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IMPORTANT Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

March 17, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

Governor Gina Raimondo and the Rhode Island Department of Health have announced that the state now has 23 positive cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), including cases of “community spread,” meaning that there are some instances in which health officials are unable to identify the source of the virus. Consequently, additional and more stringent measures are being implemented statewide, and here, at the college, in an effort to further contain the spread of COVID-19, consistent with the guidance of state and national officials.

Please note that, as before, this information is subject to modification based upon rapidly changing circumstances.

Stay Informed. Stay Connected.

As the virus and the response continues to evolve, please make sure to check our website for any updates or send us an email if you have any questions:

Academic Instruction

The college has cancelled face to face classes from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20, 2020. Faculty members are currently revising instructional plans in order to transition to remote course delivery through the web, video or teleconferencing tools, and other alternative methods that are available. During this time, the college will remain open.
On Monday, March 23, classes will resume through online and/or alternative delivery until further notice. All in-person class instruction will be suspended unless an exception has been approved. We will continue to closely monitor this course of action as the situation evolves. 

By the end of the week, all faculty will contact their students and provide guidance for remote course completion.

Additional guidance and resources for instructional continuity will be shared with faculty members from the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Following the schedule of the Rhode Island Department of EducationHenry Barnard School will be closed from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20, 2020.

Campus Events and Gatherings

The college remains open. Please contact the appropriate campus offices for hours of operation. However, pursuant to Executive Order 20-04, here is our policy on events and gatherings:

  • All events, regardless of size and including those organized by outside community partners, shall be cancelled or postponed until April 7. We will continue to closely monitor this course of action as the situation evolves.  

If you have questions about campus events, contact the Office of Campus Events and Conference Services at 401-456-8900 or

Limitations on Public Access

The college has limited external public access to its buildings and facilities until at least April 7 to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Specifically, through signage posted throughout our facilities, we are asking all members of the external public to limit their use of college facilities for essential purposes only. Students, faculty and staff will continue to have access to the facilities and buildings. The public can still connect with the college through our website

Effective immediately and out of an abundance of caution, public use of Donovan Dining Center (see Campus and Housing Dining), Adams Library and the Recreation Center will be prohibited to comply with public gatherings of 10 or more. These buildings will only allow access to Rhode Island College students, faculty and staff.

Campus Business Meetings and Gatherings

Each division or unit will continue to establish meeting schedules that are necessary for continued business operations while observing practices that can help to minimize the spread of the virus. Meetings or gatherings of 10 or more attendees must be held using alternative methods, including teleconferencing and videoconferencing.  If you should have any questions regarding your division’s operations, please contact your supervisor. 

Working Remotely

Effective immediately, the college will follow the State of Rhode Island’s Teleworking Policy until further notice. Where telework is a viable work option and an application to telework has been approved by the appropriate administrators in accordance with the Teleworking Policy, the employee may temporarily work from home. Visit the Human Resources website for the appropriate forms.

Please note that all requests for teleworking require supervisory approval.

Once your teleworking request is approved, please visit the ITS website for guidance on requesting access to on-campus technology resources.

Campus Housing and Dining

Consistent with guidance issued through Executive Order 20-04, effective immediately, on-campus dining services will operate on a limited basis, providing meal service to on-campus residents only. All dining rooms seating will be closed in the café and all dining rooms.  Take-out service will be offered to all residential students. Dining is not available to faculty and staff.

For more information, please contact Donovan Dining Services.

  • Checking out of the Residence Halls

The residence halls remain open. Students wishing to leave the residence halls should complete the Express Check-Out forms that have already been taped to their doors and return their keys in the folder attached to the form. (This is in exception to Penfield residents who are not issued keys.) In keeping in line with the extended adjustment deadline, we ask that residents adhere to moving by March 22 as much as possible. Completed Express Check-Out forms can be dropped off at the housing office during regular business hours (8:30am-4:30pm) or left with your RA. You may have assistance to move out your belongings, but please be packed and ready for their arrival.

  • Remaining in the Residence Halls

The residence halls remain open. We recognize that a very small number of students will need to remain on campus due to extenuating circumstances.  For those students, we ask that you complete the form to indicate your need to remain on campus.  Please know that all students who are permitted to remain will be consolidated to one residence hall in the very near future, and dining services will be modified.   

For questions, please contact the
Office of Residential Life and Housing for additional information. 

  • Housing and Dining Refunds

To reflect the shortened on-campus period, adjustments will be made to housing and dining costs. Dining Services will be extending their 8-week refund policy by one week, which extends the deadline for a 20% refund, from March 15th to March 22nd.  The Housing Office will be following this policy as well. Students must make official notification of their desire to stay on campus for the rest of the semester no later than March 22nd.

Housing and dining adjustments will be made to student accounts with resulting refunds as timely as possible.

Thank you.

As the college grapples with this rapidly changing environment, I am so pleased to see the level of commitment and dedication to our students and members of our campus community. Collectively, we are making strides to implement strategies to help our students persist and keep our campus community healthy.

Yours in education,

Frank D. Sánchez

Page last updated: March 20, 2020