COVID-19 testing for faculty, staff; information on convalescent plasma therapy

This message is sent on behalf of URI Health Services.

We thank faculty and staff for your incredible efforts and perseverance in supporting our community during these challenging times. The daily interactions you have with community members and our students can make the difference in an individual’s success while at URI. We are grateful for your encouragement, adhering to the health guidelines, and especially volunteering your time at the URI COVID-19 testing and contact tracing centers.

As a reminder, all faculty and staff are eligible to participate in surveillance testing at the Memorial Union Atrium from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. No appointment is necessary. The test is painless and self-collected (a 1/2-inch cotton swab in each nostril, not the nasopharyngeal collection) and observed by a trained University member or Rhode Island Department of Health partner. The test takes about five minutes on average; however, you may have a short wait depending on the time of day and number of people also taking the test.

If you are ill or have any COVID-19 symptoms, please do not present for an asymptomatic test. Instead, you should call your primary care physician to schedule a test and telehealth visit.

As the number of cases of COVID-19 increases in the Rhode Island community, we would like to remind our community of a potentially life-saving resource. Convalescent plasma therapy is a life-saving medical therapy for the critically ill who are fighting COVID-19 infections. This therapy can be donated by those who have recovered from the virus and coordinated through the Rhode Island Blood Center. This is another opportunity to give back to our community and save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that members of our community who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection will consider donating.

Please continue your vigilance by following URI’s health guidelines to keep our community healthy and together until Thanksgiving. Most importantly, wearing a mask while on URI’s campuses models the healthy behavior we encourage our students to follow at all times. We appreciate your leadership and guidance to our community members and rely on your regular interactions with students and colleagues to reinforce the important steps each of us can take to protect each other’s health.

Thank you again for all that you are doing and know that we are here to support you and answer your questions.