Spring 2022 Protocol

At a Glance

  • Effective June 21: Return to Mask Optional—Mask Friendly


    As of June 21, 2022, indoor and outdoor mask wearing is optional for individuals on campus with the following exceptions, where masking will continue to be required:
    • Student Health Services

    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 during business hours at Public Safety (Waterman and 15 West).

  • Approved Masks

    RISD does not recognize cloth face coverings as sufficient to meet RISD’s mask mandate. RISD’s definition of acceptable face coverings comprises only the following four types of face coverings:

    • Disposable masks (surgical or medical procedure masks)
    • KN95 masks
    • KF94 masks
    • N95 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.

  • May 23, 2022: Mask Mandate Reinstated

    UPDATE: Starting Tuesday, May 24, 2022, masks are required in all indoor settings on the RISD campus, and in all indoor settings for RISD-sponsored events.

    The reinstatement of RISD’s mask mandate is in response to the recent change in Rhode Island’s community-transmission status, and follows the recommendations of the CDC. Students, faculty, and staff are reminded that this requirement applies to classrooms, including open floor plan studio or home spaces, shops, and common spaces in dorms (i.e. in the lounges and in the workrooms) as well as in RISD Rides and shuttle vehicles.

    Masks can be removed indoors while actively eating and drinking. Masks can also be removed indoors when making a presentation or delivering a speech as long as the unmasked speaker is able to maintain a six-foot minimum distance from others in the same space.

    The mask mandate will be in effect at least until Monday, June 6, 2022, and will therefore encompass all indoor events associated with Commencement and Reunion Weekend.

  • Approved Masks

    RISD does not recognize cloth face coverings as sufficient to meet RISD’s mask mandate. RISD’s definition of acceptable face coverings comprises only the following four types of face coverings:

    • Disposable masks (surgical or medical procedure masks)
    • KN95 masks
    • KF94 masks
    • N95 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.

    If needed, medical-grade masks are available for free at RISD Public Safety offices at 30 Waterman street, 15 West, and at Thompson House.

  • Commencement, Reunion, and Masks

    Masks are required for all Commencement-related indoor events, including the Graduate Hooding Ceremony and Commencement 2022.

    Masks are required for all indoor Reunion Weekend events on the RISD campus, as well as indoor events sponsored by the institution. If in doubt, please wear a mask.

    Medical-grade masks will be available for free at most indoor event sites for those without proper masks.

  • Testing


    Open Testing Discontinued
    Open asymptomatic PCR testing will be discontinued during the summer.

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

    Employees
    Employees are strongly encouraged to use rapid antigen tests following travel, large gatherings or when feeling symptomatic.

    Positive Test Results and Isolation
    Members of the community must continue to report positive test results and will be required to isolate per standard protocol.
    Students who test positive must report to Health Services.
    Faculty and staff must report to HR through Workday.

    Note that vaccinated close contacts who are asymptomatic do NOT need to isolate.

  • Testing


    Free PCR Tests
    RISD has extended access to free PCR testing for those faculty, students, and staff who believe they may have been exposed to the virus but are asymptomatic. Please take advantage of this free, on-campus PCR testing at Thompson House. No walk ins; advance sign up is required.

    Open testing appointments are available on:
    Monday, May 23, 9:00 am–4:00 pm
    Wednesday, May 25, 9:00 am–4:00 pm
    Thursday, May 26, 10:00 am–3:00 pm
    Wednesday, June 1, 9:00 am–4:00 pm
    Thursday, June 2, 10:00 am–3:00

    Symptomatic and Diagnostic Testing Encouraged
    Students
    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
    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 section above

  • Vaccination and Boosters


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

    Students
    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.