COVID-19 Response Update

Covid 19 update

Monday, May 25, 2020 - 10:06 a.m.

Dear Colleagues,

Many people in the Rice community have suggested we provide regular updates regarding planning, policies and intentions about the university’s response to COVID-19. Starting today and every Monday we will provide a short update. This week we’re reviewing the campus policy on face coverings.

Beginning June 1, 2020 and until further notice, all employees, students, contractors, and visitors on Rice’s campus must cover their mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when they are around other people. This is an important precaution to protect others — you may have the virus and not know it because you have no symptoms. Thus everyone on campus is required to wear a cloth face cover as defined by the CDC and as delineated below:

Indoors. Face coverings must be worn indoors at all times except:

  • When you’re in your residential dorm suite.
  • When you’re in your own office or space used only by you.
  • If you are faculty providing classroom instruction and you choose to substitute an alternate protective barrier, such as a face shield.

Outdoors. You must have a face covering – either worn on your face or carried on your person — at all times anywhere on campus, including when you’re outdoors. If you aren’t wearing your face covering while outdoors, you must keep it readily available so that you can put it on if you come into close proximity with others (within 6 feet).

The university will provide a mask for every employee, student and visitor to use while on campus. We are in the process of executing a contract for this service which we expect to start by the end of June. The service will allow you to pick up a cloth mask every morning and return it at the end of the work day whereupon it will be cleaned and sanitized per CDC and FDA guidelines and recycled. You may also use your own face covering.

Please remember that the cloth face cover is not a substitute for physical distancing. These two precautions work in conjunction with each other.

Kevin Kirby
Chair of the Crisis Management Advisory Committee
Vice President for Administration