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Brown COVID-19 testing update: 13 total positive cases as of 9/15

Prevalence rate on campus is .2 percent since Aug. 24

As college students across the country face sudden evacuations of their schools and administrators scramble to modify reopening plans announced in the summer, one common metric underlies each decision: testing numbers. 

President Christina Paxson P’19 has emphasized that the decision to eventually invite all students back to campus would rest heavily on local public health conditions and stable testing numbers. In her email announcing that all sophomores, juniors and seniors not currently living on or off campus in College Hill would be invited to return, she cited a low test positivity rate for students, faculty and staff enrolled in Brown’s routine asymptomatic testing program. 

All students, faculty and staff currently on campus are required to get tested either once or twice a week, depending on their level of regular contact with community members. Undergraduate students are all required to be tested at least twice a week.

Last week, the University began publicly sharing data from the testing program in a COVID-19 Dashboard, sharing the number of total completed tests, individuals tested and the number of positive cases, both over the last seven days and since Aug. 24. 

The University has completed 21,366 tests for 5,946 individuals since Aug. 24. Of those tests, Brown has seen 13 total positive cases, for a prevalence rate of 0.2 percent.

In the last seven days, the University completed 8,482 tests for 5,386 individuals, of which 1 community member has tested positive. 

Nearby, Providence College reported a 0.3 percent positivity rate over the past seven days for 2,291 tests, and has tested 10,379 individuals to date. In the past seven days, Providence College has seen seven total positive cases, and 18 total positive cases since early August.

In the last week, the University of Rhode Island has administered 574 tests and found 16 positive cases, for a 3 percent positive test rate, according to their own testing dashboard.

Among Ivies reporting testing results over the past seven days — Columbia, Cornell, Harvard and Yale — none have exceeded a 0.1 percent positivity rate. At press time, Penn and Princeton have yet to update their testing dashboards to reflect the last week and Dartmouth does not report weekly confirmed cases.  

Over the past seven days, Rhode Island has reported a stable positivity rate hovering at approximately 3.3 percent, according to the Covid Act Now modeling dashboard. 

Correction: A previous version of the graphic that accompanies this article stated that there were 21,353 negative cases as of Sept. 15. In fact, there had been 21,366 negative tests, representing repeat tests administered to the same individuals. The graphic has been updated to reflect this change. The Herald regrets the error.



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