COVID-19: FAQS | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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COVID-19: Student Information and FAQ

Our Current Public Health Protocols

Public Health Protocols will adjust with our understanding of COVID-19, as well as vaccination rates both locally and nationwide. Below is the most recent guidance for summer 2021.  The following principals reduce the risk of transmission when two of three are used:

  • social distancing when interacting with those not fully vaccinated (or when you are unsure of their status)
  • wearing a mask 
  • meeting outside when possible

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

Am I required to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

The April 2021 communication from the Chancellor stated that all students - whether they take classes in person or remotely - are required to be vaccinated before attending classes this fall. In a June follow-up email,  WashU asks that students provide documentation to verify that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by no later than July 15.

Evidence of required immunizations in the form of official medical documentation must be uploaded to the Student PortalOnce on the portal click “immunization upload” and follow prompts. 

We will allow exemptions for students who are unable to receive the vaccine for religious or medical reasons. To learn more about the exemption process, visit the Immunization Exemption Policy page on the Habif website. More information about the COVID-19 vaccine is available on the COVID Vaccine Information page

Do I have to take additional steps if I'm not fully vaccinated? 

Students, faculty and staff who are not fully vaccinated will be required to complete mandatory surveillance testing every other week during the fall semester, according to a fall plan update shared by the University on 8/13. Students should make an appointment at Habif Health and Wellness Center to get their vaccination.

What about getting a COVID-19 test?

The university will provide free COVID-19 testing for all students, faculty and staff who develop symptoms - even if you are fully vaccinated or your symptoms are mild. Contact the COVID Call Center at 314-362-5056 to report symptoms or arrange for a free test. 

Do I still have to self-screen?

On July 30, a message from the Chancellor outlined the plan for the fall semester and indicated that everyone should continue to screen; active temperature monitoring is not needed.

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: danielle_bristow@wustl.edu
Da'Shaun Scott: dashaun@wustl.edu

Are there requirements for the kind of face covering I wear?
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?
Please wear a mask when walking through Hillman, Goldfarb and Brown Halls, particularly in common spaces. In shared spaces, please adhere to universal masking protocols for now. 

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?
Over the summer, we will not be hosting events and the density on campus will be reduced. We will re-evaluate current guidelines over the summer months. 

Are masks required on campus when I am outdoors?
When you meet with people outside, masks are optional for those fully vaccinated. If you are unsure of a person's status or are not fully vaccinated yourself, please wear masks and socially distance.

Will there be any opportunity to socialize in-person with my classmates?
Any gatherings should be held in large or outdoor spaces when possible. As guidance from the CDC, St. Louis City and County are is updated, we will re-evaluate current guidelines.

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: danielle_bristow@wustl.edu.

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:

  • Physical distancing
  • Universal masking
  • Vaccination

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.

How can I manage my mental health during this time?
As we move closer to the fall and vaccination rates rise, anxiety about returning to campus, sharing spaces and updating our pandemic routines can cause a lot of anxiety. Assistant Dean Ryan Lindsay has put together a site on managing anxiety during this time. Those that desire mental health counseling or more individual telehealth resources 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 Da'Shaun Scott if you need additional supports or recommendations.

Tuition, Fees, Health Insurance and Parking

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 studentinsurance@wustl.edu for more information.

Will the Health & Wellness fee be reduced or eliminated?  Can I waive this fee?
The Habif Health & Wellness Center is open and available to students for visits, in person and virtually. Students must make an appointment and can often call in the morning and receive a same day visit.

The Sumers Recreation Center is currently open to students only. Check the COVID-19 operations page for details on modified operations. The facility is open for set time blocks followed by a 30-minute closure during which all high-touch surfaces are cleaned with a disinfectant fogger. Visit their website for hours and availability.

What are the parking regulations for this year?
Frome June 1 - August 15, 2021 parking will complimentary in visitor and yellow parking spaces. Normal operations will resume August 16. After that date, updated visitor parking rates can be found here.

Parking permits for eligible students will become available starting mid- to late- July. Visit parking.wustl.edu for updated info. 

Is the ParkSmart West Campus Shuttle running?
From May 14 – August 29, 2021, campus and neighborhood shuttles will operate on the summer semester schedule .  Specific times and schedules for each route will be posted on the shuttle pages.


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 techden@wustl.edu.

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

Being On Campus & Campus Services

What cafes or food options are available on campus? 
For up-to-date information about on-campus cafes and food options visit the Dining Services website.

Am I allowed to meet with a classmate or faculty member on campus?
We encourage you to keep meetings virtual, or to meet in an open outdoor space.

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.

Travel Policies

What travel guidelines are in place for students?
Please see the FAQ page: https://covid19.wustl.edu/covid-19-faqs/.

Do I need to report my travel to the university or be tested after traveling?
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. Currently, undergraduate student and group graduate/professional student university-sponsored and supported international travel is suspended through the fall 2021 semester.

All travel restrictions are subject to change based on travel conditions and public health guidance; check the travel faq for updates.

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 orahood@wustl.edu.

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.