Dear faculty and staff,
As July turned to August, we watched the rising incidences of COVID-19 cases in Newport County and across Rhode Island with concern. The Delta variant is substantially more transmissible than the original virus we dealt with throughout the last academic year, and it is affecting communities across the United States, including here in southern New England.
Our careful and deliberate approach to the pandemic has put Salve Regina in a good place to weather this latest storm. Vaccines have proven remarkably effective in curtailing the spread of the virus, including the Delta variant, and mitigating the severity of cases that do occur. Compliance with our earlier decision to require the vaccine of all employees and students is essential to our ability to operate the campus as normally and as safely as possible.
Unfortunately, the rate of transmission in Newport County is currently “high” according to the latest CDC data – meaning more than 100 cases per 100,000 population in the previous seven days, the highest level of transmission on the CDC’s scale. In accordance with CDC guidelines, effective immediately, Salve Regina will require indoor mask wearing for anyone on our campus, regardless of your vaccine status.
We will continue to monitor the prevalence of disease in the community and may downgrade the mask requirement when transmission rates drop. Until that time, please mask up in all indoor situations, unless you are alone in your own office, and be mindful of proper social distancing in shared spaces. Finally, if you are feeling any symptoms, you should not come to work. Consult your health care provider, get tested, take advantage of your sick days and remember: we are all in this together.
Thank you for all you do to make Salve Regina such a remarkable community.