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

It has been almost sixteen months since COVID-19 forced us to dramatically change the way we deliver on our mission of offering transformative graduate educational programs in social work, public health and social policy, engaging in high-impact research and scholarship and contributing to collaborative community partnerships. We are truly grateful to our faculty, staff and students who made a quick transition to remote learning and work. We delivered on our promises to students as they were able to complete their degrees, to partners with contributions continuing via in-person and electronic activities and to our funder champions with research continuing despite significant obstacles.

As we navigate this 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.

We are entering a new phase of the pandemic as COVID vaccines are proving effective even as new variants take hold in our region and across the nation and globe. We will apply the many lessons learned and effective protective practices to continue to 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 as we begin to return to campus. When the Brown School opens its doors on August 26th for classes, we will be closely following public health guidance to ensure a safe return to in-person activities. We will continue our commitment to protecting the health of our community, addressing racial disparities, and understand that this 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 are inspirational. We will need to continue to draw on these values to make sure we are all following the five key protocols as we come back to campus: vaccinating, screening (if not vaccinated), masking in the common spaces, physical distancing (if not vaccinated), and maintaining good hygiene. For students, faculty and staff, please also be sure that you upload proof of vaccination as this is important for your own health, as well as that for others. As guidelines change from the CDC, we will be adjusting our protocols as well.

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.

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 all ways we can.

We thank all of you for keeping our community safe and look forward to seeing you on campus this fall.

- 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


Are WE STill SOCIAL DISTANCING?

We continue to follow the most recent guidance by the CDC. Due to promising initial estimates of vaccination rates among Danforth Campus faculty, staff, and students, we are now able to lift the physical distancing requirement for fully vaccinated individuals in most spaces on the Danforth Campus. 



Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to physically distance from others. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated should continue to maintain at least six feet of physical distance from others at all times. 

Vaccinations and wearing a mask when appropriate - especially indoors and when you are not sure of the vaccination status of those around you - protects our healthcare system, our first responders, and other infrastructure will be better able to manage this public health crisis. We can also 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 from an infected person. If you are student showcasing symptoms, and are located in St. Louis, you should contact: Habif Health and Wellness, 314-935-6666.