Feb. 14 - To the Salve Regina community: Mitigation measures and mask mandate
Dear Salve Regina community,
On this Valentine's Day, we are reminded of the countless ways we have cared for one another throughout the pandemic. Our spirit and strength have carried us through the darkest of times, and there is hope that we can end restrictions while also safely managing future challenges to the health and safety of our community.
While cases on campus and within the greater Newport community continue to fall, we are still not at the levels we should be to lift all restrictions at this time. After careful consideration, we have eased some measures and will be carefully monitoring data to determine the best approach to phasing out others in ways that are considerate of all members of our Salve Regina family.
Mitigation Measures Expiring Today
- There is no longer a restriction on serving food and/or drinks during in-person meetings and events.
- There is no longer a prohibition on non-Salve guests in residence halls.
Mitigation Measures Remaining in Place
- The Miley dining hall will continue to offer to-go options.
- All dining locations will continue to have reduced seating capacity.
- The mask mandate will remain in place (see specifics below).
Indoor Mask Mandate
We recognize that Rhode Island recently lifted its indoor mask mandate and will allow K-12 schools to set their own mask policies beginning March 4. We know that many in our community are hoping for the same on Salve Regina’s campus.
Due to challenges such as our congregate living environment, the size of some classrooms in our historic buildings, and the number of individuals in our community with small children or family members that are unable to be vaccinated or boosted at this time, our Emergency Management Team is implementing the following measures to strike a balance between state policies, CDC guidelines and other scientific data geared toward sound management of the pandemic.
If cases continue to decline and Salve Regina achieves 100% compliance with our booster requirement (either boosted, if eligible, or successfully exempted) by March 1, we will eliminate the campus-wide mask mandate on March 4, with the following exceptions:
- In class – including classrooms, laboratories and related academic spaces.
- At Health Services, including the respiratory clinic.
- At the asymptomatic testing site.
- At Counseling Services.
- In athletic training rooms.
If cases substantially slow their rate of decline, if we see a surge on campus or if we have not reached full compliance by the March 1 booster deadline, we will continue to examine masking policies periodically based on transmission rates and other factors.
It has been proven that vaccination and boosters are the most effective ways of preventing severe illness from COVID-19. Salve Regina is aiming for 100% compliance from students and employees, meaning you must be boosted or have an exemption in place by March 1. If you will not be eligible by March 1, please contact Health Services (students) or Human Resources (employees) to determine the date you will become eligible so that compliance may be confirmed.
Booster clinics have been scheduled for students, faculty and staff on:
- 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, Miley executive dining room
- 2-6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 28, Miley executive dining room
Students should 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." Faculty and staff may submit their booster record via the employee submission form.
Consequences for Those Who Are Not Boosted by March 1
Consequences for those who are not in compliance with the booster mandate by March 1 are based on CDC guidelines for higher education institutions, as well as state and federal policies.
- If you are identified as a close contact, you must quarantine for 5 days and then wear a mask around others for an additional 5 days.
- You must wear a mask in indoor public spaces, even after the mask mandate expires.
- The CDC also recommends that those who are not boosted undergo regular surveillance testing.