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PROVIDENCE — Routine COVID-19 testing will continue into the fall semester at Brown University.

In an email sent to Brown students and employees this week, the university announced that in light of recent developments and the evolving public health guidance across the globe, the administration decided to update the requirements for routine asymptomatic testing.

“While our campus vaccination rates give us high levels of confidence for the fall semester, new variants of the coronavirus, and the impact of the Delta variant in particular, do offer some cause for concern as we look forward to the coming weeks and months,” wrote Russell Carey, Brown’s vice president of planning and policy in the email that was obtained by the Globe.


All students, faculty, and staff on campus will be required to complete routine COVID-19 testing beginning Aug. 16. All community members, including those who are fully vaccinated, will be required to participate in testing as directed. Previously, fully vaccinated individuals did not have to undergo routine testing as of July 13.

Frequency of the testing will be determined by a person’s vaccination status.

  • Vaccinated students or employees: Will be tested on their first day on campus and then every other week.
  • Unvaccinated students or employees: Will be tested on their first day on campus and follow direction from Campus Life and Health Services regarding a modified quarantine period. Once they are released from quarantine, they will be tested once a week.

Carey said that continued testing and frequency will be re-assessed at the time of September.

As of this week, more than 97 percent of the students on campus for the summer semester are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, which is about 88.4 percent of the university’s total student population. Nearly 94 percent of all Brown’s faculty and staff are also fully vaccinated as of Thursday morning.

Brown was one of the first universities in the state to require all students to get vaccinated against COVID-19, and one of the only institutions to also require employees to do the same. Few exemptions will be permitted, such as for religious or medical reasons.

“We recognize that testing represents an additional obligation for members of our community, but given the uncertainty associated with the Delta variant, at the same time the campus returns to a population level that we have not experienced since March 2020, we believe this is a reasonable and appropriate measure to help ensure a safe and healthy fall,” wrote Carey.


Alexa Gagosz can be reached at alexa.gagosz@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @alexagagosz.