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 small group of approximately 6 students who associate with each other based on agreed upon shared practices. Students on and off campus are being 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 wellbeing.

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 wellbeing 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”/quarantine 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 wellbeing benefits for pods is the same for students who live off-campus as it is for those who live in residence halls.

Staff and students are collaboratively creating health empowerment tools including, an online worksheet and webinar.  The tools outline best practices and are grounded in the diversity of the lived experiences and needs of students.  Students will 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.

During the week of August 31st, health empowerment tools will be available and virtual conversations with staff and student leaders will begin to help students engage in strategies for community wellbeing and safety.

First-year students will be highly encouraged to form pods during orientation in January. During Bruno Beginnings (our fall engagement period), first-year students will learn more about how they can meet and get to know their classmates and form social connections, while still keeping themselves and Brown community members safe.