COVID-19 response weekly update: Week of March 29

COVID-19 response weekly update

Dear colleagues,

Vaccines. As of today, everyone age 16 and older in the State of Texas is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

We ordered 4,700 doses last week from the state. We might receive those doses next week, but we won’t know until the state confirms later this week. When we receive the vaccine, we will need volunteers to assist at the on-campus vaccination clinics. You can volunteer by signing up at this link.

Last Friday, our vaccine partner, Baylor St. Luke’s, advised us they were opening up some appointments to anyone in the Rice community over the age of 16. The appointments filled up quickly after we sent the alert, and we will notify you when more opportunities become available.

Testing. Over the past seven days, we administered approximately 4,900 tests for the SARS-CoV-2 virus on the Rice campus. Five 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 and have regular contact with other people. We are reviewing how often you should continue to be tested after being fully vaccinated.

We have been asked about Rice’s plans for SARS-CoV-2 testing over the summer and fall semesters. Testing will be available on campus this summer and fall, although likely at a reduced capacity.

Graduation Ceremonies.We’ve received many inquiries about allowing guests at graduation. We’re exploring the possibilities should the environment permit. A decision will be announced by April 12.

Kevin E. Kirby

Chair of the Crisis Management Advisory Committee

Vice President for Administration