[Wsssc] FW: Two Bits of Information

Robert Cox robert.cox at centralia.edu
Fri Feb 19 07:54:54 PST 2021

I hope you are all well!

Enjoy the Friday NWAC Update.

Robert Cox
Vice President of Student Services
Centralia College
600 Centralia College Blvd
Centralia, WA 98531

From: Azurdia, Marco <MAzurdia at clark.edu>
Sent: Friday, February 19, 2021 7:26 AM
To: Alison Crumb, PenC <acrumb at pencol.edu>; Andy Ward, TVCC <award at tvcc.cc>; Arlene Torgerson, GHC <arlene.torgerson at ghc.edu>; Aveena Singh <asingh at socc.edu>; Barry Janusch, OC <bjanusch at olympic.edu>; Bob Peters <bob.peters at centralia.edu>; Bobbi Hazeltine, WWCC <bobbi.hazeltine at wwcc.edu>; Bobby Lee, NIC <relee at nic.edu>; Brad Baker, BMCC <bbaker at bluecc.edu>; Brad Barbarick, PCC <brad.barbarick at pcc.edu>; Brian McLennon, DC <mclennonb at douglascollege.ca>; Bryan Donohue, MHCC <Bryan.Donohue at mhcc.edu>; Cassie Belmodis, ChCC <cassie.belmodis at chemeketa.edu>; Caughell, Ashley <acaughell at tacomacc.edu>; Charlene Rios <charlener at bigbend.edu>; Cheryl Batschi, PiC <cbatschi at pierce.ctc.edu>; Cheryl Holden, CBC <cholden at columbiabasin.edu>; Cheryl Sorenson, EVCC <csorenson at everettcc.edu>; Christine Nelson, RCC <CANelson at roguecc.edu>; Craig Jackson <Craig.Jackson at umpqua.edu>; Danny Day, WCC <DDay at whatcom.edu>; Darah Vining, SPSCC <dvining1 at spscc.edu>; Darren Van Lehn,, RCC <dvanlehn at roguecc.edu>; David Abdherhalden, ChCC <David.Abderhalden at chemeketa.edu>; Dawn McClendon, BMCC <dmcclendon at bluecc.edu>; Duncan Stevenson <DStevenson at pierce.ctc.edu>; Garet Studer, EVCC <gstuder at everettcc.edu>; Will Rider <william.rider at ghc.edu>; Graydon Stanley at nic.edu <gastanley at nic.edu>; Greg Sheley, Lane <sheleyg at lanecc.edu>; Jason Prenovost, TCC <jprenovost at tacomacc.edu>; Jayme Frazier, LBCC <fraziej at linnbenton.edu>; Cox-garcia, Jaymie <jcox-garcia at olympic.edu>; Jeff Beha, WCC <jbeha at whatcom.edu>; Jeff Reinland, WWCC <jeffrey.reinland at wwcc.edu>; Jen Manley <jmanley at spscc.edu>; Jenni Hull, CCS <Jenni.Rosselli-Hull at ccs.spokane.edu>; Jeremy Eggers <jeremy.eggers at bellevuecollege.edu>; Jim Fitzgerald, CCS <james.fitzgerald at ccs.spokane.edu>; Jim Martineau, ClCC <jmartineau at clackamas.edu>; Jocelyn Lawrence <jocelyn.lawrence at bellevuecollege.edu>; John Dunn, HCC <jdunn at highline.edu>; Kathie Woods at home <idig at aol.com>; Kathie Woods, ClCC <Woodsk at clackamas.edu>; Keilani Cruz, PiC <kcruz at pierce.ctc.edu>; Kelsey Stanley, NIC <Kelsey.Stanley at nic.edu>; Johnson, Kevin <KJohnson at clark.edu>; Kim Hyatt, MHCC <Kim.Hyatt at mhcc.edu>; Kim Johansen, EdCC <kim.johansen at email.edcc.edu>; Kirc Roland, LCC <kroland at lowercolumbia.edu>; LeMasters, Laura <LLemasters at clark.edu>; Laura MacMillan, DC <macmillanl at douglascollege.ca>; Leslie Blackaby <lblackaby at yvcc.edu>; Makoa Rosa <mrosa at greenriver.edu>; Mark Majeski (mark.majeski at linnbenton.edu) <mark.majeski at linnbenton.edu>; Mark Poth (markp at bigbend.edu) <markp at bigbend.edu>; Mark Yoshino, BC <mark.yoshino at bellevuecollege.edu>; Mary Anne Verigan <mverigan at tvcc.cc>; Mary Schroeder, WCC <mschroeder at whatcom.edu>; Melanie Norris, CBC <mnorris at columbiabasin.edu>; Michelle Butler, PCC <mlbutler at pcc.edu>; Mike Herbert, SOCC <mherbert at socc.edu>; Mitch Freeman, SVC <Mitch.Freeman at skagit.edu>; Nancy Anderson <nancy.anderson at skagit.edu>; Rachel Goetz <rachel at lauramounter.com>; Racquel West, ShCC <rawest at shoreline.edu>; Ray Funk, YVCC <rfunk at yvcc.edu>; Rick Ross <rross at pencol.edu>; Robert Cox <robert.cox at centralia.edu>; Rosa, Laura <lrosa at highline.edu>; Rogers, Scott <srogers at columbiabasin.edu>; Shannon Percell <spercell at greenriver.edu>; Shareka Maner, GHC <Shareka.maner at ghc.edu>; Shelley Bannish <shelley.bannish at centralia.edu>; Spencer Roland <sroland at columbiabasin.edu>; Spencer Stark, EdCC <spencer.stark at email.edcc.edu>; Steve Eskridge, Shcc <seskridge at shoreline.edu>; Traci Hilligoss, LCC <thilligoss at lowercolumbia.edu>; Tyrone White, PCC <tyrone.white at pcc.edu>; Vernell Willlingham, SPSCC <vwillingham at spscc.edu>; Vierck, Kyle <kvierck at wvc.edu>; Whitney Pitalo, UCC <Whitney.Pitalo at umpqua.edu>
Cc: Scott, Patty (pscott at socc.edu) <pscott at socc.edu>; Luke Robins <LRobins at pencol.edu>; Kori Ebenhack <kebenhack at roguecc.edu>; Robert Cox <robert.cox at centralia.edu>; Young, Alexandra (Alli) <AYoung at clark.edu>; Kilfoyle, Aaron <Aaron.Kilfoyle at ccs.spokane.edu>; Hays, Donna <DHays at clark.edu>; Swisher, Tracy <TSwisher at clark.edu>
Subject: Two Bits of Information
Importance: High

CAUTION: This email originated from outside of Centralia College. Do not click links or open attachments unless you recognize the sender and know the content is safe.

Good morning commissioners:

This week's update is quite different.  I would encourage to review the information.  Enjoy the weekend.

Item #1  Attached is the Excel spreadsheet for reporting COVID-19 information.  As we now are competing in XC and March and April competitions are right around the corner, it is important that we are collecting this information.  You all did this in the fall so you know the process.  Please review the document and provide the information as requested.

Item #2 Attached Power Point Presentation

Ever since the pandemic hit NWAC has committed much effort in trying to get back to some semblance of normal practice and competition.  During this time it became more clear the limitations that that our member colleges face are quite challenging and unique to the conference.

If you recall earlier this week during the winter conference we held a brief NWAC update and I talked about a testing protocol proposal that will go before the Washington Presidents. Dr. Hyatt asked me if the NWAC would send the proposed testing presentation to the AD's. I responded I would send out the presentation once the draft was complete.  The plan is to send the final version of the P/P to the presidents by Wednesday of next week.  The draft is attached. As you review the power point, the following information will give you context regarding the testing proposal.

This document will be presented to the Washington Presidents a week from today.  Our intent is to provide them information so they can make an "informed decision."  Last week on a conference call with the Washington Presidents, Dr. Robins held a brief conversation with the presidents regarding testing.   The presidents requested more information before they would entertain a decision. Dr. Robins, Aaron and myself will present next Friday.

NWAC has no involvement in member colleges' budgets or direct knowledge of the significant issues each of our member colleges are facing.  Some of those issues are consistent across our member colleges, while other issues are unique to each school.   Because of the complexities involved at a variety of levels,  I believe it would be highly difficult for NWAC to mandate testing to our member colleges.  Given the short window we have with the presidents next week, the purpose of this presentation is to educate them on this potential option.

If you recall in November 2020, a draft for return to play guidelines for Higher Education was published by the State of Washington.  In December2020, NWAC Executive Board approved the COVID-19 Health and Safety Manual. The manual was then forwarded to the Washington Department of Health and Oregon Health Authority.  Late December 2020, Washington DOH reviewed our plan and provided us suggestions and we made those changes.  We were told from OHA that they were not entertaining any conference return to play plan, and only the University of Oregon, Oregon State University were allowed to compete.  Eventually a few weeks later OHA allowed University of Portland and Portland State University to compete.

Since first receiving our review from Washington DOH we started discussions about testing.  The question really was, "If the NWAC implemented testing, could the conference possibly get back to competition sooner in the midst of the state constraints?"   Thus we began researching and reviewing possible testing options.  At the last Executive Board meeting the Executive Board heard presentations from two different testing companies.  Since that last EB meeting, we have seen positive movement towards competition from both Oregon and Washington.

It was less than 9 days ago that Dr. Scott and I were notified by OHA that Governor Brown is open to making changes regarding intercollegiate sports in Oregon.  The next day Governor Brown stated,  "The Oregon Health Authority will be updating the exemption for college sports--allowing Division 2, Division 3, and NAIA schools to submit health and safety plans to resume college athletics. However, all such teams must still meet the same rigorous standards that Oregon's Division 1 programs have met before they will be permitted to resume full activities--including regular COVID-19 testing, plans for contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine, and health and safety protocols for practices and games."

As you scan the Pacific Northwest athletic landscape, the implementation of testing is all over the board.  It is my understanding that WIAA and OSAA are doing little to no surveillance testing, NAIA schools are waiting to hear if their once a week testing is approved,  NCAA DI is testing at least 3x's a week, and NCAA DII and DIII schools are either doing 3x's a week testing or are waiting for state approval.

When it comes to testing, NWAC is fully aware of the following concerns:

*         Costs

*         Administration of the tests

^Managing the tests

^Who administers the tests?

^What teams get tested?

^How many tests are given?

*         Timing of the tests

*         Trying to get multiple states on the same page

The list goes on and on.
We also are aware that if we go down the road of testing, we may have two different plans, which may not be a bad thing; which is another evolving option for us to review.  Dr. Scott from SWOCC who represents the Oregon Presidents is fully aware of the P/P, and she and I have talked about the two plan system.

Personally I have resolved myself to the following three scenarios:

*         We cease all operations until July 2021;

*         We continue to operate by diligently honoring our protocols which includes wearing masks in competitions, and trust we get through it;

*         Provide some form of testing that is practical, feasible, and provides some modicum of safety.
Hopefully the context above helps explain the issue.  If you have questions or wish to chat, please feel free to call me.

Thank you.


Marco Azurdia
Executive Director
Northwest Athletic Conference
Office: 360.992.2510

[cid:image001.png at 01D564D2.71B3B490]<http://www.nwacsports.org/>

[cid:image002.png at 01D564D2.71B3B490]<http://www.facebook.com/nwacsports>[cid:image003.png at 01D564D2.71B3B490]<http://www.twitter.com/nwacsports>[cid:image004.png at 01D564D2.71B3B490]<http://www.instagram.com/nwacsports1>[cid:image005.png at 01D564D2.71B3B490]<http://www.youtube.com/nwacsportsnetwork>

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