Dear Brown Community Members,
We have experienced an expected and encouraging decline in students reporting positive COVID-19 test results this week, which is a trend that we hope will continue in the weeks ahead. We strongly encourage all members of the community, and especially those who may be traveling over the long weekend, to continue to practice good public health habits — including vigilant indoor mask wearing — to reduce the risk of transmission.
As we reported last week, 96% of all undergraduate, graduate and medical students have documented their compliance with Brown’s COVID-19 booster requirement. The compliance rate for employees is currently 86%, which is also very high, although we know that many faculty and staff have not yet uploaded their booster cards to Workday. If you have received your booster and have not yet submitted your booster vaccination record to Workday, please do so immediately. Information on how to do so can be found on the Verify Your Vaccination page of the Healthy Brown website:
In regard to test results reported to the University over the last week: From Thursday, Feb. 10, through Wednesday, Feb. 16, 229 students reported positive test results (down 132 from a total of 361 last week). Approximately 189 students are currently in isolation in on-campus or 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). In the same timeframe, 7 employees reported testing positive (down 3 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 4. It is important to note that these numbers represent employee absences reported to University Human Resources and do not necessarily reflect all of the disruptions currently impacting faculty and staff due to K-12 school closures and remote learning, care for a family member, or other challenges to daily routines.
Members of the Brown community can continue to pick-up two (2) rapid antigen tests each week through spring recess (the week of Monday, March 28). We will assess public health conditions at that time and make a determination about further availability. Through Wednesday, Feb. 16, we have distributed 27,374 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 Feb. 11, 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 (email@example.com), and faculty and staff can contact the employee testing support team (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Russell C. Carey
Executive Vice President, Planning and Policy