Contingency Planning

An outbreak is a sudden rise in the number of cases of a disease. 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 closing the campus.

In case of an outbreak on campus:

  • RISD will make every effort to contain spread through increased testing, contact tracing and isolation of those affected, working with the Rhode Island Department of Health
  • The student respiratory clinic will accommodate a surge by increasing staff, testing capacity and hours of operation
  • For students, Student Health Services will increase testing for asymptomatic people involved; contact tracing will be conducted to identify and quarantine close contacts in conjunction with testing
  • For staff, individuals will be directed to consult with their health care providers for testing and contract tracing

RISD may need to tighten restrictions on a temporary basis to assess an imminent threat to public health, to conduct testing or expand cleaning due to outbreak, or to address a significant violation of social distancing. Tightening restrictions could include limiting gatherings, limiting student activities or moving to remote learning for a specific length of time. Remote learning does not necessarily mean the evacuation of the campus. Depending on the nature of the situation precipitating a cessation of in-person teaching, it may not be advisable for all students to travel home.

The decision to shift the entire campus to remote learning will be determined by the following factors:

  • RISD cannot satisfactorily meet the PPE, testing, tracing, treatment, or operational needs of the community
  • RISD and the Rhode Island Department of Health identify a public health risk on or near campus, that cannot be adequately contained
  • Potential executive order by the Governor of Rhode Island

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