Testing Program

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.

Winter Testing Schedule

Starting Thanksgiving week, RISD will offer increased open testing availability for during the holiday season. All Students and Employees are strongly encouraged to test 5–7 days after participating in gatherings or travel.

End of Semester Testing

Nov 22 & 23: Open Testing [Thanksgiving Week]

Nov 29–Dec 2: Surveillance & Open Testing

Dec 6–9: Exit Testing (optional) & Employee Surveillance Testing

Dec 13–16: Exit Testing (optional) & Employee Surveillance Testing

Dec 20–23: Employee Open Testing

Wintersession Testing

Jan 3–7: Student Arrival Testing 

Jan 10–13: Student Arrival Testing 

Jan 18: Surveillance Testing resumes

Types of Testing

  • Open Testing

    RISD offers open testing for COVID-19 for all community members weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Advance sign up will be required for an appointment. No walk-ins. Sign up link will be posted each Friday.

    Non-symptomatic individuals ONLY

  • Surveillance Testing

    Vaccinated individuals
    Surveillance testing for COVID-19 will continue at a rate of 20 percent of the population per week. Individuals will be selected through a randomized algorithm based on housing, course modality and work arrangements.

    Starting in Wintersession, surveillance testing will randomly select up to 20 percent of the vaccinated student population per week. Vaccinated employees will not be required to participate in surveillance testing in Wintersession or Spring, but voluntary open testing hours will still be available to faculty and staff.

    Unvaccinated/undisclosed individuals
    Mandatory weekly testing for COVID-19 will be required for 100 percent of the unvaccinated/undisclosed population to maintain access to campus. This population consists of unvaccinated employees; undisclosed employees; students with an approved exemption; employees and students with vaccinations that are not recognized by WHO.

    Location and scheduling
    RISD respiratory clinic at Thompson House
    63 Angell Street, Providence
    Must bring a valid RISD ID, driver's license or passport

    Individuals identified for surveillance testing will receive an email invitation to schedule their test during an appointed timeframe. Community members cannot show up to the testing site without an appointment.

    New Employees
    For new employees participating in COVID-19 testing at RISD for the first time, click here for instructions to complete the COVID-19 testing consent process in Workday.

  • Diagnostic Testing

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

    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.

Additional Information

  • Off-campus Testing (Employees Only)

    Results from tests completed offsite (for employees only) must be uploaded via a secure Dropbox folder (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. 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).

  • Test Results

    Test results are received 24-36 hours of all samples being picked up from the testing site to transport them to a lab in Cambridge, MA. You can also check for your results by logging into the patient portal managed by The Broad Institute.

    Negative results come from CareEvolve@lknotification.com. Positive or invalid results will be communicated by phone from a RISD clinician. Inconclusive results are neither positive nor negative, but require additional testing. This result can indicate a very early or very late infection; an infection with a variant; or contamination from a surface or lab environment. RISD will repeat the test but require isolation until results from the second test are received.

    If you have not received a result after 24-36 hours, please contact Health Services (students) at health@risd.edu, or Employee Health Coordinator Karen Chase (faculty and staff) at kchase@risd.edu.

  • 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 on-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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Surveillance testing for COVID-19 will continue at a rate of 20 percent of the vaccinated population per week and 100 percent of the unvaccinated/undisclosed employees and students per week to monitor for the spread of infection.

Wintersession and Spring
Surveillance testing for COVID-19 will continue at a rate of up to 20 percent of the vaccinated student population per week and 100 percent of the unvaccinated/undisclosed employees and students per week to monitor for the spread of infection.

Vaccinated employees (staff and faculty) will not be required to participate in surveillance testing, but have the option to sign up for open testing hours.

Selection for asymptomatic testing for the vaccinated population is through a randomized algorithm. All unvaccinated/undisclosed employees and students will be selected for testing each week to maintain access to campus.

Students
If a student misses their testing appointment, they must reschedule as soon as possible for the next available testing time.

If an unvaccinated or partially vaccinated student misses two weeks of testing, their campus access will be deactivated and their department will be notified. Access will only be restored once a negative test result is received. If students do not test, they will be removed from campus housing (if applicable) and unenrolled from RISD.

Employees
Employees who miss testing on a week they have been selected for surveillance testing, should email COVIDUpdates@risd.edu to provide a valid excuse or schedule a make-up testing appointment.

Unvaccinated/undisclosed employees may be subject to additional measures for successive unexcused missed testing appointments.

Learn more

All community members who are symptomatic must let the school know and arrange for a diagnostic test through Student Health Services (students) or their health care provider/local testing facility (employees).

If a community member’s test is negative, they receive an email prompting them to securely login to the testing portal to view their results within 24 hours. If a student’s test is positive, Health Services will contact them directly. If an employee’s test is positive, Employee Health Coordinator Karen Chase, NP, will contact them directly.

RISD is administering COVID-19 RT-PCR tests. The procedure involves a self-collected swab of the “anterior nares” (the inside of the nostril tip), with a medical provider present in case of any questions or concerns. The Broad Institute, a private, non-profit agency (affiliated with MIT and Harvard), conducts all campus population surveillance testing for RISD.
Yes, if you are a non-exempt (hourly paid) employee you should schedule testing during your work hours, whenever possible. If non-exempt (hourly paid) employees take the test outside of their work time, managers should ask the employee to agree that they will be paid for the actual time involved in taking the test.

Employees who live outside a 75 miles radius of campus may be reimbursed up to $50 if they choose to receive a test off-campus when called for testing.

Tests must be taken during the surveillance period for which the individual was selected and MUST be PCR tests, not rapid or antigen tests.

Employee results from tests completed offsite must be uploaded via a secure Dropbox link (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.

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