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Tuesday, October 03, 2023 — Houston, TX

Rice Coffeehouse temporarily closes due to campus COVID cases

Nayeli Shad / Thresher Rice Coffeehouse posted a sign outside telling people that they are closed early.

By Nayeli Shad     9/1/23 1:29pm

Rice Coffeehouse is closed Aug. 31 through Sept. 4 due to an increase in COVID-19 cases on campus. This is two days earlier than planned for the Labor Day holiday, according to General Manager Caroline Leung. 

“As positive cases continued to rise across campus, we decided that closing early for Labor Day weekend would be the safest course of action out of an abundance of caution for both Rice overall and our KOCs who come in contact with much of its student body on-shift,” Leung wrote in an email to the Thresher.

Coffeehouse opened for the fall semester on Aug. 25. Employees were required to wear masks starting Aug. 29, a measure Leung said was implemented to prevent spreading COVID as cases arose on campus.

“The Coffeehouse management team initially decided to re-instate our masking policy behind the bar to do our part in reducing the spread of COVID, as Chaus is a social gathering center for much of Rice,” Leung, a Lovett College senior, wrote.

Coffeehouse is scheduled to reopen Sept. 5. Leung noted that Chaus will continue to accommodate for the effects that COVID has on students.

“Chaus will always adapt our practices and policies based on university guidelines and campus positivity rates, as well as our management team's general interest in looking out for the health and wellbeing of our employees,” Leung wrote.

Rice’s current COVID-19 policy is to isolate for five days after a positive test and to wear a mask for five days after that. The number of positive cases on campus is unknown since Rice stopped collecting data.

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