PROVIDENCE, R.I., -- On Tuesday, Rhode Island College President, Frank Sanchez, announced via email that it would be adhering to the Department of Health’s guidelines and reschedule Spring Break. Instead of a week-long Spring Break in March, the college has spread the days throughout the semester to February 18-19, March 24 and April 19-20.
As previously announced, Rhode Island College will also be closing following Thanksgiving this week. All classes currently meeting in person or via hybrid format will be meeting virtually unless otherwise approved by the Office of the Provost. Internships, clinical and practica will be at the discretion of the student’s hosting site. The college closure after Thanksgiving has also led to the cancellation of all in-person final exams unless required by accreditation.
According to President Sanchez, the college’s decision was largely based on the dramatic increase in coronavirus cases throughout the country and in Rhode Island. In addition, last week members of both the Women’s and Men’s basketball team tested positive for the coronavirus leading to increased caution amongst the campus community.
Although plans for the Spring semester have yet to be finalized, registration for classes opened last week and implies a similar format to that of the fall semester. A majority of classes will be offered virtually either synchronous or asynchronous and only a select portion of classes will be offered in-person or as a hybrid.
In an email to the campus community on Tuesday President Sanchez thanked the campus community for continuing to oblige by protocols and working to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. President Sanchez said, “I want to take this time to thank you for abiding by our health and safety protocols. Thank you for wearing your masks, for social distancing and for limiting the size of your gatherings. Because we have rallied together as a campus community, we have been able to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on campus. But, with cases on the rise, we have to keep it up. I know that it is not easy. The pandemic has impacted every facet of our lives.”
From November 4 to November 18 Rhode Island College reported 28 cases of COVID-19 amongst the RIC community. Of those cases, 64% were amongst off-campus students, 7% were amongst residential students or on-campus students and 29% were amongst faculty and staff. This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases amongst the RIC campus community since August 31 to 95.