08:38 AM

UHD President's Message: Update on COVID-19 Protocols per Gov. Abbott's Executive Order

Dear UHD Community,

Yesterday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued Executive Order 36 prohibiting governmental entities from requiring the wearing of face coverings. Based on this Executive Order, and with guidance from the UH System Office, the University of Houston-Downtown will no longer require individuals to wear masks or other face coverings while on campus beginning Wednesday, May 19.

The choice to wear a mask while on campus is now a voluntary one. Individuals who have not been vaccinated are encouraged to continue wearing masks to protect themselves and other members of the UHD Community. Likewise, individuals who prefer to wear a mask are certainly free to do so.

The safety and well-being of our campus remain paramount for the Gator Community. While we comply with Gov. Abbott's directive regarding masks, I do ask that you follow other safety protocols out of an abundance of caution – both for yourself and for others. This includes performing a self-screening before coming to campus and washing your hands often. All are encouraged to use the hand sanitation stations, touchless doors and other UHD facility enhancements to protect the health of everyone on our campus and beyond.

The University continues to encourage members of the campus community to get vaccinated. The next on-campus vaccination event is scheduled for Wednesday, June 9 in partnership with H-E-B. If you have any questions, visit the COVID-19 Website for details.

To say this last year has been a turbulent one is an understatement. I understand that just as well as you do. Something that I've come to appreciate in my time here at UHD is the steadfast resolve demonstrated by this community. In discussions with my predecessors, I've been told that this Gator resilience has been there throughout. And I remain committed to working together with all of you the entire way … safely.

As previously announced, UHD will transition to Step 3-Yellow on June 1 and to Step-4 Green on July 12. I will share more with you soon regarding safety protocols and other updates as UHD plans its return to campus.


Loren J. Blanchard, Ph.D.
President, University of Houston-Downtown