COVID-19 response weekly update: testing and Tropical Storm Beta

COVID-19 response weekly update: testing and Tropical Storm Beta

September 21, 2020

Dear colleagues,

In my Sept. 14 message, I provided updates on testing and the annual flu shot. This week I have another update on testing and information on Tropical Storm Beta.

Testing. Over the last seven days, we tested about 4,400 people. Three people tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. None of the positive cases were related to each other. Testing statistics, along with isolation and quarantine data, can be found on the COVID-19 website:

There may be rare times when you believe you have been in an environment (for example, a wedding) where your risk of exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus was unusually high. If so, please call the Rice Community Call Center at (713) 348-4224, which is open Monday—Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., so that we can design a special health care protocol for you. This would typically involve health monitoring every day and testing more than once a week.

This week, we’re testing at our intended regular capacity of 1,000 PCR tests a day. We’ve been contacting the people we hope to test every week (based on return to work plans, grad student surveys and on-campus instructors identified by the registrar). But if you’ve not been contacted for a test and for any reason you feel you should be tested (if you’re on-campus and having sufficient contact with other people), you should sign up at (Enter the security code provided to you in your email). Please be sure to confirm you’ve provided all the requested information correctly when you sign up for a test appointment (especially your birth date, email, and NetID). You should receive a confirmation email shortly after scheduling your test. If you do not, please contact because that means there’s probably an error that may also delay the delivery of your test results.

Our test results have typically been provided within 24 hours. If you have not received your test result after 48 hours please email If email is not convenient for you, please phone the Rice Community Call Center at (713) 348-4224.

Tropical Storm Beta. As of Monday morning, the National Weather Service has issued a tropical storm warning for our area. The threat of flash flooding remains a possibility through Tuesday evening.

TS Beta might impact a variety of COVID-19 response operations, including testing. Please log into Esther and verify that you have registered for RICE ALERT by reviewing your profile. Directions for signing up for RICE ALERT can be found at For hurricane and severe weather preparation tips, please go to

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