June 8 - To the Salve Regina community: Vaccination status and returning to Salve Regina

Dear Salve Regina community,

Together, we have faced unprecedented challenges while navigating the uncharted waters of a global pandemic. We have been steadfast in our commitment to the health and safety of our University community, and we have kept our mercy mission front and center when making crucial decisions within the academic, student life and public health arenas.

As we actively prepare for a full return to in-person learning, research and social gatherings, we must ensure that the lessons garnered from earlier struggles are used to propel our campus community along a continued course where all students and employees can once again enjoy a campus experience that aligns with our values and with best practices in public health.

Our mercy mission calls us to support the common good and to make decisions that consider our most vulnerable community members who are at higher risk for infection. In order to ensure a vibrant fall semester free of most COVID-19 restrictions, we must achieve the highest level of vaccination possible among our Salve Regina population.

After continued review and careful deliberation, Salve Regina will require that all members of its community, including students, faculty and staff, obtain a COVID-19 vaccine for the 2021-2022 academic year. Students and employees are asked to submit proof of vaccination no later than Aug. 1.

We did not arrive at this decision lightly. In reviewing the American College Health Association and CDC recommendations for higher education institutions and in discussion with state health officials, it became clear that this additional safeguard was required to more fully protect our Salve Regina community and those with whom our members interact. We are in concert with more than 475 colleges and universities across the nation, including the majority of those within Rhode Island.

There is clear evidence that vaccines are highly effective at stopping the spread of COVID-19, and vaccines are now widely available through most retail pharmacy chains. For additional information on availability as well as the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, please visit the Rhode Island Department of Health website or vaccines.gov.

Under current state guidelines, individuals who are vaccinated will be exempted from regular COVID-19 testing and campus mask requirements. Non-vaccinated individuals will be required to undergo regular testing and wear a mask whenever they are in public spaces on campus, including classrooms, offices and athletic facilities. More information on our fall testing program will follow in a later update.

Individuals with valid medical or religious reasons for not receiving the vaccine may seek an exemption, as described below. Requests will be reviewed on an individual basis.

Details and Instructions for Undergraduate Students

All undergraduate students, including international students, must submit their vaccination records through the student health portal by Aug. 1.

To submit your vaccination record:

  • Log in to the health portal with your Salve Regina credentials.
  • In the "My Forms" menu at the top of the page, select and complete the "COVID vaccination form."

Health Services will assess student requests for medical and religious exemptions on a case-by-case basis. Requests should be submitted to Health Services by Aug. 1.

International students: If you are unable to access a WHO-approved vaccine prior to returning to the United States, you will be asked to vaccinate upon return to campus.

Please note: All undergraduate courses will be offered fully in person for the fall 2021 semester. Hybrid and remote learning options will not be available.

Details and Instructions for Graduate Students

Graduate students are required to submit proof of vaccination unless all coursework is fully online with no need to access campus throughout the academic year. The submission process for graduate students is currently being finalized and more specific information will be communicated within the next two weeks.

Details and Instructions for Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff may provide proof of vaccination securely and confidentially via the employee submission form. No other medical information should be provided.

Medical and religious exemptions will be considered on an individual basis. Please use the exemption request form to request an exemption based on a bona fide medical or religious reason. Forms should be printed, completed and returned the Office of Human Resources via mail or in person to ensure confidentiality.

For general comments, questions or concerns, please email coronavirus@salve.edu. The University will once again be updating our constituents on Tuesdays and Thursdays as needed. All updates can also be found on our Recent Communications webpage.

Thank you for your ongoing patience and support as we continue to work together to keep our Salve Regina community safe and to fulfill our mission as a mercy institution.