May 28, 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: 05/20/21 - 05/26/21


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:

The percentage of total employees (faculty and staff) who have uploaded their vaccination cards is 59.7% (up from 44.7% last week); and the percentage of employees in the testing program (those who are currently on-campus) who have done so is 60.2% (up from 47.1%). The percentage of the total student population is 40.6% (up from 31.1% last week) and the percentage of students in the testing program (students who are on-campus this summer term) is 62.2% (up from 44.6%). That represents great progress -- if you have not yet been vaccinated please do so, and if you have been vaccinated, please upload your card immediately. Detailed instructions are available on the Verify Your Vaccination page on the Healthy Brown website:

At Brown, since launching our routine testing program for the fall term on Aug. 24, we have conducted 409,533 asymptomatic tests to date. A total of 11,152 individuals have been tested in that timeframe, and the total number of positive test results is 570 (up 1 this week from a total of 569 last week) -- a prevalence rate of 5.1%.

Here are highlights of the testing program over the last seven days, Thursday, May 20, through Wednesday, May 26:

-- There has been 1 positive asymptomatic test result: 1 from employees and 0 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 0.03%, and the student asymptomatic positivity rate was 0.00%. The Rhode Island positivity rate during this same time period was 1.20%.

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

-- University Health Services (UHS) conducted 8 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 2.

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


Russell C. Carey
Executive Vice President, Planning and Policy