Oct. 2 - To students and families: Outbreaks at neighboring schools

“It’s pretty alarming and pretty crystal clear on where we are struggling and what age group is not following the rules.” – Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo

Dear Salve Regina students,

Over the past few weeks, Rhode Island has seen rising coronavirus cases in younger populations, particularly among those who are 19-24 years old. This age group accounts for just 9 percent of the state’s population but represented 30 percent of new cases in the week ending Sept. 21.

While these numbers are largely attributed to outbreaks at Providence College and the University of Rhode Island – outbreaks that also exposed some Salve Regina students – they are resulting in direct consequences for all Rhode Islanders. Our state was recently added to the travel advisories for Connecticut, New Jersey and New York because of these rising case counts.

We have been lucky that none of our students who are quarantining due to possible exposure have tested positive. We need your help to stay that way.

When I wrote to you earlier this semester about code of conduct expectations and sanctions, I mentioned that certain violations of our policies would necessitate serious consequences, including dismissal, suspension, removal from campus housing or a requirement to complete classes remotely.

Most of you are following the policies that were put in place to protect your health and safety. I want you to know that we see you and we appreciate you. However, I must note that there are now a few less students on campus due to an inability to follow these policies. We said we would be tough to protect our campus – and we have been.

As a reminder for the weekend and the rest of the semester:

  • Do not visit friends at other schools and do not travel unless absolutely necessary.
  • Non-Salve Regina guests are not allowed in residence halls at any time. This includes students from other institutions, significant others and families.
  • Keep your social circle to small, consistent groups. All gatherings must be 15 or less of your regular contacts. If you live on campus, remember that your room occupancy is limited to double the room residency.
  • Masks are not just for the classroom and common areas. You need to wear them in cars, residence hall rooms and anywhere else you may have contact with another individual.

Remember that our layered approach to keeping campus open relies on your commitment to adhering to University guidelines and encouraging your peers to share that responsibility.

I wish you continued safety, health and success this semester. #Salvesgotthis

J. Malcolm Smith
Vice president for student affairs