Novel Coronavirus Update


Monday, January 27, 2020 - 6:55pm

We’re closely monitoring the latest information on the Novel Coronavirus, and we want to share what we know with the Rice community.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed three new cases of patients infected with the virus, bringing the total number to five cases in the U.S. The CDC considers this virus to be “a very serious public threat” but the immediate health risk to the general American public “is considered low at this time.”

Here are some important things that you should know:

  • We believe we have no suspected cases on campus at this time.
    • To be a patient with a “suspect” case, the following circumstances must apply:
      • The patient must have traveled to China in the last 14 days
      • The patient must have symptoms of respiratory illness (fever, cough and/or shortness of breath)
  • We have no positive cases on the campus at this time.
    • For a positive test for this virus, a physician must collect a sample and send it to the CDC for testing. (The CDC is the only facility that currently tests for this virus.)
  • If you have traveled to China in the last 14 days and have respiratory illness symptoms like those described above, you should seek medical attention.
  • Students should call ahead to Student Health Services (713-348-4966) and make an appointment to see a physician.
  • Employees should contact their physician in advance of arriving at the clinic for an appointment.
  • If you receive a “positive” test result from the CDC, please notify Jerusha Kasch at 713-348-4244
  • Practicing good hand hygiene and staying home when you are sick is key to stopping the spread of person-person viral infections.
  • Employees with questions about health benefits or PTO should call Human Resources 713-348-2514
  • Employees should consult with their supervisors about work options. Supervisors have the flexibility to work with employees who may have the virus and who have little or no PTO available.
  • Students with questions should call Student Health Services at (713) 348-4966.

We will continue to update you with timely information as needed. If you have questions or concerns, please call 713-348-4244.