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Frequently Asked Questions

The following information is not intended to be all-encompassing and should not be considered to be providing medical or legal advice. In all instances, you should consult with a relevant expert for guidance specific to your circumstances.

CAMPUS OPERATIONS

Yes. The college remains open. Please contact the appropriate campus offices for hours of operation. We will continue to closely monitor this course of action as the situation evolves.

No. All events at Rhode Island College are cancelled until further notice.

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 events@ric.edu.

See Executive Order 20-04 for more information on events statewide.

Yes. The college has limited external public access to its buildings and facilities to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Effective immediately and out of an abundance of caution, public use of the following campus locations is prohibited: Donovan Dining Center and Adams Library.

The college's Recreation Center is closed.

Students, faculty and staff will continue to have access to the facilities and buildings.

We are asking all members of the external public to limit their use of all other college facilities for essential purposes only. The public can still connect with the college through our website.

Yes. 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 5 or more attendees are prohibited and 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.

All athletic practices and games involving Rhode Island College athletics will be cancelled and/or postponed during this time. The Recreation Center is closed.

Yes, these events will be impacted, but alternative plans are underway for our prospective students. For more information, please contact Student Success.

ACADEMIC INSTRUCTION

All classes have resumed through online and/or alternative delivery. All in-person class instruction is suspended for the remaining weeks of the spring semester. During this time, the college will remain open. Faculty members have revised instructional plans in order to transition to remote course delivery through the web, video or teleconferencing tools, and other alternative methods that are available.

For specific questions related to class cancellations, please contact Academic Affairs.

We want to encourage students to continue their internships and clinical placements. Our advice is that as long as the organization/agency/health program or other type of site wants our student to be there and the student and faculty member agree that the student can be safe, the placement should continue.

If and when there are safety questions, we should be prepared to offer alternative experiences for our students. These may be simulated experiences, individual or small group assignments related to the clinical experience or other appropriate assignments that help students to complete the hours and gain the knowledge and skills required as part of the internship or clinical experience.

No. All classes and events at the Rhode Island College Workforce Development Hub in Central Falls are suspended until further notice. For questions about the Hub, please contact Maria Cristina Vallejo, mvallejo@ric.edu, 401-456-4754.

Yes. While classes are occurring virtually, they still need to be in their student teaching placements and follow the guidance of the appropriate school district.

In these difficult times, we would anticipate that our nursing students would be able to continue with their clinical sites. If the clinical sites are canceled, students are requested to contact the School of Nursing for additional guidance.

Effective Tuesday, March 31, ALL computer labs are closed. Effective Wednesday, April 1, the ITS Help Center is closed, but services will continue. If you have hardware or technology related issues that require in-person service, please email helpdesk@ric.edu to schedule an appointment. The Help Center will continue to be available from 7:30 a.m. - 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Fridays. The Help Center is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

This is a high-stakes period for advising. We are working through a number of issues, including academic advising. Please continue to monitor your email and website for more information.

Yes, at this time, the campus will remain open after March 23, but students will not be required to come to campus.

Henry Barnard School is currently closed, operating in a manner consistent with guidance from the Rhode Island Department of Education.

Effective Monday, March 30, Adams Library will be moving to a closed-stacks model, which means that the building will be closed, but services will continue.

Students, faculty and staff members may request books, laptops, and scanning of non-circulating materials, by sending an email to adamscirc@ric.edu or submitting a request form on the Library’s homepage

STUDENT EXPERIENCE

May 16, 2020 Commencement ceremony has been cancelled. ​For those of you who have met all the graduation requirements, you WILL receive your diploma. We will share plans to honor you appropriately in the coming weeks.

The Financial Aid Office is available to discuss students’ questions related to their education.

We know that many of our students rely upon work study programs to support their educational needs. We are asking each supervisor to communicate with these students to discuss plans regarding students’ return to campus.

Yes, on a limited basis. Effective March 17, on-campus dining services will provide meal service to on-campus residents only. All seating will be closed in the café and all dining rooms. Take-out service will be offered to all residential students.

For more information, please contact Donovan Dining Services.

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.

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. (Except Penfield residents, who are not issued keys.) In keeping 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. Family and friends may enter the residence hall to help you move out your belongings, but please be packed and ready for their arrival to minimize the amount of time they spend on campus.

We recognize that some 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. For students who choose not to return, refunds will be not issued.

EMPLOYEES

Employees out of work due to a mandatory quarantine period as a result of traveling on work-related business are eligible for paid administrative leave. Non-work-related exposure resulting in mandatory quarantine will be covered by available leave options including:

  1. Sick leave
  2. Family Sick Leave
  3. Annual leave (vacation)
  4. Personal Days
  5. Compensatory time
  6. Leave without pay
  7. Medical leave without pay

Employees who are sick and exhaust all available accrued time may request advance sick time in accordance with applicable personnel policy or bargaining agreement rules.

Employees who exhaust all accrued time and advance sick time, may wish to explore sick bank options.

Employees who have been advised to self-quarantine and for whom a telework arrangement is not an option, may discharge accrued vacation, compensatory time, and personal time or take a leave without pay. All such situations must be discussed with the employee’s immediate supervisor and the Director of Human Resources before they can be approved.

In the event of any office closures, essential employees who are scheduled to work are expected to report to work unless otherwise excused. Essential employees will vary depending on the time of year and the operation they serve. Your supervisor will notify you if you are an essential employee.

Additional guidance will be provided regarding leave procedures for employees who contract COVID-19 or are exposed to the virus.

A teleworking arrangement allows an employee to perform the essential functions of their job from an alternate work location.

Employees must have been in their current positions for at least six (6) months, demonstrate satisfactory performance, have no record of discipline within the past twelve (12) months and demonstrate self-motivation, self-discipline, an ability to work independently and meet or exceed deadlines. Job duties that require independent work, infrequent office-based face-to-face interaction and have defined tasks are typically best suited for telework. It is recommended you discuss the suitability of teleworking with your supervisor.

The teleworking restrictions for new employees have been temporarily waived. Employees who have been in their current position for less than six (6) months can also apply. Please discuss with your supervisor to determine if teleworking is suitable for you.

An approved work site other than the employee’s principal office/work station location where official RIC business is performed. Such locations may include, but are not limited to, employee’s homes or satellite offices.

Applications are currently being accepted.

A telework arrangement may not begin prior to completing and receiving express approval by the appropriate administrators (Director, AVP or VP and Director of HR) via the appropriately completed “Teleworking Request Form” and “Teleworking Agreement.”

Yes. Any arrangement to work remotely prior to submitting and receiving express approval via a completed “Telework Request Form” or “Telework Agreement” is deemed unofficial. Employees may be required to stop any such arrangement until the required application is received and approved.

The length of the teleworking arrangement is temporary and will be approved for the length of time indicated on the “Teleworking Agreement,” but in any case may not continue for more than 12 months.

Yes. Teleworking is not an entitlement or employee right. Teleworking arrangements are approved on a case-by-case basis. Employees on a teleworking arrangement are required to adhere to all terms and conditions of the Teleworking Policy and all state and RIC policies, practices, rules and procedures, as if the employee is working on-site at RIC. Further, employee participation is voluntary; therefore, the employee, director or authorized official may terminate the teleworking arrangement at any time and for any reason, with or without cause, with advance notice where feasible.

Employees are responsible for providing and maintaining their own workspace furniture, equipment, telephone lines and internet services, including all expenses related thereto.

Employees that wish to be considered for teleworking must complete and submit a formal request using the “Teleworking Request Form” and “Teleworking Agreement.” The completed forms are submitted to your direct supervisor for review. Your supervisor will coordinate the review of the formal request with the appropriate RIC administrators and HR.

The “Teleworking Policy,” “Teleworking Request Form” and “Teleworking Agreement” are available on the Office of Human Resources Web site.

TRAVEL

Yes. Please share with your supervisor any upcoming travel plans or travel to impacted areas within the last 14 days. Currently, all college-sponsored international travel has been suspended until further notice. For domestic travel, all travelers should monitor updates in the areas for which you are traveling.

Stay home for 14 days and monitor your health after you leave any country with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice. Monitor your health and report any symptoms of illness consistent with COVID-19 infection (fever, cough, shortness of breath).

Effective March 16, all college-related non-essential domestic travel by employees is suspended until at least April 3. Please consult with your supervisor and funding provider to determine whether your college-related employee domestic travel is essential. We urge you to consider alternative methods, such as teleconferencing.

We are working with those faculty, staff and students already on travel to facilitate their return from places across the country.

Please check with the CDC for the latest travel information.

We want to reiterate that 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.

Those returning to the U.S. should follow the guidelines provided by the .

GENERAL INFORMATION/RESOURCES

Following guidance from the CDC, the college is recommending a number of mitigating activities each of us can take to minimize community transmission of COVID-19 and to promote a healthy campus environment:

  1. Create habits and reminders to avoid touching your face and cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze (and immediately dispose of the tissue).
  2. Wash your hands often with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, and if soap and water are not available use 60-95% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  4. Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched, such as doorknobs, tables, desks and handrails.
  5. Limit food sharing.
  6. Stop handshaking and use other non-contact methods of greeting.
  7. Maintain distance (approximately six feet or two meters).
  8. Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning.
  9. Use teleconferencing and videoconferencing for meetings when possible. If not, hold meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces.
  10. Stay home from work and school when you feel sick.

Our mental health is as important as our physical health. As this situation progresses, we know that anxiety, fear and concern are also increasing. There are a number of resources available to support overall health and well-being during this time.

No. Please remember that at Rhode Island College, a healthy environment is also an inclusive environment. The risk for coronavirus is tied to one’s travel history or close contact with someone who has traveled to an impacted area, not someone's nationality. Our college community remains committed to values of diversity and inclusion, and as such, we know that each of you will live those values, even in the midst of the present circumstances.

To learn more information related to the Coronavirus Disease, please visit the following resources:

  1. RI Department of Health
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  3. World Health Organization (WHO)
  4. Travel.State.Gov

Additionally, you are able to call the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) 401-222-8022 to access their public information line.

Stayinformed@ric.edu is your resource for college related questions.

If you are exhibiting symptoms, or believe that you have come into contact with a person who is either showing symptoms, has been determined to have a presumptive or confirmed case of coronavirus, please contact the RI Department of Health.

Yes, there are resources available.

Many of us are concerned about what the people in our communities may be experiencing, including possible stigmatization or discrimination based on racial bias or appearances. Please help others understand that coronavirus is a respiratory illness that is spread person to person and that national origin alone is not a risk factor.

Stigma doesn’t fight the illness and will hurt innocent people, but sharing accurate information during a time of heightened concern is one of the best things we can do to keep rumor and misinformation from spreading.

If you know of incidents of bias related to the novel coronavirus, please consider the following:

  1. Notify the RIC Police Department or call (401) 456-8211
  2. Notify the Director of Institutional Equity – Margaret Lynch Gadaleta mlynchgadaleta@ric.edu

This cleaning will involve the wiping down of touch point areas within each building using the following process: an appropriate disinfectant registered with the EPA will be applied to all touch point areas. Steam will then be applied to the disinfection areas. Once the process is complete, all treated surfaces will be wiped down to ensure disinfecting is complete.

Specific touch points in Residence Halls:
All railings, vending machines, door handles, elevator buttons, light switches, bathroom faucets, toilet handles, shower handles, and countertops.

Specific touch points in Classroom Buildings:
All railings, vending machines, door handles, elevator buttons, light switches, bathroom faucets, toilet handles, stall latches, countertops, all classroom hard furniture tables, and tablets.

100% of the Dining Services staff, including our Housekeeping staff, have been trained in sanitation and cleaning protocols specific to food service operations, as required by the Dept. of Health.

100% of the Dining Services staff, including our Housekeeping staff have received training on Norovirus prevention and response specific to food service operations, by the DOH. This training was conducted as recently as January as part of our in-service trainings.

78% of our staff have gone the additional step to become nationally certified as well as Certified Food Safety Manager through the DOH.

A majority of the custodial staff have been trained in disinfection cleaning, including proper surface treatments, protocols, and mechanical methods (i.e. steamers and mist electrolysis units).

Personal protective measures:

  1. Stay home if sick or not well
  2. Practice cough etiquette
  3. Wash hands frequently
  4. Limited hand shaking and face touching
  5. Avoid sharing utensils and drinks

Community protective measures:

  1. Consider telecommuting
  2. Distance learning options
  3. Create sanitation stations
  4. Signs to remind others of personal protective measures

Environmental protective measures:

  1. Cleaning and sanitizing of shared spaces
  2. Cleaning of door handles and water fountains and bathrooms

Once you have completed the monitoring and tracking period it is requested that you contact RIC Health Services and report that you are symptom free. (Please remember to CALL AHEAD before showing up to a clinic or other health facility). RIC Health Services will follow up with students to initiate the process for their return OR students may submit documentation from their health provider to RIC Health Services directly. RIC Health Services will update the Dean of Students so that notification can be submitted to professors regarding the students return to class.

Due to the sensitivity of medical information, students are encouraged to submit documentation to the RIC Health Services office. This information will be maintained in a confidential management system by Health Services staff. Should it be necessary for faculty or other academic personnel to verify a student’s absence from class, as a result of the process outlined above, RIC Health Services staff will work with the Dean of Students office for notice of verification to be submitted to faculty or other academic personnel.

Yes, but please be mindful of social distancing and use videoconference or teleconferencing technology for gatherings of 5 or more.

According to the CDC, “social distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.”

COVID-19 TESTING SITE

The Rhode Island National Guard Civil Support Team, working with the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency, has identified the college as a new coronavirus (COVID-19) testing site location within Providence County.

The secure, self-contained testing site will be located in Parking Lot B, the college’s main commuter lot. The assigned personnel will park in the Recreation Center parking lot.

The goal is to test up to 300 people per day.

Please do not try to show up to the testing site for any reason or contact the Rhode Island National Guard to schedule a test. If you believe you need a test for COVID-19, contact your primary care provider first.

No. The college is simply providing a location for the site, which is operated by the Rhode Island National Guard Civil Support Team on behalf of the State of Rhode Island. It is part of the statewide response to COVID-19. The college is not the operator of the site and is not able to schedule appointments for tests. Tests are only available with a referral from your primary care provider. If RIC Health Services is your primary care provider and you believe you need a test, please call them at 456-8055 before visiting the office.

Yes. The secure, self-contained testing site in Parking Lot B will house portable restrooms, testing equipment and other necessary items that will enable approximately 50 medical and security personnel to safely and securely complete their work.

No. The Recreation Center is currently closed and not accessible to the campus community or general public. Following their shifts, and after appropriate decontamination and, disposal of testing attire (i.e., scrubs, masks, etc.) at the site, the testing site personnel will utilize shower facilities within the Recreation Center before leaving each day. The college, RING and RI EMA will work together to ensure that the Recreation Center is sanitized and disinfected according to healthcare standards

Starting on Tuesday, March 31, testing will be by appointment only and will occur between the hours of 9 a.m.–3 p.m., seven days per week.

Personnel from the testing site will not be interacting with people or campus facilities outside the designated areas (Parking Lot B and the Recreation Center). Members of our campus community should not be entering any spaces being utilized by testing site personnel.

STAYING INFORMED

Please return to our website or send questions to stayinformed@ric.edu.

It is requested that all media inquiries be directed to call (401) 456-8977.

Page last updated: May 14, 2020