16:03 PM

UHD COVID-19 Update: Proposed Guidelines for Fall 2020

Dear UHD Faculty, Staff & Students,

We hope this message finds you and your families in good health.

UHD successfully completed the spring semester and has taken that momentum into the current summer sessions. Now, the focus is on fall and further ensuring the safety and well-being of our faculty, staff and students.

As you know, UHD’s COVID-19 Response Taskforce has been working diligently to establish guidelines to ensure the continuity of the University’s academic mission and its campus operations.

Interim President Dr. Antonio D. Tillis and UHD Leadership have accepted the conceptual framework of recommendations offered by the Taskforce to safely conduct the fall semester.

In the spirit of transparency, the full recommendations are available to view online. Much like the changing nature of the virus, these recommendations are evolving to ensure the University makes the best decisions for the fall semester and for its community.

These proposed guidelines align with state, city and county directives, as well as recommendations from public health officials. They also are guided by Harris County’s color coded Response Step Assessment that was recently initiated by Judge Lina Hidalgo.

A current draft of UHD’s corresponding Response Step Assessment is currently online and a summarized outline of Steps 1 - 4 is as follows:.

  • RED: Essential personnel will continue to work on campus. Faculty and staff access to UHD buildings will require signing in at the UHD Police Department. Classes will remain online. (Please note that employees who are designated as essential personnel will be contacted directly by Employment Services and Operations.)
  • ORANGE: Limited personnel (designated by UHD Leadership) will be allowed to work on campus; the University will determine whether in-person classes will be conducted on campus; online classes will continue as scheduled.
  • YELLOW: The number of on-campus personnel will be expanded to meet critical needs and to provide in-person services; classes will continue in their scheduled formats (online, online interactive, hybrid, face-to-face).
  • GREEN: The campus is open to employees and students with safety protocols in place; walk-in services will resume; classes will continue in scheduled formats.

This week, Harris County and UHD remain at RED. The University understands the impact that local school district operations have on students, faculty and staff, and will consider the activities of HISD (which announced its fall plans this week) and other school districts.

Planning to safely return for the fall semester requires the expertise from across the University. We recognize that all of the details about the fall semester are not yet included in this message, and that you have many questions. However, please rest assured that many individuals are working hard to develop thoughtful plans that place your safety as the top priority. Working together, we can plan and implement a safe and dynamic experience for students, faculty and staff.

More details about the fall semester will be communicated next week, and your questions are certainly welcome at coronavirus@uhd.edu

Information about the fall semester, and UHD’s Response Step Matrix can be found on the University’s Coronavirus website. Additional details, including specifics about the degree to which offices will operate virtually, will be shared with the UHD Community soon. For questions or feedback related to UHD’s planning and response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, please email coronavirus@uhd.edu.