Sunday, March 1, 2020 - 5:24pm
Dear Rice students, faculty, staff and parents,
The Crisis Management Advisory Committee is writing to follow up on our message sent last night.
The person under investigation is not a Rice student but a research staff member who recently traveled out of the country. This individual had contact with a possible COVID-19 positive case. The individual’s contact with the Rice campus was limited and occurred on Monday and Tuesday of last week (on Feb. 24 and 25). Rice public safety officers learned of the case on Saturday afternoon and took immediate action to ensure the safety and well-being of those involved and the broader Rice community.
We know you are worried about the possibility that students have been exposed, and we can confirm that based on our investigation the staff member has not had direct contact with our undergraduate population. Likewise, the staff member has not been in any residential college or any classrooms since returning to Houston on Feb. 20.
Only one individual is being investigated by public health authorities, but out of an abundance of caution, Rice has identified those persons on our campus with whom there was direct contact, and we recommended that the 17 individuals self-isolate and follow heightened precautions in locations off the main campus. Those self-quarantined include faculty, doctoral students and staff. We are working closely with them to ensure their safety and well-being.
We are also reviewing all university-sponsored student trips scheduled for spring break and will make a determination shortly around the status of those trips.
We are working with Harris County Public Health and the Houston Health Department to manage the situation, and they have provided an update on the Rice situation this morning that outlines their approach. We will continue to update you as we have more information to share. The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is our highest priority, and at this time, according to the public health authorities who we are working with, there is low risk to our campus.
See emergency.rice.edu for all updates and related information.