In December 2019, the global health care community identified a new respiratory virus that originated in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and has since been labeled 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Spread of coronavirus is correlated with circumstances of close and sustained contact with others who are infected.

The following FAQs include information on the state of the virus on Brown’s campus, an overview on the University’s actions to protect the health of the community and general information about the 2019-nCoV virus. To date, Health Services staff at Brown have seen no suspected case of coronavirus or have identified no specific risk to any member of the Brown community.

These will be updated as new details become available or information changes.

Last Update: Monday, Feb. 3, 2020


Has any risk to the Brown community been identified?

To date, Health Services staff at Brown have seen no suspected case of coronavirus or have identified no specific risk to any member of the Brown community.

Of the 11 cases confirmed in the United States as of Monday, Feb. 3, the closest is in Boston, Massachusetts. No cases have been identified in Rhode Island — and the risk to communities in Rhode Island remains low, according to health officials.

What actions has the University taken to protect the health of the Brown community?

Brown’s leaders and staff in Health Services, the 58福彩首页Office of Global Engagement and other departments are deeply committed to the health and safety of students as their first priority. The University is following all guidelines and recommendations from local and national public health experts, who have the best understanding of how to carefully manage public health risks such as coronavirus.

Among the actions Brown has taken to date:

  • The University's Core Crisis Team has convened to monitor this evolving public health situation and to ensure that appropriate plans are in place to protect the health of the Brown campus community, should the need arise.

  • Since the week of Jan. 20, campus leaders and medical providers based in Brown’s Health and Wellness departments have been actively coordinating with federal and state health officials and monitoring national guidelines to ensure the ongoing safety and well-being of the Brown community.

  • Brown Health Services is monitoring and following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidance to ensure that its screening and response protocols remain fully aligned with the most current health care community recommendations.??

  • Brown Health Services sent a community advisory (Brown login required) on coronavirus to all members of the University community on Friday, Jan. 24.

  • On Tuesday, Jan. 28, the Office of Global Engagement issued updated guidance (Brown login required) to the University community on travel to China, after the CDC reclassified China to Level 3: Avoid Nonessential Travel. As detailed below with additional information, no Brown undergraduate, graduate or medical student will be permitted to travel to China as part of a for-credit or non-credit program.

  • Staff members from Brown’s Office of International Programs worked with a small number of students enrolled in study abroad programs operated by other institutions in mainland China. All have successfully enrolled in alternative programs or returned to the Brown campus for the semester.

  • The Global Brown Center for International Students is in the initial stages of planning an early February event on campus to share information on the University’s response and to offer the opportunity to explore concerns or experiences related to the outbreak.

What guidance has Brown offered on travel to China?

Guided by recommendations from International SOS, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Department of State, and the CDC, Brown’s International Travel Risk Assessment Committee has been closely monitoring the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by the 2019-nCoV virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. On Jan. 27, the CDC reclassified China to Level 3: Avoid Nonessential Travel.

Per Brown's policy and based on the CDC reclassification, China is now considered a restricted destination. At this time, the University’s guidelines on travel to China are as follows:

  • No Brown undergraduate student, graduate student or medical student will be permitted to travel to China as part of a for-credit or non-credit program.

  • Faculty and staff are not restricted at this time but are strongly advised against travel to China. Faculty or staff with essential travel to China are urged to register their travel in TravelSafe. Due to the security threats in this destination, Brown’s emergency assistance provider, International SOS, may not be able to provide assistance in the event of an emergency or may have limited resources available.

What about travelers arriving from China?

Similar to guidance for outbound travelers, Brown follows advice from International SOS, the WHO and the CDC for individuals arriving in the U.S. after travel from China. Anyone traveling from China should allow for additional time at the airport for enhanced health screenings conducted by the CDC and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

In addition, on Friday, Jan. 31, the White House issued a “Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus.” Effective 5 pm on Sunday, Feb. 2, temporary restrictions on travelers who have been “physically present” in mainland China (therefore excluding Hong Kong and Macau) are as follows:

  • all foreign nationals “other than immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, who have traveled in China within the last 14 days, will be denied entry into the United States for this time";
  • U.S. citizens who have been in Hubei Province during the previous 14 days preceding their entry to the U.S. will be subjected to a mandatory quarantine upon return to the U.S.;
  • U.S. citizens who have traveled in any other area within mainland China in the previous 14 days prior to arriving to the U.S. “will undergo proactive entry health screening and up to 14 days of self-quarantine with health monitoring.”

Those restrictions went into effect with no assigned end date other than indicating that restrictions will "remain in effect until terminated by the President." It is set to be reevaluated in 15 days and, if renewed, will continue to be reevaluated every 15 days after that.

Are any Brown students studying abroad in China? What guidance has the University offered?

Brown does not directly operate any semester-long study abroad programs in mainland China. However, a small number of current Brown undergraduates had been scheduled to participate in approved study abroad programs operated by other organizations. Staff members from the Office of International Programs worked with each of those students. All have successfully enrolled in alternative programs or returned to the Brown campus for the semester.


Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause cold and flu-like symptoms in mammals, including humans. On rare occasions, certain strains of coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms such as pneumonia.

According to the CDC, 2019-nCoV is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019. This specific strain has potential to cause more severe symptoms than its close relatives. To date, the majority of individuals that have suffered from severe complications of this new virus have been elderly or suffering from predisposing underlying chronic illness.

According to the CDC, symptoms related to coronavirus 2019-nCoV include fever greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit / 38 degrees Celsius along with difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.

Based on new guidelines from the CDC issued on Feb. 1, Coronavirus 2019 would be considered if there are clinical symptoms including fever more than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or cough or difficulty breathing AND travel to China within 14 days of onset of symptoms.

If you have fever, cough or shortness of breath:

  • Seek medical care immediately. Before you go to a clinician’s office, to the hospital or to Brown Health Services (students), please call ahead to let the provider know that you have traveled in China and you have symptoms.

  • Minimize contact with others until you have been given instructions by a health care provider. Students should avoid classes, extracurricular activities or any group activities.

If you do not have any symptoms:

  • Monitor yourself by taking your temperature daily. If you are a Brown student, contact Brown Health Services if you have a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. You may communicate with Health Services if you need a thermometer.

  • Students may participate in all activities and classes without limitation if you do not have any symptoms, even if you have been in China.

  • You do not need to wear a mask if you do not have any symptoms.

If you have been in close contact with an individual with a confirmed diagnosis of novel coronavirus, please contact Health Services (students) or your primary care provider (faculty and staff).

Symptoms of coronavirus 2019-nCoV can be very similar to other viral illnesses and influenza. At this time, there are no routine tests to see if you have novel coronavirus. If you have a sore throat, fever, cough and body aches, you may have the flu or other influenza like illness.

Students with these symptoms or other symptoms of concern should call Health Services at 401-863-3953. Brown faculty and staff should consult with their local primary care provider.

Influenza and similar viruses that cause colds are most prevalent at this time of year. Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand-washing, use of hand sanitizer and covering the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing. And it is not too late to get a flu shot.

No, antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria. The new 2019-nCoV is a virus, and therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment.

Brown University is following guidelines and screening protocols from the CDC and the WHO. If someone you know has flu-like symptoms or you are concerned about their health, please encourage them to contact Health Services at 401-863-3953 to seek advice and care.

The University will continue to update this FAQs page as new or updated information is made available.

Additional notifications may also be shared through other campus communications channels, such as 现金购彩网首页[email protected] and/or the website.

Reports of the impact of 2019-nCoV around the world can be troubling, especially for members of the community who are from or have friends and family in affected areas. Resources and support are available for students through Counseling and Psychological Services and for faculty and staff through the Faculty/Staff Assistance Program. The University Chaplains can also offer support to any member of the Brown community.


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