Mandatory COVID-19 testing to continue for students for rest of fall semester

This message is sent on behalf of URI Health Services.

The University of Rhode Island will continue to provide mandatory COVID-19 testing for all students, those living on and off campus as part of our surveillance testing program for the remainder of the fall semester. Faculty and staff are encouraged to participate on a regular basis, particularly if they are coming to campus. This testing allows us to continue to monitor the health of our community and provides us with an early warning of potential outbreaks. We expect to test all community members one more time before Thanksgiving break.

The University continues to have a positivity rate of 0.8% (seven-day average) as of Oct. 28, which is within the positivity rate recommended by the Rhode Island Department of Health. Visit the URI COVID-19 Tracker for updates on testing rates.

The testing for asymptomatic community members will be conducted in the Memorial Union, Atrium, Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Tuesday, Nov. 24. A specimen will be self-collected and the test will be painless (1/2-inch cotton swab in each nostril, not the nasopharyngeal collection) and observed by a trained staff member. The test takes about 5 minutes on average; however, there may be a short wait depending on the time of day and number of people also taking the test. Results are available in 24 to 48 hours and an email will be sent to you from CareEvolve when results are available. Tests are available at no cost and Health Services staff will contact all individuals who test positive.

If a student is ill or has any COVID-19 symptoms, please DO NOT present to the Memorial Union for asymptomatic testing. Instead, please call URI Health Services at 401.874.2246 to obtain a symptomatic test immediately and schedule a telehealth appointment. Faculty and staff should contact their primary care providers or local urgent care center. Students in isolation should NOT participate in the surveillance testing.

We all share the goal of continuing face-to-face classes until the Thanksgiving break. Getting tested, knowing your health status and participating in any necessary contact tracing is doing your part. Students are encouraged to participate in testing prior to returning home for Thanksgiving.

Updates to the testing program for post-Thanksgiving, J-term and spring 2021 semester will be shared in the near future. Please continue to follow the health and safety guidelines, including those regarding face coverings, physical distancing, limited group size and good hand hygiene. Strict adherence to these guidelines by all of us is necessary to reduce infection and subsequent transmission to our higher risk community members.

Let’s be #Rhodytogether for the remainder of the semester.