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.


Mar. 27, 2020: COVID-19 Update

Dear Members of the RISD Community,

This week as we have been busily preparing to launch remote learning on Monday, I am reflecting on all the changes and challenges everyone–students, faculty and staff alike–have endured to ready us. Everyone’s cooperation has been critical to implementing new learning modalities in this very short time period, and in ways that are keyed to our curricula and learning outcomes. I have so much respect and appreciation for how so many have stepped up to come together to make this succeed. Your contributions to this unprecedented effort do not go without notice.

The progression of COVID-19 is not yet slowing and our state officials are proactively responding. Today in Rhode Island there are 38 new cases, putting our state’s total at 203. Considering that the first case in RI was diagnosed March 1, this is less than the rates of increase we have seen in other states. Currently, for example, there are only 28 hospitalizations in RI due to COVID-19. We want to see these numbers stay low, and we extend our best wishes for recovery to those individuals and their families.

In order to deter the spread of new cases, our Governor has implemented strict mandates and RISD is fully cooperating. As announced today, anyone who is able to work remotely is required to do so, presently until April 13. State guidelines ask that we communicate to staff that they should be self-monitoring temperatures and overall health status. Managers, please help us to do so, and if you see anyone coming to work unwell, they should be sent home. Until April 25, anyone returning to RI from a domestic or international flight must self-quarantine for 14 days. Anyone returning to RI from New York by ANY mode of transportation must be quarantined for 14 days. This is now law in RI. Officials will be checking roads, train stations, bus stations and airports to track those coming from NY. Starting today, all health insurers are directed to cover all medical visits via tele-health services until May 8. And no visitors are permitted at any nursing homes until further notice. At this point, these strict enactments have resulted in no known infections in any RI nursing homes. We want to continue to protect those who are most vulnerable.

As concerns safety, we mentioned previously that ServPro has been on campus disinfecting all academic buildings. This work, conducted out of an abundance of caution, will be completed by the end of today. We are also working to support others on the frontlines of this pandemic by donating N95 masks and safety goggles to the Rhode Island Department of Health. These were masks that RISD Auxiliary Services had in storage and does not anticipate needing. If any individuals or departments have Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that they don’t need, please consider donating it. We plan to centralize these efforts, and details on how to do so through RISD Facilities are below.

Not surprisingly, we have been hearing many uplifting stories about the ways community members are responding to COVID-19, from making masks with 3D printers or sewing machines to adjusting their own manufacturing operations to help make needed supplies. If you know of any of these stories, please let me know so we can acknowledge their efforts.

This week we also processed room and board refunds for students who moved out of campus housing. Detailed emails were sent to students and families. Please refer to the update from Vice President Jamie O’Hara below.

As we resume the semester on Monday in a very different and new manner than we ever expected, I know we will face challenges and obstacles. But I also know that our community is nimble, resilient and determined and I believe there will be many positive discoveries along the way. We will find our path through this together. Students, please remember that so many of us are here to support you. Faculty and staff, too. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Best,
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.


From Jen Howley, Director of Risk & Emergency Management

To support those on the frontlines of this pandemic, RISD is collecting personal protective equipment for the Rhode Island Department of Health. If you are able to donate any of the below needed items, please bring them to the second floor of What Cheer Garage or submit a work order to Facilities to arrange for pick up. Please have all donations in by Friday, April 3.

Highest priority equipment needed:
N95 masks
Face shields
Goggles

Other equipment needed:

Medical/surgical gowns
Procedural & surgical masks
Non-latex / nitrile gloves
Bleach/bleach wipes
Hand sanitizer
Temporal thermometers

Jen Howley
Director of Risk & Emergency Management


From Jamie O’Hara, VP of Enrollment & Student Affairs

RISD has prorated charges for room and board for all students impacted by an early departure due to COVID-19. We thank you for your patience while Residence Life, Dining Services and Student Financial Services worked together to credit accounts.

Last evening 1,564 students received an email from Student Financial Services with details of their credit.

  • Students who were living on-campus received prorated housing charges based on their move out date.
  • Students who had a meal plan were credited 50% of their meal plan cost, regardless of meals or points used.

Credits have now been applied and students who have a credit balance on their student account are eligible for refunds. Students and their Authorized Users can view their account and credit through the Student Account Center. We ask students to refer to the email sent last evening for additional details. If you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact Student Financial Services at sfs@risd.edu.

Jamie O’Hara
VP of Enrollment & Student Affairs



Past updates:

  • 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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