Group of Rice University students & employees asked to self-quarantine after possible coronavirus exposure

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HOUSTON- Rice University has asked a small group of employees and students to self-quarantine after a university employee may have been exposed to the coronavirus, university officials say.

A Rice employee traveled to a country that was not on the CDC’s restricted travel list, however, they are concerned about possible exposure to the virus while overseas. They say at this point, they have no plans to suspend any campus events or classes.

Over the weekend, officials in Washington state confirmed the second U.S. death from the coronavirus outbreak and the first cases of the virus were also reported in Florida and New York.

Currently, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Houston or Harris County.

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston released a statement explaining that parishes will stop the distribution of Holy Communion from the chalice to help minimize risk when it comes to the potential spread of the coronavirus.

Galveston ISD is also making changes in order to help prevent the spread of the virus and other illnesses. They announced in addition to the steps health officials are asking us to take, they are also modifying their Capturing Kids Hearts handshake at the classroom door to an “appropriate welcome that does not involve direct hand contact.” The district says custodians also will be using approved disinfectant cleaners to wipe down desks, door handles and other areas that get touched often.

Also, an annual energy conference called CERAWeek has been cancelled. The event was set to go on at the George R. Brown Convention Center from March 9th-13th and was expected to bring in around 5,500 people. Organizers say nothing specific to Houston led to their decision to cancel, rather it was because of the World Health Organization’s advisory regarding the virus coupled with the number of people from around the world that were planning to attend.

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