RIC COVID-19 Mitigations
Please take note of our updated COVID-19 policies and protocols for Fall 2023.
*Subject to change per COVID-19 Community Burden Level
The vaccine has been proven to be safe and effective in averting serious illness and hospitalizations. Rhode Island College (RIC) is requesting that all students, faculty and staff who received COVID-19 vaccinations outside of Rhode Island to enter their vaccination dates and upload their COVID-19 vaccination card in the Medicat patient portal.
Bivalent vaccine is strongly recommended to reduce the severity of illness, protect high-risk populations, decrease the strain on health care resources. RIC will strongly recommended students and non-classified employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Medical and religious exemptions are no longer required.
RIC also recommends that all eligible students, faculty and staff consult with their primary care physician as to whether they should receive the currently available COVID-19 Bivalent vaccine.
A clinic has been set up on September 6 from 12-3 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom.
The walk-in asymptomatic testing site at the Yellow Cottage has closed. Testing during the summer and in the fall will take place at the Center for Health and Wellness - Health Services office. You must call first for an appointment 401-456-8055 and wear a mask to enter the office for testing.
Center for Health & Wellness - Health Services
Monday through Friday appointments:
Summer hours: 8 am to 4 pm
Fall hours: 9 am to 5 pm
Dorm Residents: Students who will be residents in housing for the Fall 2023 semester will need a negative test prior to coming to campus (72 hours or less preferred). However, due to the pervasive nature of Omicron and limited resources, some of this testing may be conducted on campus when the student arrives – provided an appointment is made in advance. Students who test positive on campus will not be permitted to access their dorms for 5 days (may extend to 10 days if symptoms persist). Other arrangements should have been made by the students and/or their families for housing accommodations.
Other arrangements should have been made by the students and/or their families for housing accommodations.
Returning students with previous medical or Religious Exemptions: All students who are exempted will be required to test weekly before their first class of the week when we are in Yellow (moderate) or Red (high level transmission). Test kits will also be available in the dorms for self-testing.
In light of a change in CDC guidance related to mask wearing and a nationwide decline in cases RIC will follow the guidance under the levels of transmission:
Green: (low incidence)
- Masks will continue to be optional on campus.
- Masks may be required in high-risk areas such as Health Services, Counseling Center, advising meetings and individual sessions/interactions unless instructed otherwise.
- Masking in classrooms is at the discretion of each faculty member.
Yellow: (medium incidence)
- Masks are encouraged in all buildings.
- Masks are required in the classrooms. However, faculty may elect to repeal their mask requirements.
- Masks are highly recommended if not fully vaccinated or exempted.
Red: (high incidence)
- Masks are required in all buildings and classrooms on campus.
*Masks will be required for all positive cases on Days 6-10 (following proper isolation).
Surgical (paper) masks and KN95 and N95’s offer the best protection against transmission. Masks should cover both the nose and mouth and fit tightly to assure the best protection. With the highly transmissible nature of the Omicron variant, wearing face coverings in a way that produces a good fit with no air gaps is most protective. If resources are limited, double masking as described in CDC guidance is the next best option. Gaiters, scarves and cloth masks will not be permitted.
If you are having COVID-19 symptoms:
- Students living on campus please contact the Center for Health and Wellness (CHW) to schedule a test. Do not attend class or visit other congregate areas (e.g., library, gym).
- Commuter students, please contact your primary care provider to schedule a test and contact CHW if positive. Do not come to campus.
- Faculty and staff, please contact your primary care provider to schedule a test and contact Human Resources if positive. Do not come to campus
RIC will implement five-day (per CDC general guidance) or ten-day (CDC congregate setting guidance – if symptoms persist on Day 6) protocols for isolation. Students will be asked to Isolate at home whenever possible. Students will have to be cleared by Health Services on Day 6. This protocol allows students to return to class as soon as possible. All students must be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of antipyretics to be cleared. The term “asymptomatic” does not always mean “not contagious.” Therefore, any individuals leaving isolation prior to Day 10 should be provided with and instructed on the appropriate use of a well-fitted mask, which should be worn at all times in public indoor settings and crowded outdoor settings where distancing is not feasible. If the individual cannot comply with the mask guidance as outlined, continuance of 10 days of isolation will be considered.
Options for Residential Isolation of Students:
- Students who live near campus and have their own transportation can isolate at home.
- Students who are positive can cohort into identified rooms/locations for the isolation period.
- Students living in a single dorm can isolate in their room.
Quarantine space may be limited and case management of high numbers of quarantined individuals will be challenging. In general, all individuals who are exposed (i.e., close contacts of infected persons) should monitor for symptoms and wear a well-fitted mask for 10 days if not vaccinated/boostered. If an individual develops symptoms at any time, they should isolate immediately and get tested.
Health Services staff and providers may develop specific strategies for dealing with a shortened quarantine and will take vaccination status and individual risk factors into account.
Close contacts can forego quarantine altogether if they are asymptomatic Close contacts should be instructed on symptom monitoring and seek testing on Day 5 or at any time before or after if they develop symptoms.
Students with co-morbidities that place them at higher risk for serious disease should consult with Health Services or their private health care provider regarding the best strategies for reducing their risk and avail themselves of accommodations offered by RIC. Referrals to and collaboration with campus partners in student success, academic affairs and disability services will afford students an opportunity to address their specific needs.
Employees should consult with Human Resources to address their individual concerns.
More detailed information, including travel and event protocols can be found on this web page, and updates will be sent by email from email@example.com.
Should pandemic circumstances or local conditions change, RIC may reinstate or strengthen certain measures (e.g., bivalent boosters or mask wearing) as well as other mitigations based on guidance from CDC or RI Department of Health.