Face Coverings and PPE

Providing face coverings and appropriate PPE to members of the campus community and requiring their use follows public health guidance for minimizing virus spread.

The University maintains an active inventory of personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies for a wide range of activities and functions. In light of COVID-19, Brown has purchased the following additional universal supplies for distribution to all its students, faculty and staff (with the exception of hospital-based faculty and students who have different infection prevention needs):

  • cloth face masks: three face masks per individual, with a maximum estimated population of 16,000 individuals;
  • hand sanitizer: two (4 oz) tubes per individual, per term while on campus; and
  • sanitizing wipes: one container per individual, per term.

In February 2021, Brown issued updated recommendations on mask-wearing in light of new guidance from the CDC. Among the highlights of the University's guidance was a strong urge that all members of the community wear a single high-quality mask (such as a KF94) or two masks (e.g., a cotton mask over a surgical mask) when indoors in close proximity to other people for a sustained period of time, or in circumstances where social distancing is difficult to maintain, even for shorter periods of time. This includes, but is not limited to, in-person classroom settings, work in laboratories under an approved Resuming Research plan, picking up meals, going to the mailroom or bookstore, and getting a COVID-19 test.

For the most up-to-date information on the status of face covering requirements, consult the policies currently in effect on the Campus Activity Status page.

How to Apply Your Mask

The reusable face coverings Brown provides are designed to be adjustable. Pull the drawstring to cinch the sides for a snug fit.

Specialized Prevention Needs

Additional PPE is being procured as required for specialized needs, such as daily use by University Health Services personnel for clinical care, daily COVID-19 testing on campus, and use by Brown Emergency Medical Services for transport of potentially infectious patients. These supplies include:

  • surgical and N95 face masks;
  • face shields;
  • gowns (either disposable or reusable); and
  • non-sterile gloves.

We continue to ensure an adequate supply of the following PPE for the following groups of staff with specific infection prevention needs:

  • Dining Services: face masks, gloves (when needed) and disinfectant wipes;
  • Facilities Management: face masks, gloves (when needed) and disinfectant wipes; and
  • Environmental Health and Safety: face masks and gloves (when needed).

The specific PPE needs vary based on the specific assignments of each staff member, and in general are not expected to be significantly different from current operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contractors and Vendors

Brown has established guidelines for outside contractors on the type of PPE that are required for them to work on campus. This will vary by job description and scope of work, but are generally similar to the types of PPE that Brown has purchased for its own staff for similar types of activities.

Last updated Feb. 16, 2021. Information on this page may be updated as the University’s planning evolves and/or public health guidance prompts a shift in Brown’s operations and protocols.