April 2, 2021
Russell Carey, Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy
Tags Undergraduates Grad and Medical Students Faculty and Staff

To the Brown Community: COVID-19 Testing Update: 03/25/21 - 03/31/21


Below, please find our weekly update on Brown’s testing program for COVID-19, with additional information and context to complement the data shared via our public dashboard:


Please note that because selected systems within Brown’s computer network are being restored following a security incident, some data reported this week is approximate and other data we typically report is temporarily unavailable. There has been no impact on the COVID-19 testing system itself, in terms of scheduling tests, receiving test results and conducting contact tracing.

The State of Rhode Island continues to expand eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations. All Rhode Islanders who are 60 years of age and older, as well as individuals between the age of 16 and 64 with underlying health conditions, are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. In addition, Governor McKee and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) have announced that they expect to open up eligibility to individuals ages 50 to 59 by Monday, April 5. All Rhode Island adults will be eligible by Monday, April 19.

If you live, work or study in Rhode Island, you can get the vaccine here when your age group becomes eligible. The State of Rhode Island has launched a Vaccine Interest Notification List to notify you when you are eligible for vaccination and when a vaccination appointment opens for you. You can register at https://portal.ri.gov/. More information about vaccinations in Rhode Island can be found at: https://covid.ri.gov/vaccination. Note that 12,000 appointments for COVID-19 vaccines will be made available by the state at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 2.

Once you have received any COVID-19 vaccine, if you have been exposed to COVID-19 or travel to Rhode Island from out-of-state, you do not need to quarantine if you meet all of the following criteria: you received, at least 14 days before your last exposure or out-of-state travel, a final vaccine dose that is either FDA-approved or received an Emergency Use Authorization; it has been less than 90 days since your final vaccine dose; and you haven’t had symptoms of COVID-19 since your last exposure or out-of-state travel.

At Brown, since launching our routine testing program for the fall term on Aug. 24, we have conducted 328,939 asymptomatic tests to date. The total number of positive test results is 526 (up 27 this week from a total of 499 last week).

Here are highlights of the testing program over the last seven days, Thursday, March 25, through Wednesday, March 31:

-- There have been 27 positive asymptomatic test results: 4 from employees, 17 from on-campus students and 6 from off-campus students. As a reminder, our student testing program includes undergraduate, graduate and medical students.

-- Over the past week, the employee asymptomatic positivity rate was about 0.13%, and the student asymptomatic positivity rate was about 0.20%. The Rhode Island positivity rate during this same time period was 2.79%.

-- The average turnaround time for asymptomatic test results during this period was approximately 18 hours.

-- University Health Services (UHS) conducted at least 28 symptomatic tests of students. Of these, between 5 and 10 were positive for COVID-19. Exact results for symptomatic students who are tested by UHS are not reported (and do not appear on the public dashboard) to protect the confidentiality of the small numbers of students who are tested. We will report on ranges and any concerns regarding trends in these weekly summaries.

-- The University does not directly test symptomatic employees, as they receive health care from their individual providers. We do 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 about 9.

-- It is important to note that with regard to all positive cases, we have taken action consistent with our contact tracing protocols, COVID-19 Campus Safety Policy, isolation and quarantine procedures, and other measures outlined in Brown’s Plan for a Healthy and Safe 2020-21.

As a reminder, if you are currently being tested once a week and would like to change to twice a week, you are welcome to do so. Students can email studenttesting@brown.edu to make that change. Faculty and staff can email employeetestinguhr@brown.edu for guidance on how to increase their testing frequency.

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 (401-863-6500, studenttesting@brown.edu), and faculty and staff can contact the employee testing support team (401-368-4828, employeetestinguhr@brown.edu).


Russell C. Carey
Executive Vice President, Planning and Policy