Dear Brown Community Members,
We are very pleased with regard to the opening of the spring semester so far, and public health conditions on campus remain very good. Community members have taken advantage of the availability of rapid antigen tests and KN95 masks at the pick-up sites, and undergraduate compliance with required reentry and weekly testing has been excellent.
The University began distributing an initial supply of two (2) rapid antigen tests to Brown community members (undergraduate, graduate and medical students, and faculty, including post-docs, and staff) on Monday, Jan. 17. We have since distributed additional tests to undergraduate students (to enable them to comply with their twice weekly testing requirement) as well as to graduate and medical students, for whom asymptomatic testing is optional if they are vaccinated. Through Wednesday, Jan. 26, we have distributed 10,397 test kits.
Beginning on Monday, Jan. 31, all Brown community members will be eligible to pick-up two (2) additional rapid antigen tests, followed by two (2) more on Monday, Feb. 7, and two (2) more on Monday, Feb. 14. At that point we will assess public health conditions and distribute additional tests if necessary.
Rapid antigen tests are becoming increasingly available from the federal government supply as well. Insurance companies are now reimbursing the costs of tests, and tests will be available in the coming weeks at pharmacies and other locations with no out-of-pocket expense. Tests can also be ordered directly at https://www.covidtests.gov/. We encourage all members of the community to take advantage of these resources. Information for employees regarding options through participating insurance carriers can be found on the University Human Resources benefits page:
And information for students participating in the student health insurance plan can be found on the United Healthcare Student Resources website (see the Jan. 25, 2022, update titled “COVID-19 Home Test Member Reimbursement"):
If you are visiting the test pick-up sites for additional tests and you have already taken a pack of ten (10) KN95 masks this month, please leave the masks for others. The bag of masks you have already received is sufficient for most people for about a month.
The Alumnae Hall pick-up site will open at 12 noon tomorrow (Saturday, Jan. 29; slightly later than the originally scheduled 10 a.m. due to the wintry weather forecast), and updated operating hours for the next two weeks can be found on the testing page of the Healthy Brown website:
With regard to test results reported to the University over the last week: From Thursday, Jan. 20, through Wednesday, Jan. 26, 66 students reported positive test results. Approximately 36 students are currently in isolation in on-campus housing or in designated isolation housing off-campus (note that the number of students who report positive tests results and the number in isolation will not be the same each week, as students may isolate in their off-campus apartments or at home if they live nearby or have not yet returned to campus, and the isolation numbers fluctuate as students begin and end their respective isolation periods on a constant basis). In the same timeframe, 45 employees reported testing positive. We also monitor employee absences due to COVID-19 — which can be for a range of reasons, including care of a child or family member or quarantine due to a known exposure — and the number of such absences for the most recent full work week was 12.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. For questions or support regarding the testing program, students can contact the student testing support team (firstname.lastname@example.org), and faculty and staff can contact the employee testing support team (email@example.com).
Russell C. Carey
Executive Vice President, Planning and Policy