of times a day your hands touch an object or hard surface and then touch your face without being washed.  Limiting the exposure of your nose, mouth and eyes to unwashed hands can help protect from the spread of all germs and illnesses.
  • Have a plan in case you need to miss work or other responsibilities due to personal illness or to care for a sick family member.
  • Pregnant women and those who have children should review the CDC recommendations on COVID 19.

Online Resources

Illness & Prevention Strategies

WPCC recommends the following practices to help prevent or control the spread of illness:

  • Anyone demonstrating cold or flu-like symptoms should use sick leave and stay home until the symptoms have not been present for at least 48 hours.
  • Use good hygiene practices as outlined below to keep from spreading any infectious diseases.
  • High-risk individuals or those who are in regular contact with high risk individuals should take extra precautions to not spread any infectious diseases.

Online Resources

You can stay up on the latest confirmed information about COVID-19 using the following links to online resources: