As colleges, universities deal with coronavirus outbreaks, Salve Regina has had only 2 cases


NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — While other colleges and universities in Rhode Island have been dealing with coronavirus outbreaks, Newport’s Salve Regina University has only had two cases since the start of the school year.

School officials say they’ve been able to keep their numbers down through a combination of student participation and efforts such as mask-wearing, santitizing, and surveillance testing.

Vice President of Student Affairs Malcolm Smith said even though Salve is using a hybrid learning model, the university is taking every precaution.

“I do think that our efforts are intentional, deliberate,” he said. “Most of our classes right don’t have more than 15 people in them. They all have cleaning agents in them, cleaned before class and after class. Our faculty members wear masks and they are behind plexiglass, so I think we have taken every precaution.”

With only two students testing positive since they returned to campus on August 19, officials said the school’s positivity rate currently stands at 0.055%.

No faculty or staff members have tested positive to date.

Students who violate Salve’s COVID-19 rules and regulations can face consequences including dismissal, suspension, removal from campus housing, and a requirement to finish classes remotely.

“If you have an unauthorized guest, the host and potentially the roommates have been removed from the residence halls for the remainder of the semester, they are allowed to come back in January and try again,” Smith said. “We send a very clear message.”

He also said the city of Newport has been helpful in monitoring off-campus activity.

“I think the location we are at, the city of Newport and Middletown, have also been outstanding, so our location has done well,” Smith added. “I think there is some credit to the city that they deserve.”

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