While Rhode Island continues to see a decrease in COVID-19 cases, URI continues to trend upward. We saw our second-highest case count per day/week last week, with 30 cases in one day and 116 cases for the week. In addition, we are closely monitoring the news regarding the variants reported in the U.S., specifically the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant, also known as the UK variant. It has been reported to be in 40 states. Although Rhode Island has yet to confirm the variant is in our state, these are concerning developments. It is going to take all of us working together, following the health and safety guidelines to help us mitigate further spread and allow us to remain together.
The good news is we have the ability as individual members of this community to reverse this trend and keep our semester on track by following the same guidelines that were effective last semester. Now, more than ever we need you to:
- Wear your mask and improve how your mask protects you
- Stay home when you’re sick
- If you have symptoms of the virus, call Health Services
- Stay at least 6 feet apart from others at all times
- Do not gather in groups, please limit your gatherings to people you live with, even if you are wearing masks and practicing physical distancing.
Students experiencing symptoms should call Health Services at 401.874.2246 to speak with a health care provider to coordinate same-day testing. Health Services is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
All students must participate in our required surveillance testing every other week at the Memorial Union testing center unless they have an approved exemption. View our COVID testing hours. This will allow us to identify and isolate infected individuals and to begin contact tracing with those potentially exposed. Faculty, staff and affiliates who are coming to campus should also participate in bi-weekly testing. If you are contacted by a member of the Health Services contact tracing team, please return the call promptly and participate fully in the interview process. This is key to our success in mitigating the further spread in our community.
We ask that supervisors continue to remind coworkers and student employees to follow the COVID-19 prevention guidelines, including not coming to work if they feel ill and limiting the number in break rooms, in state vehicles, and in confined spaces.
We need everyone’s help at URI to keep members of our community safe, which will allow us to have a successful spring semester. Thank you for continuing to do your part.