University of Houston-Victoria

Emergency Management

General

A. General

  1. Direction and Control procedures will be flexible and adaptable to all pandemic influenza periods and phases as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), the CDC as well as guidance provided by local public health authorities.
  2. The President of the University retains authority for making decisions affecting the University. All decisions to be made should be based on federal, state, and/or local recommendations/mandates and applicable best practices of other institutions. These decisions may include issuing travel advisories, suspending mass gatherings (including classes), suspending research, suspending normal university operations, and resumption of university operations.
  3. The Victoria County Health Department serves as the health authority for the university and is responsible for making recommendations to the UHV Administration.
  4. UHV-EM is responsible for supporting departments in implementing their respective all-hazards and pandemic influenza plans as needed. UHV-EM will encourage all UHV departments to maintain open and frequent communication with UHV-EM to improve coordination related to a pandemic flu event. UHV-EM will coordinate with UHV Administration to share situational awareness.

B. Incident Command System - Emergency Operations Interface

  1. The UHEM may or may not be physically activated during an influenza pandemic. If social distancing measures are in place, UHV administration may decide that the physical UHVEM will not be staffed. However, the UHVEM will be activated in concept as stated in the UHV Emergency Management Plan (EMP).

C. Decision Making

The priorities of decisions may change as the situation evolves.

  1. Cancellation of Special Events
  2. Cancellation of Classes
    1. The decision whether to suspend classes —or when to suspend classes— will be the most difficult and critical decision that the University leadership may make during a pandemic event. These decisions will be made and implemented based on information received from various entities including University departments/units,county, state, and national authorities, and other advisories gathered during the pandemic event.
    2. The following decision points are only a guide to the decision-making process and may not be the only considerations. As the pandemic unfolds, new information may provide alternative choices.
      1. Decision Points
        1. Transmissibility
        2. Morbidity
        3. Mortality
        4. Geographic spread
        5. Proximity of confirmed cases
        6. Victoria County Health Department recommendations
        7. Closing of K-12 public schools
        8. Closing of Victoria area colleges and universities
        9. Rising employee absenteeism
        10. Assessment of stakeholder's risk perception
  3. Initiation of Telecommuting
  4. Suspension of Research
  5. Cancellation of University Operations
    1. The decision whether to close the University —or when to close— will also be a difficult and critical decision that the University leadership may make during a pandemic event. This policy decision will be made and implemented based on information received from various entities including University departments/units,county, state, and national authorities, and other advisories gathered during the pandemic.
    2. The following decision points are only a guide to the decision-making process and may not be the only considerations. As the pandemic unfolds, new information may provide alternative choices.
      1. Decision Points
        1. Transmissibility
        2. Morbidity
        3. Mortality
        4. Geographic spread
        5. Proximity of confirmed cases
        6. Victoria County Health Department recommendations
        7. Closing of K-12 public schools
        8. Closing of Victoria area colleges and universities
        9. Rising employee absenteeism
        10. Assessment of stakeholder's risk perception
  6. Resumption of Normal Operations
    1. Resumption of Normal Operations should be predicated on the recommendations of federal, state, and/or local health authorities. Other factors for university resumption should be:
      1. Decreased morbidity and/or mortality rate
      2. Decreased rate/speed of disease spread
      3. Other regional schools/school systems resuming operations
      4. Transportation systems opening/increasing interstate travel
      5. Availability of sufficient faculty and staff to support resumption of classes and research

Coordination with the Public Health Authority

  1. The public health authority for the University of Houston-Victoria is Victoria County Health Department' Medical Director. The Victoria County Health Department serves as a key resource in preparedness and coordination of the public health response and recovery activities during a pandemic influenza or other public health incident.
  2. In addition, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) plays a support role.