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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Blackhawk's Response to COVID-19

graphic of coronavirus

The safety and well-being of students and employees are always a top priority at BTC.

Effective Monday, February 28, 2022, the College is mask optional in all of its buildings.

For more information, read the update sent to the campus community, review the COVID-19 Resource Guide - Spring 2022, or scroll down to find answers to some frequently asked questions.

Latest Updates

Feb. 28, 2022 - BTC Goes Mask Optional as COVID-19 Cases Continue to Drop

Blackhawk Technical College will make masks optional in all of its buildings, beginning Monday, Feb. 28. Learn more about the updated policy.

Feb. 21, 2022 - Updated Mask Policy Effective Feb. 21

The school will require face masks for all individuals ONLY in BTC classrooms, labs and in-person gatherings where physical distancing is not possible. Learn more about the updated policy.

Jan. 6, 2022 - Updated Mask Policy Effective Jan. 8

All students, staff, faculty and visitors – regardless of vaccination status – will be required to wear masks in all indoor spaces. This includes hallways and other communal areas. Learn more about the masking policy and other updated protocols.

November 17, 2021 – Deadline Approaching for BTC's Voluntary Vaccine Incentive Program

Blackhawk students can still receive a financial incentive for providing their vaccination status. As part of the College's voluntary vaccine incentive program, students who showed proof of full vaccination by October 1 received $250. For any currently enrolled students who haven't yet provided that information, the College is offering $100 if evidence of full vaccination status is provided by December 1, 2021. Learn more about the voluntary vaccine incentive program.

September 30, 2021 – COVID-19 Community-Based Vaccination Clinic is Moving to a New Location

The free COVID-19 Community-Based Vaccination Clinic that has been operating at the Blackhawk Technical College (BTC) Central Campus in Janesville will be moving to the building that previously housed the Rock County Job Center beginning Tuesday, October 5, 2021. Read the full press release.

August 2, 2021 – Change in Masking Policy Effective August 9

Effective Monday, Aug. 9, the College will require face masks for all individuals in BTC classrooms and labs. Face masks are also required for in-person gatherings where physical distancing is not possible. Learn more about the masking policy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

View additional details about our response:

The Rock County Coronavirus Response Hub provides information, maps and resources about the coronavirus response in Rock County. For more information, please visit https://coronavirus-response-rockcountylio.hub.arcgis.com/

Here are some things that everyone can do to slow the spread of germs and viruses:
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay home and isolate if you are feeling sick.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. If a cough or sneeze sneaks up on you and no tissue is available, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.

According to the CDC, a primary series of the vaccine is considered fully vaccinated. For children ages 5-17, a primary series consists of 2 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. For persons 18 and older, a primary series consists of: 

•    A 2-dose series of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna)
•    A single-dose COVID-19 vaccine (Johnson & Johnson)

Blackhawk strongly encourages all faculty, staff and students to be vaccinated against COIVD-19. However, the College does not require it. Some clinical and intern sites may have placement requirements depending on the nature of the work done at those sites. 

Vaccination options and locations may be found at RockCountyShot.com.

The College does not require students or employees to be vaccinated. However, some clinical and intern sites may have placement requirements depending on the nature of the work done at those sites.

BTC Campus Safety and Security Office has a limited number of take-home test kits available for students and employees.

Employees and students who are vaccinated, boosted and have had a close contact but no symptoms, will not be issued a take-home kit at this time. 

Employees and students can order test kits online for free at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/collection.htm

In addition, testing locations are available throughout the community. Visit the Rock County Public Health Department website for more information at www.co.rock.wi.us/publichealth.

If you are vaccinated, have received a booster and are exposed to someone with COVID, you do not need to quarantine but need to continuing masking in all indoor spaces. 

If you are not vaccinated or are more than six months out from your second mRNA dose (or more than 2 months after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) and not yet boosted, you should isolate for 5 days and return to campus only if you are asymptomatic. 

If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or are sick, please notify your immediate supervisor or instructor and stay home. You should monitor your symptoms and notify your health care provider for guidance.

If you test positive for COVID-19, the College is following the latest CDC-recommended isolation and quarantine protocols. Please isolate for 5 days. After 5 days, if you are asymptomatic or your symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), you may return to campus. Once you are back on campus, please follow the protocol of wearing a mask in all indoor spaces as identified above. 

Please alert BTC’s Campus Safety if you test positive at campussafety@blackhawk.edu or (608) 757-7617. This allows the College to gauge the severity of the spread and potentially adjust safety protocols.

BTC is no longer contract tracing due to the high volume of cases. You are responsible for telling your close contacts your COVID status. The CDC defines close contact as “someone who was less than 6 feet away from an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes 
or more over a 24-hour period.” 

If you are exposed to someone with COVID and have received your booster shot, you do not need to quarantine following exposure. But please continue to mask.

If you are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from your second mRNA dose (or more than 2 months after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) and not yet boosted, you should isolate for 5 days and show a negative COVID test before returning to campus.

If there is a confirmed case of coronavirus involving a Blackhawk student, faculty, or staff member, the College does not intend to close campus locations. The College will follow the guidance of county and state public health officials. The College will continue to follow strict safety and cleaning protocols to keep the Blackhawk community safe.

For more information about outbreaks in the State of Wisconsin, please visit https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/outbreaks/index.htm.

Please note that BTC is no longer contract tracing due to the high volume of cases. You are responsible for telling your close contacts your COVID status. The CDC defines close contact as “someone who was less than 6 feet away from an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.” 

Blackhawk is continuing to monitor what is happening around our nation and region regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). All updates will be sent via email to Blackhawk students and employees. In addition, updates will be shared on our website (www.blackhawk.edu) and made available on our Coronavirus (COVID-19) web page (www.blackhawk.edu/coronavirus). Students and employees are also encouraged to sign-up for SAFE Alerts

If the College closes, Blackhawk will:
  • Issue a SAFE Alert message (emergency notification system for BTC students, faculty, and staff)
  • Post information on our website (www.blackhawk.edu)
  • Post information on Facebook (www.facebook.com/blackhawktech)
  • Send notifications to the local media, but cannot guarantee coverage or listing. Please note: BTC is listed as Blackhawk Technical College, not Blackhawk Schools or Black Hawk Schools.

As of Jan. 8, 2022, all students, staff, faculty and visitors – regardless of vaccination status – are required to wear masks in all indoor spaces on our campuses. This includes hallways and other communal spaces. Those in offices with doors do not need to wear masks while in that space. 

Disposable, surgical-like face masks (3-ply filter) are required in all indoor spaces and are available at the main entrances of each campus. 

Masks may be removed in designated areas throughout our campuses for eating and drinking.

Prior to Jan. 8, 2022, masks were only required in classrooms and labs. But because of the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, masks are required in all indoor spaces.

If you are traveling out-of-state as part of a College-sanctioned function or event, you must be vaccinated. If an overnight stay is required, regardless of location, individuals must be vaccinated, and each individual should have their own room. Additional expenses related to single room occupancy will be eligible for reimbursement. All College-related travel is subject to cancelation by the College. Please make sure room reservations and related expenses can be canceled or reimbursed.
Although masks are required in all areas of campus, eating and drinking will still be permitted in seating areas throughout our campus buildings. 

Individuals should continue to practice physical distancing.

Revised classroom capacities (including the instructor) are posted on each classroom door. Classroom capacities are based on the ability to social distance and must be observed regardless of  the furniture capacity. 

No. Please eat and drink in designated spaces on campus that allow for better airflow and physical distancing.

Resources for Students

College buildings are open for in-person and online classes. We remain committed to our mission: flexible education in a supportive environment, and understand that some students still have additional support needs during the ongoing public health crisis.

View information about available student resources:

Hundreds of laptops and Wi-Fi hotspots are ready to be deployed to Blackhawk Technical College students thanks to a cooperative effort between the College’s Library and Information Technology Services teams. The equipment loan program will allow students to borrow laptops and Wi-Fi hotspots at no additional charge to the student.

Got questions? We are here to help.

Learn more about the Laptop Loan Program here.

We have heard that some students are impacted by no internet or low internet signal. It’s a little unusual, but we now have drive-up Wi-Fi options at Central and Monroe Campuses.
  • Central Campus: park in Parking Lot K as well as the lot directly north of the Administration Building.
  • Monroe Campus: park in the lot outside door MO-3.
  • Hedberg Public Library: use password "community" and park in the covered parking lot for the strong connection. Learn more at https://www.hedbergpubliclibrary.org//covid19.html
The College has hotspots available to check out through the Library in the Student Success Center on Central Campus. There are several ways to reserve a hotspot:

 Any Blackhawk student in need can email btcstudentcupboard@blackhawk.edu to request a prepacked bag of food. The Student Cupboard team will follow up to arrange a time for you to pick up your food. You do not need to be a current confirmed user of the Student Cupboard to receive a bag. The Student Cupboard is currently offering curbside pick-up on Central Campus.

What community resources are available to help students?

Did you know we provide free, online tutoring services? It’s true – Tutoring Services are available remotely via Brainfuse. If you have any questions about Brainfuse, or any other tutoring needs, please contact testingcenter@blackhawk.edu.

To access Brainfuse:
  1. Login into MyBTC
  2. Select Blackboard Courses (under Quick Links)
  3. Click on the tools menu within your course
  4. Click on "24_7 Online Tutoring" from the left
  5. Follow the Brainfuse prompts to upload your papers for review or receive tutoring help for specified listed courses

While the College is open for students, we understand that COVID-19 remains a threat in our community. Therefore, in addition to in-person services, our Student Services team continues to offer their services virtually.

  • Academic Advising: Advisors and others are still available by email, phone, and Zoom. You can easily schedule an appointment with your Academic Advisor through Starfish (available through your MyBTC login). Once you are on Starfish, you can set up or update appointments with your advisor, connect to your advisor via email, and locate your advisor’s phone number. Your advisor should appear as one of your “Connections” in the “My Success Network” tab.
  • Counseling Services: We're here to help you manage stress and anxiety, get linked to community resources, and apply for emergency funding. Counseling services are free and available for all current students. For more information, please contact Laura Becker, School Counselor and Case Manager, at (608) 757-7642 or counseling@blackhawk.edu.
  • Technology Resources: Our Information Technology Team has you covered. There are training videos and resources available in the Student Technology Services Yuja Library (available through MyBTC). The trainings are designed to help you set-up and access Zoom meetings with your instructors and other college staff, including your advisor. You can even use Zoom to collaborate with other students and conduct meetings and study groups.

If you aren't feeling well, please don't come to campus. Stay home, isolate and try to get a COVID test.

BTC Campus Safety and Security Office has a limited number of take-home test kits available for students and employees. Employees and students who are vaccinated, boosted and have had a close contact but no symptoms, will not be issued a take-home kit at this time. 

Employees and students can order test kits online for free at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/collection.htm

In addition, testing locations are available throughout the community. Visit the Rock County Public Health Department website for more information at www.co.rock.wi.us/publichealth.

All students, staff, faculty and visitors – regardless of vaccination status – are required to wear masks in all indoor spaces on our campuses. This includes hallways and other communal spaces. Those in offices with doors do not need to wear masks while in that space. Mask may be removed in designated areas for eating and drinking.
Disposable, surgical-like face masks (3-ply filter) are required in all indoor spaces and are available at the main entrances of each campus. 

By now, we all know our situations are changing daily. Here are some additional resources that may be able to help during the pandemic:
  • 211 Wisconsin: When you need help and don't know where to turn, 211 is your one-stop connection to the local services you need, like utility assistance, housing, food, elder care, crisis intervention, alcohol and other drug recovery and much more. To learn more, visit https://211wisconsin.communityos.org/.
  • FindHelp.org: Find food assistance, help paying bills, and other free or reduced cost programs, including new programs for the COVID-19 pandemic. To get started, visit https://www.findhelp.org/
 

About HEERF Funding

BTC has received HEERF grants from the US Department of Education through the CARES, CRRSAA, and ARP Acts. The grant funding provides direct relief to help students address expenses and hardships they incurred during the coronavirus national emergency. Read the College's HEERF Reports here.

Resource Guide

The health and safety of our students and employees are our number one priority. The College has created an updated COVID-19 Resource Guide that represents our current practices. The Guide is subject to change.

 View the Guide

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