To maintain a healthy and safe community during the pandemic, Brown will focus on identifying and stopping the community spread of virus at the earliest possible stages. Routine testing — which tests individuals regardless of symptoms to monitor for the virus’s spread — will be essential for the health of the campus population.
Brown intends in Fall 2020 to test all students on re-entry to Brown, as well as continue periodic routine testing. This will allow a better understanding of the initial incidence of COVID-19 in the population and how it changes over the year, as well as identify the proportion of asymptomatic positives and the proportion with potential immunity to the disease over time. This testing will use the least invasive and reliable means possible to reduce the burden on the student population.
Routine testing will be essential for the health of the campus population.
Brown will perform testing of symptomatic students at University Health Services (UHS) using nasopharyngeal swabs, and samples will continue to be sent to Lifespan labs for processing. UHS staff will require standard clinical personal protective equipment to perform the tests. An alternate testing site will be identified on campus for UHS to perform tests during the day in order to avoid congestion of symptomatic students at UHS facilities where other students are coming for other unrelated issues.
The University has already implemented a COVID-19 Workplace Safety Policy, which establishes a variety of policies to mitigate the risks, including mandating the wearing of face masks, unless an exception applies, and prescribing protocols for Brown community members to follow when they feel sick, have been tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, or exposed to someone with COVID-19.
Given that testing methods and evidence regarding their efficacy is rapidly developing, the University is closely monitoring these developments and will take advantage of the latest testing strategies available.