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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Campus

Reopening update: UH campuses set to open on voluntary basis June 8


UH, which has been closed for 11 weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic, will partially reopen on June 8. | Christopher Charleston/The Cougar

UH, which has been closed for 11 weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic, will partially reopen on June 8. | Christopher Charleston/The Cougar

UH campuses, including, in Sugar Land and Katy, will partially reopen on a voluntary basis on June 8 after 12 weeks of being closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, President Renu Khator said on Tuesday in a statement.

Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order that allowed institutions of higher education to open their physical campuses June 1, but Khator said the University will taken an extra week for preparations.

“If anything, we have come to the realization that we have to learn to co-exist with the virus —professionally and personally — until an effective treatment or vaccine is found,” Khator said.

Khator’s task force completed the first phase in reopening campus after research labs on campus were allowed to operate beginning May 6.

Those participating in the second phase of reopening and returning to work on campus must complete the COVID-19 mandatory training, pass a self-health screening test and inform a chair or supervisor about the desire to work on campus, Khator said.

“Again, I ask that if you can perform your work remotely, please continue to do so,” Khator said.

Part of reopening will be limiting occupancy to 25 percent and following social distancing guidelines.

The next step of reopening is expected to begin in July, though the University did not specify a date or the third phase’s scope.

When students return in the fall semester, courses will be offered in three different formats: full on-campus experience, full online convenience and HyFlex course, which is delivered both in person and online at the same time by the same faculty member.

“I want to assure you that various task forces are working relentlessly to plan for these unprecedented times,” Khator said. “Please remember that our challenge is to perform our mission while keeping everyone safe, and we have to do so in an extremely unpredictable and evolving external environment.”

For more of The Cougar’s coronavirus coverage, click here.

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