Dear Brown Students,
As we begin a new semester, we want to share our general approach to public health at Brown, as well as some details and reminders about COVID-19 and monkeypox protocols. Our first priority, as always, is to protect the health and wellbeing of our students and employees. To this end, it is important that our community members know what they can expect from Brown, best practices to help keep ourselves and each other safe, and how to identify and access resources and support.
Brown has developed its public health protocols based on current guidelines and expert guidance from public health and medical professionals. We have learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemic that our campus needs to be flexible as public health conditions change, and this includes adapting to the latest public health emergency, monkeypox (orthopoxvirus).
In keeping with prevailing health and privacy standards, the University will report about monkeypox cases to the community only when there is a public health rationale for doing so, such as providing information that would help community members respond in ways that can help make them safer. Any individual identified as a close contact by Health Services’ contact tracing process will be notified individually and confidentially.
For more detailed information about ongoing COVID-19 measures, including vaccination requirements, refer to the Healthy Brown website, and to Provost Locke’s August 9 message to the community for information about public health considerations for academic instruction. For more information about monkeypox, refer to Dr. Vanessa Britto’s message to Brown students about monkeypox and Brown’s webpage with monkeypox FAQs.
COVID-19 Information and Protocols:
- Students are encouraged to procure COVID-19 test kits by purchasing them at local pharmacies and requesting reimbursement through health insurance coverage, and keep them on hand for use during the semester.
- Students should take a COVID-19 test 24-36 hours prior to departing for campus, using either a rapid antigen or PCR test.
- If a test result is negative, students may continue their planned travel to campus and should not upload their test results to Health Services.
- Students who receive a positive result should delay their return to campus to complete an isolation period. Students are required to report any pre-departure positive test result to University Health Services via the Health and Wellness Patient Portal (click “forms”). Additionally, if living on campus, please notify the Office of Residential Life of your delayed arrival at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Brown will have high-quality KN95 masks and COVID-19 test kits available on campus at no cost for all students at the Key Office in Grad Center E. The office will be open 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, and students can pick up masks and test kits at their convenience. We expect these items will be available to students throughout the fall semester.
- The COVID-19 tests being distributed by Brown are within their shelf-life. In some cases, the expiration date for tests extends past the date on the product. These expiration dates are extended based on data provided by the manufacturer showing that the shelf-life is longer than was known when the test was first authorized. Visit the FDA’s page on at-home tests and use the provided table to identify the test’s extended expiration date.
Monkeypox Information and Protocols:
- Monkeypox is a viral illness that can spread between individuals through close, personal, skin-to-skin contact. The best ways to reduce the spread of this virus are to limit exposure and take the preventive vaccine, if you are eligible. Visit our monkeypox FAQ to learn more.
- In the event of an illness, your first outreach should be to Health Services at 401-863-3953 to schedule an appointment with a provider. For additional support:
- Undergraduate students may call 401-863-3145 or email email@example.com to schedule a meeting with a Student Support Dean.
- Doctoral and MFA students may contact Associate Dean of Student Support Services Maria Suarez.
- Master’s students may contact Associate Dean of Student Affairs Alicia LaPolla.
- Medical students may contact Learning and Accessibility Specialist Lorrie Gehlbach or Associate Dean for Student Affairs Roxanne Vrees.
We encourage students to take advantage of these provided resources and require you to follow the established protocols in support of a safe and healthy academic year. We will continue to communicate any changes to COVID or monkeypox guidance and requirements as public health conditions evolve.
We wish you a wonderful start to your fall semester and look forward to seeing you on campus soon!
Eric Estes, Ph.D.
Vice President for Campus Life
Vanessa Britto, M.D., M.Sc., FACP
Associate Vice President for Health and Wellness