October 16, 2020
Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy Russell Carey

To the Brown Community: COVID-19 Testing Update: 10/08 - 10/14


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:


Since launching our routine testing program for the fall term on Aug. 24, we have conducted 65,767 asymptomatic tests to date. A total of 7,373 individuals have been tested in that timeframe, and the total number of positive test results is 27 (up one from last week’s update) — a prevalence rate of 0.4%.

Here are highlights of the testing program over the last seven days, Thursday, Oct. 8, through Wednesday, Oct. 14:

-- There has been 1 positive asymptomatic test result: 1 employee, 0 on-campus students and 0 off-campus students. As a reminder, our student testing program includes undergraduate, graduate and medical students.

-- The employee asymptomatic positivity rate has been 0.04%, and the student asymptomatic positivity rate has been 0.00%. The Rhode Island positivity rate during this same time period has been 1.96%.

-- The average turnaround time for asymptomatic test results during this period has been 25 hours.

-- University Health Services conducted 18 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 is 9.

-- It is important to note that with regard to all positive cases, we have taken action in line 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. Faculty and staff can email employeetestinguhr@brown.edu, and students can email studenttesting@brown.edu to make that change.

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 (employeetestinguhr@brown.edu).


Russell C. Carey
Executive Vice President, Planning and Policy