July 16, 2021
Russell C. Carey, ​Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy
Tags Faculty and Staff

To Brown Faculty and Staff: End of essential designation process; faculty and staff free to return to campus


Dear Colleagues,

As indicated in the recent communication regarding the campus vaccination rate, the University currently is no longer requiring testing of fully vaccinated employees (14 days past their final dose) as part of Brown’s routine COVID-19 asymptomatic testing program. While employees who have received an approved exemption from vaccination or are not yet fully vaccinated will continue to be required to participate in testing, that is a small population. The essential designation process (on-site, limited, remote, etc) we instituted last year to facilitate testing and authorization to be on-campus is no longer necessary.

Accordingly, effective Monday, July 19, 2021, the essential designation process will be discontinued. All Brown faculty and staff who were previously not enrolled in the testing program (i.e., were classified as "limited" or "remote") are free to return to campus and their offices but must continue to comply with the COVID-19 Campus Safety Policy, including participating in testing if directed to do so.  Please note that on-site work by essential research visitors, and field research by Brown faculty, students and staff still require University review as described on the Resuming Research website.

While the University’s asymptomatic testing program is in place, those employees who continue to require testing will be contacted directly to schedule their regular testing appointment; however, their essential designation is no longer required and will not be tracked.

Departments have previously been instructed to implement a phased increase of staff returning to campus beginning July 1 and in advance of August 16 when the majority of University staff members are expected to return to on-site operations. Departments should continue to follow and implement those plans, and faculty and staff who wish to return to their offices prior to August 16 should let their supervisor or department manager know of their return date. These schedules should be submitted to [email protected] to ensure that services are in place to support the increased occupancy in the building.

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.

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].


Russell C. Carey
Executive Vice President, Planning and Policy