Please review the “What you need to know” section below for Spring 2023 protocols.

Latest updates

On-Campus PCR Testing Discontinued after February 15: RISD will discontinue onsite PCR testing for Spring 2023, due to continued and consistent low usage numbers. Students will still be able to request PCR testing via appointments with Health Services.

More info

February 6, 2023

COVID and Flu Vaccination Clinic: RISD is hosting a vaccination clinic next Wednesday, January 25, from 9–5 pm at Thompson House. The clinic is voluntary and open to students, faculty, and staff. It will include the new bivalent COVID-19 booster and the seasonal flu vaccine. Your insurance information will be requested. Pre-registration is encouraged, but not required.

January 18, 2023

Updated Wintersession Protocol: Rhode Island’s COVID-19 community transmission status has recently changed to high. As a result, we are adjusting our protocols and prioritizing the health and safety of our community accordingly.

Until further notice, RISD strongly recommends wearing a high-quality, well-fitting mask for all indoor settings and for RISD-sponsored events to help protect against COVID-19. If needed, medical-grade masks are available for free at RISD Public Safety offices at 30 Waterman Street, 15 West and at Thompson House.

Students and faculty are reminded that this recommendation applies to classrooms—including open floor plan studio or home spaces—as well as common spaces in dorms (i.e. in the lounge and in workrooms).

Please also take advantage of free, on-campus PCR testing at Thompson House. Pre-registration is encouraged to ensure space is available.

January 4, 2023

Free COVID-19 antigen tests: In anticipation of increased travel and gatherings for the Thanksgiving holiday, two free COVID-19 rapid antigen tests are available for any member of the RISD community. There is no testing requirement; this is an entirely voluntary program.

Tests are available at the RISD Mailroom during normal business hours and at Public Safety 24/7.

November 17, 2022

What you need to know

icon of needle and vaccine


  • Vaccination—including booster—is required for students, highly encouraged for employees.
  • The majority of the RISD community are vaccinated and boosted.
  • Guests are not required to show proof of vaccination when visiting campus.

Isolation and Precautions

  • UPDATE (January 2023): Mask wearing is strongly encouraged indoors and at RISD-sponsored events.

  • Physical distancing is no longer required.
  • Individuals who test positive with a PCR test or antigen test must isolate for five (5) days (per CDC). Click here to learn more about testing positive and isolation protocols.
  • Close contacts who are asymptomatic do not need to isolate (per CDC).
  • There are no limits on the number of people attending campus events.


  • Open PCR testing is available Mondays (9am–1pm) and Wednesdays (2–6pm) at Thompson House. Pre-registration is encouraged to ensure space is available.
  • RISD Community members are encouraged to monitor on their own with antigen tests that are available through the federal government program or from your local pharmacy. RISD has a limited amount of antigen tests available for students who need them.
  • If you are a student and are experiencing COVID-like symptoms, please contact Student Health Services to determine what type of visit or testing is recommended.


Contingency Planning

While we hope that the measures outlined will mitigate any widespread outbreak of COVID-19, we are prepared for various scenarios in which an outbreak might occur and have planned how we should respond, including circumstances that might warrant moving to remote learning.

Public health triggers and scenario planning

RISD will monitor infection levels in Rhode Island and the surrounding area. As part of this oversight we will pay attention to hospitalization levels, conditions on neighboring campuses and availability of resources. In case of an outbreak on campus (10+ cases in one week) RISD may need to tighten restrictions on a temporary basis to assess an imminent threat to public health. This may include:
  • increasing surveillance testing.
  • limiting gatherings and student activities.
  • moving to remote learning for a specific length of time.
In-depth information