On this page, keep up to date or catch up with the most recent updates to RWU's Reopening Roger website. We share the latest updates in a newsletter each Thursday, linking to relevant sections so you can easily stay current as the University's plan evolves.
Last Updated: 10/23/2020
Oct. 23, 2020 Updates
Staying Local Will Help Keep Campus Open
Eight weeks into the semester, our overall number of total COVID-19 cases remains low and our positivity rate has stayed well under 1 percent (0.09%). Thanks to everyone for the continued dedication to mask-wearing, safe-distancing and regular testing. We saw with our first cluster of positive cases these past few weeks and our swift movement in response that our testing and contact tracing programs are doing exactly what they’re designed to do – catch all cases early and act quickly to isolate and contain any spread within the campus.
While our system is working on campus, beyond RWU the COVID-19 infection rates are increasing across New England states and the Northeast. With 5 weekends left during our time together on campus, we urge students to stay local and limit travel out of the local area. We are so close to making it through the full semester together. Let's get it done!
If you do have to go home for an essential reason (a medical appointment, a family emergency), it is critical that mask wearing and social distancing be practiced at the same levels as on campus. We also remind faculty and staff members to practice safety measures in their local communities. While all students and employees are participating in routine and regular COVID testing, our families and friends in your home communities do not have access to the testing that we do and we need to remain cautious about exposure to the virus and bringing it back to campus.
Stay local and continue to #MakeSmartChoices.
- Testing: To date, we've had 58 positive cases total, and 65,810 negative results. We currently have 16 active positive cases.
- Testing: Individuals who receive a “test not processed” or “invalid” test result through our university COVID-19 testing program, should come in the following day for another test. This is regardless of the day on which your next regularly scheduled testing date falls. Complete a re-test on the following day of receiving such a result and keep to your scheduled testing dates that week and moving forward.
- Learning: Due to continued international travel restrictions, the increase in COVID-19 cases globally and continued lockdowns in many locations, Roger Williams University will be cancelling all spring 2021 semester Study Abroad programs. This decision is based on both State Department and CDC travel advisories, as well as the high risk caused by COVID-19 that is present in many locations worldwide. Learn more at the Spiegel Center for Global and International Programs
Oct. 16, 2020 Updates
As we approach flu season and we move indoors with colder weather, we need to remain vigilant in monitoring for symptoms and protecting each other by wearing face masks, keeping our distance and washing our hands frequently. Please keep up participation in twice-weekly testing, particularly if you’re on campus more than two days per week, and get a flu shot. Continue to #MakeSmartChoices to keep us together on campus until Thanksgiving break.
- Testing: To date, we've had 38 positive cases total, and 57,496 negative results. We currently have 16 active positive cases.
- Flu Shot Reminder: During this pandemic, it is more important than ever to be vaccinated against the flu – It will help prevent influenza, avoid a mistaken diagnosis of COVID-19, and preserve healthcare resources. The Centers for Disease Control are stressing to get your flu shot early in the fall.
For Faculty and Staff, the next campus flu clinic will be Oct. 22, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
No walk-ins will be allowed. Register in advance – Registration closes Oct. 21 at noon.
Register at twc.thewellcomp.com/flu
Enter Login ID: rwufacbris2
For Students, the University will be requiring proof of a flu vaccine during the Spring Semester check-in process in late January. The only exception requests considered will be for medical or financial reasons.
Students who take advantage of the upcoming clinics, or who have already received the flu shot this week or at the first flu clinic, do not have to provide proof of obtaining the shot in January. The University will maintain record of your participation. Students who prefer to have their flu shot completed at home after Thanksgiving must bring proof in the form of a note or receipt from the clinic or provider administering the shot.
There are three remaining CVS flu clinics in the fieldhouse for students this semester:
Oct. 16 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Oct. 19 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Oct. 26 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Flu shots are free with most insurance plans. Bring RWU ID and your health insurance card with you.
Stay home if you are sick.
Oct. 8, 2020 Updates
This weekend marks the halfway point of our fall semester. We are so proud of the unity and determination of the campus community for reaching this point. We know how hard it is to limit gatherings with our friends and resist the temptation to be closer with one another. But we have all shown great commitment to doing what it takes to stay together on campus.
Necessary precautions are starting to 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 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.
The semester is not over yet. Now is the time to dig in and continue to make smart choices. We are entering flu season and soon colder weather will mean more indoor time – our adherence to safety guidelines will keep us together until Thanksgiving break and set the course for our successful return to campus for the spring semester. Let us continue to be a national model during the pandemic. We can do this!
See more on #MakeSmartChoices
- Testing: To date, we've had 25 positive cases total, and 50,048 negative results. We currently have 7 active positive cases.
Sept. 30, 2020 Updates
- Testing: RWU will stay the course with our current testing frequency for all members of the community. Those currently participating in COVID-19 testing twice weekly should continue with their current days/times; all other students and employees who come to campus continue with testing once per week. This level of frequent surveillance testing will continue to allow us to quickly identify and contain any positive cases we see among our campus community.
We appreciate your participation in the testing program and look for your continued adherence to health protocols to bring us all the way to Nov. 24. Stay the course – we have 55 days to go!
- Testing: To date, we've had 19 positive cases total, and 41,871 negative results. We currently have 3 active positive cases.
We’ve added more information to the RWU COVID Testing Data site: In the main dashboard you'll now see the total number of active positive cases (students currently in isolation) and not just the running total. Beneath the dashboard we now also display information about our quarantine students. You will see current students in quarantine and where they are quarantining (at home, off campus or at Baypoint) as well as a category of cases under investigation (students, most often symptomatic) that are pending test results but not confirmed positive. We also are show our Baypoint quarantine and isolation percentage in use out of its116-bed capacity. Note: This information will be updated on a less frequent schedule than the overall testing data.
- Testing: Watch a behind-the-scenes video of our lab partner, the Broad Institute, sharing its process for analyzing COVID-19 tests that it receives from us, and over 120 other universities and colleges around the region:
Sept. 24, 2020 Updates
- Testing: To date, we've had 16 positive cases total, and 35,210 negative results. For the latest testing information and results, check out RWU's COVID Testing Data page.
- Testing: We need your help to keep our testing process efficient and working for our volunteers. Our volunteers may not know who you are and are having a hard time hearing you speak your name through a mask and a plexiglass partition. We ask all faculty, staff and students to present their RWU ID or a driver’s license at your COVID-19 testing appointment – simply holding it up near the plexiglass for the volunteers. This will help our testing volunteers more quickly identify you and enter your test into the system, keeping the lines moving rapidly and smoothly for all. Thanks for helping with this step!
- Health and Safety Protocols: A reminder to protect everyone’s ability to remain on campus: Avoid large gatherings, stay local, and support one another in maintaining health and safety protocols, on and off campus.
Sept. 18, 2020 Updates
- Testing: To date, we've had 15 positive cases total, and 29,725 negative results. For the latest testing information and results, check out RWU's COVID Testing Data page.
- Report Noncompliance: While it took 200 people to bring us all back to campus, we know it will take all 6,000 of us to keep us all on campus.
We’re all human. There will be times when each of us might let our guard down. That’s when it’s on the rest of us to nudge one another back into complying with RWU’s pandemic protocols. To stem the spread of the virus, we encourage all community members to supportively and appropriately suggest compliance whenever possible.
If an individual or group persists in noncompliant behavior, members of the RWU community are reminded to use the General Incident Reporting form from the Department of Public Safety.
Community members can report concerns about noncompliance, including the size of gatherings, physical distancing or mask wearing.
Reports may be submitted anonymously. Please share as much detail as possible in the description field.
Remember: Our policies apply on and off campus, to protect the RWU community as well as our greater Bristol and Providence communities.
Sept. 10, 2020 Updates
- Testing: All full-time students taking in-person courses or coming to campus are now required to report for COVID-19 testing two days per week until further notice. Your testing days should be spaced 72 hours apart, and we have added evenings and Sundays to the testing schedule to accommodate the additional testing needs.
Note: If you can't test at night due to class, being a commuter, or a work conflict, please take your additional weekly test during the day hours instead. If you are not on campus during that day, you can make up the additional test the next day without a reservation.
- Testing: To date, we've had 10 positive cases total, and 19,646 negative results. For the latest testing information and results, check out RWU's COVID Testing Data page.
- Quarantine and Isolation Procedures: The University has created PDF guides for student isolation and quarantine procedures on-campus and off-campus or at home. These guides will help students and families prepare for a potential isolation or quarantine period and help students pack a "COVID Go Bag" in the event they must isolate or quarantine on-campus at Baypoint or off-campus or at home.
- Learning: Deans and Faculty have begun planning for the Spring 2021 semester, continuing to design for a blend of in-person and online instruction. Safety measures such as social distancing and Covid-19 testing that may need to be continued and built into the educational design will be determined as we approach the spring term and have more information.
Sept. 4, 2020 Updates
Health & Safety on Labor Day Weekend
Health & Safety Protocols: As detailed in an email to students from Vice President of Student Life John King this afternoon, the campus community is asked to do everything possible to protect what we all have accomplished to date to stem the spread of the virus. We all need to refrain from traveling this holiday weekend, and avoid exposure to people not in RWU’s testing program who do not know whether they are carrying the COVID virus.
Those who must travel for essential reasons are asked to practice every precaution, not return to campus if they develop symptoms, and upon return, act as if they are carrying the virus, following strict dedication at all times to daily screening, regular testing, mask wearing and physical distancing, until they obtain two negative test results.
Contact Tracing: As soon as university Health Services is notified of a positive test result, RWU’s contact tracing team begins interviews to identify close contacts and implement additional quarantine and isolation protocols as needed – all of which is critical to preventing community spread. The transparency and collaboration of community members in these interviews is also vital to provide us accurate information in order to contain the virus, preserving our low rate of infection on campus.
RWU currently has four cases of COVID-positive students isolating at home or off-campus and two cases under investigation (CUI) in isolation at Baypoint or campus housing. Another 18 students are in quarantine at home or off-campus and two in quarantine at Baypoint who were identified as close contacts and are being monitored for the virus. All close contacts of COVID-positive cases are placed in quarantine for 14 days at home or in Baypoint and there is no “testing out” of quarantine for close contacts of COVID-positive cases, as we are following CDC and Rhode Island Department of Health guidelines.
A case under investigation (CUI) is a student who has presented multiple symptoms and after a clinical visit with Health Services, under an abundance of caution, has been identified for isolation until a COVID test returns a negative result. Due to increased precautions around students who have neither tested positive nor been identified as a close contact, cases under investigation will have the effect of producing higher numbers of students in quarantine. In total, we have had seven cases under investigation and all of them have subsequently resulted in negative test results and released from isolation.
Testing: The RWU COVID Testing Data dashboard provides up-to-date results from our Broad Institute testing partnership. The information is updated within a few hours of receiving the most recent day’s testing results (which is shown at the bottom of the dashboard). The timing of when the testing dashboard is updated varies based on two factors – whether we conducted testing the previous day (for the past few weeks we have not conducted testing on Saturdays and Sundays), and the turnaround time for receiving test results ranging between 18 hours to 24 hours. Our lab partner, the Broad Institute, provides diagnostic services to universities and colleges around the region and their total number of completed tests has just passed 1 million.
- Learning: Thirty-eight work-study and SAAHP graduate students have been hired as Classroom Technology Assistants to provide in-classroom support for technology issues faculty encounter during class, as well as those experienced by students attending class online.
Learning: Outdoor space is available for morning classes in the dining tent outside the Commons. As many as 5 classes can be scheduled Monday through Friday until 10:30 a.m.
Faculty should refer to the Aug. 24 email from Provost Margaret Everett on how to reserve space.
Chairs are also available in the front portico of GSB for outdoor learning.
Learning: In response to the recent Commuter Student Survey, a committee of faculty and staff have provided the following spaces for commuter students to use to complete online courses that might happen before or after in-person classes.
A reminder: There is limited space in each building so you might want to have a backup plan if you find a space is fully occupied.
- Library – first and second floors
- Commuter Lounge – located on garden level of Stonewall Terrace Building 4
- Baypoint Conference Center Newport Rom – entrance by side door on right (facing front of building)
- Baypoint Conference Center Conference Room, located on the second floor past the Gym and Pool: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
- GHH Atrium
- GHH second floor
- GHH small conference rooms
- Library Instructional Lab – third floor
- Sailing Center – Mondays all day; Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Student Senate Chambers – in the Recreation Center by the Radio Station: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- SECCM – first floor lobby
- SECCM Lab Building – first and second floor lobbies
Please contact Assistant Dean of Students Carol Sacchetti with any questions.
Quarantine and Isolation Procedures: The guidance on isolation for symptomatic and asymptomatic persons has been updated.
- At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first started; –AND–
- You have been fever-free without any fever-reducing medicines for at least 24 hours; –AND–
- Symptoms have improved
If you tested positive but did not experience or develop symptoms, isolation will end when at least 10 days have passed since the date of your first positive test result.
Persons who are immunocompromised, must isolate until:
- At least 20 days since symptoms first appeared; –AND–
- Fever-free without any fever-reducing medicines for at least 24 hours; –AND–
- Symptoms have improved
If you tested positive but did not experience or develop symptoms, isolation will end when at least 20 days have passed since the date of your first positive test result.
Aug. 27, 2020 Updates
- Testing: To date, we have had five positive cases and 7,989 negative results. For the latest testing information and and results, check out RWU's COVID Testing Data page, updated daily.
- Testing: If you have not done so yet, be sure to check your email for “Register Now: Your RWU COVID Testing Appointments” and click on the link provided. The email includes video instructions to answer any testing registration questions. Additional communication about our COVID testing for September will be sent soon.
- Health & Safety Protocols: A reminder that earlier this month R.I. Governor Gina Raimondo issued an executive order reducing the maximum size of an indoor or outdoor social gathering to 15 people, with a $500 fine established for anyone found at a social gathering of more than 15 people. The University fully supports these public health objectives and will enforce the 15-person limit rigorously. Student conduct sanctions may include loss of residency or separation from the University – without refunds. The town of Bristol intends to enforce this policy and the fine system.
Important note about residence halls: Due to social distancing requirements, occupancy capacities within each residential community may be less than the R.I. social gathering limit, and are outlined by Residence Life and Housing for each residence hall.
Classes are not considered social gatherings, and the R.I. social-gathering limit of 15 people does not apply in classrooms.
- Learning: RWU students, faculty and staff can access the University Library by swiping an ID to enter. The library has reduced its hours slightly, and staffing temporarily. At the front entrance, please enter in single file, to be more accurately tested by the thermal scanner. The number of public computers has been reduced to in order to maintain social distance requirements.
- Athletics & Fitness: RWU Athletics’ two videos explain the health and safety protocols in place in the Fitness Center and athletic training areas. Be sure to check them out!
Fitness Center Health and Safety Protocols
Athletic Training Health and Safety Protocols
Aug. 20, 2020 Updates
- Health & Safety Protocols: RWU's Mask Policy has been updated, related to acceptable and effective masks on and off campus, and proper mask wearing.
- Testing: To date, we have had one positive case and 2,880 negative results. For the latest testing information and and results, check out our Data Hub.
- Testing: The RWU community is receiving emails about setting up regular weekly COVID-19 testing appointments. The 3-step process to register for weekly testing allows everyone to select a preferred day and 15-minute window for testing. When doing so, it’s important to check off each individual testing appointment every week through November. The email includes video instructions to answer any testing registration questions.
- Testing Q&A: Anyone testing positive will receive a call from RWU Heath Services staff during business hours to go over next steps. Anyone receiving a positive result is advised to contact their primary care physician.
- Screen, Test & Trace: To support daily self-monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms, everyone in the RWU community will receive a daily morning email asking us to complete a daily screening form, a personal prompt to assess and report any COVID-19 symptoms or recent activities that might have exposed us to the virus.
- Athletics & Fitness: The Fitness Center, which reopened yesterday, will be open for one-hour workout slots, then closed for 30 minutes of cleaning. Access to the Fitness Center is by reservation only: Walk-ins will not be allowed. The maximum number of people in the Fitness Center per one-hour workout slot is 25. Learn more in Fitness Center FAQs.
- Learning: The Tutoring Center will provide tutoring through online platforms for the Fall 2020 semester. In order to make tutoring accessible to all students, all undergraduate students have been placed in a free course called “RWU Online Tutoring Fall 20”. This course will not be part of students' academic record.
- Learning: Students should be visiting Bridges for information on their courses and welcome messages from their faculty. Continue to check Roger Central for updated information on class meeting times and where classes will meet.
- COVID-19 Student Community Pledge: Students are asked to print, sign and return this updated version of Roger's Compact Student Community Pledge.
- Living: As students return to campus, have you been wondering about the details of Move-In? The process, created with health and safety in mind, is online.
- FAQs: Do you have a question about how the University is responding to COVID-19? Someone else may have asked it. Please take a look through these frequently asked questions.
- Working: A link for COVID-19-related training for all employees, including student employees, is now available here.
Aug. 13, 2020 Updates
- Testing: With two weeks of testing completed through our Broad Institute partnership, 812 employees, law students and resident assistants have been tested and received results: 765 negative results, 0 positive results, and 47 did not process and need to be retested.
- Testing: Positive results will be communicated via phone call from RWU Health Services. Negative results will be communicated via email CareEvolve@LKNotification.com – check your inbox and junk folders for these emails. You must register an account with CareEvolve to receive your results. Results will be available at or under a 24-hour turnaround period.
- Testing: See a new Q&A on all things related to the University's testing partnership with Broad Institute.
- Learning: Bridges will serve as the primary space for welcome messages from your faculty and updates on courses throughout the semester. Students can begin checking their courses now via Bridges for information on class format and how the classroom has been reconfigured for public health protocols and outfitted with new technology.
Aug. 6, 2020 Updates
- Testing (revised 8/7/2020): This week, RWU began pilot testing with a small group of campus community members with our Broad Institute testing partnership. 466 employees and law students in the first testing cohort have been tested and received results: 443 negative results, 0 Positive results, and 23 did not process and need to be retested.
The testing results have been at or under a 24-hour turnaround time these two days.
Next week, we continue testing with 750 employees as well as resident assistants, students arriving during move-in, and then commence full operations for regular testing of faculty, staff, and students beginning the week of Aug. 17.
- Testing: RWU will share our testing results through an interactive dashboard that will be available for viewing soon on Reopening Roger.
- Testing: Wondering what to expect with the testing process? Check out this video explaining the easy procedure:
July 30, 2020 Updates
- Testing: As part of our return-to-work testing, RWU will begin a phased start to our partnership with the Broad Institute. Nearly 475 employees have been notified by University vice presidents and the provost that they will be the first group tested for COVID on Aug. 4 and 5 during this pilot week. Then, 750 employees will be tested the week of Aug. 10, and then we move toward full operations of faculty, staff, and student regular testing beginning the week of Aug. 17 and beyond.
- Working: The Fall Faculty Conference will be held on Aug. 25. This year, the day will be largely unstructured to give faculty time to prepare for the start of classes and to become familiarized with classrooms and technology. More details to be shared soon.
- Living: Returning student move-in will begin Aug. 21 and span a 5-day period; new student move-in remains as scheduled, beginning Aug. 16 and spanning four days.
- Learning: The School of Law will welcome new students virtually this year through online orientation programs beginning Aug. 3. Law school classes begin on Aug. 17, with classes delivered in person, online and in hybrid format.
- Learning: An expandable section, 'How to View Class Formats,' describes how to find out whether a specific course is taught online or in person, and on which campus.
- Dining: The outdoor dining tent has been installed on the SAAHP Quad, with 200 seats underneath and 48 seats outside the tent for students (only). Serving lunch and dinner, beginning Aug. 26, students may use their meal pass at a food court under the tent as well as bring takeout food from Lower and Upper Commons. The tent is also equipped with a stage and sound system for student entertainment and meetings.
July 23, 2020 Updates
- Athletics and Fitness: RWU Department of Athletics announced July 17 that Commonwealth Coast Conference competition will be suspended for the Fall 2020 season.
- Dining: With indoor dining prioritized for our students, employees will be able to use a mobile-takeout service from Lower Commons and the Bistro in the School of Law.
- Working: RWU has updated its Coronavirus Emergency Sick Leave Policy.
- Screening: RWU is finalizing the design of a simple, online daily screening survey for use by faculty, staff, students and visitors to campus. This daily screening check will help you make decisions about coming to work or attending classes, and guide you on current advisories based on your self-reported symptoms.
- Testing: Our return-to-work COVID testing program will being the weeks of August 3 and August 10. Faculty and staff phasing back to work these weeks will receive a date and time to be tested, as we familiarize ourselves with the Broad Institute testing process.
- Learning: Class meeting times have been adjusted to allow for additional cleaning time in between classes.
- Learning: All classrooms have been reconfigured for social distancing and capacity guidelines; equipped with cleaning stations; and outfitted with new technology to enable in-person and remote instruction.
- Living: Residence Life and Housing has completed the move-in sign-up process and is finalizing all student housing assignments this week.
Reopening Roger | Covid-19 Pledge | Health & Safety Protocols | Screen, Test and Trace | Learning | Working | Dining | Living | Athletics and Fitness | Meetings and Events | Shuttle Service | FAQ | Report Noncompliance | Updates