COVID-19 on campus: One year later


Emily Dvareckas / The Hawks' Herald

Students living on campus or taking in-person classes have been getting tested for COVID-19 twice per week since the beginning of the semester.

One year ago students were trying to adjust to remote learning from their homes while the pandemic progressively got worse. Hope of returning to campus to finish the semester lessened as the days went by.

This year, students are on campus attending hybrid classes, wearing masks wherever they go and getting tested for COVID-19 twice per a week. During the fall, students were able to stay on campus the entire semester as most followed university guidelines and safety protocols. Now, students are halfway through their second semester of dealing with COVID-19 on the Bristol campus.

During the fall semester, the university saw a 0.2% positivity rate with 184 tests coming back positive throughout the semester. Now, as of March 17, there is an overall positivity rate of 0.27% with a total of 113 tests coming back positive since Jan. 19. Looking at RWU’s Bristol campus in comparison to the town of Bristol and the rest of Rhode Island, the university has reported fewer positive cases. During the week of Feb. 14 to Feb. 20, the university had four positive cases while Bristol reported 42 and the state reported 2,108 positive cases.

The relatively low number of positive cases and compliance with university guidelines has allowed students to feel a little sense of normalcy on campus. Clubs and organizations are now able to request to meet in person and in-person and hybrid events with protocols in place have been happening on campus.

Some students like sophomore El Segall are still staying on the safe side.

“I’m just being extremely cautious. I’m trusting the community to be safe, but in the end, it’s better safe than sorry and I just don’t want to risk my safety,” Segall said. “I’ve been really careful about where I go and when I try to avoid Commons at rush times.”

As the university continues to create a functioning campus atmosphere amid the pandemic, students should still be following safety guidelines to ensure the health and safety of the campus community.