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Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Monday, October 18, 2021 — Houston, TX °

COVID-19



NEWS 9/21/21 11:02pm

Majority of classes return to in-person instruction this week and next

The majority of classes with 50 or more students will transition back to in-person learning between Sept. 20 and Sept. 27, following an email from the Office of the Provost announcing this return. Previously, courses with 50 or more students were kept online, even as other classes returned to in-person learning after the second week of the semester, according to an email from the Office of the Provost on Sept. 2.


NEWS 9/7/21 10:52pm

Houston hospitals near capacity as delta variant spreads

The rising number of COVID-19 cases at Rice so far this school year reflects the severity of the latest surge of the pandemic within the Houston area. According to data provided by the Texas Medical Center, August saw a record-high number of Covid patients hospitalized at the Texas Medical Center, along with 69,174 confirmed cases countywide — second only to the 71,996 cases in January, when less than three percent of Harris County residents were vaccinated.


NEWS 8/31/21 10:57pm

Isolation space runs low as Rice reports 52 COVID cases in one week

Between Aug. 22 and 29, 52 people tested positive for COVID-19, according to Rice’s COVID-19 dashboard, with 40 testing positive on campus and 12 through off campus testing. Approximately 30 percent of cases were traced back to one campus event, according to a campuswide email from Kevin Kirby, chair of the crisis management advisory committee.


NEWS 8/31/21 10:52pm

Administration imposes indoor alcohol ban

​​The Crisis Management Advisory Committee and the Office of the Dean of Undergraduates have enacted an indoor alcohol ban, effective immediately until further notice, according to multiple emails from college magisters. This follows a previous recent transition back to wet campus after the announcement of false positive cases.




NEWS 8/19/21 11:31am

Classes delayed by two days, all online for two weeks

Classes will begin two days later than planned on August 25, and instruction will be all online for at least the first two weeks of the semester, according to an email from Provost Reginald DesRoches. This change follows a recent rise in COVID-19 cases on campus, as well as across the Houston area as the delta variant becomes more predominant, according to DesRoches.



NEWS 5/29/21 8:47am

Rice announces student vaccine requirement for fall semester

All members of the Rice community are expected to return in person for the fall and all students who come to campus are expected to be fully vaccinated before the fall semester, President David Leebron announced in an email Friday. Students who receive a medical or religious waiver must continue to test weekly and wear a mask indoors, according to the email.



FEATURES 4/27/21 10:39pm

Looking back and looking forward: lessons from the pandemic

The Rice community is eagerly anticipating a return to some kind of normal in the fall semester. Still, it’s clear that not everything will be the same as before the pandemic — but maybe for good reason. While the past year has been undeniably difficult, the Rice community can leave it with important takeaways. We asked administrators, faculty and student leaders what they have learned and what they envision for Rice when distancing, masking and virtual interactions are not the default procedures of the campus experience.



NEWS 4/23/21 3:56pm

Rice rescinds outdoor mask requirement, testing no longer required for fully vaccinated community members

Rice announced today that there will no longer be a mask requirement in outdoor spaces and that fully vaccinated individuals will not be required to take weekly COVID-19 tests, in an email sent to the Rice community by Kevin Kirby, chair of the Crisis Management Advisory Committee. The announcement follows the results of a community survey of vaccination status, which revealed that 74 percent of the Rice community members have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 



NEWS 4/13/21 10:53pm

Low vaccine survey response rate impedes fall semester planning

Only about half of the student body has filled out the vaccine survey sent out in the COVID-19 Response Weekly Update, and the non-satisfactory response rate is preventing the administration from planning for a fully in-person fall 2021 semester, according to Kevin Kirby, vice president of administration. 



FEATURES 3/30/21 10:03pm

A year into the pandemic, research goes on — but not without changes

sAfter doing a computational chemistry project remotely while campus access was limited last summer, Will Rice College junior Hallie Trial returned to campus lab work in August. At the Ball Lab, where she investigates the synthesis of boronic acids and water, Trial is masked, physically distanced from fellow researchers and, sometimes, reusing gloves — a practice not normally recommended, she said, but necessitated by pandemic shortages of personal protective equipment.


FEATURES 3/23/21 11:18pm

‘The only way out is to vaccinate ourselves out’: Students hustle to get COVID-19 vaccines

After Governor Greg Abbott lifted the state-wide mask mandate for Texas on March 10, getting a COVID vaccine has become more important than ever to many Rice students. An impromptu vaccine drive was held at Rice’s East Gym during the winter freeze a few weeks back, but only around 800 doses were available. Students ran across the icy campus and stood in 20-degree weather for hours to try and receive a vaccine, but there just weren’t enough for everyone. Because many were unable to get the vaccine during that time, Rice students have recently been scheming for other ways to get their hands — or arms — on a dose.