January 11, 2023: Campus COVID Update - Revised Mask Policy

Dear campus community, 

At this advanced stage of the COVID-19 pandemic we believe there is a reasonable balance to be struck between responding to changing circumstances and maintaining a consistent, practical mitigation policy on campus. With those considerations in mind, the RIC policy on masks has been adjusted for the spring semester, effective immediately.

When RIC is in the High (Red) level of risk, per the CDC guidelines for Providence County:

  • Masks are encouraged, but not required, in all buildings and events. 
  • Masks are required in classrooms, faculty offices, labs and student services staff offices (i.e., Center for Health & Wellness, Disability Services and tutoring) unless the professor, staff member or tutor expressly waives that requirement. 
  • Masks and testing are required if not fully vaccinated or if you have received a religious or medical exemption.

We believe this adjusted policy achieves the appropriate balance of safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our community while remaining practical and consistent. With the majority of the public vaccinated, effective treatments readily available, and life outside of campus largely returned to pre-pandemic norms, the necessity of more stringent mitigation measures has been significantly reduced. Furthermore, with most students, faculty and staff traveling to and from places without mask mandates on a daily basis, continuing to require masks in all situations on campus will be less effective and more difficult to enforce. 

This policy focuses on the highest risk settings on campus and is enforceable. It is an appropriate and effective mask policy that will slow the spread of COVID-19 on campus, and this change was implemented after careful consideration. The administration will continue to monitor COVID-19 in the community and on campus. If conditions worsen, or if there are outbreaks on campus, the mask mandate may be put back in place.

Please find the RIC COVID-19 protocols here: https://www.ric.edu/meet-rhode-island-college/health-wellness/covid-19/campus-updates/covid-19-community-levels.

Thank you for your continued cooperation as we all work together to protect the health of our campus community.