New restrictions at Brown University due to rise in COVID-19 cases

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Brown University has implemented new restrictions following a rise in COVID-19 cases on campus.

According to the University, there were 82 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the span of one week. The new restrictions include a pause to indoor dining, limiting social gatherings to no more than 5 people indoors or outdoors, and increasing testing for undergraduate students.

For freshman like Sherry Zhang, the new restrictions are tough just one week into the semester.

“The biggest one for me is not being able to eat in the actual dining hall,” Zhang said. “That’s a big part of my social life kind of, I’d eat with my friends. So that’ll be a little different.”

According to a spokesperson from the University, the cases were all traced back to small social gatherings. Students who tested positive were asymptomatic and there were no hospitalizations following the rise.

“There’s no spread in classrooms, there’s been no big super spreader events of any kind,” Brian Clark, Brown University Spokesperson said. “Mostly, it’s about students engaging with other students in multiple small groups outside of the classroom.”

While cases are rising, Clark says they expected it. Student population has spiked since the start of school and they went from administering 3,000 tests a month to 13,000 in one week.

The positive cases pop up at a time where Brown University is nearing universal vaccination rates. 98% of students and 96% of employees are now vaccinated.

The restrictions not only target students, but nearby residents where vaccination rates aren’t as high.

“With people outside also coming onto campus, we’ve now required that those outdoor events also have masks in place,” Clark said. “So, a great example: the first game of the season will be at Brown Stadium on Saturday. That’s an event where they’ll now have to be masked.”

For a full list of the restrictions in place, visit: To the Brown Community: New temporary COVID-19 restrictions | Healthy Brown | Brown University

Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island