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RWU extending spring break and enacting plans to move to online instruction

Bristol-based university tells students not to return to campus, saying dining and residence halls will be closed

Roger Williams University Bristol campus
Roger Williams University Bristol campusEdward Fitzpatrick

BRISTOL — Roger Williams University is extending its spring break by one week and enacting plans to move to online instruction for as long as needed this semester.

In a message sent at 10 p.m. Tuesday, the university told students not to return to campus after spring break ends this week, saying the residence and dining halls will be closed until further notice. “Faculty and staff will continue operations as usual in order to begin preparations for remote instruction,” it said.

“With the health and well-being of our campus community as our top priority, and in alignment with guidance from the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) to initiate aggressive containment measures, Roger Williams University is enacting plans to transition to online and alternate modes of instruction for as long as necessary this semester,” the announcement said.

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RWU said there are no known cases of Covid-19 at the university, but “we are taking these steps to limit exposure to the virus among our community, their families, and our neighbors.”

RWU said it will be providing further details within the next 24 hours. The university will provide times and procedures for students to enter their residence hall rooms and retrieve essential belongings, and specific information for international students, spring student athletes, and student teachers.

Previously, the university had canceled all of its sponsored international travel programs during spring break, responding to new Centers for Disease Control advisories against traveling to countries with coronavirus outbreaks.

The students in the university’s study abroad program in Florence, Italy, returned home after the CDC upgraded a warning to avoid nonessential travel to Italy. The university advised those students to self-quarantine and not have any contact with the campus or university community members.

Also, on Monday, Roger Williams University said 15 students and a faculty member had been asked to self-quarantine for two weeks because they attended the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., last month where another person tested positive for coronavirus. None of the group from Roger Williams had shown symptoms.

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Edward Fitzpatrick can be reached at edward.fitzpatrick@globe.com