Message from the President
Dear Salve Regina Faculty and Staff,
I know many of you are concerned about the fast-changing news around the coronavirus and as our valued employees, I would like to clarify some policies and procedures for our operations in the immediate future. Please know that our colleagues in human resources and academic affairs have been working diligently ensure that Salve Regina is compliant with guidelines provided by the Rhode Island Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Currently, the University remains open for normal administrative operations. There are no presumptive or confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on campus.
Given the number of new cases in Rhode Island, I would like to remind all employees to follow recommendations which include:
- Frequently wash hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water or soap, or sanitize your hands often
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily
- Avoid close contact with other people (social distancing recommendation is to remain 6 feet apart)
- Cover your sneezes and coughs, throw away tissues and wash or sanitize your hands
- Stay home if you are sick
- Wear a facemask if you are sick
As we all navigate the ever-changing circumstances around us, it is important that we all adhere to social distancing practices. Non-essential meetings should be postponed or held virtually if social distancing recommendations are difficult to follow. Office spaces should also be thoughtfully considered to ensure proper social distancing between employees. If feasible, managers and department chairs are encouraged to review options for telecommuting within their areas and design a plan that works for the benefit of all.
Salve Regina will be developing general telecommuting policies early this week for operations through April 13. Please understand that not all positions are suitable for telecommuting and will be considered on a case by case basis. Nancy Escher, Salve’s Director of Human Resources will email these policies when formalized.
As guidance to slow the spread of coronavirus in Rhode Island is provided, Salve’s policies may need to be revised. As you are aware, Governor Raimondo has announced the closure of all K-12 schools and childcare centers this week, and mandated that everyone who has traveled outside the US in the past 14 days self-quarantine.
Because of these actions and the evolving presence of coronavirus, the following University decisions have been made.
- Effective Monday, March 16, non-essential domestic travel sponsored by Salve Regina University will be prohibited. If such travel has been booked, please cancel it immediately.
- International travel remains prohibited.
- All international students have now been directed to return to their permanent residences in the United States. The University has communicated with them separately.
- If you have traveled internationally in the past 14 days, you must self-quarantine for 14 days after your U.S. return date. Please speak with your manager about whether and how you will be able to work remotely during this time.
- If you must be quarantined, must care for a family member that is sick or under quarantine, or must remain home due to your child’s school being closed, please use your accrued sick, personal or vacation time as appropriate or talk to your supervisor about telecommuting until further notice.
- If you are sick, please stay home and use your accrued leave.
Employees may be eligible for R.I. Temporary Disability Income or R.I. Temporary Caregivers Insurance. Critical insurance provider and agency contact information is available below. If you have questions about use of leave time, please contact the Office of Human Resources.
It is important to note that Salve Regina is temporarily moving to an alternative form of operation, not closing campus or shutting down. While we will make every effort to be flexible, we will need many employees working on campus to support our ongoing operations. As this situation unfolds, core responsibilities for some positions may need to change to meet the needs of the University.
I want to assure you that a dedicated team of employees across the institution is moving quickly to make decisions as this situation rapidly evolves. Your patience, understanding and truly extraordinary community spirit is sincerely appreciated as we all work together during these unprecedented times.
The University is adding information regularly to its salve.edu/coronavirus site. Please continue to look there for information and check email for more detailed updates.
While it is unquestionably difficult for all of us, I know that as a Mercy institution, our collective dedication, creativity and flexibility will see us through this crisis.
God bless Salve and deep thanks to all for your cooperation during these uncertain times.
Kelli J. Armstrong, Ph.D.