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Coronavirus Update

March 9, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

As the situation regarding the coronavirus continues to evolve, we wanted to share a number of updates with you:

Student Updates

Currently, three of our students are in quarantine at the request of the Rhode Island Department of Health (RI DOH), and four students are in cautionary quarantine after returning from Study Abroad programs in Greece, Italy and South Korea. None of these students has symptoms of the coronavirus.

  • Three students had direct contact with a person who has been diagnosed with the virus or is presumed to have the virus (presumed means the person has been tested locally and the Health Department is awaiting confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). One of these students resides in the residence halls but has been with their family for several days.
  • The four students returning from study abroad programs are not aware of having been exposed to the virus in any way. We requested that they maintain a self-quarantine out of an abundance of caution.

Again, none of these students has symptoms of the coronavirus. According to our protocol, these students will return to campus only after the expiration of the quarantine period, clearance from their health care provider and/or notification to the college’s office of health services.

Travel Restrictions

After careful consideration and guidance from the State of Rhode Island, all college-sponsored international travel has been suspended until further notice, subject to changes based on new information or guidance. Exceptions to this policy can be directed to the vice president for academic affairs/provost, regarding faculty travel, or the vice president for administration and finance, regarding staff travel. For domestic travel, all travelers should monitor updates in the areas for which you are traveling to ensure you have the most current information.

Health and Safety Precautions

The college is continuing to work with and follow the guidance of state and national health officials regarding the coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have indicated that “for most people, the immediate risk of being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low.” However, the college is taking measures to maintain the health and safety of our community as the situation evolves. During this week, an outside company will be disinfecting touch points within our residence halls while our facilities team will be disinfecting touchpoints in other areas across campus.

We would like to express our appreciation to staff member Paul Fraunfelter, for taking proactive measures earlier this year to secure N95 masks for health services, purchase an ample supply of hand sanitizer and identify five different disinfectants to be used on campus that can kill enveloped viruses, such as Corona and Norovirus. His initiative has equipped us with the supplies necessary to limit the spread of the virus.

Events and Activities

While health officials are not recommending event cancellations at this time, organizers of non-credit bearing events and activities may use their discretion regarding whether to postpone and/or cancel non-credit bearing events. These decisions must be approved by the divisional leader.

All concerns related to credit-bearing classes, events and activities must be directed to Academic Affairs at 401-456-8003.

If RI DOH makes a determination regarding event cancellations, we will promptly inform you. We will post any cancellations and postponements on the college website, should they occur.

Stay Well. Stay Informed.

The college’s critical incident team has been meeting daily regarding this rapidly changing situation. 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. Please forward all media inquiries to John Taraborelli at 401-456-8977.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding during this time.

Rhode Island College
Critical Incident Team

Page last updated: March 11, 2020