The Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) today announced that they will be making changes to their COVID-19 policies in the weeks ahead.

In a letter to students and faculty, Alix Ogden, Vice President, Administration and External Affairs at CCRI wrote;

“I know we are all watching in hopeful anticipation as the COVID-19 trends statewide continue to show significant decreases in positivity rates, hospitalizations, and fatalities.

Given those trends and the continued forecast in declines, we reviewed our current COVID-19 policies as they relate to masking, testing, and screening upon entry to our campuses.

We will be making changes to some policies that are informed by our state and college metrics and that will bring our practices in line with updated guidance from the CDC and RIDOH. The amended changes to the COVID-19 policies are effective Monday, March 14, which coincides with the return of students from the semester break.

Effective March 13, masking will be optional for all employees and students. We strongly encourage individuals who are not yet vaccinated or have an approved medical/religious exemption to continue to wear a high-quality (KN95 or N95) mask. And, we strongly support and respect all individuals who choose to continue to wear a mask to protect themselves and others.

Students and employees with approved medical or religious exemptions are still required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours each time they come to campus. CCRI’s on-campus testing sites remain available to all students and employees who have an approved exemption.

Students and employees still need to show their CCRI ID with the appropriate green, orange, or yellow sticker indicating vaccination status. Students taking exclusively online courses and visitors must show an ID and proof of vaccination or proof of a negative test within 72 hours of coming to campus.

CCRI’s vaccine and booster policy for students and employees remains in effect. As a reminder, CCRI requires all full- and part-time students enrolled for in-person classes and all faculty and non-classified employees to be fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 or have an approved exemption.

While we are pleased to relax some of our COVID-19 policies, the ongoing impact of the pandemic to our college and community requires us to remain flexible and make modifications as circumstances change. We will continue to reassess these policies and share further changes with our community.

Thank you for your continued vigilance and commitment to ensuring the health and well-being of our campus community throughout this pandemic”.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. Although not the founder or original owner, Belmore has been with What'sUpNewp since its early beginnings in 2012.

Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.