Ebola Information and Protocol

Over the past several months RISD has been closely monitoring the Ebola situation and taking precautionary measures recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to ensure the safety and well being of our community. With many of us about to travel over the upcoming holidays, what follows is information about Ebola and the protocol RISD is putting in place for anyone in our community who travels to impacted areas, or comes into contact with someone who has.

Ebola is a severe viral illness spread by direct contact with a sick person’s blood or body fluids, or contact with contaminated objects or infected animals. For information about the disease, including signs and symptoms, transmission, and risk of exposure, see the CDC website.

To date, no one within the state of Rhode Island has become infected with Ebola and RISD does not operate programs in any of the West African countries where Ebola outbreaks are occurring. If at any point our travel programs become impacted, we will communicate directly with individuals affected.

If you are traveling in the coming months, we encourage you to be extra vigilant in checking and following the CDC’s travel recommendations. Currently the CDC and the U.S. State Department maintain warnings against nonessential travel to Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.

If you travel to or through these impacted countries, or if you are in contact with someone who has, please follow this protocol:

  • Students: Call RISD Health Services at (401) 454-6625, or if outside of normal operating hours please contact Public Safety, upon return to campus and schedule a screening/risk assessment as soon as possible; when you call, inform the receptionist if you are experiencing any symptoms. If you are planning to travel to an affected area, you may notify Health Services at any time prior to returning to campus.
  • Faculty and staff: Inform RISD Health Services by calling (401) 454-6625 during regular business hours and contact your primary care physician (or the Rhode Island Department of Health) who will provide information on symptom monitoring. Note: The Rhode Island Department of Health is monitoring the health of all people who come to Rhode Island from Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Mali. This monitoring is done for the 21 days after someone’s last possible exposure to Ebola.

Health Services and Public Safety staff are prepared to follow the CDC’s guidelines for screening and, if signs or symptoms present, to respond for students per the CDC’s guidelines.

We will continue to closely monitor the Ebola situation via local, state, and federal agencies and follow the CDC’s recommendations and communicate with the campus as necessary.