PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Colleges and universities in Southern New England are taking steps to keep students and staff members healthy during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Below is information on how each school is handling the outbreak situation as of March 19.

Colleges and Universities


Providence College:

Classes will be delivered remotely for the rest of the spring semester.

Both the commencement exercises scheduled for May 17 and reunion weekend scheduled for May 29-31 have been postponed. PC plans to reschedule both events but specific dates have not been set.

The college has also suspended international travel through the end of April.

U.S. Naval War College:

All lectures and seminars for its 600 in-residence students will be transitioned online starting Monday, while all events, conferences, and ceremonies have been postponed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

For seminars, students are being introduced to the “virtual classroom” through a program that allows each person in a 12-person seminar to appear on camera via a laptop computer or tablet and speak in real time to the group.

The college also stopped all official travel and limited military members to taking personal leave only within the local area, in accordance with Department of Defense guidelines.

If a member of the college believes they have been exposed to COVID-19, that person should notify the chain of command. Additional protocols, including restriction of movement, will be considered if necessary.

The University of Rhode Island:

All classes will be delivered remotely for the rest of the semester.

Experiential learning students are asked to follow the guidance of their college, supervisor or employer on reporting to their internship or clinical. Graduate and faculty research will continue both on- and off-campus while following social distancing guidelines. Thesis and dissertation defenses should be conducted remotely.

On-campus residents have been instructed not to come to campus to remove personal items until receiving further instruction. The university said it will provide guidance on moving out of the residence halls as well as refunds by noon Friday.

A decision on the commencement ceremonies scheduled for May 16-17 will be made by March 24.

URI has suspended all university-sponsored international travel until May 1 pending evolving circumstances.

On weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., URI has a dedicated hotline for anyone with questions about the coronavirus response. The number is (401) 874-3082.

Brown University:

One member of the Brown community has tested positive for COVID-19. Students and employees who were in contact with the diagnosed individual have been notified by the R.I. Department of Health, which provides guidance on health considerations and quarantine.

Classes have been canceled for the week of March 16. The university will move to online classes for the rest of the semester for both undergraduate and graduate students starting March 30.

Undergraduate students must leave all on-campus, and university-owned properties by March 17. Admissions events and all spring athletics competitions and practices are canceled, and non-essential visitors are discouraged from coming to campus.

Brown has also suspended all international travel.

Rhode Island School of Design:

March 20 will be the last day classes meet in person, Spring Break will be held as usual from March 23 to 27 and as of Monday, March 30, through the rest of the semester, classes will be taught remotely.

Starting on March 16, the school is canceling all in-person gatherings greater than 100 people for the remainder of the semester. Anyone who is in charge of an event this size must cancel, reschedule, or move it online.

All residence halls will close for the remainder of the semester on March 22. Anyone who is unable to return to their permanent residence, the school has established a process where students can request accommodations.

The school confirms that the three Brown students who tested negative for the coronavirus are not enrolled in any RISD classes.

All institutional offices will remain open and operations will continue as usual until further notice.

Bryant University:

From Tuesday, March 17, through Friday, March 27, all campus classrooms will be closed and the university will move to a schedule of online classes.

Bryant also wants all students, faculty, and staff who have been to Italy, Iran, China (including Hong Kong and Macau), South Korea, and Japan to stay home for two weeks before returning to campus. Upon their return, they are required to check in with Health Services.

Custodians have been disinfecting surfaces on a daily and nightly basis, using a clean cloth and disinfectant solution created for this purpose.

The sold-out 2020 Bryant University Women’s Summit has been postponed, according to Director Kati Machtley. It was originally set for March 13 and approximately 1,100 people planned to attend.

There are no confirmed cases at the university.

Roger Williams University:

RWU has extended spring break by one week through March 22 and then will begin online instruction on March 23. Students may not return to campus, although exceptions may be made to retrieve essential belongings. The university remains open and faculty and staff are expected to report to work. For more information, click here.  

On Monday, the RWU Emergency Response Team sent a notice to the campus community that 15 students and one faculty member have been asked to self-quarantine for two weeks out of an abundance of caution. The group attended a Conservative Political Action Conference late last month which has since been connected to a case of the virus.

The university said none of the attendees have exhibited symptoms and there’s no concern of exposure on campus, stressing that there’s no need for those who’ve had contact with the attendees to quarantine.

RWU has also extended the deadline for fall 2020 enrollment to June 1.

Anyone with questions is asked to call RWU Health Services at (401) 254-3156.

Salve Regina University:

Salve Regina has canceled university-sponsored trips abroad during spring break, as well as some university-sponsored domestic trips to states where health emergencies have been declared.

The school has also postponed some campus events with more than 100 attendees through the end of spring break, March 21. Events taking place after that date will be evaluated over the coming days.

Only students who are studying abroad in Italy have been directed home. The university has requested that these students remain off-campus in their permanent residence to complete their courses remotely as hosted by their specific program centers, and will not be housed on campus.

There are no confirmed cases at the university.

Rhode Island College:

RIC has canceled all classes scheduled through March 20. Beginning March 23, classes will be conducted virtually until further notice.

As of now, there are no confirmed cases at RIC.

Community College of Rhode Island:

The college has decided to extend spring break through March 22 and switch to remote instruction beginning March 23 and continuing until at least April 3.

There are no confirmed cases at CCRI at this time.

CCRI has suspended all college-sponsored international travel for the near future and canceled all events with 100 or more participants through Apri 7.

All CCRI faculty, staff and students who have traveled to China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, and Japan in the last 14 days and going forward must notify the college and should remain at home until 14 symptom-free days have passed from the date of your return to Rhode Island.

Johnson & Wales University:

Academic classes will be delivered online for the rest of the semester. JWU hopes to resume College of Culinary Arts and Equine Sciences labs on April 13.

All on-campus students are required to move out of their residence halls by Sunday, March 22. The university said it’s working to determine how to accommodate those with housing needs. Culinary and equine students who live on campus will be provided housing when labs resume.

The JWU Graduate Studies Commencement scheduled for May 1 has been postponed. A decision regarding the remaining ceremonies will be made by the end of March, officials said.

There are no confirmed COVID-19 cases at the JWU Providence Campus at this time. Visit the university’s coronavirus page for further updates.

Anyone with questions regarding the virus can call the R.I. Department of Health at (401) 222-8022 or visit the department’s website.


Bristol Community College:

March 16-21 is spring break, and the following week (March 23-28) there will be no classes held in person or online. However, college departments and many services will remain open.

The college may move classes online starting March 30 but officials said the plan is still being determined.

All events, seminars and other gatherings hosted by or held at the college involving 50 attendees or more from March 13 through April 3 have been canceled or postponed.

From March 14 through April 4, the library on the Fall River Campus will be open to students and employees but closed to the public. The campus’s fitness center, dental clinic and art gallery will be closed to all. Visit BCC’s website for more information.

UMass Dartmouth:

Starting March 23, all classes will be delivered online.

All campus events have been canceled through May 31, including the commencement ceremonies for undergraduates on May 9 and law and graduate students on May 11.

There have been no reported cases at the university.

Wheaton College:

While there are no confirmed cases at the college, Spring Break will be extended through March 22 and then classes will be moved online for the rest of the semester beginning March 23.

Students are required to pick up their belongings and leave campus by March 22 at 5 p.m. and not return until further notice. Students who do not have any other options for housing due to life or travel restrictions need to submit a housing petition by March 18, at 1 p.m.

Only extenuating circumstances will be allowed and if approved, it is important to note that the on-campus experience will be limited to housing and dining.

Stonehill College:

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, following spring break, students are being asked to remain home out of an abundance of caution. Classes will be taught online starting March 18 and continue through March 27.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology:

All classes have been canceled for the week of March 16 through 20 before classes are shifted to online-only for the rest of the semester.

Undergraduate students should not return to campus after spring break and are required to depart from campus residences no later than 12 p.m. on March 17.

Limited exceptions will be allowed but must receive official permission. Exceptions may include international students who have concerns they will not be allowed to return to MIT due to visa issues, if their home country has been hit hard by COVID-19 or if they do not have a home to go to.

Thre are no confirmed cases at the campus.

Harvard University:

Students will be switching to online learning after spring break starting on March 23. Schools will communicate more specific guidance, and students are encouraged to review your School and Program-specific coronavirus page for more information.

All University-related international travel is prohibited and all personal international travel in strongly discouraged.