October 25, 2021
Russell C. Carey, ​Executive Vice President, Planning and Policy
Tags Undergraduates Grad and Medical Students Faculty and Staff

To the Brown Community: Changes to COVID-19 Routine Testing Requirements for Vaccinated Undergraduate Students


Dear Brown Community Members,

Earlier this month we announced a number of changes to asymptomatic testing requirements, including making testing optional for fully vaccinated employees — faculty and staff — and graduate and medical students and reducing required testing for fully vaccinated undergraduates to once a week. In the three weeks since that announcement, we have continued to see very low positivity rates on-campus — around a tenth of a percent or less. We did not experience any increase in positivity related to the long weekend or Family Weekend, which were two events we were monitoring closely. Accordingly, we are in a position to further lower our levels of routine asymptomatic testing.

Effective immediately the following testing requirements are in effect:

  • Fully vaccinated undergraduate students: Testing is optional. This is a change from the prior requirements of testing once a week. All undergraduate students who are fully vaccinated will remain enrolled in the testing program and may take a test if necessary for travel, concern about a potential exposure, or other reasons, but being enrolled does not mean a requirement to continue testing. No fully vaccinated undergraduate should take an optional test more than once a week, and because testing is fully optional, there is no longer a required testing frequency or cadence with which you must comply. If you wish to take an optional test, you do need to schedule an appointment through the Verily Healthy at School web application, the same as you have done over the past weeks and months.
  • Fully vaccinated employees — faculty and staff — and graduate and medical students: Testing is optional. This is unchanged from the October 6 announcement.
  • Unvaccinated employees and students (those with approved exemptions and those who are in the process of getting vaccinated): Testing is required twice a week (every four days). This remains unchanged since early August.

Looking ahead to Thanksgiving break, we will require all undergraduate students (vaccinated or not) to test after the break. Undergraduate students returning to campus will be required to test on day 1 and day 5 following their return to campus (for example, Sunday, Nov. 28 and Thursday, Dec. 2 for a student who returns from travel that Sunday). Undergraduate students staying on campus or in their off-campus residence during the break will be required to test twice, five days apart, the week after break as well. All other members of the community who travel away from Providence for the holiday and/or spend time with others they have not been with regularly (extended friends and family, for example) will be strongly encouraged to take advantage of an optional test that week.

All mask wearing policies and protocols and other measures detailed on the Campus Activity Status page of the Healthy Brown website remain in effect for now. If there are additional changes, requiring either greater or fewer public health restrictions, those will be communicated on the Campus Activity Status page and directly to the Brown community at that time.

As always, thank you for the care and vigilance you practice every day to help keep our community safe.


Russell C. Carey
Executive Vice President, Planning and Policy