In this week’s COVID-19 weekly update, The Good Five-Cent Cigar will discuss Rhode Island’s two week coronavirus lockdown, University of Rhode Island’s testing turnout before Thanksgiving break, and the new second-grade option expansion announced by the University. 

Rhode Island takes a two week “pause” as coronavirus numbers worsen

On Nov. 19, Gov. Gina Raimondo announced that Rhode Island would be entering a two-week reopening “pause” period starting the Monday after Thanksgiving. All colleges and universities have transitioned to completely remote learning and the state has continued to limit social gatherings to a maximum of 10 people, and to only members of individual households. Indoor dining has been reduced to 33 percent capacity with early closing times. Bar areas in restaurants have been closed, indoor sporting facilities have been shut down and houses of worship are limited to 25 percent capacity. 

Rhode Island alerted residents on Monday that all hospitals had reached capacity due to COVID-19, and a field hospital will be opened that can accommodate those with non-intensive symptoms. 

Raimondo encouraged Rhode Island residents to take the “pause” seriously in an email reminder about the new measures. 

“This will not be easy, but I am pleading with you to take it seriously,” she said.  

She also threatened a total lockdown in three weeks if Rhode Islanders chose to ignore the “crucial” temporary restrictions. The two week “pause” will be in effect until Dec. 13. 

 Date             Tests Administered

11/16/20201615
11/17/20201365
11/18/20201605
11/19/20201879
11/20/20202027
11/21/2020120
11/22/2020113
11/23/20202118
11/24/2020968

COVID-19 testing before, during break 

According to URI Health Services, the University had a large turnout of students participate in surveillance testing before Thanksgiving break. 

Through Nov. 16-24, about 11,810 individuals received a COVID-19 test. 10,585 were students and 1,225 were faculty and staff members.

The current testing hours, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays, will be available to the URI community up until Dec. 4 in the Memorial Union Atrium. Then, the University will determine testing plans moving forward after evaluating the total number of students on campus after Dec. 7. The most up-to-date and detailed testing schedule is available here

University to expand second grade option to fall 2020 and spring 2021 

The URI Faculty Senate voted to temporarily expand access to the “second-grade option” to all students for fall semester 2020 and spring semester 2021, according to an email sent out by URI Communications Tuesday evening. This means that undergraduate and graduate students will have the option to retake any course in which they received a C- or lower and can replace the first grade they received with the second grade. 

 The second-grade option can also be applied to J-term and summer session courses, but all requests must be approved by a student’s academic deans before the midterm of the course is completed. According to the statement, the second-grade option is meant to provide students who may have struggled academically this semester an opportunity to replace a poor grade with a better grade to ensure students continue to obtain the required learning outcome in their courses. 

Resources

Health Services can be reached at 401-873-2246. Students can call the Counseling Center at 401-874-2288. The center’s normal business hours are Monday, Thursday and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Outside of operating hours, students will be connected to ProtoCall, which provides behavioral health services over the phone. The Psychological Consultation Center can be reached at 401-874-4264, and the Couple and Family Therapy Clinic can be reached at 401-874-5956. For more information and stories in the coming days, check our website and Twitter @rhodycigar.