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Rice University staffer who tested positive for coronavirus is one of two Harris County cases

The Rice employee, the other Harris County patient and the Fort Bend County patient all traveled to Egypt in February.

HOUSTON — A Rice University staffer has tested positive for coronavirus, the university confirmed Thursday evening.

There are now six positive or presumptive local cases: 2 in Houston; 3 in Harris County; and one in Fort Bend County.

All six patients traveled to Egypt in February. 

The Rice employee returned to Houston on Feb. 20 and only made two trips to the campus on Feb. 24 and Feb. 25., according to the university. 

She only spent time in one building, which Rice has since identified as Keck Hall. All classes at Keck are being moved elsewhere through March 11.

“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," Rice said in a statement.

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The employee had been self-quarantined since Feb. 29 when the university learned about the case. The staffer is now in a local hospital but their condition isn't known.

None of the other 14 Rice doctoral students and staffers who’ve been self-quarantined since last month has shown symptoms.

At this time, Rice is not planning to suspend campus operations or classes.

“University staff are maintaining an intensified cleaning program, and the university recommends that individuals practice proper handwashing and general hygiene, cover coughs and stay home if sick,” Rice said in a statement. 

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