SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — The University of Rhode Island (URI) sent a note to the campus community Thursday reminding students to exercise safety precautions like wearing masks amid an outbreak of influenza and COVID-19.
URI Health Services says it’s seen a significant increase in flu cases and flu-like illnesses, along with 32 new COVID-19 cases in the past week. Data shows URI had a 1.6% positivity rate during that time.
“Our Health Services team has surpassed its capacity to meet the requests for same-day service despite increased staffing,” the notice read. “We are seeing students as quickly as we can and understand there may be a several day wait for an appointment.”
The university went on to say that if the trend continues, additional restrictions may need to be put in place to decrease the transmission of the viruses. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to get both the flu and COVID-19 vaccines, in addition to wearing masks, washing hands frequently, and limiting close contacts.
URI also requested that faculty remain understanding during this time, asking professors not to require a note for classes missed due to illness.
Free COVID-19 surveillance testing is available at the Memorial Union on weekdays, and students who are vaccinated are encouraged to participate.
In addition, URI said those planning to travel for the holidays should get tested 48 hours beforehand.