Brown exempts its official functions from new indefinite COVID restrictions

Brown University confirmed eighty-two 'positive COVID-19 asymptomatic tests in the past seven days,' prompting a new round of social distancing measures with no specific end date.

Though the university is limiting the size of students' social groups, it is not placing similar restrictions on its own hosted events.

On Monday, administrators at Brown University informed students that the school had confirmed eighty-two “positive COVID-19 asymptomatic tests in the past seven days”  arising largely from asymptomatic undergraduate students. 

Brown then introduced several temporary restrictions. But rather than providing a specific end date, the university told students that restrictions will be removed “after achieving a decrease in positive tests.”

Brown University spokesman Brian Clark confirmed to Campus Reform that the school has “not set an end date in advance.” Rather, “specific decisions on timeline and/or changes to campus activity status will continue to be based on testing results and other key health and safety indicators on campus and in the greater community.”

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Under these new restrictions, both vaccinated and unvaccinated undergraduate students must complete a COVID-19 test once every four days. Meanwhile, all community members — regardless of vaccination status — are “required to wear masks indoors, unless in a private, non-shared space or when actively eating.” 

Though students’ social gatherings are now limited to no more than five people whether they occur indoors or outdoors, there will be no size limits on “university-hosted events.”

Brown University undergraduate Adam Shepardson told Campus Reform that “on a campus where the vast majority of students and faculty are fully vaccinated, I think the university should instead return to something near-normal.” 

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The regulation extends to “students’ off-campus residences, except when students are alone or with those they immediately live with.”

Likewise, students were told to avoid small-group “hopping” by only engaging with the same small social group. Students must also avoid indoor bars and restaurants, as well as wear masks at outdoor events unaffiliated with Brown.

 The university did clarify that student groups would still be allowed to operate in-person.

Campus Reform reached out to Brown University for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.