Mar. 24, 2020: COVID-19 Update

For the latest updates visit COVID-19 Updates.

Dear Members of the RISD Community,

As you read in Kristin Gianelis’ email, we learned last night that a RISD student tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. Our student departed Rhode Island on March 17, and while here, lived alone in off-campus housing.

Many people have asked for identifying information to determine whether they had contact with the student. Various laws prohibit us from identifying our student or disclosing confidential medical information directly. We have informed the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), which will directly notify those who have been in contact with this student during the period of contagion through its contact tracing process.

As expected, the presence of COVID-19 cases continue to increase – today 18 new cases in Rhode Island were announced, bringing our state’s total to 124. I ask you to continue to follow the precautions outlined in recent public health guidance: practice social distancing, engage in frequent appropriate hygiene practices. And of course, monitor your health. Do not come to work if you feel unwell or if you are caretaking a household member who is ill. For any questions, detailed information is available at

Additionally, for those Rhode Island residents who need child care, or elder care assistance, the state has partnered with to offer free premium access for 90 days to find providers. See the information from the state here:

There are no additional updates from members of our leadership team for today. Earlier today, Provost Kleinman sent a separate message to faculty with further detailed updates about implementing remote learning. Faculty, please look for that communication.

As our students disperse across the globe, I remain grateful about how RISD is redefining new realities for staying connected and for supporting one another.

Rosanne Somerson

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

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