Health Alert | Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The University will welcome new and returning students to campus this fall for face-to-face instruction and a student residential experience.

COVID-19 Testing

Rivier is partnering with Sema4 (Stamford, CT) for ongoing surveillance COVID-19 testing. Surveillance testing means that random samples of students, faculty, and staff will be selected and tested for COVID-19 throughout the semester. Everyone who will be physically present on campus during the fall semester will be tested using the following schedule. Individuals will be contacted by e-mail and provided with additional information about the testing location and procedure.

  • September 8-11: Approximately 1,000 people tested. All resident students, undergraduate commuters, full-time faculty, and a portion of staff tested.
  • September 14-November 24: 250 tests will be administered per week. These will consist of random groups that include students, faculty, and staff. Testing will take place on Mondays and Thursdays.
  • After November 24: The testing schedule for the remainder of the fall semester will be determined by the number of Resident students who remain on campus after Thanksgiving.

Pre-Arrival Testing for Undergraduate Students

As noted in the University’s Return to Campus Plan for Students, undergraduate students must obtain a COVID-19 test between the dates of August 25, 2020, and September 4, 2020.  Test results must be uploaded to your Medicat electronic records file no later than September 4, 2020, and must indicate your full name and the test date. Click here for additional information on obtaining a test and submitting test results.

Student Update | August 3

Dear Rivier University Students,

I hope you are well these days and looking forward to a campus living and learning environment that takes into consideration the best practices which support the health and safety of our Rivier community.

I have attached the University’s Return to Campus Plan (available online at for Students in response to COVID-19 which incorporates answers to your questions and comments over the last several weeks. I encourage each of you to read the plan in its entirety as you reflect on your own personal circumstances. Rivier’s core principles including the health and safety of our campus community, the application of science in decision making, and the acknowledgment of our mutual responsibilities as members of the campus community are highlighted.

This Return to Campus Plan will both answer your questions and direct you to specific campus offices as necessary for any concerns. Rivier remains committed to you as we work together to create an environment that supports safety and your continuing academic goals. Please know that the Rivier faculty and staff look forward to your return.

With my very best wishes to you and your family.

Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM

Student Update | July 21

Dear Students,

I hope these days find you and your families well as our nation and region continues to respond to the implications of COVID-19. I can assure you that Rivier University has been working over these months to provide a safe and flexible environment for your return to classes and the fall 2020 semester.

I look forward to welcoming the Class of 2024 and our returning students for a living and learning experience. I am happy to recognize the work of the Emergency Operations Team led by Kurt Stimeling as we incorporate the universal practices of masking, social distancing, and increased hygiene throughout the Rivier campus. The following outlines changes in the academic calendar that will support our mutual responsibilities and safety.

Fall Semester 2020 Calendar

Mindful of the health and safety of our Rivier community, the University is modifying the academic calendar in ways intended to reduce the number of times residential students would normally depart and return to campus. Classes will start as originally planned on September 9, Columbus Day will be a class day, and face to face instruction will transition to remote instruction after Thanksgiving break.

The following is a more specific calendar for your reference:

  • September 5, 6, and 7: Resident students will have a phased move-in to the residence halls. Details will be provided by the Office of Residence Life.
  • Tuesday, September 8: Academic Convocation for Undergraduate students will be restructured to allow for physical distancing. 7- and 14-week Professional Studies, Graduate, and Doctoral classes begin.
  • Wednesday, September 9: Undergraduate classes begin.
  • Monday, October 12: The University will be open on this day, previously scheduled as the Columbus Day holiday. Face-to-face and online classes will be held and all campus offices will be open.
  • Tuesday, November 24: Face-to-face classes will conclude at the end of the day and all instruction will be delivered remotely for the remainder of the semester from Monday, November 30 through Friday, December 18. Faculty and students should anticipate that exams and other projects will be completed remotely. Campus offices will remain open with the exception of the Thanksgiving holidays scheduled for Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27.
  • Sunday, November 29: Students will have the option to return to campus and residence halls beginning on this day to complete their coursework and will have access to Regina Library and other academic resources for the remainder of the semester.
  • Friday, December 18: Final examinations will conclude and residence halls will close.
  • Tuesday, December 22 at 5 p.m.: University offices will close for Christmas break.
  • Monday, January 4: University offices will reopen.

Rivier Athletics

The Presidents of the GNAC conference schools have agreed that, due to COVID-19, there will be no competitive conference play for the fall semester. This was a difficult decision and no doubt will be a disappointment for Rivier’s athletes and their coaches. However, athletes will have an on-campus team experience. Additional information will be communicated by Joanne Merrill, Director of Athletics.

I truly look forward to welcoming you back to the Rivier campus and supporting an experience of living and learning.

Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM

Previous Communications

Visit this page for past Student Updates and Health Alerts.

Helpful Links

  • Information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
    • What you need to know: Coronavirus Disease 2019 is a new disease that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person to person.
    • What to do if you are sick: If you are sick with Coronavirus Disease 2019, or suspect being infected with it, follow the steps in this fact sheet to help prevent spreading it to people in your home and community.
    • Additional Fact Sheets

Local Resources