Fall Opening 2021 - Community Health

 
Vaccinations – Students
  • All students are required to be fully or partially vaccinated prior to coming to campus, and this information must be uploaded into the MediCat portal.
  • Religious and medical exemptions are available.
  • Students who are not fully or partially vaccinated and do not have an exemption will receive a “Student Health Services Hold ” and cannot report to campus.
    • These students will be informed that they may not attend in-person or hybrid classes and may not participate in any events on campus (with the exception of vaccination clinics).
    • They may, however, enroll in fully remote classes.
    • NOTE: Having partially vaccinated students or students exempted from the vaccination mandate on campus does impact distancing requirements. In a classroom, a higher percentage of partially vaccinated students or exempted students may require six-foot distancing, rather than the three-foot distancing allowed with fully vaccinated individuals. This may impact the location or modality of a specific class. The provost is currently working with deans, department chairs and faculty on these issues. Therefore, students are asked to please double check the location and modality of their class prior to coming to campus. The delayed start should lead to more vaccinated students, resulting in few such changes.
Vaccinations – Faculty and Staff
  • All staff and faculty are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated.
  • The RIC administration is in discussion with the Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner concerning the implementation of a vaccination requirement for faculty and staff.

For the good of the entire community, we are counting on individuals to do their part to protect everyone’s health, rights and confidentiality. RIC will be hosting vaccination clinics on campus open to faculty, staff and students:

Wednesday, September 1

  • Vaccination Clinic Noon - 4:00 p.m., Donovan Dining Center - President’s Dining Room
Masking – Students, Faculty and Staff
  • The RI Department of Administration has issued a mask mandate for all state offices and facilities (effective August 13, 2021). All Rhode Island College employees and visitors must wear a face covering regardless of vaccination status when entering or working in any on campus building/office. Any employee that has a health condition that prevents them from wearing a mask should contact the Office of Human Resources for further guidance. If you do not have a mask or forget to wear a mask to work, please consult with or notify your supervisor. The college will provide masks when necessary; however, supplies are limited. 

Low (Blue) Transmission

  • Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear masks on college grounds, including workspaces and common areas, but may do so if they wish.
  • Partially vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals are required to wear masks on college grounds:
    • Indoors at all times.
    • Outdoors whenever it is not possible to maintain a distance of three feet from other individuals.

Moderate (Yellow)/Substantial (Orange)/High (Red) Transmission:

  • All individuals are required to wear masks on college grounds:
    • Indoors at all times.
    • Outdoors whenever it is not possible to maintain a distance of three feet from other individuals.

Asymptomatic Testing – Students

  • All students will be required to have a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before arriving on campus for the first time this semester.
  • Unvaccinated students are required to participate in weekly asymptomatic COVID-19 testing.
  • Vaccinated students will be required to participate in COVID-19 surveillance testing. A randomized protocol is under development with guidance from the Department of Health.
  • COVID-19 testing will be done in Sweet Hall in the fall. COVID-19 testing on campus will be provided Monday-Friday, 10:00 am – 1:00 p.m., no appointment necessary.

Asymptomatic Testing – Faculty and Staff

  • Faculty and staff, regardless of vaccination status, are encouraged to participate in surveillance testing.
  • COVID Testing will be done in in Sweet Hall Dorm in the fall. COVID-19 testing on campus will be provided Monday-Friday, 10:00 am – 1:00 p.m., no appointment necessary.

Symptomatic Individuals – Students, Faculty and Staff

  • Any employee or student who is experiencing illness or any symptoms related to COVID-19, including cough, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache, nausea or vomiting, runny nose, fatigue, recent loss of taste or smell and/or poor appetite, even if fully vaccinated, is asked to remain home.
    • Faculty and staff experiencing any of these symptoms should inform their supervisor and contact the Office of Human Resources for further guidance.
    • Students should call Health Services for COVID-19 testing and follow additional protocols that their specific academic programs may require, such as students in the School of Nursing.
Online Health Screening – Students

Low (Blue) Transmission:

  • Fully vaccinated students are not required to participate in daily health screenings before entering campus or leaving their dorm room.
  • Unvaccinated students will be required to participate in daily health screenings before entering the campus or leaving the dorm room. Students may continue to use the RAVE/Guardian Tracking system for this purpose or use the RIDOH’s COVID-19 visual/verbal screening tool found at: https://health.ri.gov/forms/screening/COVID19_Employee_Screening_Tool.pdf.

Moderate (Yellow)/Substantial (Orange)/High (Red) Transmission:

Online Health Screening – Faculty and Staff

Low (Blue) Transmission:

  • Fully vaccinated faculty and staff are not required to undergo daily health screenings before entering the workplace. Supervisor screenings are also not required.
  • Unvaccinated faculty and staff will be required to undergo daily health screenings before entering the workplace. Employees may continue to use the RAVE/Guardian Tracking system for this purpose or use the RIDOH’s COVID-19 visual/verbal screening tool found at: https://health.ri.gov/forms/screening/COVID19_Employee_Screening_Tool.pdf. Supervisor screenings are not required.

Moderate (Yellow)/Substantial (Orange)/High (Red) Transmission:

Distancing – Students, Faculty and Staff

Low (Blue) Transmission:

  • Fully vaccinated individuals will not be required to maintain physical distance from others while on the RIC campuses.
  • Unvaccinated individuals must continue to maintain a physical distance of three feet from others at all times both inside and outside of any RIC space.

Moderate (Yellow)/Substantial (Orange)/High (Red) Transmission:

  • All individuals must maintain a minimum physical distance of three feet from others while on RIC campuses.
  • A physical distance of six feet will be required if there is a number of unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals congregated in a class, at a meeting or an event. (See appendix A: RIC Fall 2021 Guidelines for RIC Events.)
Isolation/Quarantine Students, Faculty and Staff
  • Fully vaccinated individuals will not be required to quarantine. However, they will be required to isolate if they test positive for COVID-19.
  • Unvaccinated individuals are subject to quarantine and isolation: faculty, staff and commuter students are to isolate or quarantine off campus, and resident students are to isolate or quarantine in their dorm room or off campus
  • Resident student isolation will be in Sweet Hall. All students who are symptomatic will receive COVID-19 testing in the rear of Health Services. They may come by car or walk. Students will need to indicate in the MediCat system where they will be isolating (actual physical address) should they test positive for COVID-19. This will allow RIC to plan for contact tracing and to help identify alternative isolation sites should cases exceed available space in Browne Hall.
Communication: COVID-19 Student Report Form

Consistent with guidance from the CDC, state and local officials, RIC has implemented a tool for faculty and staff to report students with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. Should a faculty or staff member learn of a student with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, they must complete the Student Report Form so that Health Services may be notified and follow up, as appropriate, with the student.

Travel

Substantial (Orange)/High (Red)Transmission:

  • Faculty, staff and student travel will be limited while during Substantial (Orange) and High (Red) risk period.
  • Faculty and students may travel when the purpose of that travel is deemed to be necessary for academic progress and cannot reasonably be postponed or handled remotely (i.e., to conduct research, to present research at an academic conference, to participate in an internship or academic experience required for graduation, or for a similar educational or co-curricular experience, etc.).
    • Travel required for a professional purpose that is necessary and cannot reasonably be postponed or handled remotely.
    • Is necessary to preserve the safety/well-being of research subjects and/or participants.
    • Preserves the continuity of research that cannot reasonably be repeated, replaced or performed remotely.
    • Is deemed necessary and time-sensitive for tenure and promotion of faculty.
    • Advances critical research in the national or global interest.
  • Faculty, staff and students may travel for college business.
    • Travel that is mission-critical to and necessary for the core educational and business functions of the college presently or for the continuation of those core functions in the future, such as recruiting, performance on grant and contract deliverables, or participation in vital partner/inter-institutional consortium/organizational meetings, etc.
  • (See Appendix B: Fall 2021 RIC Travel Policy & COVID-19.)
RIC Health Services

The role of Health Services has continued to expand during the COVID-19 pandemic, with Health Services often adding testing, contact tracing and case management to its responsibilities. Health Services will continue to provide medical and public health expertise to the campus community and deliver current, sound, evidence-informed recommendations, while maintaining essential services to students.

RIC Student Mental Health

The following steps will be taken to improve access to mental health services to support the needs of students returning to campus:

  • Renew the HOPE LINE for another year.
  • Continue to provide options for drop-in crisis counseling.
  • Continue to provide options for virtual same-day urgent appointments.
  • Increase/bolster communication to students about the availability of Counseling Center services through text messaging and social media.
  • Designate peer-based outreach and peer-based support groups either virtually or in-person.
  • Improve the coordination of medical and counseling services to increase access to MH services/care.
  • Develop clear pathways for intervention/referral for behavioral health issues.
  • Offer additional resources, which may be found at zencare.co.
RIC Employee Mental Health

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – During these unprecedented times of crisis many of our colleague’s mental and behavioral health have been negatively impacted. Employees seeking mental health and/or stress management support are encouraged to contact the EAP. The EAP is a completely free and confidential benefit available to all RIC employees and their immediate family members. The EAP is administered in conjunction with Beacon Health Options (Beacon), using their “Beacon Well-being” platform. For additional information, please visit the EAP website.

High-Risk individuals –  Faculty, Staff and Students

Moderate (Yellow)/Substantial (Orange)/High (Red) Transmission:

The college is committed to taking steps consistent with appropriate guidance to create a safe environment for the entire campus community as it reopens and transitions to standard operations. In order to achieve its dual goals of creating a safe campus as well as returning to an on-campus experience the college will provide, in certain circumstances, accommodations to working conditions through the ADA process, and/or adjustments to employment requirements.  Decisions on adjustments will be largely guided by RIDOH who has identified high-risk  as employees with immunosuppressing conditions or employees having a household member with such a condition, and employees over the age of 65.  The Office of Human Resources will be providing detailed information to all faculty and staff to make them aware of these additional mitigations.  Similarly, the Disability Services Center will inform students of their opportunity to request reasonable accommodations under the ADA.