Spring 2022 Protocol

At a Glance

  • Mask Optional, Mask Friendly Environment

    Starting Monday, April 11, indoor mask wearing will be optional for individuals in most settings on campus with the following exceptions, where masking will continue to be required:
    Student Health Services
    RISD Rides and shuttles

    CDC and our health experts strongly encourage individuals who are unvaccinated/unboostered, and or at high risk, to continue to wear masks for their own health protection. Very importantly, we will continue to support masking for any individual based on their own personal situation or comfort level. As a campus we plan to be “mask friendly” to anyone who prefers to continue to wear a mask on campus. We will continue to make masks available at a number of locations on campus. Please note that our indoor mask requirement remains in effect until April 11.

    Because of the transmissibility of Omicron and evolving medical science regarding the efficacy of cloth face coverings alone, RISD no longer recognizes cloth face coverings as sufficient to meet RISD’s mask policies. RISD’s definition of acceptable face coverings comprises only the following four face coverings. Failure to comply with wearing the appropriate mask will result in corrective action.

    These include:
    Disposable masks (surgical or medical procedure masks)
    KN95 masks
    KF94 mask
    N95 masks

    Acquiring Approved Masks
    Community members are expected to acquire the bulk of their own masks during spring semester.
    While medical grade masks are now widely available, please be aware that many brands do not meet CDC or FDA approval. An excellent resource for information about types and sources of masks is the Project N95 nonprofit organization.
    All academic departments, the mailroom, Public Safety (South Waterman and 15 West), Health Services and the Testing Center have supplemental approved masks for pick up on an ongoing basis.

  • Testing Program

    Post-Spring Break Required Arrival Testing
    Students and employees planning to travel over the spring recess (March 28 - April 4) must take a rapid antigen test on the first day you return to campus (day 1) and a second test two days later (day 3) and report all positive test results to Student Health Services (students) or to Human Resources through Workday (faculty and staff) by Friday, April 8. During the week of March 21, community members will be able to pick-up two additional rapid tests at Thompson House in order to be ready for spring break and the post break arrival testing requirement. See the testing page for Thompson House address and hours.

    Optional Surveillance Testing for the Community
    Starting April 11, asymptomatic testing will be optional for all students, faculty and staff, including those approved exemptions from vaccination or for unvaccinated or undisclosed employees. RISD offers weekly open testing for COVID-19 for all community members. Advance sign up will be required for an appointment. No walk-ins. Sign up links will be posted each Friday on the testing page.

    Symptomatic and Diagnostic Testing Encouraged
    If you are a student and are experiencing Covid-like symptoms, please contact Student Health Services to determine what type of visit or follow-up testing is recommended.
    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.

    Uploading Positive Test Results
    Students and employees who test positive through off-campus rapid antigen or PCR testing are required to report their results and are removed from the PCR surveillance testing pool for 90 days after diagnosis.
    Students who test positive with an antigen test need to receive a PCR test from Health Services (not through surveillance) to confirm their positive status.
    Employees do not need an additional PCR test to confirm.

  • Positive Cases

    Reporting Positive Results Required
    Members of the community must continue to report positive test results to Student Health Services (students) or to Human Resources through Workday (faculty and staff) and will be required to isolate per standard protocol.

    Isolation Protocol
    Any symptomatic individual (vaccinated, boostered or unvaccinated) who tests positive for COVID-19 (PCR or antigen) must isolate until fever free for 24 hours without medication, symptoms have improved and it has been at least FIVE days from when symptoms first began. After completing isolation, those individuals should wear a mask around others for FIVE more days.

    Any asymptomatic individual who tests positive (PCR or antigen) but has not and does not have symptoms must isolate for FIVE days from the date of their positive test, and must wear a mask around others for FIVE additional days thereafter.

    Uploading Positive Test Results
    See Testing Program above

  • Vaccination and Boosters

    RISD now includes booster vaccination in requirements for community vaccination and disclosure.

    RISD requires all students to receive the COVID-19 vaccination and booster (when they are eligible) to be enrolled for the 2022 spring semester. Anyone who has already received an approved exemption from a COVID-19 vaccination is exempt from this requirement. Students seeking an exemption from the vaccine or booster must fill out a request form on the student patient portal.

  • Employees
    RISD does not require employee vaccination, but does require disclosure of whether employees have received the vaccine and booster. All undisclosed, unvaccinated, and unboosted employees are required to PCR test weekly to maintain campus access.

  • Working on Campus

    Faculty and staff may return to in-person, on-campus work starting February 17, 2022, with flexibility depending on the requirements of the position and conversations with your manager (mirroring protocol in the fall).

  • Travel Policy

    Travel Restrictions Lifted
    RISD-sponsored domestic travel is permitted.
    RISD-sponsored international travel is permitted. RISD employees must check COVID-19 policies, vaccination levels and community spread levels for the intended destination prior to booking travel. RISD travelers should maintain awareness of their destination country's policies and spread levels prior to and during travel.
    Concerned individuals should contact RISD's risk management office to review travel plans, risks and concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions

For latest updates about Wintesession and Spring 2022 Protocol, view recent Recordings of RISD Community Town Hall Meetings.