COVID-19 Updates

RISD Health Services remains actively engaged in monitoring both local and global health trends, in order to share timely and factual information about COVID-19 (coronavirus) with the community.

RISD will continue to monitor for new information about COVID-19, including updated guidance from national and state authorities. This website is updated often, and the most recent update will appear below this message. Previous updates and frequently asked questions are linked below.

For any health concerns, students should contact the Office of Health Services (401-454-6625 or health@risd.edu) and faculty and staff should contact their health care providers.


April 8, 2020: COVID-19 Update

Dear Members of the RISD Community,

With the presence of COVID-19 approaching 1,500 cases locally, we anticipate that the next couple of weeks are going to be very difficult ones in Rhode Island. I encourage us all to be diligent not just about strictly observing health protocols, but also about reaching out to check on each other. For students, adapting to remote learning and remote connections to RISD peers and faculty, while at the same time, in some cases living with parents and siblings can cause a great deal of strain. For those of us used to working in person on collaborative efforts, the distancing can feel very isolating. For a number of you who are working from home while managing family responsibilities, we understand that you might feel overwhelmed. But this distancing is critical, and what we all do right now, will have a huge impact on the duration of this pandemic. We need to unite in our commitment to both help each other to get through this and to be vigilant about mitigating COVID-19’s duration and force.

Additionally, COVID-19 is having significant negative economic implications across the globe and here at RISD. Between new and increased costs and various revenue losses, we expect the virus will have a negative impact of at least $20 million on our institution, and potentially much more if COVID-19 persists into the fall semester. Our leadership team has been assembling data and developing preliminary strategies to explore ways to remedy these losses. Because this process will rely on the participation of representatives across campus, SVP Dave Proulx is assembling a collaborative, campus-wide team to look at different approaches to confronting these challenges. Our hope is that we will identify working groups quickly so that they may begin their work as early as next week.

Part of the reason we are facing these losses is due to the additional costs and revenue refunds related to the virus, as well as significant lost income sources such as events, museum entry fees, and continuing education programming. But even with these challenges, we are doing everything possible to safeguard our employees. Today I’m proud to announce that we are extending our commitment to provide base compensation on primary positions for all current faculty and staff at least through June 30. As previously announced, students will be paid for their campus jobs through the end of the semester, even if they are unable to complete the work for which they are being paid, and we will provide assistance to student off-campus workers who have lost jobs and are in need. Other colleges in the region and across the country are not making such commitments, announcing immediate furloughs and layoffs, and in some sad instances complete closures. At RISD we consistently operate on carefully balanced budgets, so we will need to figure out the best path forward. But our commitment to our hard-working faculty and staff, in support of the educational integrity of our programs, is guiding our decision making to the best of our ability under, admittedly, weighty strain.

To continue to keep our community as safe as possible, I am also announcing today that, unless the presence of COVID-19 dissipates more quickly than currently expected, we are extending our remote-work protocols through May 31. In connection with that change, we will continue suspension of payroll deductions for RISD parking permits for the month of May. If you need to order supplies, please see ordering information below.

Supporting our students in Providence and keeping RISD operational does require 60 to 80 employees to be on campus on a given day. We are carefully staggering work shifts for the safety of those designated workers. We greatly appreciate all that these staff members are doing for our community. For their safety and the safety of our students living on campus, we must keep the number of people on campus as low as possible, and everyone must strictly follow safety measures, including wearing a cloth mask, practicing social distancing and frequent and full hand washing. Please do not come to campus unless you are directed to do so and/or have your manager’s permission, and do not come to campus at all if you are sick or are exhibiting any symptoms. If you do have symptoms, please immediately contact your primary care provider or, students, please contact Health Services at 401-454-6625.

Amidst the grim news around us, there are many bright spots, as we begin to see more and more how many people are helping others. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our effort to collect personal protective equipment for the Rhode Island Department of Health. If you have items to donate from campus, please bring them to the second floor of What Cheer Garage or submit a work order for Facilities to arrange pick-up. Thank you also to the many faculty, staff, and students who continue to produce masks, filters and other personal protective equipment to assist those on the front lines of this pandemic. As a reminder, if you are participating in this effort as a RISD student or employee and/or are using RISD facilities, please contact Risk + Emergency Manager Jennifer Howley at jhowley@risd.edu to ensure alignment with health regulations and to avoid any unforeseen liabilities. Our alumni are actively engaging in these efforts, too. It is particularly moving to see how many RISD individuals are reaching out to assist others when their own lives are so disrupted. These acts make evident our community values, and serve as examples of the goodwill that will get us through these tough times together.

Sincerely,
Rosanne Somerson
President

Information & Support Resources
If you are a student in need of assistance of any kind, please contact studaff@risd.edu.
For the latest information from RISD on COVID-19 and answers to frequently asked questions, please visit risd.edu/covid.

Ordering & Shipping Supplies

Faculty and staff, if you need to order supplies between now and May 31 and also if you need to have them delivered to an off-campus address, please refer to the guidance that Procurement Services has posted in Workday on the “Create Requisitions” page.

If you need to have a freight order delivered to campus (this includes items being delivered via tractor-trailer or on pallets), please address it to 30 N. Main Street and list 401.952.6405 as the contact number. Deliveries will be accepted Monday through Friday from 8 am – 2 pm.



Past updates:

  • April 7, 2020
    From Rosanne Somerson, President
  • April 3, 2020
    From Rosanne Somerson, President
    Rick Mickool, Chief Information Officer
  • April 2, 2020
    From Rosanne Somerson, President
  • April 1, 2020
    From Rosanne Somerson, President
  • March 31, 2020
    From Rosanne Somerson, President
  • March 30, 2020
    From Rosanne Somerson, President
    From Barbara LoMonaco, Interim Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs
  • March 27, 2020
    From Rosanne Somerson, President
    From Jen Howley, Director of Risk & Emergency Management
    From Jamie O’Hara, Vice President, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs
  • March 26, 2020
    From Rosanne Somerson, President
  • March 25, 2020
    From Rosanne Somerson, President
  • March 24, 2020
    From Rosanne Somerson, President
  • March 23, 2020
    From Rosanne Somerson, President
    Jack Silva, Vice President of Campus Services
  • March 20, 2020
    From Rosanne Somerson, President
    From Dave Proulx, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration
    From Kevin Jankowski, Career Center Director
  • March 19, 2020
    From Rosanne Somerson, President
    From Dave Proulx (Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration) and Kent Kleinman (Provost)
  • March 18, 2020
    From Rosanne Somerson, President
    From Dave Proulx (Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration) and Kent Kleinman (Provost)
  • March 17, 2020
    From Rosanne Somerson, President
    From Dave Proulx (Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration) and Kent Kleinman (Provost)
  • March 16, 2020
    From Dave Proulx, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • March 15, 2020
    From Jamie O’Hara, Vice President, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs
  • March 14, 2020
    From Rosanne Somerson, President
  • March 12, 2020
    From Rosanne Somerson, President
  • March 9, 2020
    From Kristin Gianelis, Director, Health Services
  • March 6, 2020
    From Kristin Gianelis, Director, Health Services
  • March 5, 2020
    From David R. Proulx, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • March 3, 2020
    From Kent Kleinman, Provost
  • March 2, 2020
    From David R. Proulx, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • February 29, 2020
    From Kent Kleinman, Provost
  • February 21, 2020
    From Kristin Gianelis, Director, Health Services
  • February 14, 2020
    From Kristin Gianelis, Director, Health Services
  • February 7, 2020
    From Kristin Gianelis, Director, Health Services
  • February 7, 2020
    Message to RISD Families from Barbara LoMonaco, Interim Asst. VP for Student Affairs
  • February 3, 2020
    From Kristin Gianelis, Director, Health Services
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