COVID-19 response weekly update: testing, contact tracing app and outdoor tents

COVID-19 response weekly update: testing, contact tracing app and outdoor tents

September 8, 2020

Dear colleagues,

In my August 31 message, I provided updates on testing and the campus public health dashboard. This week I’ll provide updates on testing, the contact tracing app, and the outdoor tents.

Testing. Over five days last week, we tested just under 4,000 people. Three people tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus – two staff members and an undergraduate. Testing statistics, along with isolation and quarantine statistics, can be found on the COVID-19 website https://coronavirus.rice.edu.

This week we are testing at our intended regular capacity of 1,000 PCR tests per day. We’ve been contacting the people we hope to test every week. 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 can sign up at https://veoci.com/veoci/p/form/nnrc3kjrxgya. (Enter the security code provided in your email).

Contact Tracing App. Over the summer, we announced plans to deploy a campus-wide app for digital contact tracing to supplement our manual contact tracing efforts. We’ve evaluated many different apps, reviewed the research on this topic, and explored many of the policy implications. Based on that information as well as the robust contact tracing effort we currently have in place, we’ve put the project on hold. But we will continue to explore our options for the future.

Outdoor Tents. The four semi-permanent structures and five open-sided tents are now open and available for use. If you would like to use one of these facilities for a class or an event, please visit this website for availability: https://rooms.rice.edu.

Kevin Kirby

Chair of the Crisis Management Advisory Committee
Vice President for Administration