Safe Return to Campus, June 15
Dear Faculty and Staff,
As announced in previous messages, the University of Houston-Downtown is in the process of planning a phased safe return of employees to campus. With guidance from University leadership, campus workgroups, local and state health officials, and the University of Houston System Reopening Taskforce, UHD will carefully and thoughtfully resume campus operations starting on June 15.
The safety of the UHD Community is the top priority at this time. In addition to its staffing limitations, the University is implementing precautionary measures aimed at ensuring the campus and its workspaces remain clean and sanitized.
These measures include:
Distribution of Personal Protective Equipment
- Upon arrival to UHD, employees will be provided with University issued safety bags containing personal protective equipment (PPE), identification badges and lanyards, hand sanitizer, masks and other helpful items. These bags will be distributed at campus entry points.
Masks Required in Public Areas of Campus
- In accordance with a Harris County order directing community members to wear protective masks in public, UHD also will require employees to wear masks (either personal masks or those distributed in UHD Safety Bags) in public areas of the campus.
- UHD will maintain a 6-foot social distancing rule on campus. Employees should make every effort to keep a safe distance when interacting with peers and supervisors. Meetings should be conducted using Zoom from respective offices. They also may be hosted within a space in which groups can maintain the appropriate social distancing protocols.
Limited Campus Access During Phase 1
- Employees returning to campus will only be able to enter campus at the following access points that will be staffed by security officers.
- One Main Building: Girard Street Garage (Garage Level 3, connects to One Main 2nd floor); North Dock Lobby; Contract Dock entrance
- Shea Street Building, Commerce Street Building, College of Sciences & Technology: Main entrances
- UHD employees and/or students must wear masks and lanyards with ID badges when entering campus buildings. Those without ID badges must sign in at the UHD Police Department.
- Visitors will not be allowed on campus during Phase 1 of the return to campus.
Elevator and Stairwell Protocol
- It is asked that employees practice safe elevator etiquette by limiting riders to four per car. Those inside should keep their masks on and stand in each corner of the elevator.
- Stairwells will be open. UHD community members should be aware of others walking up or down narrow stairways and allow proper space when passing someone or vice versa.
- All UHD buildings have been disinfected through a treatment process that involves fogging areas with a proprietary blend of disinfectants and cleaners, combined with an antimicrobial coating for porous and non-porous surfaces. This treatment process is proven to kill 99.99% of harmful microbes and inhibit microbial growth, and is designed to last approximately 60 days.
Plexiglass Shields in High Traffic Areas
- Clear, plexiglass shields will be installed in public-facing/front desk areas of the W.I. Dykes Library, Writing & Reading Center, Testing Center and the Welcome Center among other spaces on campus.
Dining on Campus / Break Rooms
- During Phase 1, food service will remain closed on campus.
- It is at the discretion of each office to decide whether to open break rooms during Phase 1 or keep them closed. If opened, employees should effectively manage traffic in the break room, limiting the number of people inside and practicing social distancing. Additionally, employees should clean and sanitize break rooms regularly.
- As communicated in a previous message, UHD has made two forms available to community members aimed at tracking confirmed cases of COVID-19 and exposure to confirmed cases of the virus. Complete details on these forms and reporting procedures are available on UHD’s Coronavirus Website.
The health and well-being of students, faculty and staff remains UHD’s top priority. Phase 1 is being conducted to help ensure the University Community’s safety while slowly and thoughtfully restoring UHD to being fully operational to serve the needs of its students and the region.
More details regarding Phase 1 of the community’s safe return to campus are forthcoming.
Thank you again for your continued support, flexibility and leadership during a challenging time for UHD and its students.