Quiet Period

As a core prevention measure, undergraduate students living on campus will be required to observe the 14-day Quiet Period, which will include a period of time when students will be expected to remain in their residence halls except for a limited number of specific essential activities.

Because of high rates of infection in many parts of the country, it is likely that even with the best of efforts, some students will have either pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic coronavirus infections when they arrive at Brown. In the first two weeks after students arrive, our aim will be to identify infections and prevent their spread.

To that end, Brown undergraduate students will be asked to comply with a “Quiet Period” of 14 days prior to the start of in-person classes. This period of observation and self-monitoring is consistent with CDC and Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) guidelines, and reflects the advice of public health and medical experts at Brown. The protocols of the “Quiet Period”  will be challenging to follow, but we cannot stress how important it will be for undergraduate students to adhere to them.

The “Quiet Period” will apply to all Brown undergraduate students regardless of pre-arrival test status (including antibody testing) and geographical point of departure. The goal is to identify infections and prevent their spread, recognizing that some students will have either pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic coronavirus infections when they arrive at Brown because of high rates of infection in many parts of the country.

By engaging in this required Quiet Period, you will be protecting the health of each other as well as faculty, staff, and Providence residents, and helping to ensure that we have a successful fall term.

Graduate students traveling to Providence are expected to follow the current quarantine guidelines of the RIDOH. Graduate students are required to remain away from campus during the Quiet Period, with the following exceptions for graduate students approved for campus roles, including research:

  • Graduate students who were approved for return to campus during the summer and who will be continuing their on-campus roles are exempt from the Quiet Period.
  • Graduate students who have completed a full quarantine in advance of the Quiet Period and are approved for on-campus roles may access campus.
  • All graduate students accessing campus will be enrolled in the COVID-19 testing program protocols.

Two Stages Based on Infection Levels

The 14-day Quiet Period will have two stages. Movement of undergraduate students will be highly limited in Stage 1 while all students receive two COVID-19 tests in their first week of arrival — an “arrival” test and a “second-round” test. Low infection rates in the second-round test will allow Brown to move to Stage 2.

Quiet Period Stage One

Undergraduate students living on campus:

  • Are required to remain in their residence halls upon arrival while wearing masks and ensuring social distancing of at least 6 feet whenever possible, unless alone in their rooms.
  • Are not permitted to leave their residence hall except to get a COVID-19 test, receive care from Health Services by appointment, or to pick up dining hall meals that will be delivered at established times to specific locations on campus.

Undergraduate students living off campus:

  • Are required to quarantine in off-campus housing in accordance with the guidance from RIDOH. Note that RIDOH has determined that college students cannot “test out” of quarantine early.
  • Are required to remain off-campus with no access to campus buildings including residence halls during the 14 day “Quiet Period” on campus. 
  • Are not permitted to come to campus except to get a COVID-19 test, receive care from Health Services by appointment, or if they have been cleared to work in a lab.

We hope that we can move from Stage 1 to Stage 2 after undergraduate students have received the results of their second COVID-19 test, which will be conducted roughly four to five days after students’ arrival. However, Stage 1 could be extended if levels of infection are high. Note that the requirements for the Quiet Period could also change in response to changes in guidance from RIDOH.

Quiet Period Stage Two

Undergraduate students living on campus who test negative based on their arrival and second-round test results will be able to leave their residence halls for limited, essential movement on campus. However, they cannot have contact with the community beyond Brown’s campus – including students living off campus – during the remainder of the 14-day “Quiet Period.”

Undergraduate students living on campus are required to limit their activities to:

  • Engaging in outdoor exercise or recreation (on-campus only) while either wearing masks or social distancing of at least 6 feet.
  • Gathering in groups, preferably outdoors, of no more than 5 students (who also live on campus) while either wearing masks or social distancing of at least 6 feet.
  • Ordering contactless food delivery directly to residence halls while wearing masks and social distancing at least 6 feet.
  • Accessing grab-and-go dining from Dining Halls while wearing masks and social distancing at least 6 feet.

Undergraduate students living off campus are required to:

  • Quarantine, as needed, based on guidance from RIDOH but remembering that college students cannot test out of quarantine early.
  • Remain off campus with no access to campus buildings, including residence halls, during the 14 day “Quiet Period.” 
  • Access campus only for COVID-19 testing, accessing grab-and-go dining (for students on meal plan and only while wearing masks and social distancing at least 6 feet), appointments with Health Services, or if they have been approved to work in a lab.

If the overall results of round-two testing and guidance from RIDOH support additional opportunities for movement on campus and/or remaining in or returning to Stage One, students will be provided detailed updated information.

Support During the Quiet Period

If undergraduate students have urgent needs during the Quiet Period, they should contact Student Support Services (401-863-3145) during business hours or the Administrator On-Call (401-863-3322) after business hours.

Last updated August 25, 2020. 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.