May 14, 2021
Russell C. 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: 05/06/21 - 05/12/21


Dear Brown Community Members,

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:

We are aware of the continuing updates to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding mask wearing and other health and safety measures for individuals who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. We are actively reviewing that guidance and working on what it means for the University. For now, however, the University’s COVID-19 Campus Safety Policy remains in full effect with no changes, including mask wearing requirements on campus. When we are ready to update the campus safety policy, we will communicate that information broadly to the community.

The most important thing Brown faculty, students and staff can do right now to aid in our efforts to return to normal operations is to get the COVID-19 vaccination and upload your completed vaccination card so we know the levels of vaccination in our community.

Employees should upload their completed vaccination card directly to Workday by following the directions in this guide: Alternatively, you can email a .pdf or .jpg to, using Virtru to email it securely. All vaccination records will be stored confidentially in Workday.

Students can upload their final vaccination cards directly to the Health & Wellness Patient Portal at: We recommend you access the patient portal via desktop as it will allow for an easier upload than mobile. Detailed instructions are available through the Verify Your Vaccination information section on the Healthy Brown site at:

We also encourage every employee and student to take a photo of your vaccination card for your safekeeping and easy reference.

At Brown, since launching our routine testing program for the fall term on Aug. 24, we have conducted 393,568 asymptomatic tests to date. A total of 11,057 individuals have been tested in that timeframe, and the total number of positive test results is 568 (up 2 this week from a total of 566 last week) -- a prevalence rate of 5.1%.

Here are highlights of the testing program over the last seven days, Thursday, May 6, through Wednesday, May 12:

-- There have been 2 positive asymptomatic test results: 2 from employees and none from students. As a reminder, our student testing program includes undergraduate, graduate and medical students.

-- Over the past week, the employee asymptomatic positivity rate was 0.07%, and the student asymptomatic positivity rate was 0.00%. The Rhode Island positivity rate during this same time period was 1.59%.

-- The average turnaround time for asymptomatic test results during this period was approximately 15 hours.

-- University Health Services (UHS) conducted 3 symptomatic tests of students. Of these, none 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 8.

-- 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 to make that change. Faculty and staff can email 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,, and faculty and staff can contact the employee testing support team (401-368-4828,


Russell C. Carey
Executive Vice President, Planning and Policy