COVID-19: FAQS | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

COVID-19: Student Information and FAQ

Our Current Public Health Protocols

The following Public Health Protocols have been in place for the fall semester, and will continue in spring 2021: 

  • completing a health screening before arriving on campus
  • wearing a mask when on campus
  • physically distancing from others
  • practicing good hygiene.

 The "Coming to Campus Guide" provides an overview about what is expected for students. 
More FAQ about the protocols are answered below.

Frequently Asked Questions

We know you have many questions, and we hope the below information addresses them. We will keep this updated with new information as we have it.

All Field Education and Practicum related questions can be found here.

On Campus Public Health Protocols

What will I be asked in the health screening?

Within two hours of coming to campus, you will need to complete the online health screening. It asks if you are currently experiencing (or have experienced within the last 24 hours) any of the key symptoms of COVID-19. It will also ask if you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive or is suspected of having COVID-19 in the past 14 days.

What happens if I fail the health screening app?
Do not come to campus; remain at home and physically isolate from others. Contact Habif Health & Wellness Center at 314-935-6666 for additional instructions on testing, tracing, and clearance to return to campus.

If you wish, you also may contact the Brown School’s Student Support Team if you would like any support as you navigate the process or potential illness. There is a team of people who can assist you confidentially. Please contact:

Danielle Bristow:
Miriam Joelson:

Are there requirements for the kind of face covering I wear?

Guidelines for wearing a mask: Your mask must fit snugly over your mouth and chin. If you have a nose wire, it should be snug against your nose. Avoid touching the front of the mask when putting it on and taking it off. Wash you mask regularly to sanitize it. For more tips and guidance on masking, visit the CDC site. Face shields, masks with vents and gaiters are not permitted.

Do I have to wear a mask throughout class?
Yes, a mask must be worn at all times during class.

Can I eat or drink in class?
For the protection of all, eating and drinking during class is not allowed. During breaks, when you can be more socially distant from you classmates, you may eat or drink.

How many people will be on the Brown campus at one time?
In-person classes are being very limited in each of our buildings. The maximum number of concurrently running classes in a day are five, and these are spaced out among our three buildings.

Are masks required on campus when I am outdoors?
When you cannot assure six feet of distance (a narrow or busy walkway, for instance) masks are required, even outside. If you can maintain regular physically distance outdoors, your mask may be removed.

Will my professors wear masks while teaching? How else might my classroom look different?
Yes, universal masking applies to faculty as well. In some cases, faculty may also use a combination of face shields, distancing and plexiglass partitions. Tables and chairs in classrooms have also be set up to accommodate physical distancing.

Will I need to worry about people departing classrooms as I am entering?
Classes are spaced out throughout the day so that students will not be arriving and departing classrooms at the same time.

Will there be any opportunity to socialize in-person with my classmates?
Most student community building events are happening virtually. Student groups may work within University and School policies to potentially plan safe in-person activities.

How should I respond if I notice someone else (student, teacher, employee) not following public health protocols and I do not feel comfortable approaching them directly?
If you have concerns about a lack of attention to protocols from a fellow Brown School community member, you can reach out to Danielle Bristow:

I am a Brown School student, but I am taking classes at other schools. Will policies differ across campus?
All Schools will follow extremely similar protocols, with the main elements being:

  • Screening
  • Physical distancing
  • Universal masking
  • Hand washing and sanitizing

Will Pass/Fail Options be available for online classes?
The option for taking classes pass/fail was a temporary measure introduced in spring 2020 to accommodate students whose learning was severely disrupted by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rapid transition to online learning. Moving forward, all classes will be completed under the letter-grade system, except for those classes previously graded Pass/Fail under normal operations.

Illness Polices and Mental Health Concerns

If I get sick with COVID-19 or another illness, can I move my in-person class to online?
You should get in touch with your instructor discuss your options and work you may be missing. Faculty will work with you on any needed accommodations, extensions or modifications. You can also work with your academic advisor if you need additional support.

Will I know if someone in my class or my professor contracts COVID-19?
Washington University Occupational Health or Habif Health & Wellness Center will be talking directly with anyone who tests positive on campus to learn about their close interaction with the university community. With careful analysis and contract tracing, they will follow careful protocols and inform those who are determined to be at risk. HIPAA compliance must be maintained.

If I have an illness, but have tested negative for COVID-19, will I be allowed on campus?
You will need to be in touch with Habif Health and Wellness Center for clearance before returning to campus.

I am living alone and am scared about what might happen if I get sick. What resources or help might be available to me?
We understand students will be facing a lot of anxiety should they fall ill. You can work with your Academic Advisor, or a member of the Student Support Team to discuss the medical care, food, and personal and academic support you need.

I live with roommates and I am afraid one of us might get sick and need to quarantine? What should we do?
The university will have designated quarantine housing for students who may need it. Contact Habif Health & Wellness at 314-935-6666, to discuss this option should you need it.

How can I manage my mental health during this time?
It is normal to feel fear and anxiety during a time of uncertainty and upheaval like this. As hard as it can be, make sure you are getting adequate sleep, eating well, getting some exercise and communicating with friends and family. People who already are managing existing mental health conditions should particularly prioritize self-care during and contact their clinicians if they have questions or concerns. Assistant Dean Ryan Lindsay has put together a site on managing anxiety during this time. The CDC offers some additional tips. We recognize that many of you desire mental health counseling or more individual telehealth resources during this time. Students should check Mental Health Services at WashU for up-to-date information and telehealth options.

As always, you can reach out to your Academic Advisor, Danielle Bristow or Miriam Joelson if you need additional supports or recommendations.

Tuition, Fees, Health Insurance and Parking

Will tuition be reduced?
We are committed to offering the WashU academic experience in keeping with our high standards, no matter where students are studying this year. The commitment of the Brown School and Washington University to provide students with a high-quality educational experience will not change. The tuition assessed for the semester will also not change. We also understand COVID-19 created financial hardships for some students, and we are dedicated to helping students through this tough and uncertain time. If you have financial concerns, please reach out to Dominique Sandheinrich at

Can I waive health insurance if I am not living in the St. Louis area?
Conditional waivers are available to students studying remotely outside the St. Louis area. Complete the waiver process to confirm eligibility. International students must remain enrolled if they plan to come to the U.S. at any point in the semester in order to meet visa requirements. Students will be automatically enrolled in the insurance plan for the spring semester pending additional pandemic response by the University. Contact for more information.

Will the Health & Wellness fee be reduced or eliminated?  Can I waive this fee if I am not living in the St. Louis area?
The Habif Health & Wellness Center is open and available to students for visits. Students must make an appointment and can often call in the morning and receive a same day visit. The Sumers Recreation Center is scheduled to open at reduced hours on August 24. More information will be provided should the fee be waived for those outside the St. Louis area.

What are the parking regulations for this year?
Zoned parking permits will be required from 7:00 am – 5:00 pm and are being sold at

Visitor hourly rates in the garages have been reduced by 50 percent, to align with OPP rates. View garage rates.

Is the ParkSmart West Campus Shuttle running?
The West Campus shuttle is running. Learn more about the shuttle’s schedule and public health protocols at

Distance Learning Resources

I’m a student who needs access to high-speed internet for remote learning. Can someone help me?
If you have concerns about your internet access, please call 314-933-3333 to learn how to access technical support.

Where can I go for information about online learning?
Students should go to Strategies for Learning Remotely on the Teaching & Learning Continuity website for information about the shift to online learning. Also, see Frequently Asked Questions on that site.

WashU Tech Den will support students in core technologies, including laptop repairs/loaners, network connectivity, software support and more.  Contact them at  314-935-7100 or

I need access to specialized software that I access at the Stat Lab. What do I do now?
Current students can information on lab availability and software access information on Inside Brown. The Common Student Software page has been updated with information specific to the fall 2020 semester. 

Being On Campus & Campus Services

Will I be allowed to stay on-campus in between classes or to study?
Please plan to minimize your time on campus, but if you need to wait on campus in between classes, the university is arranging for spaces to be available to students. Learn more about the use of campus spaces for studying/eating in the university’s plan.

What cafes or food options are available on campus?
Following university health principles and guidance from the CDC and the St. Louis County Health Department’s recent decision to limit indoor and outdoor seating in restaurant establishments, we will effectively close all seating in dining operations beginning Monday, November 16.

Curbside, pick-up and mobile ordering at all Danforth Campus dining locations - download the GET Food dining app .

Am I allowed to meet with a classmate or faculty member on campus?
While tempting to meet on campus, all meetings are encouraged to be virtual. This is for the safety of all.

If I want an “on-campus” job, will any be available, even virtually?
If you had student employment in the past, please work with your supervisor about opportunities for this academic year. The Career Services Office is collecting information about part-time student employment.

Will physical and mental health services be available through the Habif Wellness Center?
Yes, please go to the Habif website for more information.

What if I need to access to additional student services on campus? Will those remain open?
We have put together a separate page that addresses the availability of many on-campus services. Click here.

Travel Policies

What travel guidelines are in place for students?
Please see the FAQ page:

Do I need to report my travel to the university or be tested after traveling?
We discourage travel for those that plan on being on campus. If you choose to travel, you should follow all public health best practices while traveling and ensure you are following all School and university protocols upon your return.

International Students Resources

I am an international student who has concerns about my Visa. What do I do?
If you are a first-year F1 student, you do need to take at least one class in person if you are in the United States. If you have any questions about registration and status, please contact Tammy Orahood, Director of Global Programs at

Please know that our international students have our steadfast support as we work with individuals to develop plans and solutions in order to mitigate the impact of these recent developments. We will continue to be guided by our values and center our work on our students.

Keep in mind that you can remain in the United States as long as you are enrolled (duration of stay). For more specific answers about visas, please see the COVID-19 International Student FAQ document.

Where can I find additional resources specific to international students?
The Office of Global Programs has created a Google Doc that has consistently updated resources that may be beneficial to our international students. Some highlights include:

  • Multilingual COVID-19 information can be found on Medline.
  • An online free medical service called Wedoctor Global, provided by the Chinese Medical Association, offers free medical consultation both in Chinese and in English.
  • Table Wisdom is a social enterprise that brings mature adults and foreign-born students together for professional mentoring and conversational English-speaking sessions. During the COVID-19 crises, Table Wisdom offers mentors for free for our international students. Register for Table Wisdom here.
  • Access the full Google Doc.

Given recent accounts of xenophobia, I don’t feel comfortable running errands. What resources are available?
We are committed to supporting you during this time. The Office of Global Programs is keeping a list of Brown School community members who are volunteering to run errands for international students who do not feel safe. If you would like access to this assistance, please email Tammy Orahood.

How has the university addressed international students during this time?
Our international students play a vital role in our vibrant community. Chancellor Andrew Martin emphasized this on social media as well as his graduation message to the McDonnell International Scholars during the WashU's this year. He also shared these values in a blog post last year.

The University responded to the presidential proclamation regarding Chinese scholars in this post.

Staying Informed

What else can/should I do to make sure I know the latest information?
If there is new information or polices, all students will receive direct emails via their WUSTL email address.

I have a question, whom do I ask?

For more information and FAQs, visit WashU’s together plan and University FAQs.