RWU Moves to Covid Operating Level Yellow


Emily Dvareckas/The Hawks' Herald

Mae Bogosian (left) and Keyana Rubino (right) enjoy being in their Intro to Design class without their masks.

After over two years of a global pandemic, it seems like a return to normalcy might be in sight. As of Saturday, March 26, Roger Williams University has moved to COVID Operating Level Yellow.

Vice President of Student Life, John King said return from Spring Break COVID-19 metrics were what the university hoped for to implement Level Yellow.
“Positivity rate is below 0.5% and we had approximately 15 students and employees who reported testing positive over break through self test before returning to campus, which is exactly what we were hoping would happen,” said King. “We’ve had about 18 positives this week [week of March 21], through the testing center and also through health services.”

The pandemic will continue to factor into university operations.

“Obviously COVID-19 is still an issue, it’s still out there it’s still something we have to be mindful of particularly when individuals have symptoms,” said King. “The best approach, rather than doubting the symptoms, is to just get tested and to be able to rule that out.”

Several COVID metrics from local and state levels were trending lower according to King. These metrics include Rhode Island hospitalization rates and ICU rates, local positivity rates and case counts and campus positivity rates.

Level Yellow at RWU lifts many mask restrictions across campus. However, individual faculty members can require masking at any time, as well as any group activities or campus events.

King said the testing center will be open the same hours and days as it previously was, just with fewer staff members present.

Fully vaccinated and boosted students and employees who tested at least once last week throughout the testing center can now test every other week through the semester until further notice.

King said that not all students complied with the two Spring Break clearance testing, which will affect their ability to attend class.

“Any student who did not test at least once this week in the campus testing center this week will be contacted soon by Student Life and notified that they may not enter class next week until they have a negative test result from our campus testing center.”

Testing procedures for those who missed clearance testing will be different.
“Fully vaccinated students who missed return from spring break clearance testing will be required to comply with one additional week of weekly testing April 4 – 7, and then can begin every other week testing for the rest of the semester until further notice,” said King.

Vaccine-exempt students and employees, or students and employees who have not filed their booster shot information with health services will test twice weekly until further notice

In regard to those who still choose to mask in indoor settings where it is now optional King said, “We want masking to be seen as a preventative, smart decision, that nobody should have an issue with. Just because someone is masking we shouldn’t assume anything.”