Screening and Testing


Mobile Application

Daily self screening is required for all students, faculty, and staff who come onto campus. The COVID-19 Daily Self Assessment is available on the MyRISD app and, or as a printable PDF. Once you download the MyRISD app, select your persona as either Student or Staff & Faculty. Then select the COVID-19 Daily Self Assessment tile and complete the self assessment. Get the MyRISD app printable daily self assessment

Symptomatic Screening

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). To protect privacy, RISD will not monitor screening answers or any other personal medical information, but only use global analytics to understand frequency of use across the community and to aid education efforts.


RISD is working with private, nonprofit agency the Broad Institute (affiliated with MIT and Harvard), to conduct initial and ongoing campus PCR population surveillance testing for COVID-19. Testing FAQs Testing Dashboard Process for Positive Cases

Spring Campus Access

Eligibility for access to campus will be more restrictive than the fall semester in anticipation of an increase in positive COVID cases during the spring semester.


  • STUDENTS: All students except those authorized for remote learning
  • FACULTY: Only faculty teaching a spring 2021 course or on sabbatical
  • STAFF: Only designated staff, including mail-pickup designees

Employee Special Access Requests

RISD employees not eligible for regular access to campus may request one-time access or a long-term change to their access by submitting the RISD Campus Access Form 72 hours in advance of when they need to be on campus. Requests will be approved by the Testing and Vaccination Team in coordination with supervisors or department heads/deans. Employees may be asked to provide a negative test result (through surveillance testing or from an outside source (must upload via secure link) with 72 hours of access.

Spring Baseline Testing

Walk-up with appointment  Appointment communications will be sent in the coming weeks. 224 Benefit Street In the temporarily closed Cafe Pearl in the RISD Museum Bring a valid ID (RISD ID, driver’s license, or passport)
  • On-campus employees: February 9-12
  • On-campus students: February 12-14
  • Off-campus students: February 15-18

Spring Surveillance Testing

Weekly Testing

  • Students taking three or more hybrid or in-person courses
  • All first-year students and all resident advisors
  • Faculty teaching hybrid or in-person courses (in alignment with their in-person schedule)
  • All designated on-campus employees

Bi-Weekly Testing

  • Students taking two or less hybrid or in-person courses
  • Designated employees with less frequent on-campus duties


Individuals identified for surveillance testing will receive notification by email with an appointed timeframe for self-administered testing as described above. Community members CANNOT show up to the testing site without an appointment.


Walk-up with appointment 224 Benefit Street In the temporarily closed Cafe Pearl in the RISD Museum Bring a valid ID (RISD ID, driver’s license, or passport) The former Cafe Pearl space has strong environmental conditions for the purpose of testing and is serviced by two air handling units, both providing fresh air ventilation with two layers of filtration (pre-filter is MERV 8; main filter is MERV 13) and dedicated mechanical exhaust. It is a large space for the number of occupants at any given time. The museum is closed to the public so there will be no public circulation in or through the space, and there will be dedicated entering and exiting pathways.


Anyone who does not show up to surveillance testing will be asked to test as soon as possible the following week. The following repercussions are for those who miss testing a second week:
  • Student names will be submitted to their deans and faculty members and they will lose the privilege to access academic buildings.
  • Employee names will be submitted to their supervisors or department heads and they will lose access to campus buildings.

Test Results

Test results should be provided to RISD and to individuals tested within 24 hours of all samples being picked up from the testing site. A courier collects all samples at the end of each testing day to transport them to the lab in Cambridge, MA. The lab then works through the night and following morning to process all samples and return results within 24 hours. Occasionally during times of peak testing, results will take longer than 24 hours. Negative results will come via email from Positive results will be communicated by phone from a RISD clinician. It is possible that a test may result in an invalid test result, which will be communicated by phone from a RISD clinician. In some cases, an invalid test result call may not happen right away. Students, if you have not received a result after 24-36 hours, please contact Health Services at Employees, if you have not received a result after 24–36 hours, please contact Karen Chase, Employee Health Coordinator, at You can also check for your results by logging into the Patient Portal, managed by The Broad Institute.

Off-campus Testing (employees only)

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 a PCR test (antigen and rapid tests will not be accepted). Employees should email for information about reimbursements. Employee results from tests completed offsite must be uploaded via a secure Dropbox link, which can be found here (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.

Diagnostic Testing

All community members who are symptomatic must let the school know and arrange for a diagnostic test by contacting Student Health Services or their health care provider.


Student Health Services has established a new and fully-staffed campus respiratory clinic in Thompson House for evaluation and testing of COVID-19 for students.


Employees who have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to the virus should contact their primary care provider and their supervisor as well as get tested at a Rhode Island state testing site closest to them.

Health Insurance

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