Dear Brown Community Members,
While we have, as you will read below, received more positive test results from students this week compared to last week, we continue to be confident in public health conditions on campus. Individuals reporting positive test results generally have no or mild symptoms and we have no instances of severe illness or hospitalization or any indication of widespread transmission on campus. It is important that undergraduates continue to comply with their twice weekly testing requirements and that all community members be vigilant about wearing masks indoors, but we can all feel good about our individual and collective commitment to keeping the campus and surrounding community healthy and safe.
In regard to test results reported to the University over the last week: From Thursday, Jan. 27, through Wednesday, Feb. 2, 117 students reported positive test results (up 50 from a corrected total of 67 last week). Approximately 55 students are currently in isolation in on-campus 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, and the isolation numbers fluctuate as students begin and end their respective isolation periods on a constant basis). In the same timeframe, 31 employees reported testing positive (down 14 from last week). 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 13.
Brown community members can continue to pick-up two (2) rapid antigen tests each week. Through Wednesday, Feb. 2, we have distributed 15,840 test kits. Operating hours for the test kit pick-up sites can be found on the testing page of the Healthy Brown website:
If you are visiting the test pick-up sites for additional tests and you have already taken a pack of ten (10) KN95 masks, please leave the masks for others. The bag of masks you have already received is sufficient for most people for about a month.
As previously communicated, 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, updated titled “COVID-19 Home Test Member Reimbursement):
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