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COVID-19 Updates, University News

Brown COVID-19 testing update: 24 total positives cases as of 10/5

Weekly positivity rate of 0.1 percent is double total average positivity since Aug. 24

By
University News Editor
Monday, October 5, 2020

COVID-19 testing returns eight asymptomatic positive test results in the week of Sept. 27, one third of positive results since Aug. 24, but isolation and quarantine rooms remain well below capacity.

The University’s asymptomatic testing program returned eight confirmed positive test results in the week of Sept. 27, constituting one third of the total positive results since the start of the asymptomatic testing program on Aug. 24.

University Health Services also conducted 12 symptomatic tests of students from Sept. 24 to 30, all of whom were negative for COVID-19, according to a Friday Today at Brown announcement.

University Spokesperson Brian Clark said that the University’s isolation rooms were being used at “well below 5 percent” capacity, while its quarantine rooms were being used “at about 8 percent capacity” as of Oct. 1. “We’re nowhere near where we have any concerns” about the use of those resources, he said.

In a conversation with The Herald on Sept. 11, Executive Vice President of Planning and Policy Russell Carey said that the University has a “couple hundred” isolation rooms and “60 to 70” quarantine rooms.

In the past seven days, the University recorded eight asymptomatic positive test results and 10,427 negative tests, taken from a total of 6,646 individuals (some individuals are tested twice in the same week). This latest week brings the University to 24 positive cases from 50,680 asymptomatic tests performed on 7,193 individuals.

The past week’s data returns a positivity rate of 0.1 percent, approximately double the overall positivity rate since the start of the program and four times the preceding week’s positivity rate. This rate is the third highest recorded by the testing program, with the first and second weeks of the regime showing the highest and second highest positivity rates, respectively.

The seven-day average positivity rate for the state of Rhode Island was 1.8 percent at press time.

The increase in cases and positivity follows a recent spike in COVID-19 cases at Providence College, with 202 total positive cases as of Sept. 28 and a peak positivity rate of 6 percent on Sept. 16, The Herald previously reported. Providence College instituted a stay at home order for all students until at least Oct. 3 in response.

Clark said that the University has been “paying very close attention” to the spike in cases at Providence College, adding that it took place largely “due to transmission across pods.” Clark said the University would “continue to actively promote stable pods.”

On Oct. 5, the University entered level two activity status, which involved lifting some of the restrictions on pods and allowing in-person education for smaller classes, The Herald previously reported.

In an email to the student body, Carey wrote that “continued vigilance on everyone’s part will be critical to staying in Level 2.”

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