Dec. 6 - To the Salve Regina community: Update on COVID-19 cases at Salve Regina
Dear Salve Regina community,
As the week draws to a close, we wanted to update you on the status of COVID-19 cases on campus and offer guidance for the remaining weeks of the semester. Please be assured that we are monitoring the situation very closely, and that there are no plans to switch to remote learning at this time.
On Monday, we emailed you with word of 11 positive cases reported to the University over the Thanksgiving break. We urged everyone to take the simple, common-sense steps that we know will help keep each other safe, such as wearing a mask in indoor public spaces and getting your vaccine or booster. By the end of that day, the number of reported cases grew to 19.
In each instance, our approach is to interview the positive individual, identify their close contacts and reach out to those contacts to immediately offer them testing on day one and five. Per CDC guidance, vaccinated close contacts are able to continue their daily activities, but should wear a mask around others and monitor for symptoms. Unvaccinated close contacts must quarantine.
The data from these current cases indicates that exposure is happening in small, social groups where friends may be more comfortable removing masks around each other.
We have been aggressive in ramping up our testing program in order to identify and isolate any additional cases on campus. By the end of today (Friday, Dec. 3), we will have completed nearly 800 tests since Monday, which as of this writing has identified nine additional cases. Importantly, testing yielded zero cases on Wednesday and two cases on Thursday. (We won’t have today's results until Saturday.) That trend is important: fewer cases is an improvement.
The reality is that COVID-19 cases are increasing across the region and the country. The virus has not disappeared and the pandemic is not over. As much as we wish this was fully behind us, we will see additional cases in our community. We are ready for this.
As we approach the end of the semester, we must all do our part to limit the number of cases on campus and to minimize the risk each of us faces. We know that festivities abound. We also know that many of our cases were among those fully vaccinated. Please stay vigilant.
- Regardless of your vaccine status, wear a mask whenever you are indoors in the presence of others, unless you are in your own residence or in a dining hall actually eating. (As a reminder: your mask should cover your nose and mouth.)
- Be smart if you are thinking of attending indoor gatherings that draw large crowds where masks are not worn consistently. Think about what you should do to protect yourself and others.
- If you have any symptoms, do not go to class or work, and get tested immediately. If you're an undergraduate student, Health Services has a new test that can tell you in about 60 minutes whether you are positive. There is no need for observation housing.
- Students who test positive outside of Salve Regina should notify Health Services at (401) 341-2904 as soon as possible. Employees should notify Human Resources at (401) 341-2137.
- If you are unvaccinated, consider getting the shot. It will help protect you and the people around you.
- If you completed the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine six (or more) months ago or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine two (or more) months ago, get a booster.
We are committed to sharing accurate, timely information about cases on campus. Our COVID-19 dashboard is updated as quickly as possible after testing results are received, and Student Affairs staff remain available to answer questions and address concerns.
The spirit of the University has shown through again and again throughout the course of this pandemic. We look out for one another and we take responsibility for the things we can control. We know that the same spirit will guide all of us now and in the future.