Jan. 6 - To undergraduate students and families: Updated preparations for the spring semester

Dear undergraduate students and families,

Happy 2022! As we approach the start of the semester on Monday, Jan. 17, we wanted to be sure you were aware of changes to the academic calendar and also share updates for pre-arrival testing, check-in and isolation/quarantine policies.

The new year has ushered in a new wave of coronavirus-related information. As always, we will respond to the fluid nature of the pandemic by using the latest science and data from sources throughout our state to determine the best course of action for our University community. We encourage you to check your email and social media regularly for updates.

Based on what we are seeing in Newport County and elsewhere, we anticipate that the Omicron variant will lead to a significant number of COVID-19 cases on campus in the coming weeks. We know that for most vaccinated individuals, this highly contagious variant causes relatively mild symptoms. We also know that vaccination alone does not limit the spread of the virus.

Our high vaccination rate leads us to believe that while the Omicron cases we may encounter will be mild, the volume will likely strain our campus health systems and staff. As a result, we have taken a thoughtful approach to our mitigation, treatment and response plans that consider not only changing guidelines from the CDC and other agencies, but also patterns of behavior among our campus population and the likelihood of future cases given newer variants recently identified. Our goal remains to work together to ensure the safety of our community while also preserving the quality of our on-campus experience.

Updated Guidelines for Pre-Arrival Testing

If you tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days, you do not need to participate in pre-arrival testing. Please bring paper or digital confirmation with your name, test date and positive result visible to check-in.

You may not return to campus residences or activate your ID without proof of a negative test administered within the three days prior to your check-in date. You will not be able to proceed with the onboarding process without providing proof of testing prior to arrival.

  • Given noted challenges to testing availability, we will now accept an at-home rapid (antigen) test for pre-arrival testing. It MUST be labeled with your name and the date it was taken. Take a picture of this to present at onboarding as verification of a negative test. Please take the test 24-72 hours prior to arrival. If you test positive through this method, start your isolation at home. Send a picture of the positive test with your name and the date of the test clearly visible to healthservices@salve.edu. A member of the staff will follow up with you. We highly recommend you also get a laboratory-verified result for your own official records, which will be needed for travel, work and any internships over the next 90 days.
  • We will continue to accept a PCR or antigen (rapid) test administered through a testing site. To find a testing site near you, visit the Department of Health and Human Services website.
  • We will also accept PCR tests from Let's Get Checked, a company that provides at-home testing kits to return via overnight shipping. If you plan to use this service, please order your kit well in advance, but be sure to swab and return no sooner than three days before your check-in date.

Please bring a paper or digital copy of your negative test with your name and test date visible. Students arriving to campus without a negative test will be directed to a local testing site before being allowed to proceed with check-in.

As an extra layer of precaution, students will also receive a second test as part of the onboarding process. This will be administered by the University. Our pre-arrival testing program is designed to detect as many positive cases as possible prior to arrival on campus, and then to provide a base for monitoring the virus as the semester progresses. The second test will not be administered unless proof of testing prior to arrival is provided.

If You Test Positive

If you test positive for COVID-19 during pre-arrival testing, you will be expected to isolate at your permanent residence prior to returning to campus. Please email documentation of your positive result to healthservices@salve.edu and residencelife@salve.edu (if you live on campus). You will also need to coordinate your arrival date with Residence Life.

Booster Mandate

Given the updated guidelines from the CDC, the University will be holding additional booster clinics on campus in January and February to assist students with compliance prior to the March 1 deadline. If you do not have a booster by March 1, or filed an exemption, you will be subject to regular testing per new CDC guidelines. Undergraduate students must submit their booster record through the student health portal. In the "My Forms" menu at the top of the page, select and complete the "COVID booster form."

Check-In for All Students

Resident students should register for a move-in date and time in My Housing as soon as possible. Move-ins for the spring semester will be scheduled in two-hour shifts over two days, with students returning Saturday, Jan. 15 and Sunday, Jan. 16. Students will be directed to the Rodgers Recreation Center to check in. Contact the Office of Residence Life at (401) 341-2210 or residencelife@salve.edu if you have any questions.

Register for a move-in date and time

Off-campus and commuter students may check in for the spring semester beginning Saturday, Jan. 15. Your Salve Regina ID will not be reactivated until you check in. Check-in will be at Rodgers Recreation Center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 16. On Monday, Jan. 17, check-in will be open at Rodgers from 7 a.m. until noon. Students arriving after noon on Monday, Jan. 17 will check in at the Dean of Students Office, located in Miley Hall, Room 118.

Isolation and Quarantine Periods

We have reviewed the latest CDC recommendations for isolation and quarantine periods. Based on these guidelines and taking into consideration the congregate living settings of most undergraduate students, the following University policies have been adapted for undergraduate students:

Isolation

  • Students who test positive and are symptomatic will isolate for 7 days from the date symptoms first appeared and until symptoms have improved. Day 0 is the first day of symptoms. Day 1 is the first full day after symptoms developed.
  • Isolation can end after 7 full days if the positive individual is fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and other symptoms have improved.
  • Positive students who are asymptomatic will also isolate for 7 days from the date of their positive test.
  • Regardless of symptoms, all students testing positive should continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public for 3 additional days (day 8-10) after the end of the 7-day isolation period. If you are unable to wear a mask when around others, you should continue to isolate for a full 10 days.

Quarantine for Undergraduate Students Exposed to COVID-19

Students who are boosted or who completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna within the last six months or the primary series of Johnson & Johnson within the last two months do not need to quarantine if exposed to COVID-19:

  • You must wear a mask around others for 10 days and are strongly encouraged to get tested on day 4. If you develop symptoms, email healthservices@salve.edu and begin to isolate prior to being tested again.

Students who completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna more than six months ago or the primary series of Johnson & Johnson more than two months ago and are not boosted, as well as those who are unvaccinated:

  • You must quarantine for 5 days. After 5 days, you must wear a mask around others for 5 additional days. Testing is required on day 4. If you develop symptoms, email healthservices@salve.edu and begin to isolate prior to being tested again. You must get your meals to-go and should not be eating in the dining hall for an additional 5 days after you complete your initial 5-day quarantine.

Students who have had COVID-19 within the last 90 days (confirmed with a PCR or rapid test), do not need to quarantine if exposed, regardless of vaccination status.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to adapt within an ever-changing landscape. Please know that we fully understand the frustrations of scheduling and trying to balance pandemic policies with everyday life. Many of the individuals working during the arrival period will be volunteers who have given up time with their families to assist yours. As members of a mercy community, we will continue to work together to keep Salve Regina strong. We look forward to welcoming you back to campus very soon and we are excited about the semester ahead.

As always, your comments, questions or concerns may be submitted to coronavirus@salve.edu.