October 24, 2020
Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy Russell Carey
Tags Undergraduates Grad and Medical Students Faculty and Staff

To Brown Community: Important Campus Health and Safety Update


Dear Brown Community Members,

I am writing to inform the full Brown community that of the 5,394 asymptomatic tests we conducted from Wednesday, Oct. 21, through Friday, Oct. 23, in our COVID-19 routine testing program, 8 indicated positive results for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The 8 positives include 3 staff members, 2 on-campus undergraduate students and 3 off-campus undergraduates. They are in isolation and following CDC guidance. All identified contacts associated with these positive results have been instructed to quarantine and impacted spaces at Brown have been cleaned per our COVID-19 protocols.

The overall number of positive results in this timeframe remains very low — the positivity rate over these three days is 0.15% — and these results do not represent an emergency based on public health standards. Nevertheless, these positive cases are more than we have experienced in a three day time period to date and given the overall increasing positivity rates in Rhode Island, which I wrote to you about in yesterday’s testing summary update, we wanted to notify the campus community of these results so that we all are reminded and continue to follow CDC guidance to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The most important step we can all take to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 is to wear a mask whenever you are with other people beyond your immediate household or pod. Other than students in a pod, this means that all Brown community members must wear a mask at all times when you are on campus with other people. Co-workers or other colleagues are not individuals in your pod or household, and we therefore must wear masks to protect ourselves and each other. Wear your mask proactively — don’t wait for someone to approach you and then fumble to put your mask on properly. Mask wearing is a simple but critical step to prevent the spread of this virus.

In addition to mask wearing, please continue to wash your hands, practice social distancing and get tested on your assigned frequency. If you have symptoms, stay home or in your room and seek medical advice by calling Health Services (for students) or a health professional. More information regarding how to stay safe and healthy is available at healthy.brown.edu.


Russell C. Carey
Executive Vice President, Planning and Policy