Coronavirus alert - 2/29/2020

Coronavirus alert - 2/29/2020

Out of an abundance of caution, the Crisis Management Advisory Committee today has asked a small group of Rice employees and students to self-quarantine because of a Rice employee's possible exposure to the coronavirus while on overseas travel (to a country not on the CDC's restricted travel list). The university is taking all necessary precautionary steps and working closely with and at the guidance of Harris County Public Health.

At this time, we are not planning to suspend campus operations, events or classes. Going forward, we will follow the guidance of Harris County Public Health. We ask that all members of our community take steps to ensure that we all stay as healthy as possible, including:

  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water, especially before eating or preparing food, after going to the bathroom and after you have been around someone who is sick. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you are unable to wash with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid sharing dishes, glasses and utensils.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw it away.
  • Stay home and do not go to class if you are sick. If you live in one of the undergraduate colleges, contact the senior operations manager for your servery to make arrangements for your meals to be delivered so that you do not spread germs in public dining areas.

Students, please contact Student Health Services (located in the Rich Student Health and Wellness Center next to the Brown College magisters' house) if you are sick. Student Health Services is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To make an appointment, call 713-348-4966. If the office is closed, you can find a list of nearby urgent-care centers on the website. Dr. McKelvey will also be available tomorrow (Sunday) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to answer any questions students might have (call 713-348-4966).

Rice EMS is always available for on-campus emergencies, 24 hours a day. The phone number is at 713-348-6000.

We would like to remind any student, faculty or staff member who travels for personal reasons to any country on the CDC’s level 2 and level 3 warning list that they must self-isolate and stay away from campus for two weeks after returning to the U.S.

As a precaution given the fluid global situation, we’re also requiring everyone in the Rice community who travels outside the U.S. to register their travel at this website: You’ll need to log in with your NetID, but it’s a simple process. If you have questions about using the application, please contact the help desk at 713-348-HELP (4357) or email

We understand that the Rice community will be rightfully concerned. The Crisis Management Advisory Committee will provide a further update within the next 24 hours or sooner as we know more. The safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff are our highest priority. Visit for all updates and related information.

In the meantime, you can find information about the coronavirus at these websites: