An important part of mitigating the spread of novel coronavirus is being prepared to take appropriate action in coordination with Rhode Island Department of Health if a cluster of COVID-19 cases were to emerge on Brown's campus. There are a number of measures incorporated in Brown’s overall strategies that are aiding in mitigation efforts.
- An ongoing public health education campaign is raising awareness among Brown’s community regarding the importance of social distancing, face coverings, hand washing and self-monitoring for symptoms.
- Testing of symptomatic students in University Health Services and timely results of those tests are aiding in the identification of virus on campus and isolation of students who are sick and quarantine of their contacts.
- Given that all courses are available online, students in isolation or quarantine are able to continue with their academic work, making it easier for students to be out of contact with others.
- The routine testing program on campus remains critical to identifying incidences of COVID-19 across Brown’s community — including faculty and staff — and taking immediate action to reduce the chances of community spread.
- Based on assessment of previous testing trends at Brown and consistent with guidance from the CDC and RIDOH, effective Feb. 4, 2021, the University will require students, faculty and staff who may have been exposed to COVID-19 to quarantine for a period of 10 days from the date of last known exposure. For more information on this specific policy, please see the related FAQ under the Test Results section of the Testing and Tracing FAQs page.
These measures, taken together, are enabling Brown to operate in a safe and healthy manner and avoid outbreaks. If one were to occur, the University would immediately isolate and quarantine affected individuals, close and clean involved facilities, and take any other corrective measures guided by RIDOH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
All students, faculty and staff must take responsibility for their own health and the health of others by practicing self isolation if exhibiting symptoms of flu or novel coronavirus. Accordingly, anyone with common symptoms for COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat, body aches, chills, or new loss of taste or smell) should self-isolate from the onset of symptoms until:
- they have no fever for at least 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medication;
- other symptoms, such as cough or shortness of breath, are improving ;
- and at least ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
This is updated from previous guidance on when to self-isolate, which had been recommended only for individuals with specific combinations of symptoms and/or travel histories.
For anyone who experiences symptoms they cannot manage on their own, guidance is to contact a health care provider by telephone. Faculty and staff should contact their primary health care provider. Students should call Health Services (401-863-1330), which has implemented a robust phone triage system and will use that to consult with students in lieu of in-person visits. Students who have severe shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, inability to eat or drink, extreme dizziness, or other symptoms indicating the need for emergency care should contact the Department of Public Safety (401-863-4111) on campus or call 911 off campus.
In addition, any Brown community member who is not experiencing symptoms but has traveled should consult the current Travel Restrictions before returning to campus. And anyone who has had close contact with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 must self-monitor for symptoms and consult with Health Services (students) or a local provider (faculty and staff) before returning to campus.
If you’ve been directed to self-isolate, you should:
Stay home. Don't attend work, school, events, social gatherings or public areas.
Self-monitor for fever by checking your temperature at least twice daily. Contact a health care provider if you develop a fever or respiratory symptoms such as cough or trouble breathing.
If you need to seek medical care, call ahead to describe your symptoms and travel history.
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
If you don’t have access to soap and water use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60-95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Never cough in the direction of someone else.
Limit contact with others, as much as possible, including those in your home or residence. Try to keep a distance of about 6 feet.
Avoid any visitors.
Avoid sharing household items. Do not share drinking glasses, towels, eating utensils, bedding or any other items.
Keep your surroundings clean. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces like tabletops, tablets, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, etc.
Avoid using public transportation, taxis, or ride-sharing.
Last updated Feb. 8, 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.