This week, Ivy League school Brown University implemented mandatory twice-weekly covid testing for all undergraduate students and closed a slew of indoor facilities, like the dining hall, due to a rise in positive cases on campus. This follows the trend of colleges and universities across the country requiring students, regardless of vaccination status, to get tested and abide by strict policies to combat the spread of the virus.
In a tweet shared by the student-run newspaper, Brown Daily Herald, it stated that over 80 positive coronavirus cases on campus had been reported in the past week. As a result, the university implemented a slew of temporary restrictions for students, effective Tuesday.
BREAKING: In light of 82 positive COVID-19 cases in the past seven days, the University has just imposed temporary COVID-19 restrictions, effective tomorrow. Guidelines include suspending in-person dining and increasing undergraduate testing to two times per week.— Brown Daily Herald (@the_herald) September 13, 2021
Some of the short-term policies outlined in a news release include the mandatory twice-weekly testing for all students regardless of vaccination status. Previously, only unvaccinated students with exemptions faced twice weekly status. Indoor masking in on and off campus housing unless in a private, non-shared space is a requirement students must also abide by. In-person dining is halted, and social gatherings, while wearing masks, are limited to five people.
On a more specific note, Brown advises students to refrain from small group “hopping.” “Students are expected to consistently engage with the same small social group, rather than attending or ‘hopping’ among multiple small-group gatherings over the course of a day or short period of time,” the website states. “They should not go to indoor bars or restaurants.”
Additionally, Brown requires that students at outdoor social gatherings with people outside the university community wear masks. This includes university athletic events and campus tours for prospective students.
According to Brown’s COVID-19 website, “Healthy Brown,” all students, faculty, and staff are required to be fully vaccinated against the Wuhan coronavirus. The school does allow religious and medical exemptions. The Providence Journal reported that as of August, the university had a 97 percent vaccination rate among students.
“By now, we all understand that we will live with the uncertainty of the pandemic for some time to come, and we must be prepared to adjust our behaviors as public health conditions shift,” the news release reads. “The University will necessarily continue to increase and decrease Brown’s activity protocols to align our requirements for indoor and outdoor settings with expert public health and medical guidance.”