Health & Safety Protocols
We all have a responsibility to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The simple actions you take each day help protect yourself and care for the RWU community.
Last Updated: 1/28/2021
In Their Own Words: Why RWU Students #MakeSmartChoices
This fall, we all showed great commitment to doing what it takes to stay together on campus. Now, let's make the spring semester just as successful.
Necessary precautions have become habit and part of our daily lives on campus – but we need to remember that our vigilance and dedication to these measures don’t stop when we step off campus. Our low positivity rate since campus reopened last August is daily proof of how we are all making the smart choices required of us all.
This is what it means to be part of the Roger Williams community: to care for others, not only for ourselves. Our health and safety measures are not just for an individual but for our friends, our classmates, for our professors, our staff and colleagues who keep this campus running and return home to their families each day, and for our neighbors in the Bristol community.
Now is the time to dig in and continue to make smart choices. Let us continue to be a national model during the pandemic. We can do this!
Our Individual Responsibilities
Wear A Mask
Face coverings are a key tool in preventing exposure and containing spread of the virus. RWU requires face coverings to be worn in all campus spaces, especially in classrooms and in public spaces where individuals may be closer than 6 feet physical distancing. The State of Rhode Island also now requires mask wearing anytime you are outside the house or around people you don't live with, regardless of whether social distancing is possible.
All campus community members will receive a washable face mask. Exceptions for medical reasons may be requested through the RWU Accessibility Services. Learn More about RWU's Mask Policy
Wash Hands Frequently
Wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds frequently, as well as whenever you've touched a commonly used surface. This will prevent the spread of germs on surfaces and mitigate your own exposure to the virus. In every RWU restroom, air hand dryers have been disabled, and paper towel dispensers have been installed, to help contain the spread of the virus.
Practice Physical Distancing
The practice of maintaining at least 6 feet between all individuals and decreasing the frequency of contact reduces the risk of spreading COVID-19. R.I. Governor Gina Raimondo has reduced the maximum size of a social gathering – indoors or outdoors – from 15 people to 10 people.
Stay Home If You Have Covid-like Symptoms
If you are experiencing any Covid-like symptoms, stay home. That also means you should not come to campus for your regular surveillance testing appointments. For any flu-like symptoms, students should call Health Services, and faculty and staff should call their primary care physicians.
Get a Flu Shot
Students must provide proof of receiving a flu shot to be allowed to return to campus for spring semester. Proof must be supplied during your move-in date or prior to your first day of classes or by submitting an exemption form for medical and religious reasons.
Reduce Environmental Impact
We need everyone’s help to reduce the environmental impact from COVID safety measures. We can adapt to these temporary necessities – takeout meals and increased package delivery – with a spirit of sustainability, and by taking the following actions:
- RWU – Recycle With Us, using the color–coded recycling bins placed around campus, residence halls and offices.
- Open your packages and leave the packing materials and boxes in the mailroom to be recycled.
- Break down boxes before placing them in the dumpster. Use the space efficiently, compacting to fit as much as you can inside the dumpster.
- Do not place recyclables inside plastic bags – the presence of plastic bags will send the entire dumpster load to the landfill instead.
The State of Rhode Island has instituted an overnight curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weeknights and 10:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
Our Commitment to Enhanced Cleaning Procedures
Every classroom space – including computer labs and science/engineering labs – will have a fixed disinfecting station with hand sanitizer, gloves, disinfecting spray, paper towels, a trash can, and specialized cleaning supplies for the electronic equipment in the room. Class meeting times have been adjusted to allow for cleaning time in between classes.
The RWU Classroom cleaning plan will adhere to the following standards:
- Following each class:
- Faculty will clean teaching station
- Outgoing students from the classroom will coordinate with their faculty member on the protocol for cleaning the classroom desks and leaving them to air dry, and incoming students for the next class will wipe if needed
- Nightly deep clean by facilities staff
- Weekly electrostatic sanitization by facilities staff
Across both campuses, particular attention will be necessary in regard to water fountains and elevators. All water fountains that are not contactless filling stations be turned off. Any building with an elevator will require regular interval cleaning of surfaces, specifically door edges, railings, and all buttons, by custodial or operational staff.
Roger Williams will utilize several educational messaging platforms to ensure that employees and students understand and embrace their role in cleaning and disinfecting procedures and protocols in classrooms, libraries, residence halls, dining and recreational facilities.
In addition, improvements to air quality that are being made include:
- Changing all air filters from MERV 8 to MERV 13 to improve air quality in buildings on the Bristol campus. MERV 13 filters are typically used in clean spaces such as hospital waiting areas. We have also discussed this change with the building management of the Providence campus.
- Maximizing outside airflow in building air handling units coupled with increased dehumidification to improve air circulation and air quality.
- Considering (and currently testing) the use of High Ceiling Air Decontamination using UV light in highly trafficked areas including the dining commons, rec center, health services and the library on the Bristol campus.
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