Vaccination policy

  • Students

    RISD requires COVID-19 vaccination in addition all other currently required vaccinations. RISD will continue to follow CDC recommendations with regards to the longevity of vaccinations and the possible need for boosters. RISD will accept vaccines approved for emergency medical authorization by the FDA or the World Health Organization.

  • Faculty and Staff

    RISD currently strongly encourages vaccination but will not require it from employees. RISD does require vaccination disclosure (i.e., letting the institution know whether you've been vaccinated). Employees can upload their vaccination status in Workday. Job aids with instructions are available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Unvaccinated or Undisclosed

  • Definition

    Those not vaccinated or undisclosed will be subject to increased health and safety protocol. This population consists of the following:

    Unvaccinated employees
    Undisclosed employees
    Students with an approved exemption
    Students with vaccinations that are not recognized by WHO

  • Increased Protocol

    Mandatory weekly testing for COVID-19 will be required for 100 percent of the unvaccinated/undisclosed population and they are strongly encouraged to wear masks even when outdoors if they are unable to physically distance.

  • Failure to Complete Testing

    Employees or their managers may email to be excused from testing if they are sick, on approved leave/vacation, or not working.

    – If an employee misses one week without excuse, they are issued a written warning and required to test as soon as possible the following week.

    – If an employee misses two weeks (consecutive or nonconsecutive) without excuse, they are issued a final written warning their card access to the RISD campus will be turned off and they must take vacation, personal or unpaid leave until they test and receive negative results for access to be turned on again.

    – If an employee misses three weeks (consecutive or nonconsecutive) without excuse, they are subject to termination.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.