Today I write to report on Tropical Storm Nicholas and the latest SARS-CoV-2 testing results.
Storm. The Crisis Management Team has been tracking and preparing for Tropical Storm Nicholas over the last few days. This storm will be a significant water event for Houston and the region, with the potential for 8 to 16 inches of rainfall during the next two days. Houston is currently under a flash flood watch. The storm could reach hurricane strength before approaching the middle Texas coast this evening and the anticipated track brings it to the Houston area later this evening into Tuesday.
At this point, we expect the campus to operate normally during the day today, but after 5 p.m. this evening all classes will be conducted remotely. For the latest weather information, "how to prepare and what to do” assistance, and to make sure you’re signed up for Rice Alerts, visit the Rice emergency website.
You can expect additional updates from the CMT later today and tomorrow. We will be assessing the weather situation throughout the day, including road conditions. Any decisions that will affect the normal workday for our employees will be made midday. A decision about classes tomorrow will be made by 5 p.m. today.
Testing. Over the past seven days, we’ve run about 6,400 COVID-19 tests through Rice testing and there were 19 positive results. The testing dashboard can be found on the COVID-19 website. If this relatively low level of positivity continues, we anticipate making some policy changes in the coming weeks.
You should be scheduling your regular test here. We anticipate our testing to continue throughout the storm. If you need to cancel for any reason, you can do so through the same website where you scheduled your test.
Kevin E. Kirby
Chair of the Crisis Management Advisory Committee
Vice President for Administration