Health & Safety
Bryant has invested nearly $3 million in an initiative to conduct weekly on-site COVID-19 surveillance testing for all students who live on or commute to campus, as well as for all University faculty and staff. Bryant University has contracted with the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT for conducting the laboratory testing necessary for this program. Test results will be returned within 24 hours.
Move to twice-weekly testing for students through March 1
Positive cases of COVID-19 are up across the country, particularly at universities in the Northeast. Bryant is no exception. Since students returned to campus we have begun to experience a rising positivity rate and because our contact tracing protocols are very thorough this has resulted in a significant number of quarantines. This is what our plans for the spring semester anticipated. Bryant’s cases of COVID-19 are still relatively low and we have sufficient space for the necessary quarantines.
Out of an abundance of caution, starting on Monday, Feb. 22, we will transition to surveillance testing for all students twice each week. The increased testing frequency will continue until Monday, March 1, and a further decision will be made at that time. Nearly 30% of Bryant students, including commuters and student-athletes, are already being tested twice or three times each week.
Weekly Testing for Students, Staff, and Faculty
Hours for the campus surveillance testing clinic in the MAC are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
All students will be tested weekly (or more often for some populations) throughout the spring semester. Please note the testing day designated for your class year below:
- Monday: Freshmen
- Tuesday: Sophomores
- Wednesday: Seniors
- Thursday: Juniors
- Fridays will be reserved for students who miss their scheduled day.
- Grad Students can come for testing on any day M-Th.
TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT VIA BRYANT MOBILE
- For Students: Look for the icon that says Student COVID Bookings (You must be logged into the Bryant Mobile app to see the icon)
- For Employees: Look for the icon that says Employee COVID Bookings (This is for all Bryant employees or any employees working on Bryant’s campus)
You are able to book a day and time through the app. Please fill this out before coming to the Testing Clinic in the MAC. Please bring a form of ID and be ready to show your Health Checker green check.
TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT VIA THE WEB
Guidelines on Protecting Yourself from COVID-19
COVID-19 spreads mainly through close contact with someone who is infected. Close contact means you’ve been within six feet of someone with COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more in a 24-hour period. People who are infected but do not show symptoms can also spread the virus. The best way to prevent illness and death is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Fewer cases of COVID-19 mean fewer deaths. Follow this guidance to protect your household and lower the chances of catching and spreading COVID-19:
- Wear a mask and watch your distance any time you’re near people you don’t live with, indoors and outdoors.
- Limit in-person contact to only people you live with and people you interact with for essential services.
- Get tested often.
- Get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible.
- Stick to essential activities and continue to take it outside.
- Stay home and apart from others if you have any symptoms, if you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or if you are in quarantine or isolation.
- Get treatment if you are eligible.
- Remember the three W’s:
- Wear a mask that’s at least two layers thick and fits snugly but comfortably over your nose, mouth, and chin without any gaps.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Or carry and use hand sanitizer that’s at least 60% alcohol.
- Watch your distance by staying at least six feet apart from others.
- Limit social contact to only the people you live with — your household. Don’t go shopping, have meals, get coffee, or take part in other social activities with people you don’t live with. Having contact with even one person outside of your household could expose you and everyone you live with to COVID-19.
- Set some ground rules. Have honest conversations with the people in your household and agree on what kinds of behaviors you will and won’t take part in. Agree to socialize only with each other.
- Find safer, creative ways to interact with people you don’t live with, like hosting virtual dinner parties, dance parties, movie nights, or game nights.
Faculty, staff, and students must complete Bryant's Health Checker daily to report whether they have COVID-19 risk factors or symptoms.
If an individual’s health status changes after registering for the day, the app can be completed a second time to register a new risk factor or symptom.
Campus entry and access to buildings and classrooms will require a green checkmark response.
All students, faculty and staff on campus are asked to monitor themselves daily for symptoms using the Bryant Health Checker app.
Campus entry and access to buildings and classrooms will require a green checkmark response.
- Anyone presenting a red X cannot come on campus (commuter, guest, or employee).
- Anyone presenting a black X should be in quarantine or isolation (resident student) OR have never been tested and need to be tested immediately.
- Black X and red X = NO ACCESS TO BUILDINGS, CLASSROOMS, OR CAMPUS.
- Yellow X means you need to get retested, preferably the day you get the yellow X. YOU ARE ALLOWED IN BUILDINGS, CLASSROOMS, DINING FACILITIES, AND (IF A RESIDENT) YOUR RESIDENCE HALL.
Known risk factors and/or symptoms should be reported on the Health Checker, even on days when individuals are not planning to come to campus or leave their residence.
Bryant University’s contact tracers will identify individuals who have had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 and break the chain of infection by limiting the exposed individual’s contact with other members of the Bryant community until the risk of infection has passed.
For contact tracing to be effective, students and employees must keep careful records of their locations each day, as well as any individuals with whom they have had close contact (i.e., physical contact, or being within 6 feet of another individual for 15+ minutes).
Consider using the following strategies to track locations and contacts:
- Place a reminder in your phone for the end of each day to write down all the places you have been and people you have been in close contact with.
- Store your daily location and contact log in an electronic note or Google doc so you can access it anytime, anywhere. Be prepared to show this log to contact tracers if you are asked.
- As a supplement to the strategies above, install and run the Crush Covid Rhode Island app on your smartphone. The My Location Diary feature within the app uses GPS data from your phone to track your locations. If you test positive for COVID-19 and agree to share this information, the app will identify the places you went in the last 20 days, and identify others (it can only identify others who are also running the app) that you were in close contact with.
Remember, taking actions to limit the number of close contacts you make will limit your risk for infection, and will limit the number of others that you place at risk for infection if you become symptomatic. Physical distancing, mask-wearing and hand washing are important keys to prevention of COVID-19.
If You Have Questions:
The contact tracing team is here to provide support and guidance for all members of the Bryant Community. Please provide your full cooperation if you receive a call from one of the contact tracers this fall. You can direct any questions about Bryant contact tracing to the manager of the program, Jennifer Hurrell, at email@example.com or 401-743-9284.
Individuals must maintain social distancing at all times while on campus, to the extent feasible. Social distancing is the practice of staying at least 6 feet away from others and is a proven method to protect yourself and other people from COVID-19.
Social distancing will require us to conduct business in new ways. Please comply with the following behavioral and physical space measures, which are designed to help everyone maintain safe distancing:
- Modified foot traffic patterns has been instituted in buildings and hallways; building entry points may be limited.
- Occupancy limits for shared spaces, including for meeting rooms, breakrooms, auditorium, dining spaces, library, AIC Forum, AIC breakout rooms.
- Signage and visual cues have been posted around campus for constituents to follow, including directional signs and those limiting access to shared spaces, including restrooms.
- Group size limits are in effect in accordance with state health protocols.
- Virtual meetings: In-person meetings should be minimized. Hold remote/virtual meetings whenever possible, even if individuals are working on site. Also, use virtual meetings to the extent possible with off-campus constituents or vendors.
- Staggered break and lunch times may be instituted to ensure social distancing in dining facilities. Those with a private office should eat lunch there instead of in dining facilities.
- Remote readiness: Plan to take all essential work home at the end of each day to be prepared to work from home if campus work guidance changes.
Personal Safety Hotline
With the continued health and safety of the Bryant community being at the top of our minds, the Department of Public Safety has launched Rave Guardian, a free mobile app that turns your smartphone into a hotline and personal safety device.
By downloading the Rave Guardian app on your mobile phone, the app has a safety feature that directly connects you to campus public safety (or 9-1-1 if off-campus) in an emergency situation, as well as the ability to submit an anonymous tip to DPS when you see something out of compliance with our reopening policies or otherwise suspicious. Everyone has worked very hard for us to resume on-site campus learning and residence life, and a big part of this is the shared responsibility for keeping everyone safe and well. If you hear or see something that is not right, say something and report it.
An additional feature of Rave Guardian is that you can invite friends and family to join your network as your “Guardians.” You can then request one or more of your Guardians to virtually walk with you on or off campus. It’s like having an emergency blue light system and a trusted friend with you at all times.
On behalf of Bryant University, we encourage all students, faculty and staff to enhance their personal safety and the safety of their friends by downloading the free app. Simply search “Rave Guardian” in the app store on your mobile device.
Quarantine and Isolation Spaces
Space has been designated for students who may need to be quarantined or isolated during the academic year. Adjustments will be made to relocate students currently assigned to these areas. Students who become ill or require quarantine will have the full support of the Student Affairs Division to provide food delivery, medications, laundry and other necessities during isolation or quarantine.
Bryant Health Services is operating with modifications. Here are some of the details:
- The University has transformed the former Townhouse Community Center into a new Health Services Sick Clinic. This is a stand-alone building with its own point of entry and negative airflow exam rooms. All students who are ill and require physical examinations and/or testing for COVID-19, strep, or flu will be seen in this space. There will be no waiting rooms and appointments will be staggered.
- The existing Health Services space, which is located off the vestibule in Barrington House, remains available for appointment-based, well-student visits. This includes visits for women’s and men’s healthcare, rashes/skin conditions, injuries, and vaccinations. There will be no walk-in appointments in either clinic. We have partnered with Medicat, the creator of our electronic health record, to allow for online self-scheduling and virtual check-ins. To ensure that students with potential COVID symptoms are seen and tested as soon as possible, the Health Checker app has been programmed to give instructions based on which symptoms are selected. A student who indicates they have a possible symptom of COVID-19 on the daily Health Checker will receive an automated email to either call Health Services for an appointment in the Sick Clinic, or to schedule a telehealth visit. In the off hours the student will be prompted to call the Department of Public Safety.
- In accordance with guidance from the CDC and RI Dept. of Health, telehealth services, when available and appropriate, will be used to minimize the need for in-person services. All of Health Services’ providers have received training in providing telehealth. We will continue to operate with the health and safety of our community at the forefront. Our healthcare professionals and Bryant’s administration maintain close communication with public health officials to ensure that we are operating with best practices, while adhering to all state and federal guidelines. Students who are prompted to schedule a telehealth visit after completing the daily Health Checker, or who would like to schedule a telehealth encounter for a well visit or a non-COVID related health issue, can do so by opening the Bryant Mobile App and clicking on the “Health Services Bookings” button. This will bring the student to the Medicat portal where he/she can log in with his/her Bryant credentials, click on the Appointments tab and schedule an appointment.
To mitigate the risk of transmission of the corona virus through mechanical systems, Bryant will follow and implement applicable recommendations for managing HVAC systems prepared by the CDC, the RI Department of Health, and the American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers (ASHRAE).
HVAC Management Plan:
- Increase both the indoor exhaust and supply of outdoor “fresh” air in classrooms, public spaces and offices.
- Reprogram HVAC controls, where possible, to utilize a minimum of 30% to 100% of outdoor air while maintaining required temperature and humidity ranges for comfort recommended for summer and winter conditions.
- Operate all HVAC in occupied mode for a minimum of one week prior to occupancy.
- Expel and exchange area air for a minimum period of 2 hours before and after all spaces are occupied each day.
- Utilize the highest level of filtration that our HVAC equipment will allow to maintain the appropriate temperature and humidity ranges. The majority of the University’s HVAC equipment uses filters ranging from MERV 10 to MERV 14.
- Maintain proper indoor air temperature and humidity to maintain comfort, reduce potential spread of airborne pathogens and limit potential for mold growth in building structure and finishes.
- Schedule inspections on air handling units to check for particulate accumulation on filters and replace filters as needed.
- Implement a work order process that prioritizes Indoor Air Quality issues as “Urgent” so they are addressed within 24 hours.
- Regularly convene a Health and Safety Committee to review environmental health and safety matters pertaining to the safe reopening of the school.
- Review airflow and pressurization reports.
- Review control sequences to verify systems are operating according to this guidance to maintain required ventilation, temperature, and humidity conditions to occupied areas.
- Verify control dampers operate properly.
For immediate concerns or questions pertaining to indoor air quality, thermal comfort or the general operation of the University’s HVAC and plumbing systems, note the following contacts:
- Andy Demelia, Associate Vice President of Facilities, (401) 232-6082
- Robert Dunning, Assistant Director, Facilities, (401) 232-6912
- To submit a facility Work Order Request: (401) 232-6052 or submit through the Bryant Mobile App
There are many excellent resources available on the topics of face mask usage, the importance of social distancing, and handwashing. Here are links to videos on these topics:
Employees have access to cleaning materials and should wipe down their personal workspace at least once per day as well as clean shared equipment (i.e., copiers, scanners, etc.) and public microwaves and refrigerators after each use.
Employees are asked to empty their office trash and recycle bins into a collection point in the common areas of the building. This will allow the custodial staff to focus on deep cleaning activities.
Deep cleaning of high-touch surfaces will take place in advance of the gradual return of employees to campus. Offices will be disinfected using an electrostatic spray system to ensure a safe environment.
In residence halls
Facilities staff using approved disinfectants will increase daily cleaning of bathrooms in residence houses. Students residing in townhouses will be trained on proper cleaning of their residence and supplied with cleaning supplies. Additionally, Facilities will continuously clean all hallways, bathrooms in the classroom buildings, and high-touch areas throughout the day. Purell dispensers will be distributed broadly across campus.
Travel considerations and protocols will follow guidelines set forth by Bryant University for students, faculty, and staff. Non-essential travel will be curtailed for employees and essential travel will be performed in accordance with current RIDOH regulations and closely monitored.
Rhode Island’s Phase III Guidance and Executive Orders includes mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone coming to Rhode Island from any state with a 5% or greater positivity rate. The RI Department of Health maintains that list here. See our Travel and Quarantine FAQ on this page.