To maintain a healthy and safe community during the pandemic, Brown has focused 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 — remains essential for the health of the campus population.
This is providing 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 identifying the proportion of asymptomatic positives and the proportion with potential immunity to the disease over time.
The following points reflect the essential elements of Brown’s testing program:
- Testing is mandatory for all students, faculty and staff who are on campus.
All community members receive an initial baseline test at the point at which they come to campus (at the start of a semester, or in resuming on-campus work, for example). Undergraduate student testing frequency will increase to two times per week, which is once every four days (whether students are vaccinated or unvaccinated). Vaccinated graduate and medical students and employees must complete a test once a week (every seven days), and unvaccinated graduate and medical students and employees must complete a test twice per week (every four days). Additional details are included below in the Testing Frequency section.
- All asymptomatic tests are taking place on Brown's College Hill campus and at One Davol Square in the Jewelry District.
Community members who meet the requirements for routine testing are asked to perform a self-administered nasal swab — the most reliable, accurate and non-invasive method available currently — and clinical personnel guide participants as needed from a safe distance. Brown continues to cover all costs. Full details on testing sites and operating hours are available on the Testing Sites and Hours page.
- Brown performs testing of symptomatic students through University Health Services (UHS) using nasopharyngeal swabs.
UHS staff are equipped with standard clinical personal protective equipment to perform the tests. An alternate campus site for testing symptomatic students has been identified 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 is helping to minimize the risk of community spread.
Brown has implemented a contact tracing program, through which the University is notifying individuals who have been in contact with someone infected with novel coronavirus, coordinating with the Rhode Island Department of Health as necessary.