Pods

Bringing together consistent small cohorts, or pods, of students can help limit the spread of infection on campus and make it easier to manage contact tracing should a student test positive for COVID-19.

At Brown, a pod is a stable group of five people or less, or the number of their immediate room, suite or apartment mates. Students on and off campus are strongly encouraged to develop a single pod from individuals among their community, friend groups or teammates. Pods can be used in conjunction with other primary prevention strategies such as masks, hand washing and physical distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19 while also addressing our needs for connection and social well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

A pod is a small group (~6) of students who associate with each other based on agreed upon, shared practices. Pods are a primary prevention strategy to be used in conjunction with other primary prevention strategies (masks, hand washing, physical distancing) to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community while maintaining social connection. A pod is effectively your trusted “household” while you are at Brown.

The use of pods can limit the spread of infection on campus and make it easier to identify people who have been exposed to the virus should a student test positive for COVID-19. Pods can also address our needs for connection and social well-being while recognizing the overall physical distancing necessary to keep our communities safe.

This is strongly discouraged. If students join more than one pod, it will be much easier for infection to spread within the University community.

Yes. When you first arrive at Brown, there will be a two-week Quiet Period during which you will need to wear masks and remain socially distanced around everyone, including your pod-mates.  Any time that quarantine or isolation is required you will need to wear a mask and stay socially distanced from your pod-mates.

No, pods are not assigned or monitored by the University. It is recommended that you develop your pod from among your community, friend group or teammates. Health empowerment tools (more information below) will available to all students as a guide for creating and maintaining pods.

No, but they are strongly encouraged. Participation in a pod is voluntary at all times. 

Yes, the public health rationale and social well-being benefits for pods are the same for students who live off-campus as they are for those who live in residence halls.

Staff and students have collaboratively created health empowerment tools including an online worksheet, webinar and the Brown Takes Care Guide to Forming your Pod. The tools outline best practices and are grounded in the diversity of the lived experiences and needs of students.  Each semester, students have opportunities to engage in conversations with student leaders and staff to understand risk, navigate decision-making, encourage consent-based communication and practice establishing agreements about behaviors focused on group safety.

All students are encouraged to download the Brown Takes Care Guide to Forming your Pod. In addition, BWell Health Promotion staff, Brown Takes Care student interns and Bruno Leaders will provide educational opportunities throughout the semester to assist students as they create and maintain pods.