As we welcome you back to URI, we want to share some updates around health and safety with you. We are excited to have our students, faculty and staff returning to campus and the community during the next two weeks. We look forward to classes being offered mostly in-person and the many opportunities for students to become engaged at URI.
The response of our students to URI’s vaccine requirement has been exceptional. As of today, we are nearing our goal of 100% compliance with the requirement that all graduate and undergraduate students provide proof that they are fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption. As we work with a small number of students who have yet to submit proof of full vaccination or have an approved University exemption, we are proud of the 98% of students who are fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated or who have an approved exemption verified by Health Services.
As of today, only 199 registered students have not provided proof of vaccination or received an approved exemption. The University continues to contact these students. A hold in e-Campus has been placed on their records that prevents further registration and access to housing and dining. We are confident that as students continue to comply, these restrictions can be removed before the start of classes to allow students to return to campus and fully participate in campus activities.
COVID‑19 vaccines are widely available, safe, and greatly limit the transmission of the virus, and have been shown to dramatically reduce the chances of serious illness and/or death related to a COVID‑19 infection. We are also employing other proven health and safety measures to ensure we can all come back together and have a productive and successful year.
All faculty, staff, students and visitors are expected to universally wear a mask indoors in all URI buildings and vehicles, except when eating/drinking or in a private office space.
We will continue to offer surveillance testing free of charge on campus at the Memorial Union for individuals who are without symptoms. The Testing Center hours and other helpful information is available here. Students with an approved exemption must be tested twice weekly on Monday or Tuesday and again on Thursday or Friday to meet the testing requirement. All other community members are encouraged to participate in surveillance testing at their convenience.
Symptomatic testing will be performed at URI Health Services seven days a week.
The University continues to offer on-campus vaccination clinics for students, faculty and staff, and those in their immediate circle of acquaintances, such as family members. We cannot state strongly enough that widespread vaccination among students, faculty and staff is the best way to ensure that the University community is able to enjoy a dynamic and comprehensive in-person experience in the fall. Vaccination and now wearing face coverings indoors at URI are especially important in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant, which the Rhode Island Department of Health says is more aggressive than other strains because it spreads more easily and quickly and may cause more serious illness.
We are confident that URI’s very high rate of vaccinations, along with indoor masking and testing will allow us to have a “near normal” fall semester without further restrictions on the number of people who can attend indoor and outdoor activities, programs, and events, including cheering for our Rhody student-athletes.
As we return to campus over the next few weeks we will be closely monitoring the data and transmission on our campus and within our community. As we all need to work together to continue be safe, consider the following:
- Wear a mask if you find yourselves in large, crowded groups outside, although this is not a requirement.
- Limit the number of individuals when gathering socially indoors and avoid large groups when you don’t know if everyone is vaccinated.
- Limit travel to areas with higher rates of COVID-19 unless essential.
- Get a COVID-19 test regularly to make sure you are not putting others at risk.
Again, we offer our heartfelt thanks to our students for taking the steps to make URI as healthy and safe as possible. You exemplify what is best about our Rhody community.