To the Rice community:
Harris County Public Health notified Rice officials this afternoon that the university employee who was self-quarantined tested positive for the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The other Rice doctoral students, faculty and staff who are currently in self-quarantine have been notified. They remain in self-quarantine and none has reported symptoms to date.
The affected employee was exposed to the coronavirus while on overseas travel in February to a country not on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's restricted travel list. The employee's contact with the Rice campus was limited and occurred Feb. 24-25. Rice public safety officers learned of the case Feb. 29 and took immediate action to ensure the safety and well-being of those involved and the broader Rice community, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff.
The affected employee's presence on campus was limited to one building, which has been extensively and continuously sanitized along with the rest of the campus. Based on our investigation, the staff member had no direct contact with our undergraduate population and has not been in any residential colleges or classrooms since returning to Houston Feb. 20.
The Rice Crisis Management Team continues to take measures to protect everyone's health and safety. We are working closely with Harris County Public Health and the Houston Health Department to manage the situation.
At this time, we are not planning to suspend campus operations or classes. Going forward, we will continue to follow the guidance of the CDC and Harris County Public Health.
University staff are maintaining an intensified cleaning program, and the university recommends that individuals practice proper handwashing as suggested by the World Health Organization (using soap and water for at least 20 seconds) and general hygiene, cover coughs and stay home if sick. More information is available at https://emergency.rice.edu/coronavirus.
Students, please call Student Health Services if you are sick. The phone number is 713-348-4966. Student Health Services is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If the office is closed, you can find a list of nearby urgent care centers at https://health.rice.edu/after-hours-care.
Rice EMS is always available for on-campus emergencies, 24 hours a day. The phone number is 713-348-6000.
We appreciate your understanding and cooperation during this uncertain time. We are a strong community that is driven by our support and care for each other.
The Crisis Management Advisory Committee will update the campus community tomorrow. See emergency.rice.edu for all updates and related information.