The University of Houston current operations plan charts our path for keeping our community safe while advancing toward our academic, research, personal and institutional goals. It is designed with the flexibility and compassion needed in this dynamic environment. While there is no way to eliminate all risk, we have strived to create a learning, working and living environment that is as safe as possible and a will allow us to minimize transmission of COVID-19 and, if necessary, quickly adapt our instruction should circumstances change during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As 2020 drew to a close, UH President Renu Khator announced a two-plan strategy for the University of Houston to remain flexible in the spring 2021 semester. The University is currently operating under Plan B.
This assumes that the virus will be contained, and the environment will be generally safe for campus instruction.
- A quarter of the classes will provide a face-to-face option for students.
- All staff will come to campus to work at least two days a week. If our students are on campus, it is important that all services are available on campus. Supervisors will have the authority to grant exceptions on a case- by-case basis for valid reasons.
- All research labs will be fully functional.
- We will remain flexible enough to shift online should the conditions warrant.
This assumes that the virus is spreading rapidly, and the environment is not safe for students, faculty and staff to return to campus.
- Limited classes will be held on campus, the same as for Fall 2020 semester.
- Limited Faculty and staff will work remotely. Essential personnel will continue to be on campus, the same as for Fall 2020 semester.
- Research labs and offices will be open, the same as for Fall 2020 semester.
The spring 2021 semester begins Jan. 19. The spring calendar will remain the same, including Spring Break (March 15-20).
- Course delivery options in the spring prioritize student choice, accommodate health and safety concerns. Course delivery options range from face-to-face in a socially distanced classroom to fully online and allow the University to make rapid adjustments should a COVID-19 resurgence require a return to full-remote operations.
- Classroom capacity has been reduced to accommodate social distancing requirements, and classrooms have been outfitted with new equipment to accommodate online learning.
- A daily health assessment, face coverings and social distancing is required for both faculty and students in face-to-face courses.
Campus Health and Wellness
- A daily health assessment and face coverings are required for all individual on campus each day.
- Maintain six feet of social distancing, practice good hand hygiene and cough etiquette.
- COVID-19 training and certification is required by faculty, staff and students prior to a return to campus.
- Employees, students, vendor and visitors are required to report a COVID-19 diagnosis or symptoms to UH and follow the established protocols, which include self-quarantine/isolation and written approval to return to campus.
Free COVID-19 Testing
The University of Houston is partnering with the well-known testing company Curative to provide a free, walk-up kiosk on campus where faculty, students and staff can be tested (painless PCR saliva swabs) regardless of whether they have symptoms. The testing service is expected to begin on Jan. 20, 2021. It will be centrally located and open to faculty, staff and students with their UH Cougar Card identification. Additional information on location and appointments will be updated on the On-Campus Testing page, once the details are finalized.
- The Student Health Center is operating normally. All aspects of the clinic are open and available to our students, including Psychiatry, Women’s clinic, General Medicine, Lab and Pharmacy. Call us at 713-743-5151 to schedule your appointment.
- Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers on-campus services by APPOINTMENT ONLY at the Health 2 Building for individuals in acute crisis and individuals without access to technology or privacy needed for teletherapy services. All other CAPS services will continue to operate via Teletherapy (phone and video) and can be reached at 713-743-5454, 24/7.
University of Houston has implemented numerous, enhanced cleaning and safety practices to lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure and its spread. Everyone has a role to play in stopping the spread.
We’re committed to preventing COVID-19, but we can’t do it alone. We each have a role to play to stop the spread.
Learn more about COVID-19 Prevention >>
COVID-19 Case Response
The University of Houston COVID Response plan uses public health guidance and best practices aimed at fostering a culture of care for our community while taking steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as the University of Houston gradually returns faculty, staff and students to the campus environment.
- Employees, students, vendor and visitors are required to report a COVID-19 diagnosis or symptoms to UH and follow the established protocols, which include self-isolation and written approval to return to campus.
- If the individual has been diagnosed tested positive for COVID-19, UH’s Contact Tracing team begins the case investigation to identify persons who may have been exposed. Members of the UH community identified as close contacts (those within six feet of the individual for longer than 15 minutes within the infectious period) who may have been exposed to the individual with COVID will be notified as rapidly and sensitively as possible.
- UH Facilities works with the Office of Emergency Management and UH Contact Tracing team to identify all spaces that may have been impacted. The areas used by an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 will be secured as necessary, to prevent further use until these areas are cleaned and disinfected by crews specially trained on CDC protocols. More information on the university’s cleaning response to a positive case can be found on Cleaning After a Positive Case.
UH regularly updates positive cases of COVID-19 among members of our UH community by updating the data on the Positive Case Reporting page.
UH communicates positive cases to the UH community by following these protocols:
Contact Tracing Notification
- “Reporting COVID-19 UH Diagnosis” form is received
- Contact Tracing investigation begins if the case has been on campus during the infectious period. UH close contacts are identified and notified.
Cleaning & Facilities Notifications
- Signage is posted, and in some cases, the building coordinator is notified if a space is undergoing disinfection cleaning.
- Facilities Outage Notification is sent to building coordinators and occupants if building access is restricted or building operations disrupted.
- UH Registrar will notify students and instructors if a classroom space is temporarily unavailable
- More information on the university’s cleaning response to a positive case can be found on Cleaning After a Positive Case.
Supervisor Notification to Office/Group
- Supervisors may notify staff who have potentially been exposed
Website Dashboard Report
- Positive Case Dashboard is updated daily Monday-Friday
The University will not disclose names of individuals who self-report a diagnosis or symptoms due to privacy law.