Brown opens up residence halls to frontline workers at no cost

Brown University entrance_601108

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Brown University has opened up its residence halls to frontline workers in need of a safe place to stay during the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Gina Raimondo said Tuesday that the short-term housing is available for healthcare workers, nursing home staff, public safety personnel and other employees at high risk of contracting the virus and do not want to risk infecting their family members.

“Providing these rooms to Rhode Island’s frontline heroes at no charge is incredibly generous, and I cannot thank the university enough for their support,” Raimondo said.

Brown has made available 700 single-occupancy rooms and so far, 14 frontline workers are taking advantage of the offer.

The residence halls were vacated in mid-March after the university opted to transition to online learning for the remainder of the spring semester.

Offering short-term housing to frontline workers is just another opportunity for Brown to give back to the community, according to Russell Carey, executive vice president for planning and policy at the university.

“It is our hope that providing these front-line personnel with a housing option that keeps their loved ones safer makes it a little bit easier for them to do the incredibly difficult job that has to be done,” Carey said.

Carey said residents will be spaced out across floors to minimize the number of people using shared spaces. No individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be allowed to live in the residence halls, he added.

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