COVID-19 | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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A Message from the Dean

When Covid-19 forced us to shelter in place this past March, we made a quick transition to remote learning, work and research to maintain our academic and research mission and ensure our students’ completion of their degrees. As we navigated the public health crisis, the reality of the disproportionate impacts of the pandemic elevated structural racism as a root cause. The harmful and often deadly impacts of anti-Black racism, health and economic disparities, and the rise of xenophobia mark the great injustices of this time. As we prepare for the new academic year, these challenges connect and strengthen our collective focus on equity and impact.

In the time since the coronavirus emerged in our region, we have learned many lessons and made adjustments to better serve our students, staff, faculty and community. These experiences, along with public health expertise and our professional values, have informed the steps we are taking this fall semester. Our Academic and Administrative leadership teams have been hard at work creating an evidence-based public health protocol that will guide all of our actions on campus.  When the Brown School opens its doors on August 24th, we will be employing a hybrid approach to learning that includes in-person and virtual classes. While most students will experience some courses on campus, all events and other activities will be conducted virtually. The changes to our physical environment and operations aligns with our commitment to protecting the health of our community, addressing racial disparities, and is an opportunity to exercise the ethics of our professions.

During times of crisis, it is important that we all lean on our core values to guide us. Our community’s commitment to protecting the health and safety of each other; supporting and connecting in times of challenge and uncertainty; and maintaining flexibility, patience and calm in a crisis demonstrate a set of shared values that is inspirational. We will need to continue to draw on these values to make sure we are all following the four key protocols as we come back to campus: screening, masking, physical distancing and maintaining good hygiene.

On this site, we offer resources for our students, faculty, staff, field instructors and greater community members. Our internal community should regularly check email for updates from the administration, your individual course instructors, practicum sites and more. Please also pay close attention to your health and minimize your risk of getting sick. You will find some reliable sources of information at the bottom of this page. 

We understand that living in this new reality means managing a lot of uncertainty and anxiety, and we must attend to our emotional and mental well-being. (Some key tips for managing this anxiety are located here.)  We will try to support you in whatever ways we can. Please also know that we will make decisions to protect the health of our Brown School community and our region. 


- Mary McKay
   Neidorff Family and Centene Corporation Dean of the Brown School


To the right, you will find various Brown School resources, FAQ, and more.  Keep scrolling down for more information and resources on the virus itself.  A full archive of messages from Dean McKay is also available on Inside Brown

General Virus Information and Resources

In order to stay informed and prepared, we encourage you to monitor websites with reliable, science-based information.

Brown SChool Resources


WHY ARE WE SOCIAL DISTANCING?

Even though St. Louis had not seen many confirmed COVID-19 cases when this decision was made, reducing numbers of individuals in close proximity (like universities) can help slow the inevitable transmission of this disease. This more gradual outbreak, or “flattening of the curve” means that our healthcare system, our first responders, and other infrastructure will be better able to manage this public health crisis, and we can help prevent serious illness and fatalities of those most at risk. (The risk is greatest to those who are elderly or have pre-existing medical conditions.) This site is helpful in monitoring U.S. cases, and also depicts a graphic of "curve" mentioned above. 

What if I feel ill?

The main symptoms of COVID-19 illness include fever, cough, headache, muscle aches and difficulty breathing. Based on current information, symptoms can appear anywhere from two to 14 days after initial exposure to the disease and can be transmitted from inhaling or touching infected droplets — usually through a cough or sneeze — from an infected person. If you are student showcasing symptoms, and are located in St. Louis, you should contact: Habif Health and Wellness, 314-935-4129. We encourage people with symptoms of fever and cough to call first so we can triage them.  If you have a personal doctor, you can contact them for further instruction.