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:
It remains critically important that members of the community who have not yet been vaccinated or uploaded their cards do so as soon as possible, especially to ensure normal operations for the fall semester. Detailed instructions are available on the Verify Your Vaccination page on the Healthy Brown website:
As noted in prior communications, given that the on-campus Brown community – students, faculty and staff who are engaged in in-person campus activity this summer – has achieved a 90% overall COVID-19 vaccination rate, we have begun removing individuals who are fully vaccinated from the asymptomatic testing program. As a result, our testing volumes are lower and the positivity rate will accordingly appear higher than recent weeks. The number of positive results – 1 this past week – remains very low. Further with regard to testing, the University will continue to monitor public health conditions, including the potential impact of variants of COVID-19, and CDC and RIDOH guidance in the weeks and months ahead. If asymptomatic testing is deemed a necessary public health measure due to changes in conditions, the University community will be notified at that time.
The percentage of total employees (faculty and staff) who have uploaded their vaccination cards is 90.8% (up from 88.7% last week); and the percentage of employees who are currently on-campus who have done so is 94.4% (up from 93.0%). The percentage of the total student population is 83.9% (up from 77.8% last week) and the percentage of students who are on-campus this summer term is 96.7% (up from 95.9%).
[Note: An earlier version of this message listed the percentage of the total student population as 75.7%, down from the prior week due to the addition of entering Fall 2021 students to the population. This was an error – the percentage of the total student population who have uploaded their cards is 83.9%.]
At Brown, since launching our routine testing program for the fall term on Aug. 24, we have conducted 443,257 asymptomatic tests to date. A total of 12,271 individuals have been tested in that timeframe, and the total number of positive test results is 575 (up 1 from a total of 574 last week) -- a prevalence rate of 4.7%.
Here are highlights of the testing program over the last seven days, Thursday, July 8, through Wednesday, July 14:
-- 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 0.10%, and the student asymptomatic positivity rate was 0.00%. The Rhode Island positivity rate during this same time period was 0.69%.
-- The average turnaround time for asymptomatic test results during this period was approximately 12 hours.
-- University Health Services (UHS) conducted 19 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 1.
-- 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.
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