Dear Faculty and Staff,
We hope you are enjoying winter break, relaxing and spending time with loved ones. University leadership continues to monitor COVID-19 data statewide and specific to the greater Houston region. With the presence of the omicron variant, we will continue to adapt our health and safety strategies accordingly.
In preparation for our return to campus on Monday, January 3, it’s important that we continue taking appropriate precautions. Vaccination remains the leading prevention strategy to protect yourself and those around you, including a booster immunization for all individuals 18 and older. Masks have also been helpful in reducing the spread of COVID-19, and we strongly encourage face coverings.
Earlier this week (Dec. 27), the CDC updated its guidelines on isolation and quarantine. UH is in the process of amending our current protocols to reflect the new guidelines, which are posted on the CDC website. The changes include:
- People with COVID-19 should isolate for five days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by five days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people they encounter.
- For anyone in the general public who is exposed to COVID-19:
- For people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than two months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, CDC now recommends quarantine for five days followed by mask use for an additional five days.
- Individuals who have received their booster shot do not need to quarantine following an exposure but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure.
For those who have not been fully vaccinated, we recommend weekly COVID-19 testing to check for asymptomatic infection that might be transmitted to others who may be susceptible to COVID-19, such as individuals who have not been vaccinated and individuals with weakened immune systems. UH offers free COVID-19 testing by appointment classes at the Curative kiosk in front of the UH Student Center South. Testing appointments will resume Jan. 3.
Please refer to our COVID-19 website on a regular basis for updated information about UH’s continuing response to the pandemic.
We appreciate your commitment to these needed precautions. Your vigilance to these safety measures has allowed our students to progress academically, our research enterprise to thrive and the college experience to return.
Your willingness to care for and support one another will help our community prevail, together, through these challenges as we prepare for the start of spring semester classes on Jan. 18. Thank you for your commitment to the University of Houston and best wishes for a healthy and successful 2022.
Paula Myrick Short
Raymond S. Bartlett
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Senior Vice President for Administration & Finance