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University reaches 90 percent COVID-19 vaccination rate

Milestone lifts masking, testing restrictions

The University has reached a 90 percent overall COVID-19 vaccination rate for students, faculty and staff currently engaged in on-campus activity, Russell Carey ’91 MA’06, executive vice president of planning and policy, wrote in an email to the community Wednesday morning.

After a year of pandemic restrictions and policies, the milestone ushers in the beginning of the University’s return to normal operations.

Effective immediately, the University will no longer require fully vaccinated individuals to wear masks while on campus, both indoors and outdoors. Neither students nor professors, assuming vaccination, will be required to wear masks during in-person classes.

Additionally, fully-vaccinated individuals will no longer have to participate in routine COVID-19 testing and will receive a notification from the University when they have been removed from the program. Unvaccinated individuals will continue to be tested weekly through August.

The milestone will allow for a gradual phase-in of in-person dining and access to the Nelson Fitness Center and Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatic Center. Visitor and event restrictions will be lifted starting August 15, Carey wrote.

Mask mandates will remain in place at testing sites, University Health Services and on University shuttles. Unvaccinated community members are still required to social distance and wear masks indoors and outdoors, where maintaining three feet of distance is not possible.

“Any member of the community who is not otherwise required to wear a mask can, of course, voluntarily choose to wear a mask in any setting at any time and for any reason,” Carey wrote. “This personal choice should be respected. As with vaccination status, no one should ask another individual about their personal choice to wear a mask.”

Students returning to campus for the fall semester are also required to receive their final dose and upload their vaccination card to the University’s health portal by August 1, Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services Eric Estes wrote in a Today@Brown announcement Wednesday morning.

Students engaging in on-campus activity this summer were required to receive and upload their vaccination cards by July 1. Of these students, 95 percent have been vaccinated so far.

In the announcement, Estes laid out guidelines for international students who may not have access to U.S.-authorized vaccines. “For international students vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines not authorized in the U.S., Brown has established requirements for accepting international vaccines that closely follow CDC guidelines, as well as protocols for interchangeability of vaccines,” Estes wrote. International students will also have the option to “revaccinate” with FDA-approved vaccines once they arrive in the United States, so long as 28 days have passed since their last dose.

The customary “Quiet Period” that marked the beginning of each semester this year will not be observed at the start of the Fall 2021 semester, and arrival protocols will return to pre-pandemic status.

Still, both unvaccinated travelers and those with a non-FDA approved vaccine returning to the University will be required to quarantine for seven days and test after five days in accordance with Rhode Island travel policies.

The University will also allow medical and religious exemptions to its vaccination policies on a case-by-case basis, as determined by University Health Services clinicians in accordance with Rhode Island Department of Health policies. Those seeking such exemptions are required to submit their requests by July 15.


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