Earlier today a message was sent to all instructors that contains important information regarding spring instruction. I would encourage you to read this message, located here. In particular, I want to highlight two items in this communication.
First, due to the significant number of positive tests seen among students who returned to campus at the start of classes last week, we are asking all students scheduled to arrive later this week or weekend to refrain from returning to in-person classes until their first “on arrival” PCR test result (through our campus testing program) comes back negative. Test results are typically received within 24-48 hours, so returning students should plan accordingly for classes next week. If you haven’t scheduled your test yet, know that appointments are still available on Saturday and Sunday - and please try to secure a test appointment as close to your arrival to Houston/campus as possible. If your testing schedule makes it likely that you will not be able to attend classes in person early next week, please contact your instructors now to make arrangements for your absence from class.
Second, and related to my previous point, the message to instructors discusses accommodations for students if they have to miss classes due to illness. Please remember that circumstances surrounding COVID require all of us to remain flexible in how we manage classroom and other interactions in the time ahead. As part of this, take care to communicate with instructors in as timely a manner as possible if you will miss class - ideally before class begins. You have an obligation to keep instructors informed of your circumstances, so be sure to keep them updated.
Looking ahead, we continue to monitor the COVID situation in Houston and on our campus. My hope is that circumstances will improve steadily in the weeks to come, allowing us to relax restrictions that remain in place (including indoor dining in group settings and alcohol consumption) in the near term.
Welcome back to those returning later this week and weekend, and best wishes to all.
Bridget Gorman, Dean of Undergraduates