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Coronavirus FAQ

About COVID19 (Coronavirus)

page updated 5/22/2020 8:15 a.m.

What should I do if I am having COVID-19 symptoms?
If you have COVID-19 related symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, headaches, sore throat, or a sudden loss of taste or smell), report symptoms on the COVID-19 Diagnosis Form. Follow CDC Guidelines related to isolation and symptom management.  

Do not come to campus with COVID-19 symptoms. Seek medical care as needed.  Notify your respective supervisor and/or professor(s).  Students can contact Student Health Services at 713-221-8137 or  Follow Texas Department of State Health Services Guidelines for Discontinuing In-Home Isolation and submit a Request to Return to Campus Form when you no longer have symptoms.

How can you discontinue home isolation?
Follow Texas Department of State Health Services Guidelines for Discontinuing In-Home Isolation and submit a Request to Return to Campus Form when you no longer have symptoms.


What is the protocol for Personal, Domestic, and International Travel?
As Texas reopens, please remember to adhere to UHD’s expanded travel policy restricting all university-sponsored domestic and international travel through at least July 31, 2020. If you have traveled internationally since February 1, 2020 (to include cruises), then report international travel on this Travel Form.  Self-monitor for symptoms and quarantine for 14 days.  Upon completion of quarantine, submit a Request to Return to Campus Form

What about faculty staff and students who are considering personal travel? 
Please give careful consideration to the risks involved and make wise decisions that take into account your personal health, the health and well being of those around you, and the health of the entire UHD community. Consider Governor Abbott’s travel restrictions when planning travel.  If a 14-day self-quarantine period is required after traveling, faculty, staff and students will need to complete an Exposure Form and later a Request to Return to Campus Form at the end of the 14-day self-quarantine period and may not access any UHD campus (UHD, Lone Star College-Kingwood, UHD Northwest, Lone Star College-Cy-Fair, Houston Community College – Coleman Campus) until cleared to return.    

Does the University require faculty, staff and students who travelled internationally to self-quarantine? 
Yes. Faculty, staff and students are required to self-quarantine for 14 days following their return. UHD community members who have traveled internationally since February 1 and/or are planning travel to these destinations are required to submit a travel registration form.  If a 14-day self-quarantine period is required, faculty, staff and students will need to complete a Request to Return to Campus Form at the end of this self-quarantine period and may not access any UHD campus (UHD, Kingwood, Northwest, Cy-Fair, Coleman) until cleared to return.  

Are there any confirmed COVID-19 cases at University of Houston-Downtown?
Two UHD employees have tested positive for COVID-19.  If, during the course of any investigation, it is determined that someone is at risk, the person will be contacted directly through UHD's contact tracing process. 

Do I need to wear a mask on campus?
UHD is now requiring face masks for those staff working on-campus in situations where they are in close proximity (within 6 feet) of others effective April 27, 2020 and until further notice. This requirement is also directed to all who are visiting campus, including students, contractors and visitors (10 years of age or older). 

Please note that face coverings do not need to be worn in the following circumstances:
  • When working alone in a single office
  • When engaging in physical activity outside
  • When doing so poses a greater mental or physical health, safety or security risk
  • While operating outdoor equipment if not appropriate from a safety standpoint
  • When consuming food or drink
Individuals are asked to wear a cloth bandana or face covering that covers their nose and mouth. Cloth face coverings should be washed daily. The use of surgical masks, surgical N-95 respirators of other medical masks is strongly discouraged to maintain the resources for health care providers and first responders. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing and regular handwashing. Continue to keep a distance of at least six feet between yourself and others.
Certain employees on campus, such as UHDPD consistent with their role as first responders, will be provided appropriate face coverings.

I’ve been diagnosed with COVID. What’s next in the reporting process? 
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 by a medical professional or via a COVID-19 test, then report the diagnosis on the COVID-19 Diagnosis Form and follow the advice of medical professionals to manage your symptoms. 

Follow Texas Department of State Health Services Guidelines for Discontinuing In-Home Isolation (fever free for 72 hours without use of medication) and submit a Request to Return to Campus Form when you no longer have symptoms or have two negative tests. 

I’ve had contact with someone with COVID-19? Should I report it? 
If you have had contact, during the last 14 days, with someone who has COVID-19, then submit an Exposure Form and quarantine for 14 days.  Submit a Request to Return to Campus Form when your quarantine has ended.  If you develop symptoms during your quarantine, refer to the section titled COVID-19 Symptoms.   

How do I know what I need to report? 
We’ve created a chart to help all faculty, students and staff understand the steps necessary to quarantine, report a diagnosis, an exposure and how to request to return to campus.

What should I do if an employee under my supervision is diagnosed with COVID-19?

First, remember that the employee will appreciate hearing your support while they recover from the illness.   
If the employee is at work, immediately send the employee home and notify Facilities Management.  Direct the employee to contact Benefits in ESO ( and submit a COVID Diagnosis form.  UHD officials are working in conjunction with local health departments to ensure that individuals who were potentially exposed to the COVID positive individual are contacted and directed to quarantine when warranted.  Anyone diagnosed with COVID shall not return to any UHD or UHS campus until they have submitted a Return to Campus Form and have received confirmation that they are allowed to return to campus.   

Will others in the department be told the identity of an employee under my supervision or co-worker who is diagnosed with COVID-19?
No. Confirmed cases of COVID-19 will be posted on the Coronavirus website. Individuals with confirmed cases of COVID-19 will not be identified.

What is the university doing in regard to bacterial and viral threats to student health?
University Facilities Management continues to monitor the CDC recommendations regarding daily routine cleaning and will continue to train personnel and make adjustments accordingly. Hand sanitizer stations have been added across campus.

UHD has implemented limited access to campus beginning March 23, 2020. Campus access is limited to essential personnel defined as only those needed to maintain campus infrastructure including a limited number of individuals from the UHD Police Department, Facilities Management, Information Technology and the mail room.

Will the university share information about students, faculty or staff who have traveled internationally?
In compliance with state and federal health privacy laws, the university will not release names or identifying information of any student or employee unless required to do so by law.

Can I self-quarantine on campus?
No. UHD does not have facilities on campus for self-quarantine.

How is UHD supporting students, faculty and staff returning from COVID-19 affected countries and what is required for their health monitoring?
UHD is following CDC guidance that recommends self-isolations, social distancing, and health monitoring for 14 days upon return to the U.S. Students, faculty and staff are asked to comply with the following recommendations:

  1. Complete the UHD Travel Registration Form.
  2. Self-quarantine for 14 days following CDC best practices.
  3. Be assessed and approved before returning to campus. Students can contact UHD Student Health Services at 713-221-8137, or email A notification of clearance to return will be sent from the Office of the Dean of Students. Faculty and staff should contact ESO via email at Returning students can receive additional support from Counseling Services, Office of the Dean of Students, Office of Title IX / Equity and Diversity, and Office of Study Abroad.

What does it mean to self-quarantine?
Stay home (or other location approved by your local health department). This means that you should not go to school, work, public areas, or attend large gatherings. If you need medical care, call your health care provider. Call ahead before you go to your doctor's office or to an emergency room. Tell them your symptoms and that you traveled to an area of the world experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak. Comprehensive steps for self quarantine and preventing the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) can be found on the CDC website.

  • Do not use public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
  • Postpone any travel. If travel is absolutely necessary, you need to coordinate with your local health department. If you travel and become ill, you may not be able to return home.
  • Wash your hands often and practice good hygiene.
  • Postpone all non-essential medical appointments until you are out of self-quarantine. If you have an essential appointment during the self-quarantine, contact your health care provider and explain that you have been in self-quarantine prior to your visit.
  • Consider minimizing contact with people and animals in your home (stay in your own room and, if possible, use your own bathroom). Avoid sharing personal household items such as dishes, towels, and bedding.

How can I make sure I do not fall behind in my classes while I am self-quarantined?
You should contact your professors and ask if you can perform academic work remotely. If you are unable to contact your professors, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students for assistance by emailing

Can UHD employees perform work during self-quarantine period?
Yes, UHD employees may be able to work remotely, with supervisor approval. Supervisors will inform employees how to report their time. Please review the documentation from ESO as well as the telecommuting agreement.

What do UHD employees do if they are not approved to work remotely during the self-quarantine period?
UHD employees will need to use sick leave or vacation leave or sick leave, if applicable, if they want the self-quarantine period to be paid leave. Please review the documentation from ESO regarding telecommuting.

What do I do after the 14-day self-quarantine period is over?
UHD students, faculty and staff will need to notify the University of their intent to return to campus and be approved to safely return to campus. Students should send an email to Faculty and staff should send an email to

Will I be able to return to the university after I send that email?
You will be provided a Request to Return to Campus Form to answer regarding any health symptoms you are experiencing. Based on your responses to the questionnaire, you may be directed to a health care provider before being approved to return to campus.

Do I have to go to class following self-quarantine?
Yes, after any applicable self-quarantine period and release you may return to class which are all online starting 3/23/2020. However, if you are feeling ill or have a respiratory illness of any kind, with fever and cough, you should stay home to prevent spreading it to others. If you are unable to attend class due to illness, you should contact your professor immediately via email or phone. Please refer to the course syllabus for your professor's contact information.

I am a UHD employee, do I have to go to work?
Yes, after any applicable self-quarantine period and release you should go to work. Most UHD employees are working remotely, with supervisor approval. Supervisors will inform employees how to report their time. Please review the documentation from ESO as well as the telecommuting agreement. However, if you are feeling ill or if you have a respiratory illness, with fever and cough, consider staying home to prevent spreading it to others. Contact your supervisor if you have questions about covering your work.

Who can I contact if I have symptoms?
Those with concerns about possible exposure should contact their primary health care provider. Students can contact UHD Student Health Services at 713-221-8137, or email

What do I do if I have close family members or friends that either test positively for Coronavirus or are self-quarantined?
If you have reason to believe that you may have been exposed, do not come to campus. Contact your physician or Student Health Services (713-221-8137, or email Depending on the determination, self-quarantine procedures may go into effect. Students who believe they may have been exposed through family members or friends, should also contact the Office of the Dean of Students at Faculty and staff who believe they may have been exposed through family members or friends, should contact Employment Services & Operations at

I plan on traveling, what should I know?
If you are planning to travel domestically or internationally, you will need to register with the university by completing a Travel Registration Form. If you are going abroad for personal travel — whether a vacation or returning home — we ask you to consider the following:

  • Know that situations and conditions surrounding COVID-19 are dynamic and could change while you are traveling, potentially complicating return logistics. Review the latest from the CDC here.
  • Before leaving, notify a family member or friend to share destination and contact information.
  • While traveling, take steps to prevent the spread of any respiratory virus by practicing good hygiene, such as regularly washing your hands.

What can I do if I am experiencing suspected bias or discrimination?
The University is committed to creating an inclusive climate for all of our community members. The CDC offers guidance on countering stigma related to this virus. If you believe that you are experiencing discrimination or bias related to your national origin, race, or other protected group, you may contact the UHD Office of Title IX / Equity & Diversity or call 713-221-5771.

I am a person impacted by the evolving global situation surrounding COVID-19. It has left me feeling anxious and worried. Where can I turn for help?
The University of Houston-Downtown recognizes this is a stressful situation for many members of our community. Benefits-eligible employees and their dependents may contact the Employee Assistance Program at 713-500-3327. Counseling services, either phone or video, will be available for students from UHD Student Counseling Services at 713-500-3852.

I am an international student on an F-1 visa. If classes are moved online, will it affect my F-1 status?
No. As long as you continue to participate in your classes remotely and return to campus when it reopens, your F-1 visa will remain in good standing.

How can I ensure that I receive timely communication from UHD?
Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to to update personal contact information to ensure they receive email and text notifications related to emergencies. Instructions for updating personal contact information.

COVID-19 Cyber Scams
The Department of Homeland Security has issued an advisory warning of scams involving COVID-19, and the UH System Information Security Office is already seeing phishing messages being received by faculty, staff and students. If you receive a suspicious phishing email to your UH email account, notify, and be aware of the following:

  • Cyber actors may send emails to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes.
  • Exercise caution in handling such emails— avoid clicking on links and downloading attachments.
  • Be wary of social media pleas, texts or calls related to COVID-19.
  • Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.

Last updated 5/22/2020 3:15 AM