COVID-19 updates for start of fall semester

We hope you are doing well and enjoying your summer. As we look forward to welcoming all our students, faculty, and staff for the start of the fall semester, we would like to make sure that you understand the University’s expectations related to protecting our community from COVID-19. Please review the following policies, information and instructions carefully.

New vaccination policy

The University strongly recommends that all students, faculty, and staff be vaccinated and obtain all recommended boosters to protect themselves from COVID-19. The vaccine has been proven to be safe and extremely effective in averting serious illness or death.

All incoming first-year students and transfer students are required to answer the COVID Vaccination Question found in the Forms tab in the patient portal by Aug. 19. All returning students are asked to upload any new COVID-19 vaccinations received since last semester to the patient portalInstructions are available here.


Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be asked to return home to isolate if it is safe for them to do so without using public transportation. Students unable to return home will be required to isolate themselves in their rooms for a minimum of five days and will be able to resume normal activities on day six, if symptoms have improved or resolved.

Returning to campus (point of origin testing)

All new and returning students, regardless of vaccination status, are requested to test within 48 hours of their arrival on campus or back to the community, preferably 24 hours before or the same day as travel. Rapid and at-home tests are acceptable. Any student who tests positive must upload their positive point-of-origin test results showing name and date, including an image of a home test with name and date, to Health Services via the patient portalInstructions are available here.  If you test negative, take a photo of your result, as you may be asked to show it at check-in.

Health Services will provide rapid self tests during move-in for those students unable to get test kits.

Masking on campus

The University no longer requires community members to wear masks indoors, except in those spaces where direct academic instruction and research are taking place unless a faculty member waives the requirement. Masks are also required at URI Health Services in clinical settings. This policy will remain in effect until further notice while we assess transmission rates on our campus when we come back together.  

We continue to encourage people to be respectful of others and to understand we have individuals in our community who are immunocompromised, at high risk for severe disease, have children or others in their homes who cannot be vaccinated, or are uncomfortable with the change in mask requirements. Please be respectful of personal choice and also stay home from work or class if you are sick.

The University reserves the right to reinstate masking restrictions based on the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention and Rhode Island Department of Health guidance and conditions on campus and in the community.

Testing on campus

Consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, URI Health Services has shifted from conducting routine surveillance testing to concentrating on providing same-day testing for students who have symptoms of COVID-19 and/or those who have been exposed to a case and identified as a close contact. Testing will be available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the remainder of the summer and will shift to routine clinic hours for the fall on Labor Day Weekend.  

Faculty and staff who are symptomatic and/or exposed can contact their primary care provider, visit an urgent care center, or find testing sites in the community. Staff and faculty members who test positive for the COVID-19 virus should notify their supervisors. Faculty and staff should also notify their primary care providers, particularly if they are immunocompromised or at risk for severe disease, to determine whether they are candidates for antiviral medication.

We wish everyone a healthy and safe rest of the summer and we look forward to seeing all of you in a few weeks.