October 29, 2021
Russell C. Carey, ​Executive Vice President, Planning and Policy
Tags Undergraduates Grad and Medical Students Faculty and Staff

To the Brown Community: COVID-19 Testing Update: 10/21/21 - 10/27/21


Dear Brown Community Members,

For more than a year -- since September 25, 2020 -- we have provided the community with these weekly testing updates every Friday. The intent was to, in tandem with the COVID-19 dashboard, provide useful information to the Brown community as we worked together to keep the campus healthy and safe. Given the currently very low positivity rates on campus and the high vaccination levels attained by Brown faculty, staff and students, we feel the utility of these weekly updates has significantly diminished. Accordingly, this will be the final weekly communication of this type for the time being. The public dashboard will continue to be maintained and updated on a daily basis and we will communicate directly to the campus anything new or of import related to COVID-19.

Below please find our final 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 COVID-19 vaccination cards is 96.1%. The percentage of the total student population is 99.3%.

At Brown, since launching our routine testing program in August 2020, we have conducted 566,839 asymptomatic tests to date. A total of 18,033 individuals have been tested in that timeframe, and the total number of positive test results is 814 (up 6 this week from a total of 808 last week) -- a prevalence rate of 4.5%.

Here are highlights of the testing program over the last seven days, Thursday, Oct. 21, through Wednesday, Oct. 27:

-- There have been 6 positive asymptomatic test results: 1 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 0.09%, and the student asymptomatic positivity rate was 0.10%. The Rhode Island positivity rate during this same time period was 1.99%.

-- The average turnaround time for asymptomatic test results during this period was approximately 21 hours.

-- University Health Services (UHS) conducted 32 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 4.

-- 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 (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