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Rice University to start school year with virtual learning due to COVID surge

The university has also pushed back its school start date to Wednesday, Aug. 25.

HOUSTON — Rice University will operate virtually for the first two weeks of classes and push back its school start date due to the surge in COVID cases, officials confirmed.

The first day of classes for Rice students was initially scheduled for Monday, Aug. 23. The new start date will be Wednesday, Aug. 25.

Officials said professors may petition to be exempt from virtual classes and teach in person. The university said it intends to return to full in-person instruction later this semester.

There is currently a mask mandate at Rice. Masks are required indoors at all times and regular testing is mandatory.

RELATED: Rice University to require masks indoors, mandatory COVID testing for those on campus

As of Thursday, the university said 94% of its students and 82% of its faculty have been vaccinated.  

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