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:
When all of the tests from last week (Sept. 23 to 29) were completed, we ended up with a total of 13 asymptomatic positives out of a total of 17,499 tests, for a positivity rate of 0.07%. This week, we are reporting -- as of this writing -- 9 asymptomatic positives and a campus positivity rate of less than one-tenth of a percent. The continued decline in campus positivity rates was a key factor in the changes we announced earlier this week regarding reduced testing frequency for undergraduate students and optional testing for faculty, staff, graduate and medical students.
It is critically important for all members of the Brown community, if they are able, to get a flu shot this year. On-campus flu shot clinics begin in the coming week and information for employees and students about how to register can be found at the links below:
Faculty/staff flu clinic information:
Student flu clinic information:
The percentage of total employees (faculty and staff) who have uploaded their vaccination cards is 95.6% (down slightly from 96.0% last week -- this percentage will fluctuate as employees leave and new hires arrive and upload their vaccination cards). The percentage of the total student population is 99.0% (up from 98.9% last week).
At Brown, since launching our routine testing program in August 2020, we have conducted 541,742 asymptomatic tests to date. A total of 17,984 individuals have been tested in that timeframe, and the total number of positive test results is 794 (up 9 this week from a corrected total of 785 last week) -- a prevalence rate of 4.4%.
This update includes the information available as of Thursday evening, and the public dashboard will continue to be updated with the most current data as tests are processed and the results returned. As of this writing, here are highlights of the testing program over the last seven days, Thursday, Sept. 30, through Wednesday, Oct. 6:
-- There have been 9 positive asymptomatic test results: 4 from employees and 5 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 0.11%, and the student asymptomatic positivity rate was 0.04%. The Rhode Island positivity rate during this same time period was 2.18%.
-- The average turnaround time for asymptomatic test results during this period was approximately 27 hours.
-- University Health Services (UHS) conducted 36 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 ([email protected]), and faculty and staff can contact the employee testing support team ([email protected]).
Russell C. Carey
Executive Vice President, Planning and Policy