COVID Update: On the Edge of Orange

Dear RIT community,

As we noted earlier today, we are facing our stiffest test this semester. Unfortunately, since our message this morning, we have seen a further rise in our COVID-19 cases as the prevalence of the virus continues to increase on campus and in the surrounding area. While our COVID-19 Alert level remains at Yellow, we are on the edge of moving to Orange if we cannot reverse this trajectory.

Due to the trends we are seeing in the community and on our campus, including more and increasing signals of the virus in our wastewater surveillance samples, the following restrictions will be in effect as of tomorrow, Saturday, October 31.

Guests and Visitors
  • We are returning to our prior policy in terms of guests. Students living in university residential areas are not permitted to have guests in their room/apartment. Residents are not permitted to visit other floors or apartments.
  • No visitors to campus residences other than those who live in your apartment or on your floor.
  • Students living off campus are strongly advised to follow the same practice, not having guests to their residences. We are seeing comparable numbers of cases both on and off campus.
Dining
  • Seating in indoor dining areas will be reduced to a maximum of two people per table and six feet of distance must be maintained at all times.
  • If eating outdoors, larger groups may eat together, but six feet of distance must be maintained between each person.
  • When dining with others, remove your mask to eat and put your mask back on if just talking. We have had instances of viral spread during shared meals where distancing and masking have not been optimally observed.
Events
  • All non-instructional indoor events/activities are now limited to 10 people.
  • Outdoor events will continue to adhere to the 50 percent capacity limit and will require participants to wear a mask and maintain six feet of physical distancing.
Team Sports
  • All intercollegiate athletic team, club sport, and intramural activities and practices are temporarily suspended. This will be reviewed in 10 days.

We understand this is Halloween weekend. But we are in the midst of a global pandemic, so this is not the year to engage in typical Halloween gatherings and activities. Public health experts, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have cautioned about the risk of spreading the virus this Halloween.

We are taking these measures because we are seeing indicators that parallel what has occurred at other colleges and universities that have led to complete closure with students sent home. We do not want to join that list of schools! We are RIT and by working together we can turn this around. But success will require that everyone be fully on board. Everyone must do the right thing. We take care of one another — it’s what we do!

Finally, let’s hold fast to the three W’s — Wear a mask, watch your distance, and wash your hands. Be smart and be well!

David Munson
President

Ellen Granberg
Provost and Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs

Sandra Johnson
Senior Vice President, Student Affairs

A sign language interpreted translation of this message is available.

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