COVID-19 response important updates: May 3

COVID-19 response weekly update

Dear colleagues,

To date, 78% of our 11,000 students, faculty and staff have indicated receiving either one or two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccines approved by the FDA are safe, effective and widely available. Being fully vaccinated provides a wide range of important benefits described by the CDC in its updated guidance, which you can see here.

Change to the Gathering Size Policy. Rice’s policy on group size has been updated as shown below:

· Indoors. Group activities of up to 50 people are permitted, but in no case can they exceed the COVID-19 occupancy limits posted outside of each room.

· Outdoors. Gatherings of up to 50 people are permitted. Exceptions may be granted by contacting the campus events team.

Change to Research Activities Policy. Vice Provost for Research Yousif Shamoo has lifted all supplemental COVID-19 restrictions on the research program effective today. You can read the announcement here.

Testing. Over the past seven days, we administered approximately 1,800 tests for the SARS-CoV-2 virus on the Rice campus. One person tested positive through the university’s testing program. You can see Rice’s testing statistics, along with isolation and quarantine data, on the COVID-19 website.

As a reminder, only those who have not completed the vaccine survey, or who have not been vaccinated, need to schedule weekly tests when coming to campus regularly.

The university will ramp down its testing operations as fewer people are required to test. The Abercrombie (Houston Methodist) testing site was permanently closed on April 30. Testing conducted by Baylor Genetics in the East Gym, and the LAMP test at the Roost, are still available.

Kevin E. Kirby

Chair of the Crisis Management Advisory Committee

Vice President for Administration