Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Message from President Kevin McCarthy

Many of us have followed news reports about the novel coronavirus (now called COVID-19), which originated in Wuhan, China. Health officials have reported 13 cases in the United States, including one in Washington. While we are monitoring the situation, there is no known risk to RTC students or employees. Still, we want you to be aware, so we created this webpage with more information. You can also learn more from the recommendations and resources provided by the Washington State Department of Health.

What to look for

People who have been diagnosed with novel coronavirus have reported symptoms that may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus. If you have concerns about your health or have recently traveled to/from Wuhan, China, and have symptoms, contact your local health department and your health care provider.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance for people who have arrived from mainland China on February 3 or later. These individuals are being asked to stay home and monitor their health for 14 days following their last day in mainland China.

What are the symptoms? 

Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to flu or colds and may include:

  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • A general feeling of being unwell

If you have traveled to/from Wuhan City, China, and have these symptoms or been in close contact with someone who has, contact a health care provider.
If public health authorities have notified you that you may have been exposed, please follow instructions provided by your local health department.

Be alert for a biased response

This virus has a geographic and racial origin but can affect any person. Therefore, this is a moment in which we must live up to and maintain our values around diversity and inclusion — not to stray from them. Push back against racism when you encounter it associated with the virus.  RTC is a community and, working together — with empathy, humanity, and support for one another — we will help our community stay healthy during this difficult time.

President Kevin McCarthy



On January 21, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Washington State Department of Health announced the first case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States in Washington State. The patient recently returned from Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, where an outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus has been ongoing since December. The risk to the general public and RTC is low.

How can people protect themselves?

There are steps people should take to reduce their risk of getting and spreading any viral respiratory infections. These include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Get a flu shot.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home if you are sick. 

For more information, visit the Department of Health or the CDC. The RTC Library also offers resources from the World Health Organization and others.