Campus restrictions implemented as COVID-19 cases climb


Isabella Gentile / The Hawks' Herald

Students eating inside of Upper Commons in March 2021. Because of an uptick in COVID-19 cases on campus, in-door dining will now close and re-opening will be reevaluated April 9.

Rachel Dvareckas, Managing Editor

The Roger Williams University community has seen a spike in the number of positive COVID-19 cases this past week, resulting in the return of some restrictions. In-person dining will close and reopening will be reevaluated on April 9. Students will be able to dine outside under the tent when it goes up on April 8. 

Vice President of Student Life John King said the university saw an increase in cases after two weeks of few positive cases. He warns students to be cautious, even if the university’s cases are lower than the number of cases in Bristol and Rhode Island. In the past seven testing days, there were two separate days when nine positive tests were reported on each day — one of these days was March 23.

Varsity and intramural sports teams will also be impacted. The start of outdoor intramural sports will be paused for now.

“Several sports teams have had contests canceled this week and spring sports are in jeopardy without a full-fledged re-commitment to prevention strategies and behavior changes,” King wrote in an email to students on March 25.

King said there has been an increase in off-campus positive cases as people are socializing more. He also said there have been situations where students indicated they were experiencing symptoms on the daily screening log, but still attended classes because they thought it was just allergies.

“It is imperative that any student who experiences symptoms stays home or in their residence hall room, follows the screening response action steps and contacts Health Services for a symptomatic COVID test at their office,” King said.

King urges students to be safe with the holiday weekend coming up. He asks students to stay on campus if they can and if they do go home, to follow safe practices.

“How we as a campus handle our socialization and exposure during that long weekend will set the course for how successfully we complete the semester in-person, participate in club and organization activities, spring week events and senior events,” King said.

King said off-campus locations, Almeida Apartments, North Campus Residence Hall and Bayside are experiencing higher rates of positive cases. Students in first and second year housing are seeing a lower number of positive cases. 

“Don’t be fooled by improving weather, spring semester fables or the relaxation regionally and nationally of restrictions.  COVID is not gone, the Easter Bunny isn’t going to complete your academic work if you get ill from COVID and herd immunity is still several months away. Let’s finish strong Hawks… and together,” King wrote.