Frequently Asked Questions
In Summer 2022, the University began to transition operations to managing COVID-19 on campus in a similar way to how other infectious diseases are managed, and we expect to continue that for the semesters to come.
While we continue to actively monitor and support Brown community members who report positive COVID-19 test results, we have seen no recent indication of widespread transmission or instances of severe illness or hospitalization.
The Campus Activity Status page remains the best guide for information on COVID-19 measures in place at any given time. As has been the case throughout the pandemic, our planning is based on expert medical and public health guidance — if public health conditions change, we will take appropriate steps at that time.
Effective June 1, 2023, Brown will no longer require the COVID-19 vaccination for faculty, staff, students or visitors. However, we strongly recommend that individuals obtain the primary vaccine series and stay updated with bivalent COVID-19 vaccine boosters.
Please note that the initial vaccine series and booster will continue to be required for Warren Alpert Medical School, Gateways, and Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME) students prior to their matriculation at the medical school, as these groups spend a significant amount of time in clinical settings where full vaccination continues to be required.
Brown joins its peer colleges and universities in relying on expert guidance. Public health experts have determined that locally and nationally, we have achieved high rates of immunity and low levels of transmission due to both vaccine-based immunity and previous exposure to COVID-19. This change in vaccination requirements aligns with guidance from the CDC and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), and follows President Biden’s signing of legislation on April 10, 2023, to end the national emergency for COVID-19.
An updated (bivalent) vaccine dose of vaccine is recommended for adults ages 65 years and older and additional doses for people who are immunocompromised.
For those between 6 and 65 years old, obtaining a (bivalent) mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of whether you have previously completed a (monovalent) primary series is recommended.
Individuals who have already received an updated mRNA vaccine do not need to take any action unless they are 65 years or older or immunocompromised.
Yes, the vaccine is widely available throughout the community at various retail pharmacies and doctors’ offices. Health Services will also continue to periodically make the vaccine and boosters available to all enrolled students.
The Campus Activity Status page remains the best guide for information on COVID-19 measures in place at any given time, and it outlines mask wearing and COVID-19 testing protocols in place at any given time.
Undergraduate, graduate and medical students are required to report any positive test result to University Health Services via the Health and Wellness Patient Portal using their Brown username and password. Any student experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or other respiratory illness should not attend any in-person classes or other activities and must contact University Health Services, and University Health Services will continue conducting symptomatic testing of student patients as they determine is clinically necessary.
Brown no longer requires that employees who test positive for COVID-19 report results. We do ask that employees who test positive follow CDC guidelines and self-isolate for a period of five days. The five-day period applies regardless of previous infection, vaccination or booster status, and the presence or absence of symptoms. Employees may also follow up with firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance if they are away from work longer than five business days.
The University recommends that students come to campus with a supply of masks and tests in the event of respiratory illness, including COVID-19 exposure. To order COVID-19 tests from the federal government, visit covid.gov/tests. Tests and masks can also be purchased at local pharmacies and a limited number of masks will continue to be available to students at the key room and Grad Center E. Health Services will continue to have masks available for staff and students to wear during their clinical appointment when respiratory or other infectious symptoms are present, consistent with best practice. Students can call Health Services for assistance with testing.
Isolation support will continue as needed in alignment with CDC guidelines for COVID as well as other communicable and vaccine-preventable infections. Any student required to isolate will receive comprehensive and up-to-date information about what support is available.
Additional guidance for Brown faculty and other instructors teaching Fall 2023 courses can be found in a set of frequently asked questions maintained on the Office of the Provost website.