COVID-19 Response weekly update March 7

COVID-19 response weekly update

Dear colleagues,

Exactly two years ago, a Rice employee was diagnosed with the first confirmed case of SARS-CoV-2 in Houston. It’s been a difficult two years, but fortunately, the situation continues to improve and today we are announcing a change to one of our bedrock COVID-19 policies.

Effective today, wearing masks as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19 is no longer required anywhere on campus, indoors or outdoors – except in all classrooms, where they are still required. We expect to rescind the classroom mask requirement after Spring Break. People who are unvaccinated must continue to wear a mask indoors at all times. We do recommend that you always carry a mask with you, and err on the side of caution anytime you’re in a situation where you’re wondering whether you should wear it.

Many of you will be traveling over Spring Break and we urge you to get tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus when you return. We have added additional testing capacity, including on Sunday, March 20 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can schedule a test here.

For people who have special health concerns (see the latest CDC guidance) or want the confidence of a higher level of protection, please remember that a well fitted KN95 mask offers very good protection for the user, and that KN95 mask protection is better than protection from cloth and disposable surgical masks. We have a good supply of KN95 masks and you can order them here.

Kevin E. Kirby

Chair of the Crisis Management Advisory Committee

Vice President for Administration