To maintain a healthy and safe community during the pandemic, Brown will focus on identifying and preventing further community spread of the 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.
This will allow a better understanding of the initial incidence of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) 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.
The following reflects the essential elements of Brown’s testing program:
- Testing will be mandatory for all students, faculty and staff who will be on campus regularly.
All community members subject to mandatory testing will receive an initial baseline test in late August, early September or the point at which they come to campus. After the baseline test, individuals will be tested either once or twice per week, depending on the amount of regular contact they are likely to have with other students, faculty and staff (more information on the employee and student testing pages).
- All asymptomatic tests will take place at the Olney-Margolies Athletic Center (OMAC) and at One Davol Square in the Jewelry District.
Community members who meet the requirements for routine testing will be asked to perform a self-administered nasal swab — the most reliable, accurate and non-invasive method available currently — and clinical personnel will guide participants as needed from a safe distance. Brown will cover all costs.
- Brown will perform testing of symptomatic students through University Health Services (UHS) using nasopharyngeal swabs.
UHS staff will be equipped with standard clinical personal protective equipment to perform the tests. An alternate campus site for testing symptomatic students may be identified in order to avoid congestion at UHS facilities where other students are visiting for other unrelated issues.
- Employees with COVID-19 symptoms should contact a health care provider and University Human Resources.
Per the University’s COVID-19 Campus Safety Policy, faculty and staff must stay home from work, inform University Human Resources and contact their medical provider if they experience symptoms of COVID-19, test positive for the virus or have been exposed to the virus through an identified contact.
- A robust contact tracing strategy will help minimize the risk of community spread.
Brown has implemented a contact tracing program, through which the University will continue to notify individuals who have been in contact with someone infected with novel coronavirus and coordinate with the Rhode Island Department of Health as necessary.