Mar. 2, 2020: COVID-19 Update

For the latest updates visit COVID-19 Updates.

Dear Members of the RISD Community,

I write to you tonight as COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to be an evolving situation. While there have recently been two presumptive cases in Rhode Island, there continue to be no suspected cases of COVID-19 at RISD.

As you have read in previous campus communications, we are actively monitoring COVID-19 locally and globally and our top concern is our community’s health and well being. We have been and will continue to follow all recommendations set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH).

We continue to encourage all members of the community to take preventative actions as recommended by the CDC. Most importantly – stay home if you are sick, wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

A cross-functional team of RISD staff members are currently focused on closely monitoring COVID-19 and planning for how to handle potential health, operational and financial impacts. I would like to thank these dedicated employees who are working hard to ensure we are prepared.

I know that there is anxiety and uncertainty about this rapidly changing situation, and that many of you have questions about COVID-19 and how it could potentially impact our community. We will be holding two Town Hall meetings this week to share the latest available information and answer questions. Please join us on Wednesday, March 4 at 11 am or 6:30 pm in the RISD Auditorium. We will livestream both meetings if you’d like to join remotely; recordings of both will also be available. If you’d like to submit a question in advance, please do so via this Google form.

Also, with spring break beginning on March 21, we know that some community members plan to travel internationally. At this time, RISD strongly advises against international travel. Many countries could implement new entry and exit control measures or quarantines with very little notice. If you do travel, please consult travel advisories from the U.S. Department of State and CDC, especially avoiding travel to or through countries affected by current reported cases.

For the latest information about COVID-19, please visit RISD’s Health and Wellness website where you will find a FAQ and our previous campus communications.

We will continue to keep you updated on COVID-19 developments. Our thoughts are with the students, faculty and staff who have family and other connections to the regions affected by this situation.


Dave Proulx

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