COVID-19 Response weekly update: September 20

COVID-19 response weekly update

Dear colleagues,

The COVID-19 situation in Houston is beginning to improve and you can see some of the data we track from the Texas Medical Center here. Because we’re also seeing the same encouraging improvement on campus, we’ve begun to adjust some of our policies. The provost announced that starting this week, almost all classes will be delivered in-person. And later this month, you can expect additional changes to our testing requirements if the current trends continue.

Testing. Over the past seven days we’ve run about 6,400 tests for the SARS-CoV-2 virus through Rice testing and there were 18 positive results. The testing dashboard can be found on the COVID-19 website.

As a reminder, if you’re not vaccinated, you must be tested twice a week. If you’re vaccinated, you must be tested once a week. You should be scheduling your regular test here.

If you have any COVID-like symptoms at all, do not schedule a test through our on-line portal. Instead, you must fill out a health reporting form and the Rice contact tracing team will be in touch to schedule a symptomatic test. If you feel sick, stay home.If you are an employee, notify your supervisor that you will not be reporting for work and use your COVID-19 sick days.

If you have not received your COVID test results, please consult the frequently asked questions for specific instructions.(Look under “COVID Testing Questions.”)

Masks. In addition to being vaccinated, the best way you can protect yourself and others is to wear a proper, well-fitted mask. The CDC has an informative guide on how to select, wear and clean a mask. Rice recommends three different kinds of masks depending on the situation. They are available for free and they can be ordered here.

While our COVID numbers on campus look better, please don’t let your guard down. We still need to remain vigilant and take precautions.

Kevin E. Kirby

Chair of the Crisis Management Advisory Committee

Vice President for Administration