Update from UHV President Bob Glenn
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
We appear to have come to a point in our situation that was inevitable: the COVID-19 virus is affecting JAX NATION. As you may be aware, Victoria College announced Monday that a staff member in its Student Services operation tested positive for the virus, and the college is taking steps to mitigate the situation. As it turns out, one of our UHV staff members in Victoria is an immediate family member of the individual who tested positive. This staff member has been tested and is awaiting results. It is important to note that this UHV staff member has been working and is continuing to work remotely, so there has been no exposure we are aware of for our campus community.
I also have just learned of another staff member in Victoria who has a child who was exposed to individuals who have tested positive. The child has been tested and is awaiting results. Again, this staff member has been working remotely, so the campus proper has not been exposed.
Finally, we have learned that a part-time student worker in Athletics has tested positive. The employee immediately went into quarantine, and I will be asking our staff to coordinate contact tracing with the county to make sure any potential exposure is determined, and the necessary corresponding action taken. To the best of our knowledge, this student worker has only been in the Athletics building in Victoria and on the soccer fields, so exposure to others should be limited by those variables.
All of this comes on the heels of Tuesday’s declaration of a local state of disaster by the Victoria mayor and Victoria County judge. While they did not put restrictions in place, they did urge continued vigilance, physical distancing and wearing masks. As you know, these elements already are mandated at UHV and UHV Katy. I concur with the message of our elected officials. The arc of the virus has not been completed, and we need to be aware that the numbers are going up, not down. I do not believe we need to become more restrictive on campus, but I encourage each of you to use the greatest caution and, in consultation with your supervisor, to work remotely when it makes sense to do so. If you are already working remotely, come to campus only when you feel it is necessary to the work you need to accomplish. We are committed to being as flexible as possible during this time of uncertainty.
We are not aware of any exposure to or occurrence of the virus at the UHV Katy instructional site. But again, since Houston is a virus hot spot, it will happen at some point, and we must continue to be vigilant and prepared.
Your health and safety are of paramount importance to the university. We will continue to monitor the situation and are in regular contact with our local health officials. We are in the process of creating a COVID-19 Operations Center to provide greater clarity on what must be done across UHV and UHV Katy as well as in individual cases. We always have known that the virus eventually would knock at our door. We take our responsibility to keep you safe very seriously. As more developments occur, we will communicate them to you as quickly as possible. Thank you for all you do.