Face Coverings

Face Mask Policy

Updated face mask policy 04/23/2021: Because at least 74% of our core population has received one or two doses of the vaccine, as well as the general COVID-19 environment on campus and throughout Houston, we are making the following changes to our face mask policy:

  • Outdoors. Effective immediately, Rice’s requirement to wear a mask outdoors on campus is rescinded, with the following provisions:
    • Please maintain a minimum of 3 feet of separation from others at all times. When that’s not possible, or when you find yourself in a crowd, wear a mask.
    • Use your mask and keep physically distant from others as you enter or leave the areas just outside of building entrances and exits.
    • You must wear a mask while riding Rice shuttle buses.
  • Indoors. The requirement to wear a mask indoors at all times remains in effect, except when you’re alone in your own enclosed office, which is used only by you, or when you’re in your own residential dorm suite.

Given these requirements, you should always carry a mask while you’re anywhere on campus. You can see the latest guidance from the CDC on masks here.

Face masks. A face mask must be multilayered, fit snugly against the sides of the face and under the chin without gaps, and completely cover the nose and mouth. It is preferable to have a moldable nose piece and adjustable ear straps to ensure a snug fit. Among the face coverings that are not acceptable under the updated policy are masks made of single-layer material, gaiters, masks with valves, bandanas or any other face covering that does not fit properly and leaves gaps.

Face shields and eye protection offer extra protection and they’re always a good idea, but on the Rice campus, they must be accompanied by a face mask. (Exceptions may be granted by the CMT and the Provost for special teaching circumstances.)