Updates

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 regularly, linking to relevant sections so you can easily stay current as the University's plan evolves.

Last Updated: 1/6/2022 

Jan. 6, 2022 Updates

To the RWU Community:

Happy New Year! Winter Session, University College and School of Law are underway and over the weeks ahead, all university members will continue returning to our campuses. We have been closely monitoring the status of Covid-19 around us and using this time to review and enhance our safety protocols, as recommended by our Covid steering and operations committees. The surge of cases and prevalence of the Omicron variant requires that we strengthen our collective commitment to the measures we have utilized so successfully throughout the pandemic to protect the well-being of our RWU family and guide us through these next few months, especially as our 6,000-plus community members return to our campuses.

This communication shares important new information and details the safety measures we will have in place for a successful start to the Spring 2022 semester, including key information about testing requirements before returning to our campuses, clearance testing, move-in process, and beginning the first week with virtual classes.  

Residential and off-campus students should return to campus as scheduled for clearance testing

All classes will be held virtually for the week of January 24 through January 28. With our university community returning from locations across the country and during a period of higher travel volume and Covid infection, RWU is adding the precautionary step of holding the first week of classes virtually as we test and monitor for the presence of the virus among our campuses. This will allow us to ensure everyone has received at least two or three negative tests in the first weeks. Then we will have the information and confidence to begin in-person classes and allow for socialization – while still keeping a 6-foot distance, wearing masks at all times, and washing your hands frequently. Professors will reach out with information about accessing courses virtually for the first week. 

It is very important that residential and off-campus students return to campus as scheduled (do not stay home) so that once the clearance testing and first week of regular testing of all students and employees has been completed, we can begin in-person instruction. As we go through this clearance testing period, RWU is again implementing a quiet time on campus – and requesting that off-campus students and employees do the same in their homes – that enabled us to get started off on the right foot last spring semester. During this quiet time on campus and within your homes, we urge all university members to limit your interactions, increase masking and not gather in common areas or public spaces to protect yourself and each other from potential exposure. No outside guests will be allowed on campus during this time period.  

Student Testing Requirement Prior to Campus Return 

All students are required to test negative for Covid-19 within 72 hours (with a PCR test) or within 48 hours (with a supervised rapid antigen test) before your first day returning to the Bristol and  Providence campuses, preferably with a PCR or supervised rapid test with a printed result. Alternatively, an at-home rapid test taken on the day of departure is acceptable, provided students take a photo of the negative test result and using a pen, write their name, date of birth, and date the test was taken on the test card; you must have that photo viewable on a mobile device when you arrive at campus for check-in. A negative test result must be presented during the required student check-in process outlined below.   

Please note: Pre-arrival testing is critical because any student who lives within driving distance of campus and tests positive during arrival clearance testing will be sent home to isolate (exceptions will be made for international or students who traveled to campus by plane or train). 

This pre-arrival testing requirement applies to commuters, off-campus students, graduate students, as well as residential students.  

Employee Clearance Testing

RWU is urging all employees who are able to work remotely to continue doing so, with supervisory approval, during the week of Jan. 10. Please consult with your manager or supervisor accordingly as to this possibility. All employees are required to obtain a clearance test prior to returning to work on campus. Those employees who have been working on campus and who have continued in the university testing program during winter break are exempt from the offsite clearance test requirement. 

For employees able and authorized to work remotely during the week of Jan. 10, you are strongly encouraged to schedule an off-site test now to be conducted during your remote-work week and schedule an offsite test. In Rhode Island you can visit https://covid.ri.gov/testing to see all RI state testing locations and links to schedule appointments at area pharmacies as well. Note: Please schedule your test as soon as possible, approximately one week in advance as appointments fill quickly. Alternatively, employees can take their clearance test during testing center hours for pooled testing over the next two weeks if off-site testing is not an option for you at the following hours: 

  • Monday, Jan. 10 to Thursday, Jan 13, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • Tuesday, Jan 18 to Thursday, Jan 20, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

As always, please report and share any positive result from off-campus testing immediately to human_resources@rwu.edu

Student Semester Check-in and Clearance Testing 

All undergraduate and graduate students will be required to participate in check-in and clearance (rapid) testing between January 21 – 24. This must be completed during the required check-in process and will be held in the Campus Recreation Center Fieldhouse. Students will not be allowed to move into residence halls or access any campus facilities, including classrooms, without evidence of a pre-arrival negative test AND a negative clearance test upon arrival on campus. 

More information about signing up for check-in and move-in times will be communicated from Student Life via Residence Life & Housing in a separate email. 

If You Tested Positive Over Winter Break 

University members who tested positive for Covid-19 during winter break are asked to submit that information to RWU. Students should submit the test results to health@rwu.edu.  Employees should submit test results to human_resources@rwu.edu

Although the CDC has recently changed its isolation period recommendations, RWU is taking a more careful approach by requiring Covid-positive individuals to isolate for 8 days. Individuals who test positive must complete the 8-day isolation followed by diligent masking in the presence of others. The 8-day isolation period, as well as any quarantine implications for vaccinated and unvaccinated close contacts, will be reviewed and adjusted by our Covid committees as necessary before and during the semester. 

Booster Guidance 

As we communicated in the Dec. 21 email, RWU is requiring Covid boosters for employees by Feb. 1 and for students by March 1. If you have not yet gotten your booster and are eligible, please do so immediately. Do not wait until the deadline. Individuals are eligible for a booster shot 2 months after receiving the J&J vaccine, 5 months after a Pfizer sequence, and 6 months after a Moderna sequence. 

Students: Submit your booster information via Health Services Student Portal, using these instructions. Employees: Email a copy or photo of your vaccination card to human_resources@rwu.edu. 

If you have recently tested positive for COVID-19, this may affect your ability to schedule your booster dose. Contact your doctor or ask a pharmacist for a recommendation on when you will be eligible.  

Regular Semester Testing  

Regular semester testing will begin the week of Jan. 24. Every person who is learning and working on our campuses is required to receive regular Covid testing at one of our campuses. We are continuing with our testing requirements as follows: 

  • Fully vaccinated students and employees will be required to test once per week.  
  • Students and employees with vaccine exemptions or are not fully vaccinated will be required to test twice per week.  
  • Additional testing requirements for in-season student athletes, as necessary, will be communicated by the Athletic Director.  

Bristol campus members must sign up for their first regular testing day(s) and time(s), starting with the week of Jan. 24. Providence campus members are not required to schedule a testing time but are expected to follow the same testing guidelines that are outlined above. 

Details and logistics for testing signup will be sent in a message next week. 

For testing center hours of operation, visit our Testing page. 

Masking  

We will continue to require indoor masking for all students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors regardless of vaccination status. Individuals may choose to remove masks when you are in an enclosed individual office, in your residence hall room, or when eating and drinking. 

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.   

Zoom Sessions for More Information 

Join us at one of the Zoom sessions below for more information and to ask questions about the spring semester. 

Faculty and Staff: Jan. 11 at noon 
https://rwu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_FZLMHmzLQ-qYG61QZSjE8g 

Students: Jan. 11 at 5 p.m.
https://rwu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_f2NgZXrHRiiVsGNR4IAcyQ 

Parents and Families: Jan. 11 at 6:30 p.m.
https://rwu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_3t1arQH2Sdm6_cTL8nmPHA 

If you have any questions, please email covid19@rwu.edu

Our adaptive public health measures during the pandemic have provided us with a strong foundation to start and to finish each semester with health and safety at the forefront, while being together for an enriching, in-person education and work environment. We've proven that once we start a semester, our university Covid rate has stayed well under the communities around us. We can and will do it again. We'll assess these measures and ease them as we get past the projected height of Omicron, and then return to our normal semester activities. 

Sincerely,  

John J. King, RWU Vice President – Student Life

Brian Williams, RWU Chief of Staff

With the conclusion of another successful semester, we are already planning for a fully in-person Spring 2022 semester and will be continuing the Covid-19 safety protocols that have worked so well for us: having a highly vaccinated community, regular testing, and masking indoors. RWU is committed to providing an excellent educational and student experience, as we continue to navigate the pandemic with health and safety at the forefront of these spring semester updates we provide below. 

Covid-19 Booster Requirement 

RWU had an exceptional community vaccination rate for the fall semester, which was a key factor in enabling a very low weekly positivity rate in our university testing program that kept us well under 1 percent throughout the semester. Having our students, faculty and staff remain current with their vaccination levels and getting their next doses as soon as they are eligible, will maintain our high levels of health and protection for the spring semester at a time when transmission of the omicron variant is increasing across the country and globe.  

Therefore, 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. 

Covid Testing 

Campus testing is operating on a limited basis on our campuses over the next month, before resuming full testing operations for the spring semester. Anyone needing a Covid-19 test should schedule a test through a state testing location (https://covid.ri.gov/testing for R.I. locations) or other testing sites, such as urgent care centers, CVS or Walgreens, or consider at-home testing kits if available. 

Bristol Campus Testing: The Bristol campus Testing Center is closed until January 9. The testing center will reopen Monday, January 10, in the Campus Recreation Center Conference Room (second floor) with the following days and hours: 

  • Monday, Jan. 10 to Thursday, Jan 13, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • Tuesday, Jan 18 to Thursday, Jan 20, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

For those who are working on the Bristol campus over winter break, you are expected to test once per week if vaccinated, twice per week for those with an approved exemption on file. 

Providence Campus Testing: The Providence campus testing center will have limited operations over the next few weeks. Testing will be held on the second floor and signup is not required: 

  • Tuesday, Jan. 4, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.  
  • Regular testing hours for the Spring 2022 semester will resume on January 11 and continue going forward as follows:  
    • Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. 
    • Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.  

Clearance Testing 

Employees returning to work in January should participate in clearance testing on the first available date at one of our testing centers on either campus. Please take extra precautions, including physical distancing measures, until you receive your results. 

All students (commuters, off-campus, residential) scheduled to attend in-person classes on the Bristol campus must participate in pre-arrival and arrival clearance testing. Students will be emailed specific requirements and sign-up links for the spring semester check-in and testing process (occurring January 21-23) on January 10.   

For Providence campus employees and students, clearance testing procedures will be communicated by Dean Gena Bianco prior to the start of classes.  

School of Law employees and students will be sent a separate communication regarding clearance and opening testing procedures for the law school’s start of their semester. 

Throughout January, RWU will continue to communicate updates and more detailed guidance related to vaccination clinics and Covid-19 safety protocols for spring semester. We also will hold zoom information sessions about what to expect for our Covid-related semester operations. 

Please continue to make smart choices and celebrate throughout the coming holiday season safely. Avoid large gatherings and use caution when traveling. We want you and your loved ones to stay safe and healthy, and we want you to return to Roger Williams healthy, Covid-free, and ready for a great 2022 spring semester.  

If you have any questions about these protocols, please email covid19@rwu.edu

Go, Hawks! 

With results in from three days of testing this week compared to last week, we have realized a significant drop in the number and proportion of students in University housing testing positive. However, we are experiencing a noticeable increase in the number of students who live off-campus testing positive this week.  Within the 13 undergraduate positive cases over the past two days of testing (Tuesday, Wednesday) all but one lives in off-campus housing or commutes to campus.

As we approach the last day of classes tomorrow and the start of final exams Monday, it is very important that off-campus students refrain from hosting social gatherings indoors.

Testing remains required through final exams and the University is strongly encouraging all students to take advantage of rapid tests next week prior to returning home or traveling. The Testing Center will operate on the following schedule:

  • Monday through Wednesday, 11 am to 5 pm
  • Thursday, 11 am to 3 pm
  • Friday: Closed

In-person dining in the Dining Commons and Baypoint will resume tomorrow morning (Friday, December 9th) starting with breakfast and continue through the final exam period unless there is a significant increase in campus cases counts, especially within the residential student population.  Required masking in the Fitness Center, regardless of vaccination status, will continue through the final exam period.

Tomorrow evening between 5:00 – 8:30 in the Dining Commons and at Baypoint, RWU Dining will feature a menu consisting of “breakfast for dinner” as students begin reading days in advance of final exams on Monday.  Students may use a meal swipe or pay at the door.

Due to contract and availability issues with the food trucks originally planned for Friday evening on campus, IRHA has decided to sponsor food trucks connected to another program in January.

Information pertaining to spring semester pre-arrival testing, on campus clearance testing, vaccine boosters and check-in signups for January 21 – 23 will be communicated next week.

Not surprisingly, this week our campus is experiencing an uptick in Covid cases as we return from Thanksgiving break.  After reviewing three days of test results and confirmatory testing (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) we have resulted 14 positive individuals from 13 positive pools with additional confirmation testing occurring tomorrow.  In addition, several members of the RWU community reported outside positive test results to Health Services on Sunday and Monday – most of them testing in their home communities.  The majority of the positive cases are among undergraduate students on the Bristol campus experiencing mild symptoms or no symptoms.

As the only college or university in Rhode Island still investing in testing our community members at least once a week, we have an advantage when our campus testing compliance is high – such as this week – because we have a sense of true positivity that isn’t limited to symptomatic, voluntary or occasional testing.

The number of positive cases this week doesn’t indicate an outbreak. It is the result of almost five thousand students, faculty and staff members being away from campus for a prolonged period and interacting with many different people in a region and state currently experiencing high community spread. 

We are confident that students are committed to finishing the semester in-person and with full activities. RWU is committed to that outcome and to contain and mitigate spread, the University will implement the following interim adjustments to our Covid policies:

  • Beginning 12/3, there will be only take-out dining in the Commons, at Baypoint, and at Global Heritage Hall (the atrium will still be available for study, but not for eating). For Law students, the Bistro will be open with the following changes:
     
    • No groups will be permitted at tables in the Bistro. 6’ distancing should be maintained at all times and especially when eating/drinking.
       
    • Seating and dining capacity will be reduced to promote social distancing. Masks must be worn at all times when not actively eating or drinking.
       
  • Indoor masking will continue for the remainder of the semester, including now being required at all times in the Fitness Center regardless of vaccination status.
     
  • No Guests will be allowed in residence halls after noon on Monday, Dec 6. 
     
  • All community members must continue testing once a week (for fully vaccinated individuals) OR twice a week (non-vaccinated students with approved exemptions).
     
  • Indoor masking, with the exception of residence halls for vaccinated individuals – is essential and effective. Please note that employees must continue to mask inside residence halls, regardless of vaccination status.
     
  • Students should not go to the Testing Center if experiencing Covid or Flu like symptoms. Students should call Health Services for testing.

Congratulations! Through the combination of high vaccination rates, masking in classrooms, and strong participation in regular weekly testing, the RWU community has achieved a remarkable feat by maintaining a campus Covid positivity rate far below 1% (0.29) to this point in the semester. 

All RWU community members are expected to continue testing: Once a week for fully vaccinated individuals, or twice a week  for non-vaccinated students with approved exemptions.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GODon’t bring Covid home! Before heading off to visit with family and friends over the Thanksgiving break, all community members should test at least once in the Testing Center: 

As we approach Thanksgiving vacation and with so many traveling to see friends and relatives, please prioritize your Covid Testing Plan before leaving campus. In order to provide same day results before travel, on Sunday and Monday, we will be utilizing Rapid Tests with a 20 minute resulting period.

Note: The Bristol Testing Center will be closed Tuesday, Nov. 23. Please test before that date.

  • Sunday, November 21: 5 pm to 8 pm (Rapid Tests Only, Sunday added for Thanksgiving break only)
  • Monday, November 22: 10 am to 5 pm (Rapid Tests Only, extra morning hour added)

Return from Thanksgiving & Rest of Semester Testing Expectations

All students, faculty and staff are required to participate in pooled PCR Covid testing between Monday, November 29 and Wednesday, December 1 from 11 am to 5 pm in the Testing Center.

The University and RI DOH recommends all community members, especially those not vaccinated, to obtain a negative Covid Rapid Test result before returning to campus.

Non-vaccinated individuals will return to twice a week testing for remainder of semester.

Vaccinated individuals will return to once a week testing for the remainder of semester.

Week OfType of TestTesting Center Schedule
Dec. 6Pooled PCR

Mon-Thurs: 11 am to 5 pm

Dec. 13Rapid Test

Mon-Wed: 11 am to 5 pm; Thurs: 11 am to 3 pm

The Testing Center will close for the semester at 3 pm on Thursday, December 16th.  Information about January testing and Spring semester return and clearance testing requirements will communicated around Final Exams.  As always, questions can be directed to Covid19@rwu.edu

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Brian Williams                                                                    John King                                            

Chief of Staff                                                                      Vice President for Student Life

bwilliams@rwu.edu                                                            jjking@rwu.edu

Last week the Reopening Roger Steering Committee, comprised of students, faculty and staff, met twice to review our current Covid-19 situation on campus, locally and regionally. The President’s Cabinet spent most of our meeting yesterday discussing the recommendations of the Steering Committee, presented by Provost Margaret Everett and Vice President John King.

As a community, we have continued to improve our vaccination rates and are near 96% for students and 98% for employees in Bristol and Providence! Our comprehensive arrival clearance testing and weekly on-campus testing results were a very encouraging start to the semester. As of the end of last week, a total of 12,850 testing samples have been collected this semester in our on campus testing program; resulting in 10 students, 1 staff member and 0 faculty positive cases. We continue to utilize rapid tests for all students presenting with symptoms to Health Services on the Bristol campus and follow up any negative rapid result with quarantine until a negative PCR test is resulted. As a community, we are grateful for the incredible work of our employees involved in testing administration, contact tracing, quarantine and isolation across the University, and our health services staff.

Regionally, the Covid situation has not improved since we started classes last month. Rhode Island is experiencing strong community spread and for the past month has been among the top 5 U.S. states with the highest case counts per 100K population. While Rhode Island is currently testing more than any other state and is in the top 5 for vaccination rates, there remains cause for concern and the need for every member of our community to practice prevention – especially when off-campus, in indoor venues, or at crowded outdoor events.

RWU Indoor Masking Policy

After careful consideration of this policy by the Steering Committee and Cabinet, and further consultation with the Rhode Island Department of Health, the University will continue with indoor masking for all community members for the remainder of the semester. 

Note: Two exceptions to the policy are that masking will no longer be required for fully vaccinated students when within university housing facilities and any fully vaccinated individuals utilizing the fitness center; both of these exceptions are effective today. These changes are subject to change by the university.

The Cabinet believes that indoor masking as outlined above is the safest and most responsible path forward to ensure a full semester of in-person teaching, learning and co-curricular life. It is important to note that indoor masking in non-residential facilities remains the norm at all the other higher education institutions in Rhode Island. In addition, it is important for every member of the community to wear their masks properly, to not to eat in the classroom during class, and to not wear single-layer masks, gaiter-style masks, or masks with vents – all are prohibited on campus.

Indoor masking has proven effective when masks are worn properly, is considered a best practice for preventing transmission when regional community spread exists, and it is helping RWU keep its positivity rate low. It also helps protect those we interact with at home from infection, as well as those who are immunocompromised, regardless of vaccination status.

Compliance with University Testing Program, and Off-Campus Testing

There are two issues we wish to highlight for the campus community regarding testing. 

First, we must improve our testing participation across all students but especially among off-campus students and commuters. Until we reach higher levels of compliance, the University will have to continue stronger safety measures.

With this in mind, the University will allow guest visitation privileges in residence areas once that community reaches an 85% testing compliance rate. Currently, none of our residence areas are at this level. Each area will receive updates weekly regarding their testing participation rate. Additionally, testing participation at the individual level will be used to determine eligibility to attend senior and other student events, participation in club or intramural sports, and access to the Fitness Center. Students who repeatedly fail to be Covid-tested – full-time undergraduates who are fully vaccinated test once per week and exemption-approved students test twice per week – will face interim or full suspension. This will take students out of class as an unexcused absence, and deny access to activities and campus facilities.

We also want to address off-campus testing. Several students, faculty and staff have taken the initiative, particularly on weekends when campus testing isn’t available, to be proactive when they may have Covid-like symptoms and seek Covid testing off-campus. This is to be applauded and is helpful to all of us. However, it is important for students to immediately report positive results from any off-campus testing to studentlife@rwu.edu so that staff can respond with guidance.

In Conclusion

We are making all of our decisions with the safety and health of our campus community in mind. We are empathetic to the fact that the Delta variant has required us to adapt our original operating plans for the fall. The Reopening Roger Steering Committee will continue to meet regularly this semester and monitor the effectiveness of our protocols. 

We appreciate that students need the mental and physical break to be able to take off their masks within their residence areas and the fitness center, and we are trusting you to do this safely, only if fully vaccinated and never when experiencing symptoms. If we all keep making smart choices for ourselves and for our campus community, we will continue to have a great year together. 

For questions, please contact us through covid19@rwu.edu.

Keep up the great work, Hawks!

Sincerely,
Yannis

This communication provides a revision to our fall COVID protocols shared in our July 15 campus communication in light of new regional trends with the Delta variant, as recommended by our Reopening Roger steering committee this week. 

Through the rest of August, we will welcome our students, faculty and staff back to campus and return to full operations and in-person experiences. We already have taken the ambitious step to be one of the most vaccinated communities in Rhode Island so that we can safely expand in-person learning and activities.I’m proud to say we are trending towards a 90% or greater community vaccination rate (with faculty and staff at a 97% vaccination rate). Our high vaccination rate is important as research and hospital data continue to confirm that fully vaccinated individuals are highly protected from serious illness and hospitalization and also less likely to become infected which will assist both of our campuses and the local community in the effort to reach herd immunity. 

We will implement the following safety protocols for the first three weeks of the semester and then reassess these protocols the week of September 15. Our internal university testing data from this clearance period, along with assessing the Covid cases in our surrounding communities and the state, will help us to determine whether to revise our testing frequency or masking policies at that time. 

Masking 

Beginning Monday, August 16, we will require indoor masking for all students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors regardless of vaccination status. Individuals may choose to remove masks when you are in an enclosed individual office, in your residence hall room, or when eating and drinking.

Per Centers for Disease Control and Rhode Island Department of Health guidance, masks outdoors are optional and not required for fully vaccinated individuals. However, those with vaccination exemptions will be required to wear masks outdoors unless you are able to maintain more than three feet of space from others. 

As a reminder, campus members with vaccination exemptions must always wear masks indoors, in classrooms, all campus buildings, dining areas, fitness center and common spaces, and especially when around others. 

Testing 

Regular surveillance testing will continue to be a critical measure for us to monitor for the presence of virus on our campus and allow us to act quickly to isolate any positive individuals from the community. This is proving to be essential for the Delta variant, which can be present among vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals. 

Clearance Testing 

All campus members must rapid-test when you return to campus for work or learning.  

Employees returning to campus work must receive a clearance test from now through Aug. 30. Faculty and staff who have been participating in our summer testing program may continue with their regular testing schedule and do not need to report for an additional clearance test. 

Clearance testing for employees will be held at the following locations and dates on the Bristol campus:  

Building #23 (the former English Language School Building, at the rear of the Recreation Center):  

Monday, Aug. 16 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

Tuesday, Aug. 17 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.  

Wednesday, Aug. 18 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

Monday, Aug. 23 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

Tuesday, Aug. 24 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.  

Wednesday, Aug. 25 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Global Heritage Hall Atrium

Monday, Aug. 30 from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
 

Residential students will receive a rapid test on their move-in day. This must be completed during the required check-in process you register for and will be held in Global Heritage Hall. Students will not be able to attend classes, move into residence halls, or enter campus facilities without this clearance test.  

  • Fully vaccinated residential students will be required to test once per week from their move-in date until further notice. 
  • Residential students with vaccine exemptions will be required to test twice per week from their move-in date until further notice. 
  • All students with vaccine exemptions are required to come to the campus check-in process with a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of arrival. 

Providence Campus testing will be held on the second floor and the hours will be Tuesdays, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., and Wednesdays, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.; testing signup is not required. You may come at any time for your weekly test during Providence testing hours.  

All other students, including commuters, off-campus students, graduate students and law students, must sign up for and receive a clearance test prior to the first day of classes. Keep an eye on your email for a communication regarding the check-in process required of all students coming soon. 

Regular Semester Testing 

Regular semester testing will begin the week of Aug. 30. Every person who is learning and working on our campuses will be required to receive regular COVID testing. Bristol campus members must sign up for their first regular testing day(s) and time(s), starting with this week. 

  • Fully vaccinated individuals will test once per week. 
  • Those with vaccine exemptions will test twice per week. 
  • Additional testing requirements for student athletes in season, if determined necessary, will be communicated by the Athletic Director. 

Regular semester testing will begin on Aug. 30 and will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Thursday, for the rest of the semester. 

On Aug. 30, those who sign up for Monday regular testing will report to the GHH Atrium for that day only. 

Beginning, Aug. 31, testing will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Thursday, in the Recreation Center Conference Room, located on the second floor. 

Testing Sign Up 

Testing signup for the week of August 30 is now enabled in the Project Beacon testing web platform. You will log in to Beacon (app.beacontesting.com) to sign up: 1) Simply click on the black “Schedule Test” button 2) Select “RWU Surveillance Testing” and select a “Testing Site” and 3) Pick an available 20-minute appointment block for that week. Note: The day/time you select for the week of August 30 will be your scheduled testing time for the full semester.  

It is important that you register your Beacon account and sign the consent form on the platform before you show up for campus testing. This platform will be in use throughout fall semester and is the place where you can review your testing results. All community members will receive a registration email from support@beacontesting.com – this is not a spam or phishing message. A link in the email will bring you to their website, where you will digitally agree to the testing consent form and schedule your tests.  

The university will continue to communicate any changes in the frequency of testing required of individuals throughout the semester. Be sure to check your RWU email regularly.

Isolation and Quarantine Procedures 

Like last year, the university will provide isolation and quarantine spaces in Baypoint for residential students. Any student testing positive, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to isolate. Close contacts of positive students who are not vaccinated will be required to enter quarantine. Close contacts of positive students who are vaccinated will at this time not be assigned to quarantine, but must self-monitor for symptoms and test an additional time each week for two weeks.   

It is critical that every community member cooperate with contact tracers and provide accurate information. Additional information about Q&I protocols and procedures will be communicated prior to the start of classes. 

#MakeSmartChoices 

Even though the pandemic remains with us at a new level many had not anticipated due to the Delta variant, our community has a spirit that allows us to come together during challenging times – and we will do it again this year! It is the choices we each make to prioritize our safety and well-being that results in our continued success. We all have a shared responsibility to help reduce community spread and to protect each other. 

I ask you all to make smart choices in these weeks leading up to move-in or return to work by limiting your exposure to large crowds and indoor settings unless masked. There is 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 community testing data tells us. 

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.  

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 welcome our new community members and have you all back for a terrific academic year. 

We will host two different zoom sessions for students next week to address your specific questions about the Bristol campus student experience. Check your email for the invitation links: 

  • Returning students on Tuesday, August 17 at 5:30 p.m.  
  • New first-time students on Thursday, August 19 at 5:00 p.m.  

For all other questions, please contact us through covid19@rwu.edu.

Sincerely,
Yannis