RWU’s administration’s expectations for upcoming semester


Emily Dvareckas/The Hawks' Herald

RWU adminstration hopes to keep positive COVID cases low this semester. Administration is pleasantly surprised with the current 1% positive cases.

As the first couple of weeks of in-person classes begins, the RWU administration has high hopes for the upcoming semester. Vice President of Student Life John King believes that the administration’s goals “are the same as students.’ We all want to have the fullest semester possible.”

King said the administration is pleasantly surprised with the current percentage of students with COVID-19. “We’re running at 1%, and that is lower than we expected it to be,” said King. King is not alone in this feeling either, as RWU Chief of Staff Brian Williams said the positivity rate is “close to what [they] were projecting.”

King credits the low number to several different factors such as the pre-arrival testing by students, the clearance testing upon arrival and the fact that about 20% of both students and faculty contracted COVID during break, which, per CDC guidelines does not let them get tested for 90 days.

“Those three factors, combined with an extremely high vaccination rate are really what has enabled us to be at 1%,” King said.

Regarding the new Omicron variant, King said “the rates of transmission in Rhode Island will continue to drop, related to Omicron, over the next few weeks.” King added “the magic number you want to be able to get to as a state and as a community is to be below 100 cases per 100,000 people. We have a long ways to go before we get there.”

King further said RWU’s goal is “to always be substantially below whatever the regional rate is.” As for what the future looks like for RWU regarding COVID-19, King said he thinks RWU is going to have “much lower positivity than the local community.”