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: 3/25/2022

RWU Covid Operating Level Guidance Spring 2022 (rev. March 25, 2022)

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Our Individual Responsibilities

Get Vaccinated and Boosted

RWU is requiring booster vaccinations for all employees and students who are working or attending class on our Bristol and Providence campuses. 

Employees must submit their vaccination information (copy or photo of vaccine card) to human_resources@rwu.edu by February 1. Students must submit their vaccination information via the Health Services Patient Portal (see instructions) by March 1

Returning students and employees previously approved for medical or religious exemptions will remain exempt. Requests for a vaccine booster exemption will be considered only for newly enrolled students, newly hired employees, or for current students or employees not granted a Fall 2021 exemption, but who now may meet exemption criteria based on previously unavailable facts and circumstances. 

The majority of our community is eligible now for boosters, with the full community becoming eligible by March (based on date of latest dose on file). We strongly urge that all vaccinated employees and students receive their booster vaccine as soon as they are eligible (six months after effective date of previous dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, and two months after Johnson & Johnson vaccine) and ideally before returning for the spring semester. There are many opportunities to get the next vaccination dose if you are eligible or to begin the full vaccination series. Call your primary physician’s office or search for clinics or pharmacies near your residence. For those unable to schedule a vaccine shot over break or are not yet eligible to receive one, RWU will offer booster clinics on campus early in the spring semester. 

Hawks Wear Masks

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Having reached a period of decreased infection with severe symptoms and hospitalization greatly reduced, masking guidance is changing nationally and regionally. After thoughtful deliberation from the twenty-six members of our RWU Covid Steering Committee, RWU has begun a stepped approach to masking and testing.  

Our goal is to gradually reduce mask requirements, while maintaining our commitment to self-screening and consistent testing. It is also our hope to reduce testing requirements for those both fully vaccinated and boosted in April.  

To support our institutional planning going forward, RWU has implemented new Covid Operating Levels that you see in the chart on the top of this page. Starting February 28, RWU moved to Level 3 per the chart and masking is optional in all indoor settings, except the following locations where masking will remain required: 

  • All shared transportation (shuttles; clubs, orgs, and athletics travel)
  • Classrooms and Labs, Counseling and Health Services, public areas on first floor of library, Covid Testing Center, Athletic Training Room
  • Fitness Center - for vaccine exempt or not current with booster
  • Large Events - for vaccine exempt or not current with booster

The University will be providing high-protection masks to students and employees during the check-in process days to ensure a higher level of safety during close-contact interactions at the start of the semester and off-campus. We also recommend that students and employees purchase additional masks now for the semester and highly recommend purchasing verified KN95 or KN94 masks. 

As a reminder, gaiters and bandanas are not acceptable forms of masks. 

The University will not be providing supplies of clinical masks in academic buildings this semester. Therefore, it is the responsibility of students and employees to have masks with them at all times on campus in order to enter campus facilities. 

Wash Hands Frequently 

Reopening Roger hand-washing iconWash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds frequently, as well as whenever you've touched a commonly used surface. This prevents the spread of germs on surfaces and mitigates exposure to viruses. 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.

Stay Home If You Have Covid-like Symptoms

icon representing staying home with covid-like symptomsIf you are experiencing any Covid-like symptoms, stay home. That also means you should not come to campus for your regular testing appointments. For any flu-like symptoms, students should call Health Services, and faculty and staff should call their primary care physicians.
 

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.

#MakeSmartChoices

While the pandemic remains with us, and at a level many had not anticipated, we have come together in incredible ways throughout this challenging time – and we can do that again this year. The university community did a terrific job with testing, screening, and masking last year, and it was the choices to prioritize our safety and well-being made by each one of us that resulted in our success. We are calling on everyone to do this again this year.

Continue to make smart choices in the weeks leading up to move-in or return to work. There is some uncertainty about what to expect from the virus and variants in the months ahead, but we will be guided in our operations and safety measures by what is happening around us and what our testing data tells us.

We can make this another great year, with all the opportunities for learning and a vibrant campus life that we have planned. We’re so excited to have you all back for a terrific academic year. Continue to check your email regularly for updates and we will soon fully update the Reopening Roger website, where you can visit throughout the year for information on our campus safety protocols and to monitor Covid-19 testing and cases via our dashboard. If you have any questions, please contact us through covid19@rwu.edu.

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