Campus Activity Status

This page provides a summary of permissible campus activities for Brown community members aligned with the easing of COVID-19 health protocols and required prevention measures.

In light of improving public health conditions on campus and in Providence and Rhode Island, members of the Brown community have and will continue to experience gradually increasing levels of campus activity in the coming months.

This page will be updated as the University continues to loosen the restrictions implemented in response to the pandemic. All students, faculty and staff are expected to align their activities to adhere to the standards currently in place, and in compliance with the COVID-19 Campus Safety PolicyPolicies and guidance on campus may, in some instances, be more restrictive than guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and/or the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH). There will also be instances where requirements in some areas of campus are more restrictive than the campus as a whole, such as shuttle transportation and health care settings. The residential nature of our community and the priority we place on individual and collective health and safety warrant a phased approach to easing restrictions.

NOTE: The pace of resuming operations in line with plans to return to a more traditional fall depends entirely on our community getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and documenting their vaccination. Employees and students can find more information and instructions on the Verify Your Vaccination page.

Current Updates to Campus Activities

On July 7, Brown students, faculty and staff currently engaged in on-campus, in-person activity achieved a 90% overall COVID-19 vaccination rate, enabling a series of policy changes that became effective immediately. Additional policy shifts have become effective in the weeks following. The following information reflects the updated status for allowed activities and protocols, including the dates when some future changes in operations take effect, where applicable:

Updated COVID-19 Campus Safety Policy

The COVID-19 Campus Safety Policy was updated in May 2021 to reflect current medical and health guidance, regulations of the State of Rhode Island and public health conditions. The updated policy is a simpler and more general framework that allows for increased levels of activities and operations over the course of the summer and into the fall as public health conditions continue to allow. The policy remains an important foundation governing the activities of the entire campus, and all members of the community should carefully review and fully understand the updated policy and their individual responsibilities and obligations.

Eliminating Campus Activity Levels

The Campus Activity Levels implemented at the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester (Levels 1, 2 and 3) have been eliminated and replaced by a simpler Campus Activity Status summary of what is allowed and not allowed.

Eliminated Routine COVID-19 Testing for Those Vaccinated

Members of the Brown community who are fully vaccinated (14 days past their final dose) and enrolled in the COVID-19 routine asymptomatic testing program are being removed from routine testing as of early July. Testing program participants receive a direct communication when they can stop testing, and should continue to test as assigned until they are told otherwise.

Community members who have not yet received and documented their vaccination status or have received an approved exemption and have been approved to be on campus will continue to be tested once a week (every seven days) through the month of August. Testing participants will need to complete the symptom tracker in order to schedule a test but will no longer need to complete the symptom tracker on a daily basis. The testing site at the OMAC is available for testing Monday through Saturday only, and closed on Sunday, and the One Davol Square site continues to operate Monday through Friday. Additional details regarding the change in testing frequency will be communicated directly to testing program participants.

Reduced Mask-Wearing for Those Vaccinated

Community members who are fully vaccinated (14 days past their final dose) do not need to wear masks in indoor or outdoor settings, with the exception of ongoing mask requirements on University shuttles, while visiting University Health Services and visiting COVID-19 testing sites. Students, faculty and staff who are engaged in activities in health care settings (such as those at the Warren Alpert Medical School) should continue to follow guidance specific to those settings.

Unvaccinated individuals must continue to wear masks indoors when with other people and outdoors if unable to maintain 3 feet of social distance. This includes students, faculty and others who arrive on campus in the summer who have not yet been vaccinated; those individuals must continue to wear masks and practice social distancing until they are 14 days past their final dose. Members of the community who have received an exemption from vaccination from the University on medical or religious grounds have received individual instructions regarding health and safety measures they must follow, but in most cases they are required to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Reduced Social Distancing

During this transition period, social distancing minimums will be reduced and in some cases eliminated. Please note that this will take some time, and in some areas — such as Mail Services — distancing of six feet will remain the norm until we are confident the employee and student vaccination rates are at 90% or above.

Sustained Classroom Protocols

Given that faculty planned their courses and specific modes of instruction for the summer term months ago, there will not be significant changes to how classes are taught in terms of in-person and remote instruction. With regard to indoor in-person classes, mask-wearing and social distancing protocols should be followed as outlined above, based on vaccination status.

Resuming Multiple Occupancy

Facilities Management will be removing various signage in academic and administrative buildings and eliminating one-way travel routes, single-occupancy elevator use and single-use restrictions for multi-use bathrooms.

Increased Use of Student Communal Spaces

Many residence hall kitchens, study spaces and lounges are now open for student use. Students in residence halls can use these spaces after they have been opened by Facilities Management and Residential Life. Mask-wearing and social distancing protocols should be followed as outlined above, based on vaccination status.

Expanded Use of Conference Rooms

In administrative and academic buildings, in-person meetings and use of conference rooms is now allowed for meetings of 19 or fewer people. The use of kitchen and break spaces continues to be allowed in administrative and academic buildings. In all cases, mask-wearing and social distancing protocols should be followed as outlined above, based on vaccination status.

Return to Campus Plans

The prior Return to Campus review process is now eliminated but employees returning to campus from working remotely still will need to be enrolled in testing, if they are not fully vaccinated. While the University has COVID-19 testing in place, departments will continue to be required to submit the names of employees returning to campus from working remotely to UHR to be enrolled in testing if they are not fully vaccinated. This includes non-Brown employees working at the University.

Operating Reduced-Density Labs

Laboratories no longer are required to operate at reduced density. Mask-wearing and social distancing protocols should be followed as outlined above, based on vaccination status. And it is strongly recommended that laboratories maintain a shared calendar with daily occupancy by lab personnel indicated in case the need for contact tracing arises.

Maintaining Other Indoor Restrictions

Other current restrictions regarding use of indoor spaces (reservation system for library spaces, limitations on uses of performance venues, etc.), and reduced shuttle occupancy will remain in effect.

Increased Individual Movement

Restrictions regarding where community members are allowed to be on campus are eliminated: Researchers can visit other research locations; on-campus students can visit students in residence halls other than their own; off-campus students can visit student residence halls, etc. Please note that given the continued reduced density on campus, academic and administrative buildings will generally remain card accessible only to authorized occupants, and on-campus visitors from other buildings will need to be admitted by building occupants.

Easing of Travel Restrictions

Brown continues to update its travel policies in light of the increased COVID-19 vaccination rates in the U.S. and the growing international availability of COVID-19 vaccines. Brown encourages all travelers on domestic and international travel to exercise caution and abide by relevant local and country health guidance.

  • University-Sponsored International Travel: Brown has returned to its previously established policy for High-Risk and Restricted University-sponsored international travel, which is defined as travel outside the United States or outside U.S. territories. A summary of the policy is provided on the Travel Policies page with details on the implications for students, faculty and staff. More information about Brown’s international travel policy is available on the International Travel Risk Management website
  • University-Sponsored Domestic Travel: The University has lifted the “essential travel only” mandate and is gradually easing restrictions on domestic University-sponsored travel. In addition, the University has lifted undergraduate travel restrictions for individual students undertaking University-sponsored domestic travel. This will allow greater flexibility for members of the Brown community to conduct mission-critical research and to take part in activities and opportunities that cannot be deferred or carried out by remote means.
  • Travel for Field Research: If the purpose of travel is to carry out essential field research, the Justification and Safety Plan must first be approved by the Field Research Subcommittee. Details about field research approvals are available on the Resuming Research webpage.
  • Undergraduate Travel: Students should continue to consult the Travel-related Guidance for Undergraduate students page for more information:
  • Personal Travel: As with University-sponsored travel, Brown continues to encourage all travelers on domestic and international personal travel to exercise caution and abide by relevant local and country health guidance. Travelers should continue to prepare for the possibility of local quarantines and fluctuating travel and domestic operations restrictions and/or testing requirements in some locations. The University is unable to support the health, safety, travel and academic needs of community members on personal travel.

Anticipated Plans and Increased Flexibility Over the Summer Months

If public health conditions continue to allow and Brown achieves near-universal vaccination rates among all employees and students, we will be able to further loosen restrictions and allow even greater levels of activity on campus over the course of the remainder of the summer. Brown’s goal is to be at or close to fully normal (pre-pandemic) operations by the beginning of the fall semester.

Areas currently being reviewed for further policy changes include the following:

Events, Dining, Fitness and Other Activities

Active planning and preparation are underway to allow for greater flexibility later this summer with regard to University-hosted events; use of athletic and recreational facilities (including resuming faculty and staff access to the Nelson Fitness Center and the Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center); dining services, including in-person dining; and opening the Brown Bookstore to the public. Student-hosted events will remain virtual for the summer term, but there will be more and larger in-person events as the student community gets fully vaccinated. The elimination of restrictions regarding events and visitors, as communicated in June 2021, will be effective August 15.

Last updated July 15, 2021. Information on this page will be updated as the University’s planning evolves and/or public health guidance prompts a shift in Brown’s operations and protocols.