How long can Coronavirus survive on clothes?

April 22nd, 2020

NASSAU BAY — (APRIL 22, 2020) —Right now, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic likely has you armed to disinfect every commonly touched surface in your home. But what about your clothes? After a trip to the grocery store, is it possible that your clothes are contaminated with coronavirus?

Can coronavirus live on your clothes?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the most likely way for the virus to spread is through close contact with someone who’s infected (even if they don’t know it). This is why continuing to practice social distancing is so important.

However, early laboratory evidence also suggests that coronavirus can survive on plastic and stainless steel surfaces anywhere from hours to a few days.

Unfortunately, the same study didn’t examine how long the virus can survive on fabrics — so it remains a possibility that coronavirus can live on clothes for several hours. On the other hand, soft, porous surfaces — such as the sleeves of your shirt — actually limit the likelihood of spreading these viruses for two reasons:

  • These viruses are more likely to get trapped within the fibers and weave of permeable surfaces like fabric, making it less likely for the virus to later transfer to your hand, face or another surface.
  • These viruses are much less infective (potentially non-infective) when dried out, and fabrics are more likely to absorb and suck water away from a virus.

When in doubt, do some laundry

If you’re worried that your clothes may have been contaminated while at the store or another public space where social distancing is challenging, toss them into the washing machine when you get home.  If you’re taking care of someone who has COVID-19, there are extra precautions the CDC recommends when it comes to handling and washing clothing, including:

  • Wearing gloves while handling a sick person’s laundry, and then washing your hands after removing the gloves
  • Avoiding shaking dirty laundry
  • Using your washing machine’s warmest water setting, when possible
  • Cleaning and disinfecting laundry hampers regularly or using a disposable bag liner

In addition, if you rely on a communal space to wash your clothes, such as a laundromat, you may also want to take these extra precautions:

  • Continue to social distance. Make sure you keep six feet between yourself and others.
  • Lessen the amount of time you spend there. Consider sorting and folding your clothes at home and avoid hanging out at the laundromat between wash cycles or loads.
  • Carry hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. Before and after touching communal washing machines, sanitize your hands and wipe down handles, buttons and knobs.

A quick word on coronavirus and your cloth mask

The CDC recommends washing your cloth mask in your washing machine using household laundry detergent regularly, depending on frequency of use. This means that the more often you wear your cloth mask, the more often it should be washed. In addition, if a washing cycle damages or misshapes your cloth mask, it’s time to make a new one.

Concerned you may have COVID-19?

  • If you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you can speak to a Virtual Urgent Care provider 24/7. The provider will help you determine if testing is needed and advise you on where you should go. For more information about Houston Methodist Virtual Urgent Care, please visit houstonmethodist.org/virtual-urgent-care to learn how to connect with a provider. 

About Houston Methodist Clear Lake Hospital

Houston Methodist Clear Lake brings the expertise and compassionate care of Houston Methodist Hospital in The Texas Medical Center to Clear Lake communities. The hospital provides a broad spectrum of adult medical and surgical care, is an accredited chest pain center, and is also a Primary Stroke Center designated through DNV. Houston Methodist Clear Lake offers many inpatient and outpatient services including a Breast Care Center with 3-D mammography, state-of-the-art imaging, labor and delivery with a level II neonatal ICU, Cancer Center, weight loss surgery and advanced laparoscopic surgery, comprehensive orthopedics and sports medicine, cardiovascular services, neurology, urology and otolaryngology. Visit houstonmethodist.org/clearlake to learn more and to find a doctor near you.

Governor Abbott issues executive order establishing Strike Force to Open Texas

April 18th, 2020

April 17, 2020 | Austin, Texas 

Governor Greg Abbott held a press conference Friday, April 17 and issued three new Executive Orders to begin the process of reopening the state of Texas while revising hospital capacity and certain social distancing guidelines. Within the orders, select activities and services that pose minimal to no threat of spreading COVID-19 are allowed to reopen using a “Retail-To-Go” model, certain restrictions on surgeries have been loosened, and schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year.

Within these orders, the governor has established the Strike Force to Open Texas—a team of nationally recognized medical experts and private and public leaders who will advise the governor on safely and strategically reopening the state of Texas.

“Texans are battling a colossal challenge—an invisible enemy that has tested our lives and our livelihoods—but overcoming challenges is part of who we are as Texans,” said Governor Abbott. “We have shown that Texas can continue our efforts to contain COVID-19 while also adopting safe standards that will allow us to begin the process of reopening Texas. The Strike Force to Open Texas brings together nationally recognized medical experts with public and private sector leaders to achieve this mission. By coming together, we can get Texans back to work, practice safe standards that will prevent the spread of COVID-19, and we can overcome this pandemic.”

James Huffines will lead the advisory strike force and Mike Toomey will serve as Chief Operating Officer. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton, and Comptroller Glenn Hegar will serve as consulting members.

In addition, Governor Abbott has appointed Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD, as Chief Medical Officer of the strike force. Dr. Hellerstedt will be supported by three

Chief Medical Advisors: 
John Zerwas, MD, Executive Vice-Chancellor for Health Affairs at the University of Texas System
Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner and U.S. Medicaid and Medicare Administrator
Parker Hudson, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Dell Medical School and program director for the Internal Medicine Residency

These health experts will develop a medical architecture to comprehensively test and trace COVID-19 that will enable Texans to gradually and safely begin the process of returning to work and other activities.

The medical team will work alongside a Special Advisory Council who will share innovative ideas to help businesses strategically reopen while containing the spread of COVID-19. The council consists of 39 business leaders representing the state’s regions and industries. The advisory council will collaborate with working groups to devise strategies, statewide standards, and appropriate time frames to reopen the Lone Star State while prioritizing the health and safety of all Texans.

The strike force will immediately begin providing input on potential additional openings of activities and services in Texas consistent with guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Governor will announce a revised plan for the state based on these initial recommendations on April 27.

Special Advisory Council members include:
  • Arcilia Acosta: President and CEO, CARCON Industries & Construction
  • Paul Andrews Jr.: Founder and CEO, TTI Inc.
  • Mark Bivins: Rancher, partner in Corsino Cattle Company
  • Kathy Britton: CEO and owner, Perry Homes
  • Brad Brookshire: Chairman and CEO, Brookshire Grocery Co.
  • J. Bruce Bugg, Jr.: Chairman, Texas Transportation Commission
  • Alonzo Cantu: President & CEO of Cantu Construction
  • Bobby Cox: Owner and operator, Bobby Cox Companies, Inc.
  • Adriana Cruz: Executive Director, Economic Development & Tourism Division, Office of the Governor
  • Michael Dell: Chairman and CEO, Dell Technologies
  • Scott Dueser: Chairman, President & CEO, First Financial Bank
  • Don Evans: Chairman of the President George W. Bush Foundation, Chairman of Permian Strategic Partnership
  • Tilman Fertitta: Chairman, CEO, and sole owner, Landry’s, Inc.
  • Richard Fisher: Senior Advisor, Barclays and Former President & CEO, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
  • Rick Francis: Chairman of the Board, WestStar Bank Holding Company, Inc.
  • Printice Gary: Founding Partner/Principal and CEO, Carleton Companies
  • Brad Heffington: Owner of Heffington Farms, Inc. and Triple T Irrigation, Inc.
  • Jeffery D. Hildebrand: Executive Chairman and Founder, Hilcorp Energy Co.
  • Nancy Kinder: President & CEO, Kinder Foundation
  • Tom Luce: Founder and Chairman, Texas 2036
  • Marc McDougal: CEO, McDougal Companies
  • Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale: Owner, Gallery Furniture
  • Drayton McLane: Chairman, McLane Group
  • Elaine Mendoza: Founder, President & CEO of Conceptual MindWorks, Inc
  • Balous Miller: Owner, Bill Miller Bar-B-Q Restaurants
  • Carla Moran: Ramar Communications
  • Dennis Nixon: CEO and Chairman of International Bank of Commerce
  • David Oliveira: Partner at Roerig, Oliveira & Fisher, L.L.P.
  • Ross Perot, Jr.: Chairman, The Perot Group
  • Kevin D. Roberts, Ph.D.: Executive Director, Texas Public Policy Foundation
  • Robert B. Rowling: Owner and Chairman, TRT Holdings, Inc.
  • Kendra Scott: Founder and CEO, Kendra Scott
  • Robert F. Smith: Founder, Chairman & CEO, Vista Equity Partners
  • Sam L. Susser: Chairman of BancAffiliated, Inc.
  • Massey Villarreal: CEO and President, Precision Task Group, Inc.
  • Kirk Watson: Founding Dean of the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs
  • Marc Watts: President, The Friedkin Group
  • Graham Weston: Former Chairman of Rackspace Hosting Inc.
  • Sanjiv Yajnik: President of the Financial Services Division, Capital One

 

For more information about the Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas, visit the strike force webpage.

 

The Governor’s second Executive Order (GA-16) relates to the safe, strategic reopening of select services and activities in Texas. This order establishes a temporary “Retail-To-Go” model that will allow retail outlets in Texas to reopen beginning Friday, April 24. Under this model, reopened establishments are required to deliver items to customer’s cars, homes, or other locations to minimize contact.

Under this Executive Order, schools — including public, private, and higher education institutions — will remain closed for the 2019-2020 school year. Teachers may go into the classroom for video instruction, to perform administrative duties, and to clean out their classrooms.

The Governor’s third Executive Order (GA-15) relates to hospital capacity and personal protective equipment (PPE) needed for the COVID-19 response. The order loosens restrictions on surgeries put in place by Governor Abbott in March. Beginning at 11:59 p.m. on April 21 through 11:59 p.m. on May 8, all licensed health care professionals and all licensed health care facilities must continue to postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not medically necessary to diagnose or correct a serious medical condition of, or to preserve the life of, a patient who without timely performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death as determined by a patient’s physician. Exceptions now include:

 

  • Any procedure that, if performed in accordance with the commonly accepted standard of clinical practice, would not deplete the hospital capacity or the PPE needed to cope with COVID-19, or
  • Any surgery or procedure performed in a licensed health care facility that has certified in writing to Texas HHSC both (1) that it will reserve at least 25% of its hospital capacity for treatment of COVID-19 patients, accounting for the range of clinical severity of COVID-19 patients, and (2) that it will not request any PPE from any public source — whether federal, state, or local — for the duration of the COVID-19 disaster.
The governor also directed state parks to reopen on Monday, April 20 with strict guidelines to reduce transmission of COVID-19 – including requiring visitors to wear face coverings, maintain a six-foot distance from individuals outside of their party, and prohibiting the gathering of groups larger than five.
– Information provided by State Rep. Dennis Paul

COVID-19 cases in Harris and Galveston Counties

April 15th, 2020

Harris County case count by city

(Week of April 12)

Baytown — 23

Bellaire — 15

Bunker Hill — 7

Clear Lake City –- 0-10 +

City of Houston — 2,124

Deer Park — 14

El Lago — 0

Friendswood — 0

Galena Park — 2

Hedwig Village — 2

Hilshire Village — 0

Humble — 10

Hunters Creek — 0

Jacinto City — 2

Jersey Village — 6

Katy — 3

La Porte — 32

League City — 1

Missouri City — 6

Morgan’s Point — 0

Nassau Bay — 5

Pasadena — 40

Pearland — 7

Piney Point Village — 5

Seabrook — 2

Shoreacres — 0

South Houston — 5

Southside Place — 2

Spring Valley Village — 2

Stafford — 0

Taylor Lake Village — 5

Tomball — 6

Waller — 1

Webster — 6

West University Place — 11

Galveston County case county by city

Bacliff/Bayview/San Leon — 8

Bayou Vista — 0

Bolivar Peninsula — 2

Clear Lake Shores — 1

Dickinson — 23

Friendswood — 21

Galveston — 25

Hitchcock — 9

Jamaica Beach — 0

Kemah — 3

La Marque — 20

League City — 110

Santa Fe/Algoa — 10

Texas City — 123

Tiki Island — 0

+ 0-10 cases reported in Clear Lake City zip codes 77062, 77058 & 77059

Sources: Harris County Public Health and Galveston County Public Health

Houston Health Department Expands COVID-19 Test Sites to Anyone Wanting to Get Tested 

April 13th, 2020

The Houston Health Department’s two COVID-19 drive-thru sites will broaden testing to anyone wanting to get a test and double their daily testing capacity to 1,000 on Tuesday.    

Each community site will ramp up its testing capacity from 250 to 500 people per day. The tests are free to the public.

People can call the department’s COVID-19 call center at 832-393-4220 between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. to receive a unique identification code and instructions on where to go for testing and how to obtain their test results.

The community sites only accept people with the identification code obtained through the department’s COVID-19 call center. People showing up at the test sites without an identification code will not get tested.

The testing sites will continue operating until further notice.

Workers at the sites only collect insurance information and don’t accept payment. The information obtained through testing or services will not be used against immigrants in their public charge evaluation.

COVID-19 Statistics – Update No. 4

April 7th, 2020

By Bill King

This is a follow-up to my earlier posts where I began to track the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 daily situation reports. I have updated the spreadsheet here through WHO’s Sunday (April 5) evening report.

The number of global cases and fatalities about doubled this week as the number of cases went from 635,000 to 1,133,000 and fatalities grew from 30,000 to 63,000. However, the rate of increase has slowed.

The stat I think is the most important to watch is the daily percentage change in the number of new cases. This is the rate that determines whether the increase is geometric or arithmetic. After the outbreak in Europe began in earnest the increase in new daily cases grew over 12% on March 23. But since, the daily percentage increase has declined, coming in just a little over 7% yesterday.

That rate is still far too high. At a 7% daily compounding rate, over a billion people would be infected in a matter of months. But in Europe, which is much further along in the outbreak, the number of new cases was nearly flat last week and in Asia new cases have slowed to a trickle. Conversely, a serious outbreak in a country with a large population, say India, would result in a dramatic increase in the rate.

The US daily increase averaged 9% last week. However, that may not be comparable to other countries because testing here is now ramping up much more quickly than anywhere else in the world (see below).

Here are some of the other key metrics from the week:

According to the COVID Tracking Project, the US has continued to substantially ramp up testing. As of yesterday, almost 1.76 million tests have been completed. Almost half of those tests were completed last week. Since testing began about 19% of patients have tested positive.1

As of yesterday, there is still no country in the world where the confirmed infection rate has exceeded three-tenths of one percent (0.3%) of that country’s population.

The New York state health department is tracking fatalities by age. According to its latest data, 82% of all fatalities have been over 60. Only 3% have been under 30.

The total COVID-19 fatalities yesterday (5,798) likely represents about 3.5% of all global fatalities for the day.

Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership

April 3rd, 2020

To our amazing healthcare workforce,

Most of you don’t know me, but I know you. You are the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, and uncles who leave your families behind every day to become the frontline heroes in this war against COVID-19. Although I cannot be with you to thank you personally, please know that the members of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership team, as well as their own families, send heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for the critical jobs that you do. No matter what your job is in the healthcare setting, it is a vital link that serves to support the entire system.

We at BAHEP will continue our work on behalf of everyone in the region as we walk these incredibly difficult roads together. So, again, thank you so very much. Please keep safe and know that our thoughts are with you and your loved ones.

With kind regards,

Bob Mitchell

President, Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership

FDA approves first plasma therapy for Houston Methodist COVID-19 patient 

March 31st, 2020

Eric Salazar, MD, PhD. with the department of pathology and genomic medicine at the Houston Methodist Research Institute and Houston Methodist recruits recovered COVID-19 patients willing to donate plasma in hopes of saving the lives of critically ill COVID-19 patients. Credit: Houston Methodist

Houston Methodist received FDA approval March 28 to become the first academic medical center in the nation to transfuse donated plasma from a recovered COVID-19 patient into a critically ill patient. This treatment was fast-tracked to the bedside over the weekend as the death toll in the COVID-19 pandemic soared to more than 2,000 people across the United States, with more than 100,000 Americans sick from the virus.

Houston Methodist physician scientists began recruiting blood plasma donors on Friday from among the approximately 250 patients who have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus at Houston Methodist hospitals. Willing donors were immediately identified, who each give a quart of blood plasma in a procedure much like donating whole blood. Plasma from someone who has recovered from COVID-19 contains antibodies made by the immune system and used to kill the virus. Transfusing this antibody-rich plasma into a COVID-19 patient –- a patient still fighting the virus — may transfer the power of the antibodies into a healing, possibly life-saving therapy.

The first recovered COVID-19 patient to donate plasma was an individual from the Houston metropolitan area who has been in good health for more than two weeks. The plasma was transfused into a COVID-19 patient on Saturday evening at Houston Methodist Hospital. Since then, several more have donated their plasma and Houston Methodist has now infused 10 critically ill COVID-19 patients with convalescent serum.

CONCEPT USED BEFORE

Known as convalescent serum therapy, the concept dates back more than a century, when similar treatments were used during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, a diphtheria outbreak in the 1920s, a flesh-eating bacteria epidemic in the 1930s, and during other outbreaks of infectious diseases.

While literature abounds on the theory that immunity can be transferred from a healthy individual to a sick individual using convalescent plasma, results have varied. A description of the treatment of five patients in China was published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggesting that the treatment was beneficial.

“Here at Houston Methodist, we have the capability, the expertise and the patient base from our health care system, and we feel obligated to try this therapy,” said Houston Methodist President and CEO Marc Boom.

MUCH TO LEARN

“There is so much to be learned about this disease while it’s occurring,” he said. “If an infusion of convalescent serum can help save the life of a critically ill patient, then applying the full resources of our blood bank, our expert faculty, and our academic medical center is incredibly worthwhile and important to do.”

Houston Methodist recruitment began as soon as the FDA issued regulatory guidelines for the study earlier last week. Physician scientists at Houston Methodist already had designed and validated a COVID-19 molecular test two months ago and were prepared to begin collecting data when COVID-19 patients started arriving. The Houston Methodist IRB and regulatory affairs experts reviewed the treatment protocol rapidly and secured the FDA approval this weekend.

In New York City earlier this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that patient recruitment for plasma donations would begin in a matter of days and initially would focus on the heavily hit New York City suburb of New Rochelle, NY.

Eric Salazar, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator and a physician scientist in the Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine at the Houston Methodist Hospital and Research Institute, said a review of COVID-19 patients’ charts indicates that nearly two-thirds of the patients may meet the criteria to donate plasma. Patients with critical underlying conditions and advanced age will not be eligible to donate.

FDA APPROVAL NEEDED

Under FDA guidelines, Houston Methodist’s convalescent serum therapy treatment is classified as an emergency investigational new drug protocol (eIND) that requires FDA approval for each patient infused with donated convalescent serum. Houston Methodist physician scientists will seek additional FDA approval for follow-up studies, possibly a multicenter national trial on the effectiveness of convalescent serum therapy against the COVID-19 virus.

The process for donating plasma is similar to donating blood and takes about an hour. Plasma donors are hooked up to a small device that removes plasma while simultaneously returning red blood cells to their bodies. Unlike regular blood donation in which donors have to wait for red blood cells to replenish between donations, plasma can be donated more frequently, as often as twice a week.

“Convalescent serum therapy could be a vital treatment route, because unfortunately there is relatively little to offer many patients except supportive care, and the ongoing clinical trials are going to take a while. We don’t have that much time,” Salazar said

UHCL professor gives expertise on how small businesses can survive COVID-19

March 27th, 2020

With the arrival of the coronavirus, Bay Area small businessmen and women find themselves facing a number of problems.

One of the most worrisome, and the one affecting so many is what’s ahead for small businesses feeling the financial strain after closing their doors so as to maintain social distancing practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the country struggles with the COVID-19 concerns.

UH-Clear Lake Associate Professor of Management Troy Voelker thinks a small business owner could mitigate a potentially devastating financial setback by considering some suggestions.

First, he suggests staying up to date on any bailouts or assistance coming from federal, state, or local government agencies.

“These come along quickly and the landscape will evolve very fast over the next few months,” he says. “Demand for assistance will be very high, so submitting your requests early and thoroughly must be a high priority. I would recommend making researching this topic the first thing a small business owner does in the morning, and the last thing he or she does at night. It’s changing that quickly.”

     Voelker also recommends that business owners maintain close contact with their supply chain and communicate clearly what is going on. “At the beginning of March, before all the shutdowns happened locally, small businesses were already reporting interruptions in their supply chains, especially those with China connections,” he said. “Those interruptions will only become more significant over time, so it’s important to continue communicating with vendors.”

     And, he points out that despite the difficulties, it’s possible to find ways to continue developing revenue.

     “For some businesses this is as simple as moving your consumer interactions to an online or pickup model, while other businesses might find they have ways of deriving revenue they never considered before,” he said. “In some cases, the business might need to identify other non-traditional opportunities for creating revenue. There will be a reduction in consumption over the next few months, so diversifying your revenue streams is a good way to respond to uncertainty.”

Layoffs have become a reality, with many hourly workers in service industries finding themselves stuck at home due to social distancing recommendations. Voelker said it’s important for a business owner to make sure his employees do not feel forgotten.

“Maintain contact with your employees as much as you can,” he said. “Even if you’re able to move to an online model, keeping up human connections while at a distance is just good business practice and an important part of life. Most of us are used to spending a lot of our time at work and the people we socialize with during the week are our coworkers, so separating from that is more stressful than many of us realize.”

This is a good time to address parts of the business that owners have been neglecting or haven’t had time for. “Don’t focus on the negativity of the circumstances,” Voelker said. “Use this time to figure out how to connect with future customers and work on things you haven’t had time for.”

Harris County extends Stay Home, Work Safe Order

March 20th, 2020

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced on Tuesday, March 31, the extension of the Stay Home, Work Safe order that will now run through April 30. This announcement comes after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also ordered social distancing activities to be extended through the end of April.

The City of Seabrook continues to follow the orders of both the county and the state and said its city offices will remain closed to public access through the end of April. Essential city personnel will continue to serve the needs of the community.

“We highly encourage all residents and businesses to adhere to the orders and follow all social distancing recommendations from the CDC, state, and county.”

These additional recommendations are highly suggested:

  • Limit the number of times per week you go to the grocery store.
  • Consider having groceries delivered or using curbside pickup services.
  • Only get what you need at the store. Don’t hoard or stockpile. Leave items for others.
  • The trails and most parks remain open. Please practice social distancing when outdoors.
  • Do not host or attend block parties or other social gatherings.
  • Now is not the time for family get-togethers or playdates. Limit the number of people in your home to just your immediate family and/or caregivers.
  • Always wash your hands or use hand sanitizer immediately after pumping gas or going to public places.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • If you believe you have COVID-19 symptoms, please take the online assessment provided by Harris County Public Health.
  • If you have recently traveled to the states of Louisiana, California, Washington, or New York or the cities of Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit and/or Miami you should self-quarantine for 14 days per Governor Abbott’s recent travel restrictions order.

“Please do your part to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and continue to#StayHomeSeabrook,” a Seabrook spokesman said.

UH-Clear Lake takes COVID-19 action; classes to go online

March 12th, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

To allow faculty, staff and students to address professional and personal matters in response to the city of Houston and Harris County emergency health declarations and to do our part in minimizing the spread of COVID-19, we are taking the following actions at UH-Clear Lake, UH-Clear Lake at Pearland and all off-campus locations.

Classes (face-to-face and online), including lectures, seminars, discussions and/or presentations, will not be held next week (March 16-21). Beginning March 23, classes will be offered remotely (online or alternative format) until further notice.

Students are encouraged to stay home. Hunter Hall and Dining Services will be open for those deciding to return from spring break. Student Housing and Residential Life will be available, and all protocols regarding sanitization and hygiene to prevent the spread of the virus are being followed.

Faculty and staff may work from home to the extent that they are able to perform their functions remotely and with prior approval from their supervisor and Human Resources. All UH-Clear Lake campuses will remain open, and all offices and services will continue to operate until further notice. Research labs will be open, and related services will remain in operation.

Events and programming funded and sponsored by UH-Clear Lake are cancelled through April 30. If you have an event planned during the month of April that cannot be rescheduled, please consult with the vice president of your division.

Facilities will be maintained using sanitization and hygiene protocols as recommended by authorities. This includes increased custodial cleaning and the availability of hand sanitizer dispensers at all entrances, common areas and elevators.

At this time, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at UH-Clear Lake or any other system university. UH-Clear Lake’s Emergency Management team works with local, state and federal authorities on a daily basis. We will keep you informed about any updates as they relate to your work and learning at UH-Clear Lake. Meanwhile, we urge you to follow personal hygiene precautions and exercise social distancing measures as recommended by the CDC and local health authorities.

I understand that these precautionary measures may be inconvenient and disappointing to you, but we hope that these efforts can help minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Your health and safety are our priority.

Please find more information about COVID-19 at www.uhcl.edu/health-alert. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us by emailing healthalert@uhcl.edu. Further communication for faculty, staff and students will be forthcoming Thursday.

Sincerely,


Ira K. Blake, Ph.D.
UHCL President