Dear Rice Community,
Gov. Greg Abbott has issued an executive order allowing the conditional reopening of many Texas businesses that have been closed in recent weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. In response to questions about the governor’s order, we want to clarify that Rice University faculty and staff who have been working remotely should continue to do so. Unless your supervisor has advised you otherwise, you should continue working as you have been since the university made the transition to remote instruction. We want you to know the university is now working on a phased return plan to bring faculty, staff and students back to campus during the coming weeks and months. Deans, vice presidents and vice provosts, with guidance from the university, will determine when specific people should return to campus on a staggered timeline, and the details of that plan will be forthcoming soon.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC has revised its list of symptoms commonly reported by coronavirus patients. In addition to fever, coughing and shortness of breath, the CDC advises that people with at least two of the newly added symptoms -- headaches, sore throats, muscle pains, chills, shaking with chills and new loss of taste or smell -- may have COVID-19. If you believe you have contracted COVID-19, let your supervisor know immediately and fill out the symptom self-reporting form found at this link.
Travel Update. The CDC continues to “recommend that travelers avoid all nonessential travel.” Rice follows CDC guidance and continues to strongly advise against both domestic and international travel for professional and personal reasons. However, the university will no longer ban university-sponsored international or domestic travel. Any faculty, staff or students who decide to travel abroad for any reason should register through the university’s travel registry at this link. Gov. Abbott has mandated a 14-day self-quarantine at home for travelers arriving in Texas from the states of California, New York, New Jersey and Washington as well as the cities of Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit and Miami. That order applies to Rice faculty, staff and students.
We appreciate everyone’s hard work – at home or on campus – for keeping the university moving during this difficult time.
The Rice Crisis Management Team