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Rhode Island on Pause; Important COVID-19 Information and Resources

November 23, 2020

Dear Campus Community:

I want to express my gratitude to each of you for demonstrating your commitment to the collective health and safety of our campus community by abiding by our health and safety protocols.  Your actions have helped to minimize the devastating impact of COVID-19 throughout the campus.

Rhode Island on Pause

As we prepare for the holiday season, I want to remind our community to remain aware of guidance issued by the Governor and state health care officials.  Effective November 19, social gathering size was limited to one household, including Thanksgiving, and effective Monday, November 30 – Sunday, December 13, Rhode Island is “hitting pause” in order to reduce the spread of community transmission. 

A significant portion of our faculty and staff are already teleworking. However, during the “pause,” those employees who are able to work remotely are required to do so.  Please talk with your supervisor about teleworking options. I recognize, however, that not everyone has a job that allows them to work remotely, and I want to express my appreciation to each of you who continue to come to work and keep our operations going.

Post-Thanksgiving Plans for In-Person and Hybrid Classes 

As previously announced, only those in-person activities or classes specifically approved through the Office of the Provost will be permitted to meet in-person after Thanksgiving and through the end of the fall term. Practica, clinicals and internships will continue under the guidance of the hosting site. Faculty currently teaching in-person will notify students about how classes will continue after Thanksgiving (synchronous through Zoom, asynchronous through Blackboard, etc.).

Final Exams Scheduled for December 16-22

We will not be offering in-person final exams or testing options (even for in-person and hybrid classes) except where required by accreditation and with approved plans for the health and safety of students, faculty and staff. Plans to support students whose accommodations specify additional testing time or distraction elimination or other accommodations will be put in place as required. For questions regarding accommodations, please contact Disability Services.

Changes to Spring Break 

The Rhode Island Department of Health requested colleges and universities in the state to consider cancelling spring break in 2021 to mitigate against activities that could contribute to increased spread of the coronavirus. 

Focused on the health and safety of our campus community and recommendations from the RIC COVID-19 Steering Committee, RIC Calendar Committee and the Executive Committee of the RIC Council, the college has decided to divide spring break up into smaller breaks that coincide with the public school calendar, believing this would be helpful to the students, faculty and staff who have responsibility for school-aged children during this pandemic, while also providing needed breaks during the spring term. 

Accordingly, the college has changed the dates of its scheduled spring break from March 8-12 to February 18-19, March 24, and April 19-20.

Important COVID-19 Information and Resources

  • If you have an urgent health matter:
    • If you are a resident student, please contact Student Health Services at (401) 456-8055.
    • If you are a commuter student, faculty or staff please contact your Primary Care Physician, or in the case of an emergency dial 911. You may also call Student Health Services for support.
  • Students Living in the Residence Halls: 
    • If you are experiencing symptoms and require a COVID-19 test, please call Student Health Services at (401) 456-8055 to make an appointment. 
  • Asymptomatic Testing:
    • If you are part of RIC asymptomatic testing program (e.g., teach in-person classes, student athletes, clinical students, employees with customer-facing roles, etc.) and would like to schedule a test, please follow this link to make an appointment:
    • If you are not a part of the above group, please contact your PCP and/or visit the Rhode Island Department of Health website at
    • To change an already scheduled test through the RIC asymptomatic testing program, please contact Gerald Shellard at
    • If you cannot access lab results please contact Dominion Labs - Carin Johnson at 202-579-7624 to receive help with accessing results and your patient portal.
  • RIC Employees:
    • If you are a RIC employee with a COVID-19 related HR concern, please contact Human Resources at or call (401) 456-8216.
  • COVID-19 Reporting:
    • If you would like to fill out a COVID-19 report related to a visual/verbal screening, please click here.
    • If you are a student or know of a student with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, please click here.

Finally, let me wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving. While this year’s celebration will be unlike any we have previously experienced, please know that I am grateful for each of you and I know we will get through this together.

Yours in education,

Frank D. Sánchez

Page last updated: November 23, 2020