Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

March 25, 2020

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Purpose

To update the community on how Renton Technical College is supporting Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. You can see his speech here and the announcement here. The order is effective today, March 25, at midnight. There are many ways that this will affect us personally and professionally and we are committed to doing our part to slow the spread of the coronavirus while we also maintain institutional operations. We are using the most up-to-date information we have and will modify plans as new information is available.

What’s new?

Renton Technical College is continuing normal operations, but utilizing alternate work locations and ways of working. Through April 6, we are complying with the Governor’s order to “stay home, stay healthy.” Some staff will be assigned on campus given their responsibility for safety, systems, and to maintain specific operations. The vast majority of us are working from home during our normal hours of operation, Monday-Friday, 7:30-4:30. We have the technology to provide all our services to all our constituents by phone and email using the regular Departmental Contact Information. The biggest change from what we previously announced is that we are discontinuing personal meetings “by appointment” until orders change.  

To do your part, stay home and stay healthy yourselves, and please do not come to campus.

What does this mean for employees?

Since the Governor’s announcement, supervisors and staff have worked together closely to maximize telework and minimize on-site work by identifying the limited tasks that must be done on campus and assigning that work and schedules. Most people will be teleworking based on the Governor’s directive. Some of you may have jobs that are not easy to do from home, but are not assigned to work on campus during this “stay home, stay healthy” period. Your supervisor and Human Resources are providing professional development opportunities to keep you whole. See RTC Online Training Options. We encourage all staff to take advantage of this opportunity and preserve your leave.

Faculty should do their work from home during this period—and enjoy your well-deserved vacation next week. The creativity that has gone into adapting instruction to fit the public health crisis will extend to creatively finding ways to spend vacation—keeping physical distance but social connections.

Security will maintain lists of those staff assigned to work on campus. If others have a specific and time-sensitive need to come to campus, contact your Cabinet-level supervisor to discuss this. Exterior restrooms will be secured and require a key  or card access into Building I where restrooms will be available. Security officers will do internal and external building patrols and alarms will be on in unstaffed buildings.

What does this mean for students?

Spring quarter will start on Monday, April 13 via online learning and physically-distanced labs. However, college services will be delivered remotely until April 24 because of physical-distancing directives detailed in earlier messages.

All the services students need to prepare for Spring Quarter are available by phone and email. Financial Aid is hard at work packaging awards; advising, registration, cashiering, and mental health counseling are available for transactions and consultation; and faculty are adapting course work.

Student Grants: The RTC Foundation has Book & Equipment grants and Emergency mini-grants available for students enrolled for spring quarter. Please contact the Foundation for an application at foundation@rtc.edu or call (425) 235-7867.

The LRCC Food Pantry is open to students between quarters on Monday-Thursday, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., at the C-Building.

Health Update 

The RTC Community has no confirmed cases of COVID-19. However, we must all be responsible members of the community and practice safe hygiene and the required physical-distancing to help slow the spread of this virus. 

Yesterday, in a meeting with the University of Washington’s Dean for Public Health, Dr. Hilary Godwin, she discussed the coronavirus in detail and the social and economic interventions necessary to lessen the spread of the disease. It was both a sobering discussion and a hopeful one—the actions we take collectively do have a positive effect and therefore Washington is experiencing a slower rate of growth than some other regions and countries. We all play an important role as members of broader communities and we're thankful for the individual and collective efforts we have made this month and those we will make in the future.

Resources

Visit our COVID-19 webpage for more information and earlier messages. See www.kingcounty.gov/covid for other guidance.