URI Health Services has seen a significant increase in the number of confirmed influenza cases and those who have influenza-like illness. In addition, yesterday we noted a jump in the number of positive COVID-19 cases, 32 in the past 7 days for a 1.6% positivity rate.
Our Health Services team has surpassed its capacity to meet the requests for same-day service despite increased staffing. We are seeing students as quickly as we can and understand there may be a several day wait for an appointment. If this trend continues, we will be faced with difficult decisions regarding additional restrictions. Now is the time to commit to the steps necessary to decrease transmission of these viruses in our community.
To help keep yourself and the community healthy, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following:
- Get a flu shot. A flu shot is the easiest and most effective way to help prevent the flu. It takes about 2 weeks before you have antibodies for protection. URI has flu clinics weekly, so click here to register for an upcoming clinic (Nov. 11, Nov. 17 or Nov. 22) or visit a local retail pharmacy to get vaccinated.
- Get a COVID-19 vaccination if you are unvaccinated, or get the booster if you have been vaccinated and meet the eligibility criteria. Click here for vaccine information and availability in Rhode Island.
- Stay home from work and school if you are sick or symptomatic.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow and do not remove your mask to cough or sneeze.
- Wash your hands often throughout the day. Use warm water and soap. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand gel.
- Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
- Wear a mask indoors while in public spaces.
- Limit your close contacts, particularly if you have any symptoms.
Faculty have been requested to work with students who are unable to attend class due to viral illness and not to require a note for classes missed due to illness.
It is strongly recommended that all vaccinated members of our community participate in weekly surveillance testing at the Memorial Union Atrium. Testing is available at no cost on weekdays. Click here to see the schedule.
We ask all members of the URI community to increase their efforts to adhere to the health and safety guidelines and to practice good hand and respiratory etiquette. We had a very successful first two months of the semester and with a recommitment we can reduce the prevalence of illness in our community. As we approach the upcoming holidays, we would like to encourage anyone traveling to “know before you go” and obtain a COVID test 48 hours prior to your planned travel.
Our thanks to the entire URI community for your efforts to help keep each other and the surrounding community safe.