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Total positive COVID-19 cases on campus surpass 150

U. plans to keep current mask-optional policy, despite other universities reinstating mask mandates

<p>When cases increased in certain East Coast universities, including Georgetown University, American University, Barnard College and Johns Hopkins University, their respective administrations reinstated their mask mandates.</p><p></p>

When cases increased in certain East Coast universities, including Georgetown University, American University, Barnard College and Johns Hopkins University, their respective administrations reinstated their mask mandates.

From April 7 to 13, 134 students and 37 employees reported positive COVID-19 test results, according to an April 15 Today@Brown announcement from Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy Russell Carey ’91 MA’06.

“We feel we’re seeing a continuation of what we expected … after a break (and) after people travel,” Carey told The Herald. 

Individuals reporting positive COVID-19 test results “generally have no or mild symptoms, and we have seen no instances of severe illness or hospitalization or any indication of widespread transmission on campus,” he wrote in the announcement. 

“We're going to be watching (cases) very carefully,” Carey said. “But we're not at this time making any changes to campus policies or protocols.”

The rise of the BA.2 subvariant of the Omicron variant, now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the United States, has caused cases in Rhode Island to rise in the past few weeks.

Between April 9 and 15, there were 220.1 new cases per 100,000 people in Rhode Island — up from 199 cases per 100,000 people the previous week, according to the Rhode Island Department of Health COVID-19 data tracker

Some universities on the East Coast, including Georgetown University, American University, Columbia and Johns Hopkins University, have reinstated mask requirements in some settings in recent weeks following an increase in cases either on campus or in their surrounding college towns. 

“We're encouraged by the fact that people are using their tests and reporting when they're positive and isolating,” Carey said. “At this point, we’re not recommending changes currently to our masking policy.”

The Today@Brown announcement also reported that 83 students are in isolation. Designated on- and off-campus isolation housing is “being managed well,” and the University does not “have any concerns,” Carey said. 

Last week, admitted students from the class of 2026 had the option to visit campus for A Day on College Hill. Visiting students were required to follow the same masking conditions and policies on campus as current community members and “attest to being vaccinated,” Carey said.



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