SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations trend downward in Rhode Island, some local colleges and universities are updating their policies.
Starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 4, masks will be optional at URI except in indoor learning spaces: classrooms, laboratories, auditoriums, studios and conference rooms.
“While wearing masks in most indoor areas is optional, please keep in mind there remains a benefit to masking and there are people in our community who will continue to wear them. Please respect their decisions,” the university wrote in a news release.
Masks will still be required at URI Health Services and on public transportation.
URI also urged students to “know before you go” by getting tested for COVID-19 before spring break. Asymptomatic students can go to the Memorial Union on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. through March 11, while anyone experiencing symptoms should get tested at Health Services which is open seven days a week.
The changes at CCRI go into effect on Monday, March 14. Masking will be optional for all employees and students, but CCRI encouraged those who are not vaccinated to continue to wear face coverings.
People with approved medical or religions exemptions from the vaccine policy are still required to show proof of a negative test taken within 72 hours of coming to campus. On-site testing is available.
Additionally, students and staff will still need to show their CCRI ID with the green, orange or yellow sticker indicating vaccination status.
Beginning Thursday, March 3, masks will be optional inside buildings on campus, with the exception of Health Services and other medical settings. The university said faculty can require masks inside their own classrooms or labs, and recommended that students keep masks handy just in case.
All dining locations will operate at full capacity, Salve said, but to-go options will still be available.
Salve also noted that students must get a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or obtain an exemption.