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Nov. 20, 2020: Give thanks, not COVID
PURPOSE: Asking RTC community members to follow public health guidelines regarding travel and gatherings
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches to give us a break from classes and work, we strongly urge our community members – particularly students, faculty, and staff on campus for hands-on instruction and work – to follow restrictions limiting gatherings to those from your household and avoiding travel over the holidays. While we may be frustrated and fatigued with COVID, the virus is not: in King County, cases have risen to dangerous new highs and hospitalizations are up.
Our top priority is to keep our community safe and healthy, and we don’t want anything to interrupt instruction or student success with just a few weeks left in the quarter.
Sacrifice now will pay off later. Future employers will be impressed with the determination and resilience students demonstrate while completing their education under these conditions and following workplace safety protocols. So please: “Give Thanks, Not COVID.”
Free testing available to those experiencing symptoms. Visit the King County website for a list of Testing Locations.
As always, do not come to campus if you feel sick, and strictly follow all our health protocols while on campus—and off.
- Students: if you are worried about being in class, please don’t just stop showing up. Talk with your instructor or adviser so we can assist you in continuing your educational goals. Other resources include our Behavioral Health Services and the Learning Resource and Career Center. The Advising and Enrollment Services staff can help with any registration questions.
- Faculty and staff: social isolation and health concerns weigh heavily upon many of us. If you need support, please contact the Human Resources staff, which can refer you to free resources.
Thanksgiving Holiday Schedules
- Nov. 25: Hands-on instruction will occur as scheduled, but no college services will be available to students due to a mandatory furlough day for college staff and administrators.
- Nov. 26-29: No classes and college closed.
Nov. 20, 2020 Update
UpdateYesterday, Governor Jay Inslee implemented new restrictions to control the spread of COVID-19, but we want to clarify they do not affect the Higher Education Guidelines for safe operations. The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) is working to confirm some details with the Governor’s Office, and we will alert you to any future modifications. At this time, however, our hands-on instruction, food services, internet café, and remote services will continue as it has been Fall Quarter.
If you have questions, please contact your instructor or supervisor. Please continue to practice a minimum of six-foot physical distancing, wear your mask properly, wash your hands often, get a flu shot if you have not, and limit your off-campus interactions only to those in your household. If you find that some of your practices have gotten a little lax over time, now is the time to recommit so you and others stay as safe and healthy as possible.
Nov. 13, 2020 Update
Whether you are working or studying on campus or remotely, we hope this fall is going well for you. We want to thank everyone for your continued flexibility and dedication to staying safe as we adjust to new ways of doing things. Students and faculty who are on campus have been wearing masks, keeping their distance, and avoiding gathering in groups. These actions allow us to continue to provide hands-on training in a safe setting to prepare students for careers in their chosen fields.
As the holidays approach and positive COVID-19 cases surge in our region and country, we ask all of us to follow Gov. Jay Inslee’s advice last night to avoid gathering with people outside our households and to wear masks around those you do see. The College is closed Nov. 26 and 27 for Thanksgiving break (and only instruction, security, and food service will be available on campus Nov. 25).
No matter how you celebrate during the break, please do so safely.
The current spike is fueled largely by indoor gatherings of family and friends. Our collective efforts can slow the spread and help us get back to more normal operations faster. The governors of Washington, Oregon, and California also discouraged out-of-state travel, and only if you have quarantined for 14 days.
COVID-19 Cases at RTC
Since face-to-face classes resumed on campus five months ago, we have had a total of 9 people report positive test results (seven students and two employees.) While this is an extremely low number overall, four of those cases have occurred in the past week. This corresponds to the uptick of cases in King County and demonstrates that the disease is spreading in the community. None of these cases are related, and all people involved were exposed by someone close to them off-campus. There has been no evidence of transmission among classmates or coworkers, which is evidence that our safety protocols are effective.
How Do We Respond?
The College follows a COVID-19 Safety Plan and a detailed Response Plan when it receives a report of a positive result. Please download a PDF of our decision tree for your reference. We analyze each situation, the length of time and any close contact, and work with King County Public Health officials to determine the appropriate response. All affected areas are thoroughly sanitized, and anyone who may have possibly been exposed is notified. Therefore, while we know such news can be concerning, if you haven’t been contacted, consider that good news that you are not at risk for exposure.
We have just a few more weeks to go in fall quarter, and we wish you all the best. We will continue to update you as the situation changes. Remember, we are all in this together.