Frequently Asked Questions

We want you to have all the tools you need to weather this crisis calmly and stay in the best possible health.

Table of Contents

RISD Vaccination Protocol

For students, RISD requires COVID-19 vaccination in addition to the current required vaccinations. For employees, RISD strongly encourages vaccination but does not require it. RISD requires employee vaccination disclosure (letting the institution know whether you’ve been vaccinated).

Vaccination rates are publicly available on the RISD COVID-19 dashboard.

RISD’s primary condition for lifting various COVID protocols, such as physical distancing, is to have a highly vaccinated population, defined as at least 80 percent of the on-campus community. RISD’s approach of mandating the vaccine for all students, but only mandating disclosure for all employees, has yielded a vaccination rate well in excess of 80%. The process required the submission of detailed documentation from both students and employees, so RISD has a high degree of confidence that the underlying data is reliable.

Vaccination rates are publicly available on the RISD COVID-19 dashboard.

No. All students are required to be vaccinated in order to attend RISD for fall 2021 except those granted approval for exemptions due to medical or religious reasons.

You may request an exemption based on medical or religious reasons. The form can be found on the Health Services portal.

You have two other options as well—you can request to attend your classes virtually (online) if your academic departments permit this, or you can request a leave of absence/deferral for one academic year and start/return Fall 2022.

RISD has privacy and security language in its policies that explain how RISD handles the information it collects, how it is used, and RISD’s security measures (including the relevant laws). RISD is using the data to identify who is vaccinated, and reporting to the community (and RIDoH) in the aggregate (anonymized) so that RISD can make plans for a safe learning and working environment for Fall 2021. RISD is collecting the data through Medicat (students) and Workday (employees) portals, which are highly secure systems created to collect and house sensitive information.

Yes. Additional health and safety protocol will be required for the following individuals:

  • Unvaccinated employees
  • Undisclosed employees
  • Students with an approved exemption

The additional protocol includes required weekly testing to maintain access to campus through an active ID card. 

According to the CDC, the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. Studies show that fully vaccinated people are less likely to spread the virus to others, even if they do get COVID-19. At more than 85 percent community vaccination, RISD is a highly vaccinated environment, so the risk of transmission is significantly reduced,  and the risk of serious illness is low. 

There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause female or male fertility problems. The CDC does not recommend routine pregnancy testing before the COVID-19 vaccination. 

Health and Safety

RISD’s population is highly vaccinated, with a community vaccination rate of over 85 percent. Vaccination is required for all students (medical and religious exemptions notwithstanding); and all employees are required to disclose their vaccination status. Vaccines are the single most effective tool in limiting the transmission of COVID-19 and mitigating serious illness, and RISD strongly encourages all employees to get inoculated.

RISD will continue to require face coverings indoors and will conduct asymptomatic community surveillance testing to monitor for any breakthrough variants or clustered outbreaks. Those community members who are not vaccinated will be required to participate in increased testing protocol to monitor their health safety. 

Students and employees are encouraged to continue monitoring their own health — both in relation to COVID-19 and other contagious illnesses — to help keep our communities healthy. If a student or employee is feeling symptomatic, they will be directed to consult with Student Health Services (students) or notify their supervisor and consult their healthcare provider (employees).

RISD maintains a thorough cleaning protocol for campus facilities. Bathrooms are sanitized daily, and high-touch areas are cleaned frequently. Additionally, hand sanitizer stations will remain available throughout campus facilities to encourage frequent handwashing and air filtration will continue to be prioritized.

No. RISD will remove the physical distancing requirement for employees and students. As such, RISD will remove capacity limits in residential halls, classrooms or shared spaces on campus, including bathrooms, kitchens, offices, and conference rooms. In addition, faculty and staff will be permitted to return to in-person, on-campus work with increased ability to work in a hybrid or remote manner depending on the requirements of the position.

No. RISD will not require a “quiet period” (10 day entry quarantine) before the start of the fall term. However, all faculty, students and staff will be required to test upon arrival.

Yes. Following CDC guidance for face coverings in areas of high transmission, face coverings will be required inside of RISD buildings. RISD will continue to monitor transmission levels and public health guidance and may lift the face covering mandate as conditions improve.

Students may remove face coverings when in their residence hall rooms, even in the presence of their roommates. Employees may remove face coverings when working alone in their offices. 

There are no restrictions on the use of bathrooms. Individuals should wear face coverings when in shared bathrooms. In addition, toilet lids installed during AY 2020–21 will remain in place and community members are encouraged to close the toilet lid before flushing. Bathrooms are sanitized daily, and high-touch areas are cleaned frequently. Additionally, hand sanitizer stations will remain available throughout campus facilities to encourage frequent handwashing.

Shared items will be made available for community use as transmission and infection from surfaces and food is rare. However, following CDC guidance, transmission prevention strategies such as frequent handwashing and respiratory etiquette should be observed by all RISD community members.

There are no capacity limits or restrictions on food or beverage at RISD gatherings and events, however RISD will not host indoor events (full or in part) open to the public and asks that only two external participants be present for each event, meeting, crit, or gathering. Outdoor events can be open to the public and non-vaccinated attendees asked to wear a mask if three feet of social distancing can not be maintained.

Event hosts or planners cannot ask for proof of vaccination, but they can ask specific COVID-19 screening questions as a requirement for admittance to events. Participants and attendees are required to wear face coverings at all indoor events or gatherings.

RISD will continue to prioritize high levels of air filtration and will maintain an increased frequency of regular maintenance, continue to set exterior air setting to the maximum permitted by the system design, adopt MERV 13 HVAC filters as the RISD standard in all fixed mechanical systems, and continue making stand-alone HEPA ventilation units available until ASHRAE or CDC guidelines recommend otherwise. 

All community members are expected to uphold RISD’s public health protocol in the interest of community safety and well-being. Both the Student Code of Conduct and RISD employee policies outline expectations for compliance with public health guidelines. Those who deliberately violate policies face corrective action.

RISD will monitor the infection levels in Rhode Island and the surrounding area. As part of this oversight we will pay attention to hospitalization levels, what is happening on neighboring campuses and the 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, which may include:

  • Increasing surveillance testing
  • Limiting gatherings and student activities
  • Moving to remote learning for a specific length of time 

In case of a significant degradation of the public health context on campus, RISD might be compelled to pivot temporarily to the “Vaccine Failure” scenario, outlined in the AY 2021–22 Planning Report.

If you seek a modification to RISD’s COVID-19-related processes or equipment because of a medical condition or a religious belief, please contact Student Affairs (students) or Human Resources (employees).

Working at RISD

Faculty and staff have full access to campus and can work in person, remotely or in a hybrid fashion as agreed upon with their supervisor as part of the Remote and Hybrid Work pilot program. Faculty and staff must comply with all health and safety protocol to maintain access to campus.

Learn more about Remote and Hybrid Work Arrangements

According to the CDC, the best way to protect unvaccinated family members at home is to get vaccinated yourself. Studies show that fully vaccinated people are less likely to spread the virus to others, even if they do get COVID-19.1 At more than 85 percent community vaccination, RISD is a highly vaccinated environment. Community members wanting to protect unvaccinated children at home can take additional precautions, such as wearing face coverings indoors and practicing physical distancing when possible. RISD will expand its accommodations policy to include employees who have household members who have increased risk of severe illness of COVID1-9. If you continue to be concerned you should contact RISD Human Resources.

According to the guidance we are receiving from health experts, people who are not fully vaccinated, even if they had COVID in the past or have had one dose of a two-shot vaccine, are still at greater risk of infection than fully vaccinated individuals and therefore require testing to protect their own health as well that of those around them. According to the CDC, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. Health experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. Studies have shown that vaccination provides a strong boost in protection in people who have recovered from COVID-19.

According to the guidance we are receiving from health experts, people who are not fully vaccinated, even if they had COVID in the past or have had one dose of a two-shot vaccine, are still at greater risk of infection than fully vaccinated individuals and therefore require testing to protect their own health as well that of those around them. According to the CDC, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. Health experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. Studies have shown that vaccination provides a strong boost in protection in people who have recovered from COVID-19.

Standing and ad hoc meetings should be done in a modality that best supports the accomplishment of the meeting goal. Meetings may be conducted either in person or virtually via zoom. However, in order to ensure consistency of communication, participation and experience, individual meetings should only be conducted in one modality at any given time (in other words, meetings that have some participants meeting in person and others via zoom are discouraged).

Any employee who is at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, or who shares a household with someone at high risk, may submit a written request to RISD Human Resources for a job-related accommodation.

Learn more about COVID-19 related accommodations at RISD. 

No. Face coverings remain required indoors to help prevent breakthrough infection of vaccinated individuals. Therefore, it is essential that everyone continue to wear face coverings indoors in group settings regardless of vaccination status. In addition, individuals should not ask others for information about their vaccination status. 

Yes. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 do not report to work and notify your manager of your absence. Symptomatic individuals should also notify their healthcare provider and get an off-campus COVID-19 test.

While the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission does allow employers to ask and collect information on employee vaccination status, this information is considered confidential medical information under the ADA* and RISD’s method of collecting the information in Workday is designed to maintain employee confidentiality. For this reason,  RISD does not share vaccination information with supervisors/managers and they should not ask employees about their vaccination status.

*Note that this is different from HIPAA, which applies to entities such as health care providers, health plans, or health care clearinghouses. RISD is not a HIPAA-covered entity. 

Contact your supervisor/dean if you believe there is a health risk in your workplace, including a potential risk posed by a coworker.

Only individuals who meet the defined criteria of a close contact should take extra precautions after exposure to COVID-19.

Fully vaccinated individuals with no COVID-like symptoms do not need to quarantine, but are required to wear a face covering and test on day five following exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Employees can continue to come to work on campus during this time as their risk of infection is low. However, they should still monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following an exposure.

Yes, under the circumstances existing currently, employers can ask specific screening questions related to whether an employee has COVID-19, has symptoms associated with COVID-19, or has been tested for COVID-19.  The ADA prohibits broad disclosure of this information by an employer or supervisor to others in the workplace. Alternatively, an employee can request reasonable accommodation with respect to screening.

No. RISD does not disclose vaccination status to supervisors. Supervisors are also not allowed to ask an employee if they have been vaccinated. 

No. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) prohibits employers from asking employees medical questions about family members. GINA, however, does not prohibit RISD from asking employees whether they have had contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 or who may have symptoms associated with the disease.

If a supervisor/dean receives medical information involving COVID-19, the supervisor/dean should notify RISD Human Resources immediately. Only RISD Human Resources should handle medical information of employees.

Yes. RISD is committed to creating and providing a learning, living, and working environment free of discrimination and harassment for all students, faculty and staff. It is against EEO laws to harass or otherwise discriminate against coworkers based on race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, national origin, veteran status, and/or genetic information. Employees, including supervisors and managers, should report any conduct that conflicts with these laws and standards to RISD Human Resources or the Office of Institutional Bias and Discrimination. RISD will review any allegations of harassment or discrimination and take appropriate action.

RISD faculty and staff seeking access to Brown facilities and programs will be subject to Brown’s visitor and guest COVID-19 vaccination requirements and must complete a vaccination attestation form in advance of accessing Brown facilities and programs. Limited-duration visitors (those  attending a single meeting, lecture, performance, conference, event or athletic competition) are not required to sign a vaccination form; they must abide by the Brown University COVID-19 Campus Safety Policy and any requirements specific to the facility or program they are visiting (e.g., health care or medical research settings with indoor mask requirements). These visitors must wear a mask if they are unvaccinated. 

Yes, because of the high vaccination rate of both campuses, RISD and Brown have signed an agreement that allows students, faculty and staff who are vaccinated to move between campuses. Note that all students and employees at Brown are required to be vaccinated. 

Testing

Surveillance testing for COVID-19 will continue at a rate of 20 percent of the vaccinated population per week and 100 percent of the unvaccinated/undisclosed employees and students per week to monitor for the spread of infection.

Selection for asymptomatic testing for the vaccinated population is through randomized algorithm. All unvaccinated/undisclosed employees and students will be selected for testing each week to maintain access to campus.

Students
If a student misses their testing appointment, they must reschedule as soon as possible for the next available testing time.

If an unvaccinated or partially vaccinated student misses two weeks of testing, their campus access will be deactivated and their department will be notified. Access will only be restored once a negative test result is received. If students do not test, they will be removed from campus housing (if applicable) and unenrolled from RISD.

Employees
Employees who miss testing on a week they have been selected for surveillance testing, should email COVIDUpdates@risd.edu to provide a valid excuse or schedule a make-up testing appointment.

Unvaccinated/undisclosed employees may be subject to additional measures for successive unexcused missed testing appointments.

Learn more

All community members who are symptomatic must let the school know and arrange for a diagnostic test through Student Health Services (students) or their health care provider/local testing facility (employees).

If a community member’s test is negative, they receive an email prompting them to securely login to the testing portal to view their results within 24 hours. If a student’s test is positive, Health Services will contact them directly. If an employee’s test is positive, Employee Health Coordinator Karen Chase, NP, will contact them directly.

RISD is administering COVID-19 RT-PCR tests. The procedure involves a self-collected swab of the “anterior nares” (the inside of the nostril tip), with a medical provider present in case of any questions or concerns. The Broad Institute, a private, non-profit agency (affiliated with MIT and Harvard), conducts all campus population surveillance testing for RISD.
Yes, if you are a non-exempt (hourly paid) employee you should schedule testing during your work hours, whenever possible. If non-exempt (hourly paid) employees take the test outside of their work time, managers should ask the employee to agree that they will be paid for the actual time involved in taking the test.

Employees who live outside a 75 miles radius of campus will be reimbursed up to $50 if they choose to receive a test off-campus.

Tests must be taken during the surveillance period for which the individual was selected and MUST be PCR tests, not rapid or antigen tests.

Employee results from tests completed offsite must be uploaded via a secure Dropbox link (sign-in using RISD email address and password is required to access the doc). Please do not send your results via email as they contain confidential information.

Surveillance testing is free to the RISD community. Diagnostic testing for COVID-19 is covered by the RISD student health insurance policy and the RISD employee health insurance policy at approved locations. RISD will make options available to its on-campus faculty and staff for obtaining COVID-19 testing, where those employees do not have health insurance available to cover the cost of testing. Hospitalization and treatment for COVID-19 is covered like any standard medical treatment.

Positive Cases

RISD finds out about positive cases in one of two ways: daily reports from the Broad Institute for all on campus test results, or a self report from an employee or student who tests positive at an off-campus testing site.

Notification

Students are notified of a positive test result by Health Services (HS) who gives isolation instruction and collects close contacts; HS notifies the student’s faculty, department head, dean, GPD if applicable and all close contacts.

Employees are notified by Employee Health Coordinator (EHC) Karen Chase or employee discloses to RISD an offsite positive result; EHC gives isolation instruction and collects close contacts; EHC notifies supervisor /department head, HR Partner and all close contacts.

Isolation
Any individual (vaccinated or unvaccinated) who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate until fever free for 24 hours without medication, symptoms have improved and it has been ten days since symptoms started. If asymptomatic, isolation ends ten days after the positive test result.

Fully vaccinated individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and are asymptomatic are still required to isolate for ten days from the positive test result.

Students are escorted to isolation housing by Public Safety in 15 West. Off-campus students are strongly encouraged to isolate on campus or are provided instruction for their off-campus residence. Regular check-ins from Health Services and CAPS occur and meals are delivered.

Employees are required to isolate at home. Employees may request Paid Special Leave for up to 10 business days to care for themselves, and then use regular sick time.

Individuals who test positive for COVID-19, are fully vaccinated and are asymptomatic are required to isolate for ten days from the time of the positive test result. Individuals who are symptomatic must isolate until fever free for 24 hours without medication, symptoms have improved and it has been 10 days since symptoms started.

A close contact is defined as someone who has had one of the following interactions with the infected person starting from two days before the illness onset (or, for asymptomatic clients, two days prior to a positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated:

  • was within six feet of an infected person for a total 15 minutes or more — including shorter but repeated contacts that add up to 15 minutes over a 24-hour period
  • had direct contact with infectious secretions of a person with COVID-19 such as being coughed on
  • is living with the infected person

Per CDC and DOH guidelines, only unvaccinated close contacts are required to quarantine. Vaccinated individuals must complete follow-up testing three to five days after exposure, wear a face covering indoors (required by RISD regardless) and monitor symptoms for 14 days but can continue normal activities.

No. The CDC does not require vaccinated people to quarantine if they come in contact with someone who is positive, but they must complete follow-up testing three to five days after exposure, wear a face covering indoors (required by RISD regardless) and monitor for symptoms for 14 days. If they test positive for COVID-19, then they must follow isolation protocol.

Yes. Contact tracers from RISD will continue to contact RISD-affiliated close contacts regardless of the vaccination or symptom status of the positive case. The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) also completes contact tracing for RISD community members, so close contacts may hear from both parties. RISD protocol and requirements always take precedence over RIDOH guidance for RISD community members.

If an employee tests positive for COVID-19 at an off-campus testing site, they must let their manager know, who in turn must let their Cabinet member and HR know.

CDC and DOH guidelines mandate that unvaccinated individuals who meet the definition of close contacts quarantine for 10 days (they may test on day five and end quarantine on day seven if the test is negative). Vaccinated individuals should test on day five, wear a face covering indoors (required by RISD regardless), and monitor for symptoms.

A close contact is defined as someone who has had one of the following interactions with the infected person starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic clients, two days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated:

  • was within six feet of an infected person for a total 15 minutes or more — including shorter but repeated contacts that add up to 15 minutes over a 24-hour period
  • had direct contact with infectious secretions of a person with COVID-19 such as being coughed on
  • is living with the infected person

The dashboard is updated daily Monday–Friday with laboratory-verified results and there is a 48-hour delay of the data to allow notification of positive cases and contact tracing to occur.

Academics

No. The Academic Calendar for AY 2021–22 will largely return to normal under the Near Normal scenario. Learn more.

RISD will revert to mostly in-person instruction, but using lessons learned from the past year about how virtual and hybrid instruction can enhance course delivery. To view your current schedule and see how your courses are being offered, please use the RISD Course Modality Lookup Tool and check your course syllabi.

Yes, approximately 5 percent of RISD’s fall courses will be taught online. Learn more.

Yes. RISD’s studios, shops, and centers will be open for RISD students, faculty and staff for the Fall 2021 semester.

Yes, these resources will be accessible through either virtual support, online and in-person visits or appointments.

The opportunity to cross-register with Brown University will be made available again starting Fall 2021 to all RISD students. Unvaccinated students (those with an exemption) are required to wear masks on Brown’s campus.

Wintersession will occur as usual and classes will begin on January 6, 2022. International travel courses are under review by RISD’s International Incident Response Team. A definitive decision regarding Wintersession travel courses will be provided before or at the beginning of Fall semester.

Yes. Brown students, faculty and staff are required and deemed to be fully vaccinated and can access, as appropriate and allowed, facilities and programs on the RISD campus.

Campus and Residential Life

Yes. RISD students will be housed in single, double, and triple rooms with capacities as designed and quads are being converted to triples. Kitchens, laundry rooms, lounges, and work rooms will be re-densified following public health guidance on physical distancing. Dining halls will also return to full capacity indoor dining in addition to takeout options. Individuals in the dining halls must wear face coverings except when eating.

CAPs will be available in-person and via telecounseling throughout the fall term to support students. We will provide continuous engagement and wellness opportunities for students, some virtual and some in-person, to emphasize community, connection and wellbeing.
Domestic travel is permitted during the Fall 2021 semester, but international travel is strongly discouraged. Employees and students must follow the current Rhode Island State travel guidelines for international and domestic travel.

Domestic travel is permitted during the Fall 2021 semester. RISD-sponsored international travel is not permitted except for exceptional circumstances. Exceptions require advance approval by either the Provost or the SVP of Finance & Administration/Interim President.

Yes. Students may host visitors in the residence halls beginning Fall 2021. Visitors must wear face coverings and continue to follow regular residence hall guest policies.

Brown and RISD students are deemed to be fully vaccinated (students with approved exemptions are required to wear masks) and can access, as appropriate and allowed, facilities and programs on both campuses with their Brown or RISD identification card and without further documentation or proof of vaccination. Access to facilities and programs on both campuses will be subject to all other policies and protocols as determined by each institution (e.g., access to dining facilities limited to students enrolled in meal plans).

RISD faculty and staff seeking access to Brown facilities and programs will be subject to Brown’s visitor and guest COVID-19 vaccination requirements and must complete a vaccination attestation form in advance of accessing Brown facilities and programs. Limited-duration visitors (those  attending a single meeting, lecture, performance, conference, event or athletic competition) are not required to sign a vaccination form; they must abide by the Brown University COVID-19 Campus Safety Policy and any requirements specific to the facility or program they are visiting (e.g., health care or medical research settings with indoor mask requirements). These visitors must wear a mask if they are unvaccinated. 

Brown students, faculty and staff are required and deemed to be fully vaccinated and can access, as appropriate and allowed, facilities and programs on the RISD campus.

Yes. CSI will offer in-person programming and support for clubs and organizations, which can resume in-person activities. All programs, remote or in-person, will be recorded and posted for students’ viewing after the program.
Yes. All student and campus services (Registrar, Career Services, CAPS, etc.) will re-open for in-person service, while also maintaining remote appointment options for efficiency and ease of access.
The RISD fitness center will reopen for in-person individual and group fitness activities. RISD students are considered fully vaccinated and may access Brown’s fitness facilities with their ID card without further proof of vaccination. RISD faculty and staff will be able to purchase memberships at the same annual or semi-annual membership fee as in years past beginning in September, but will be required to complete a vaccination attestation form prior to their first visit.

RISD will return to indoor seating in dining venues in accordance with state guidelines and outdoor dining space will also continue to be available. All individuals in dining halls must wear face coverings except when eating.

Use of mobile ordering will continue in Portfolio, Co-Op Market, and potentially in cafe spaces for convenience and efficiency. Isolation meals will continue as delivery service to 15 West and the quarantine meal pick-up process will be refined.

There are no capacity limits or restrictions on food or beverage at RISD gatherings and events, however RISD will not host indoor events (full or in part) open to the public and asks that only two external participants be present for each event, meeting, crit, or gathering. Outdoor events can be open to the public and non-vaccinated attendees asked to wear a mask if three feet of social distancing can not be maintained.

Event hosts or planners cannot ask for proof of vaccination, but they can ask specific COVID-19 screening questions as a requirement for admittance to events. Participants and attendees are required to wear face coverings at all indoor events or gatherings.
No. Face coverings remain required to help prevent breakthrough infection of vaccinated individuals. Therefore, it is essential that everyone continue to wear face coverings in group settings regardless of vaccination status. In addition, individuals should not ask others for information about their vaccination status.

Financial Impact

The Board of Trustees approved a tuition and fee increase of 2.5 percent for the academic year 2021–2022, the lowest increase since 1975. The total cost of attendance, tuition, fees, and room and board can be found on our Student Financial Services webpage.

Students will continue to have opportunities to work on campus.

RISD is prepared to assist current students whose families are negatively affected by COVID-19. If your and/or your family’s financial circumstances have changed due to COVID, we encourage you to be in touch with RISD’s financial aid office.

Glossary of COVID Terms

Quarantine​ is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others, to prevent potential spread of disease. Students quarantining on campus will not be permitted to attend any in-person classes or events, and may not have visitors, but they may engage in their classes remotely and go on solo walks to maintain good health.
  • Arrival Quarantine​ – All residential community members at RISD will need to quarantine initially for 2 weeks regardless of test result to account for any potential exposure during travel.
  • Close Contact Quarantine​ – Individuals who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 will need to quarantine for 2 weeks. Students will be able to stay in place if they are in single rooms or will be placed in special housing if they are in a shared room.
Isolation​ is used to separate people–either infected with coronavirus or being tested for such an infection–from people who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay in place until it is determined that they may be around others. Students isolating on campus will not be allowed to leave their isolation room, will have all meals and other services delivered to the room, and the student will be contacted by Student Health Services daily for a health check.
  • Test-Pending Isolation​ – Symptomatic individuals who are being tested for COVID-19 and waiting for results must isolate. Residential community members will be moved temporarily to isolation housing; students living off-campus should isolate at home. A negative test means one can leave isolation; a positive test means that isolation will continue.
  • Test-Positive Isolation​ – Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 but do not need hospitalization will be required to isolate. Those isolating will be allowed to return to classes/work upon meeting the RIDOH guidelines for ending isolation​.
Reproduction Rate​ (R​0​ or R-value) indicates the average number of people that one person with COVID-19 is likely to infect in a population without any immunity (from previous infection) or any interventions. If the average R​0​ in the population is greater than 1, the infection will spread exponentially. If R​0​ is less than 1, the infection will spread only slowly, and it will eventually die out.
Positivity Rate​ indicates the percentage of tests that come back positive for COVID-19 out of all tests conducted. In general, a high positivity rate indicates that not enough testing is being conducted to understand the true spread of the disease; a positivity rate of 5% or below is generally regarded as “good.”
Physical Distancing​ – the need to maintain a safe distance of no less than six feet between yourself and others. The term “social distancing” is sometimes used and carries the same meaning as “physical distancing.” Physical distancing should be practiced in combination with other ​everyday preventive actions​ to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including wearing masks,​ avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands, and frequently washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Baseline/arrival testing​ – the testing that will happen at the beginning of the semester of all students and employees who will be on campus. It is the means by which we will create both a testing baseline and the surveillance testing pool.
  • Surveillance testing​ – the systematic screening of a sample of the population,including asymptomatic individuals, to identify cases.
  • Diagnostic testing​ – when a symptomatic person is tested, to determine if they are positive for COVID-19.
  • Cloth face covering​ – a fabric mask that covers the nose & mouth with at least two layers of fabric, not vented; it is the preferred method of protection at RISD.
  • Disposable/Surgical mask​ – a disposable mask that creates a physical barrier between the mouth and nose of the wearer and potential contaminants in the immediate environment; a single-use face covering that must be discarded after use.
  • N95 (medical grade)​ – Professional respirators, c​alled N95 respirators, are medical devices designed to prevent exposure to tiny droplets that can remain suspended in the air. Health care workers who wear them undergo a fit-test to find the right make, model, and size to ensure a tight seal. N95 respirators are currently in very short supply and should be reserved for health care providers and first responders.
  • N95 (construction grade)​ – Construction grade N95 masks, or standard N95 masks, are occupational masks that filter tiny droplets but do not have as tight of a seal as medical grade N95 masks.
  • Vented dust mask​ – a face covering used in some shops to protect the user from dust particles. Not sufficient for viral protection because it does not protect others from exhaled particles of the user. Must be used in combination with a cloth face covering.
De-Densification​ is the intentional reduction of population density on campus. Only individuals who must be on campus for class or work should be on campus.
Self-Screening ​is a method of regularly assessing one’s health based on a pre-set list of symptoms. At RISD, this must be conducted daily ​before​ coming to campus via the MyRISD app or at my.risd.edu. Faculty/supervisors may ask students/staff if they have completed the daily self-assessment on any given day.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)​ ​is equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses​. The CDC does not consider a cloth face covering to be PPE; however, for COVID-19 purposes, a medical-grade N95 mask would be considered PPE. Information on who should wear PPE can be found on the ​CDC website.

Contact tracing​ – the process of identification of persons who may have come into contact with an infected person. It is also the subsequent collection of further information about these contacts to determine if they will need to quarantine because they are considered a close contact of that infected person. All members of the RISD community are encouraged to use the ​Crush COVID​ app and/or keep a journal of daily contacts.

  • Hybrid​ courses incorporate a blend of both in-person and online forms of instruction. These courses may include synchronous and asynchronous modalities, with the potential for different pathways through the course. The ratio of in person and online delivery will vary depending on multiple factors such as the role of three-dimensional material engagement, the use of specialized facilities and equipment, the centrality of group dialogue and critique, and the nature of the assignments and learning goals. The course syllabus will include a clear description of the course delivery structure.
  • In-person​ courses involve the physical presence of both the faculty member and the students during class hours. De-densification and health protocols may require modifications to some aspects of in-person courses, and it is common practice for in-person classes to ask students to complete class-related activities/tasks online or remotely (eg., stream films, do research, engage in chat forums, blogs, etc.). The course syllabus will include a clear description of the course delivery structure.
  • Online ​courses will be delivered virtually. These courses may include synchronous and asynchronous modalities, with the potential for different pathways through the course. Course materials may take multiple forms, such as videos, discussions, lectures, and critiques, but instructional engagement occurs in an online environment. The course syllabus will include a clear description of the course delivery structure.
A Learning Management System (or LMS) is a centralized online platform for instructional materials and asynchronous interaction, which allows faculty and students to engage meaningfully in teaching or learning in online or hybrid learning environments

Close contact​ is the term used for individuals who have been ​within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.