From the DOU - Campus arrival for spring semester start

From the DOU - Campus arrival for spring semester start

Dear undergraduate students,

Happy New Year! I hope that you all had a lovely winter break and that you’ve been enjoying some great time with friends and family.

While COVID wastewater surveillance data for the City of Houston shows higher positivity rates in the areas surrounding campus than we would like to see, we are pleased to share that we are once again planning for a “normal” opening this Spring. With the arrival of so many to campus at one time, we want to encourage all of you to implement some of the COVID safety practices that have been helpful to us over the last few years. This includes: masking in crowded places as you travel, washing your hands often, and physically distancing as you are able in large groups.

College coordinators’ offices are stocked with COVID testing kits for the return. COVID-19 test kits containing five tests will be available in the College Coordinator’s office during check-in and available for pick up for those living off campus. We recommend that all students test before the first day of classes or if they begin experiencing COVID-like symptoms. Please take a test if you become symptomatic, and refrain from interacting with the broader Rice community until you know that you have tested negative. If you test positive, go directly to https://coronavirus.rice.edu/sick-exposed-positive page for links to the latest CDC instructions. If you are feeling ill, please call and consult with Student Health Services at 713-348-4966. Please see health.rice.edu for hours.

n part due to the faster spread of the current variants increasing the risk of quick exposure, as well as limitations on available on-campus housing, similar to the fall, most students who test positive will isolate in place. For those students who have underlying medical conditions that place them at higher risk of developing severe outcomes of COVID-19, we have reserved a small quantity of temporary rooms to be used if their roommate(s) test positive. Students with underlying health conditions will need to coordinate with Student Health Services. A student who tests positive should largely remain in their room during the recommended duration as outlined by the CDC and linked on the https://coronavirus.rice.edu/sick-exposed-positive page, leaving only to get meals wearing a KN95 mask, or to pick up deliveries, then promptly return to their rooms.

I want to thank all of you for being diligent with monitoring your health both for your own safety and for the wellbeing of our campus as a whole. Your willingness to protect our community through your actions and choices allows us to stay operational and we are excited about seeing you all return to campus for the start of this spring semester.

Best wishes,

Bridget K. Gorman, Dean of Undergraduates