COVID-19 response weekly update: Week of March 22

COVID-19 response weekly update

Dear colleagues,

Vaccines. Today, second doses of the Moderna vaccine are being distributed to about 1,000 people in the Rice community in the Grand Hall and at a Houston Methodist location.

The state did not fill our order last week for enough vaccine to inoculate every person in the Rice community between the ages of 50 and 64. We might receive those doses next week, but we won’t know until the state confirms the date.

Testing. Over the past seven days, we administered approximately 5,200 tests for the SARS-CoV-2 virus on the Rice campus. Four people tested positive through the university’s testing program. You can see Rice’s testing statistics, along with isolation and quarantine data, on the COVID-19 website.

Even if you’ve been vaccinated, please continue to get tested if you’re coming to campus. This is especially important this week as many people return from spring break activities.

Graduation Receptions: Requirements and Procedures. Any school, department, college, or program intending to host a reception to celebrate graduating students must submit an event plan through our campus events process. Organizers have two options for submitting plans:

All graduation receptions must adhere to current campus guidelines regarding public health and safety, including requiring everyone to wear masks and limiting the size of gatherings (currently no more than 50 in attendance at one time if scheduled outside, 25 inside).

The open-sided outdoor tents are available for scheduling graduation receptions, and we will prioritize those reception requests during the week leading up to graduation.

We realize these rules will require some re-imagination of how these events typically operate, but we believe that even though they’ll be smaller and more structured they’ll provide a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our graduates as they conclude their studies at Rice.

On-Campus Summer Programs and Activities. Guidance on summer programs and activities was communicated last week.

University Sponsored Student Summer 2021 Travel. Guidance on student summer travel for research or other activities directly relevant to degree progress was issued today by the Provost.

Kevin E. Kirby

Chair of the Crisis Management Advisory Committee

Vice President for Administration