By Adya Shrivastava, Computer Science MS
The last 6 months have been frightful. COVID-19 has gripped the world. With the ongoing pandemic, it is easy to be overwhelmed. If you are someone who wants to know more about the situation at RIT and how its tigers are coping with it, here are some quick info on what RIT is doing for you and some tips on what you can do!
What is RIT doing for you?
- RIT Ready Website
RIT has created an excellent repository for all your COVID related queries. Visit https://www.rit.edu/ready/. The website is updated regularly, so be sure to check it daily for any updates. RIT has also created a dedicated dashboard (https://www.rit.edu/ready/dashboard) to track the number of COVID positive cases, the number of students in isolation and quarantine, and the percentage of isolation beds available on-campus. The dashboard also shows the current COVID-19 risk level where Green: Virus prevalence is low, Yellow: indicators show there is a potential for an increase in virus transmission, Orange: Virus is prevalent and rate of infection is increasing and Red: Spike in virus prevalence.
- Changes to Courses in Fall Semester
For the Fall semester, RIT is offering the new Blended mode of class delivery. The class is divided into two (or three – depending on the course) sections, where a portion of the class attends the class in-person while the other portion of the class can join in via Zoom.
- Changes to Dining services
Dine-in options are reduced to maintain social distancing. You can now order online at https://www.rit.edu/fa/diningservices/online-ordering in advance and pick-up your meals. Online ordering is available at most of the on-campus locations including Brick City Café, Crossroads, Ctrl Alt Deli, Artesano Bakery and Café, Midnight Oil. Online ordering accepts all forms of payments – Debit/Credit Cards, Dining Dollars, or Tiger Bucks.
- Contact Tracing
To enable contact tracing, there are QR codes available at each location. You are required to scan that QR code while entering any building or shuttle. This will maintain the history of all the places you went so that in case of a COVID positive case, isolation protocols can be easily maintained.
- Other Preventive Measures
RIT requires the faculty and students to wear masks while attending in-person class. Hand sanitizer is located at convenient distances. RIT has posted maximum occupancy signs in all buildings including elevators. Obey the maximum occupancy limits. All RIT run shuttles now run at a reduced capacity. You are required to leave seats between you and other passengers to maintain distancing. Other measures are available on the RIT Ready Website.
What can you do?
- Get yourself tested
RIT requires all faculty, staff, and students to get tested to curb the spread of the virus. There are a couple of options available to get yourself tested. MCC (Monroe County Community College) located at 1000 E Henrietta Road is offering free COVID tests to all residents of New York state.
- Daily Health Screen Reminder
Fill out the daily health screen reminder at https://dailyhealth.rit.edu. Do this every day. Seven days a week, even if you don’t plan on coming to campus. You will be required to
- Wear a Mask
One of the most effective ways to curb the virus. Wear a Mask in all public places. RIT provides you with two masks free of cost. Other acceptable face masks include Cloth Mask, Surgical Masks, N95 Respirators (without valve), Disposable Masks. Remember, wash your cloth masks after every use! DO NOT reuse disposable masks, surgical masks, or N95s. They are intended for single use only. Dispose of these masks in the regular trash.
- Wash Your Hands
Wash your hands as often as possible, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Scrub the front and back of your hand to get rid of germs.
- Maintain Social Distancing
Avoid going out. If you need to go out, maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others. Stay at home whenever possible. Use video conferencing to complete those projects together (Zoom is excellent for that)!
- Isolate and Quarantine
If you feel sick or learned you were in contact with a COVID positive person, contact the Student Health Center. They will guide you for further quarantine and contact tracing steps.
- Well Being
Feeling overwhelmed? Talk to some at Counselling & Psychological Services (https://www.rit.edu/studentaffairs/counseling/) or the Student Health Center (https://www.rit.edu/studentaffairs/studenthealth/). We are always there to talk to you!
- Don’t forget to Enjoy!
Give yourself a break and go on that Netflix binge-watch. Learn to sketch, play that musical instrument that has been lying around Learn to cook something new that you have been willing to eat. This quarantine has turned so many people into great chefs, so why not you? ?
We are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. But remember this too shall pass.