University loosens mask mandate indoors on all campuses

Beginning Friday, March 4, at 5 p.m., the University of Rhode Island will, based on CDC/RIDOH guidance, adjust our policies and no longer require community members to wear masks indoors on campus except for those spaces where direct academic instruction and research are taking place. While wearing masks in most indoor areas is optional, please keep in mind there remains a benefit to masking and there are people in our community who will continue to wear them. Please respect their decisions.  

Face coverings will continue to be required across the University in classrooms, conference rooms, auditoriums, studios, and laboratories where teaching and/or research is actively taking place, as well as at URI Health Services and on public transportation, including the URI Shuttle and SafeRide, until further notice. Please review the University’s guidance on face coverings for additional information.

While Gov. Dan McKee has lifted Rhode Island’s state building mask mandate, the University will continue to follow the data closely and monitor developments with regard to the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses and across the state more broadly prior to lifting additional restrictions. The University reserves the right to reinstate masking restrictions based on CDC/RIDOH guidance and conditions on campus.

For this reason, we strongly urge students to “know before you go,” by obtaining a COVID-19 test prior to your departure for spring break (March 14-18) as well as upon your return. The testing center, located in Atrium 1 of the Memorial Union, is open weekdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., through March 11. The center will reopen Monday, March 21, at 8:30 a.m.

Students who feel ill or are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms are reminded they should not go to the Memorial Union for asymptomatic testing. Symptomatic testing is open 7 days a week at URI Health Services for students and employees. Testing will be available weekdays during spring break (March 14-18) from 8:30 a.m. to 2 pm.  

We cannot state strongly enough that widespread vaccination among students, faculty and staff is the best way to ensure that the University community continues to enjoy a dynamic and comprehensive in-person experience. COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots are widely available, safe, limit transmission of the virus, and have been shown to nearly eliminate the chance of death or serious illness related to a COVID-19 infection. Please review the University’s policy on COVID-19 vaccinations for additional information.

Thank you to those community members who have been vaccinated. If we all work together, we can continue to have an exciting and enjoyable spring semester.