Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

To link to the list of on-campus testing locations, click here.

The COVID Community Call Center - this line is answered 24-hours a day, seven days a week. 281-324-8355

If you don't see your question answered here, reach out to one of the groups listed below:


Campus-Wide Policy Questions

Q. What is the university's face covering policy?

A. This policy can be found here: https://coronavirus.rice.edu/policies. Please check this page regularly for updates.

Q. What COVID policies apply to campus visitors? Do they need to be tested or vaccinated to come to campus?

A. Visitors to campus must follow all campus COVID policies in place at the time, which are listed here: https://coronavirus.rice.edu/policies.

COVID Testing Questions

Q. What do I do if I was exposed to someone with symptoms of or confirmed COVID-19?

A. The Crisis Management Team has created this helpful graphic (Shown below) which includes the steps students, faculty and staff can take if they believe they have been exposed. The graphic can also be downloaded by clicking here.

What-to-do-if-you-are-exposed

Q. Is return-to-campus testing required?

A. Students returning to campus should test upon arrival and again three to five days following their “on arrival” test. Tests can be scheduled at this link: https://coronavirus.rice.edu/schedule-test. Please note that testing dates are posted for scheduling at least two weeks in advance.

Q. Is on-campus testing for COVID-19 required?

A. Yes. Any unvaccinated student must schedule an “on arrival” COVID test to coincide with their arrival at Rice as well as a follow-up test for three to four days after the “on arrival” test. (Tests can be scheduled at this link: https://coronavirus.rice.edu/schedule-test. Please note that testing dates are posted for scheduling about one month in advance.

Fully vaccinated people coming to campus coming into routine contact with others must schedule a test once every two weeks. Unvaccinated people coming to campus must test twice per week, regardless of whether they come into contact with other people.

Q. How do I schedule a COVID-19 test?

A. Schedule a test here. Appointment availability for scheduling tests is typically released about a month in advance. If you have any problems logging into the Veoci system, please see this instruction sheet first; after that, if you are still having trouble, email helpdesk@rice.edu.

Q. May I schedule a same-day COVID-19 test at Rice?

A. Testing at Rice must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance. Please note that test scheduling is available Sunday through Thursday over the summer. Appointment availability for test scheduling is typically released about a month in advance.

Additional testing locations will be coming online close to the beginning of the start of the fall semester. Options will be added to the appointment scheduler as soon as they are available and this page will be updated.

Q. What type of COVID-19 test does Rice administer?

A. On campus, Baylor Genetics and Houston Methodist administer traditional qRT-PCR based testing. Additionally, Rice is offering an experimental test that uses LAMP, or loop-mediated, isothermal amplification. This test was developed here in the Department of Bioengineering at Rice University. Both traditional PCR and LAMP based tests have the same goal – amplifying viral RNA to detectable levels. More information about LAMP testing can be found here. Typical results are expected within 12 hours, but they could take up to 48 hours.

Q. When and where is COVID-19 testing available at Rice?

A. The university has three different testing partners that manage the different testing locations:

  1. Baylor Genetics runs the PCF Tent #1 location (Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm, daily lunch break closure noon until 12:30 pm). Baylor Genetics testing site is a self-administered nasal swab. Email: HELP@BAYLORGENETICS.COM
  2. Methodist operates the McNair Hall 140/145 location (Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm, daily lunch break closure from noon until 12:30 pm). Methodist gathers patient information on-site and Methodist staff administers these tests. METHODIST: MYCHART RESULTS INFORMATION
  3. We have also partnered with Rice University professor Dr. Rebecca Richards-Kortum to offer an experimental test format called LAMP testing. The LAMP test is run on a saliva sample. LAMP tests are administered at the Space Science 106 location (8:00 AM until Noon from Sunday through Wednesday, Thursday 3:00 PM until 7:00 PM). For more specific information about LAMP testing, please click here.

If you have filled out a health reporting form due to a known exposure to COVID-19, you must only test using Baylor Genetics (PCF#1) or Methodist (McNair Hall Room 140). The Rice LAMP testing (Space Science 106) will not test known exposures.

Testing appointment times are typically released a month in advance.

Q. What should I bring to my test?

A. Bring a copy of your appointment, either printed or electronically displayed with the appropriate QR code. Additionally, please bring a Government-issued ID, along with a student, faculty or staff ID card. If one has not yet received their Rice ID, they should be sure to note their Rice netID. At Methodist testing, you must bring a Government-issued ID.

Q. What is a QR code and how do I get it for my test?

A. A QR code is a scalable matrix barcode that contains data, such as a link to a website address, in this case, information for one's testing appointment. Please bring a printed or electronic version of the QR code to the testing appointment. One may access this in the schedule a test page found here: https://coronavirus.rice.edu/testing-resources.

Q. I did not receive my test results or I'm having trouble accessing my test results message. What should I do?

A. Please check your Proofpoint spam filter to see if your results email was captured there. If not, please suggestions for how to contact each provider below:

If you tested with Methodist:


If you tested with Baylor (PCF1):


If you Tested with LAMP (Space Science 106)


Q. Can the LAMP Test be used for travel clearance?

A. We cannot determine the likelihood that countries or organizations will accept Rice University’s LAMP testing documentation for travel clearance. Please contact your primary care provider or an urgent care clinic to receive a PCR test for travel clearance.

Q. When traveling, how can I get additional information added to my test results for Visa or other purposes?

A. Two of our three testing providers provide travel-related documentation. We highly recommend that you plan ahead and know what your destination and air carrier will require and how that aligns with the documentation received through Rice testing.

Test documentation through our Baylor Genetics Location can be edited with needed documentation items- PCF Tent #1 (Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm, daily lunch break closure noon until 12:30 pm). Baylor Genetics testing site is a self-administered nasal swab. After you schedule your test please email HELP@BAYLORGENETICS.COM with the QR code number found on your test reservation email. Let them know your testing date and what you need on your report for travel.

If you are testing at Methodist at the McNair Hall location (staff administered nasal swab, Monday-Thursday 8:00 am-4:30 pm, daily lunch break closure noon until 12:30 pm, these results are not customizable, but when you receive your results, see the print view (see printer icon in the top right corner) most of the basic travel information is on this view and can be printed as documentation.

If you need travel documentation, please do not schedule a LAMP Test (Space Science 106), this test will not meet travel documentation needs.

COVID Vaccination Questions

Q. Where can students update their vacine status?

A. Students should complete/edit this student form to indicated vaccine status. An instruction sheet is available here.

Q. Where can I find the faculty staff form to update my vaccine status?

A. Faculty Staff Vaccine Link: https://veoci.com/v/p/dashboard/eqj4du9x5g

Q. Where can faculty and staff find the religious accommodation or medical exemption forms?

A. These items can be found here:

Q. Who do faculty and staff reach out with questions regarding the university vaccine mandate?

A. The following resources are available:

  • General questions about the vaccination policy should be addressed to Human Resources or HRBP/Supervisor (people@rice.edu).
  • Religious accomodations or questions should be sent to the office of Access, Equity and Equal Opportunity, Richard Baker, 713-348-6405 aeeo@rice.edu.
  • Medical exemptions or questions should be addressed by the Disability Resource Center, Alan Russell - 713-348-5841 adarice@rice.edu.
  • Questions related to the VEOCI survey should be directed to helpdesk@rice.edu.

Q. Can I be exempted from the Rice COVID testing program if I receive an international vaccine? Should people who received vaccines not approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) be revaccinated?

A. International vaccines approved by the CDC or the WHO will be accepted on campus. Both organizations update vaccine approvals regularly, and the university will continue to monitor information related to all vaccines for any updates on recommendations or changes. Please review this link to see if the vaccine you have received is approved by the WHO.

Rice is not recommending new vaccinations for people who received a vaccine that does not meet the WHO requirements. If you are considering getting a second round of vaccine, please consult with your physician about whether counter-interactions may occur. Persons who are vaccinated with a vaccine not approved by the WHO must take a COVIDtest when they first arrive on campus and continue to test weekly until either their vaccine has been approved or their medical doctor clears them to receive an approved vaccine.

Housing and Dining Questions

Q. Can I eat inside campus buildings if I am not vaccinated?

A. Yes. The Face Mask Policy is linked here and face masks are not required when actively earing or drinking.

Q. What will the process be to request room changes if students have concerns with the vaccination status of their assigned roommate?

A. Students with these concerns should discuss it with their roommate(s), and decide whether they are comfortable with their current room assignment for the fall semester. Students who would like to switch rooms should contact their residential college magisters to discuss options. That said, please be advised that bed capacity is fully assigned for the fall semester, meaning that open rooms and beds may not be available. Graduate students with these concerns should talk with the housing manager. Students who are uncomfortable with the possibility of living with an unvaccinated student may choose to live off-campus, and they will not be charged for breaking their lease should they decide against living on campus before the fall semester begins.

Q. What is the status of indoor dining?

A. There are no capacity controls related to indoor dining on campus, including in residential college dining facilities. All spaces can have tables and seating that are standard to that space, and there are no longer restrictions on table occupancy (in other words, people sitting at tables can use the normal number of seats). The masking requirement remains in place – you can remove your mask indoors while you’re actively eating or drinking, but you should keep it on at all other times.

International Student Questions

Q. How late in the fall semester can an international student arrive on campus?

A. Undergraduate students who are new matriculants are expected to arrive in time to attend O-Week. However, if you cannot arrive by then, your I-20 allows you to arrive no later than August 23, 2021, the first day of classes. If you cannot arrive by that date, you may petition the Dean of Undergraduates' office to arrive no later than September 3, 2021. If you're approved, you will get a new I-20 to enter the USA. Please email your petition to ugdean@rice.edu. Upperclass undergraduate students need to arrive no later than September 3, 2021.

Graduate students are also generally expected to arrive for orientation but will need to arrive by August 23, 2021, unless they have permission from their academic department to miss some days of classes. International students generally must arrive by September 3, 2021, for their visas to be valid for fall matriculation. If you are not able to meet this deadline for any reason, please send an email to graduate@rice.edu.

For continuing (returning) students, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), along with Customs and Border Protection (CBP, at the port-of-entry), allow you to arrive 30 days after the first day of classes. That said, the issue of your courses being online while you are abroad also needs prior approval from the Dean of Undergraduates (for undergraduates), or the academic department (for graduate students). In addition, to do this you must be in active SEVIS F-1 or J-1 visa status. For details on your immigration status, please reach out to the Office of International Students and Scholars (oiss.rice.edu).

Q. Who will write a letter verifying physical presence in the US for international vaccines?

A. The Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) will write letters stating the Rice University will be offering on-campus classes.

Q. Do I need to take a COVID test in order to fly to the United States?

A. Different countries have different documentation and testing requirements. Please check with your home country and airline provider. Also, visit the CDC website before leaving your home country for any updated instructions about entering the United States.

Q. When traveling, how can I get additional information added to my test results for Visa or other purposes?

A. Two of our three testing providers provide travel-related documentation. We highly recommend that you plan ahead and know what your destination and air carrier will require and how that aligns with the documentation received through Rice testing.

Test documentation through our Baylor Genetics Location can be edited with needed documentation items- PCF Tent #1 (Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm, daily lunch break closure noon until 12:30 pm). Baylor Genetics testing site is a self-administered nasal swab. After you schedule your test please email HELP@BAYLORGENETICS.COM with the QR code number found on your test reservation email. Let them know your testing date and what you need on your report for travel.

If you are testing at Methodist at the McNair Hall location (staff administered nasal swab, Monday-Thursday 8:00 am-4:30 pm, daily lunch break closure noon until 12:30 pm, these results are not customizable, but when you receive your results, see the print view (see printer icon in the top right corner) most of the basic travel information is on this view and can be printed as documentation.

If you need travel documentation, please do not schedule a LAMP Test (Space Science 106), this test will not meet travel documentation needs.

Who to contact if you still have questions

If you have additional questions not answered here, here is the contact information for the office that may be able to help.