How Can I Help?

Give Life


Give Blood

There’s not enough blood in the best of times, and there’s always a critical shortage during a regional emergency like a hurricane. You can imagine what happens to the supply when the crisis is global like this pandemic, and the way we are mitigating it is to tell people to stay home. But the need for blood never goes away, and hospitals like ours always have a need. There is no substitute.

To donate blood, contact one of UTMB Health’s regional blood partners, such as the MD Anderson Cancer Center Blood Bank

Local blood centers are taking special precautions to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Many, like MD Anderson, are scheduling appointments for donations and have eliminated walk-up donations or waiting in line outside a donor coach.

Healthy Families and Community

Keep Yourself Healthy

First, one major way to help is to do everything you can to keep yourself healthy and out of our care. The fewer people that get sick, the better we’ll be able to manage this crisis and return to pre-COVID life. So wash your hands, practice social distancing, wear a facemask and get your COVID vaccine. Listen to the guidance and instructions from your local government and public health officials.

Get your COVID-19 Vaccine

Get more information on staying well online

Help Each Other

The negative impact on families, businesses, jobs and livelihoods caused by the pandemic is unprecedented, and still evolving. People, even healthy ones, need help. Consider supporting local restaurants who are offering takeout, buy gift certificates to businesses that are temporarily closed. Reach out to local social service agencies to find ways to safely support their efforts.

Go online to explore ways to put your time and/or dollars to help.


COVID-19 Vaccine Research

Volunteer for a COVID-19 Vaccine at UTMBHelp our scientists in their efforts to find a vaccine for COVID-19. Our Sealy Institute for Vaccine Sciences is recruiting healthy volunteers ages 18-85 for a COVID-19 vaccine study. Participants must be available for about 7 scheduled visits over 24 mos. 

Every modern vaccine and medicine we have today was studied in hundreds to thousands of people before becoming available to the public. Involving people from all backgrounds  improves the development of any vaccine for everyone. Joining a clinical trial is an important and personal decision. We hope it is one you will consider.

Interested? Call 409-772-5278 or 832-340-2313, or email

Make a Donation

The outpouring of support from our local communities has been heartwarming and awe-inspiring. While our caregivers and other team members are on the frontline in the battle against this coronavirus, they are strengthened by the encouragement and extraordinary support of those we serve.


Donations of Food

Many area restaurants and businesses, victims themselves of the COVID-19 crisis, have very generously offered meals to our various teams. Thank you, we are grateful. We just ask that any gifts of food be individually wrapped and identified, or items must be boxed or bagged together. For more information, please send an email to


Donations of Love

We love the cards, notes, drawings by kids. Consider sending them in electronically, to keep your family indoors and reduce the risk of spreading the virus via paper. Share with us at and we will post for our staff to enjoy.


PPE and other Medical Supplies

In 2020, the national shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) made headlines. We’ve being very judicious with how we are using our stocked PPE, and our supplies have been and continue to be in good condition. We’ve also been fortunate to have had individuals and businesses share PPE supplies with us, and hve been able to distribute to needed sites. For more information, please send an email to


Donations of DIY PPE

The internet came alive with an army of incredible do-it-yourselfers who put their time, talent, sewing machines and crafting skills to good use creating DIY surgical masks, caps, face shields and more. The support and concern for our UTMB healthcare team, and other caregivers around the country, was empowering.

We’ve spoken with those coordinating our COVID response, and UTMB still has adequate supplies and is not using DIY products in our healthcare setting. In the meantime, there are many volunteer groups engaged in activities such as delivering food that could use support and make use of some of these products. Please consider contacting your local United Way, Salvation Army, or other support agencies about the donation of DIY masks and similar products.

Support the Science

Help fund our research

A recent headline in the Houston Chronicle posed an intriguing question: "UTMB once helped defeat Ebola. Can it replicate that success with coronavirus?"

It's an urgent priority. Every day, the number of COVID-19 infections continues to grow and the death toll continues to mount.

At UTMB, we're hard at work on a solution. UTMB's research talent is at the forefront of the global fight against infectious diseases, including this newest coronavirus.

COVID-19As one of only two laboratories of its kind in the United States, our Galveston National Laboratory was established in 2009 to provide advanced research on and develop countermeasures against the world's worst infectious diseases. Throughout the lab, UTMB researchers are attacking the virus on several fronts:

  • We're hard at work on a vaccine.
  • We're developing a better test that can detect asymptomatic carriers of the disease.
  • And we've devised a tool for rapid evaluation of the antibody-inducing capabilities of potential vaccines, reducing the time it takes to get a vaccine to market.

But that work is resource intensive. Without philanthropic support from dedicated individuals, life-saving advances like these are elusive.

We know many are facing trying times. Lives have been upended. Livelihoods have been compromised, and communities have been torn apart.

If you can, please consider investing in a solution and helping us restore hope.

Contact US

Have a question or suggestion for us?

Contact our UTMB COVID-19 Community Outreach Team at

Together, we’ll WORK WONDERS to get through this.
Thank you.

Thank You

Thank You to our Neighborhood Heroes

It takes a village, and our village has been incredible! We've seen an outpouring of support, encouragement and donations from individuals, small local businesses and large organizations. Thank you. Your support fuels and inspires us.

COVID-19 General FAQs


  • What is COVID-19

    Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The novel coronavirus, now known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

    While COVID-19 causes only mild illness in some infected individuals, it may cause serious lower respiratory infection leading to hospitalization and even death.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers this factsheet highlighting important information you should know about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-10).

    Last modified on 3/16/2020

  • How do I help prevent the spread of COVID-19 if I am sick?
    • Stay home unless you need medical care
    • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
    • Call ahead before visiting a clinic
    • Wear a mask
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes
    • Clean your hands often
    • Avoid sharing personal household items
    • Clean all “high touch” surfaces every day
    • Monitor your symptoms

    Last modified on 3/10/2020

  • Can I get tested for the coronavirus? What’s the process?

    Patients with symptoms of respiratory illness, including cough, fever or shortness of breath, can schedule online or contact the UTMB Health Access Center at (800) 917-8906 to speak with our 24/7 nurse hotline.

    • Patients should follow recommendations for testing, self-isolation and management of symptoms.
    • Any patient experiencing a worsening of symptoms—particularly shortness of breath—a few days after first becoming ill should contact the Access Center IMMEDIATELY. To keep our patients and employees safe, UTMB tests our patients for COVID-19 in advance of any procedure or hospital admission.
    • To keep our patients and employees safe, UTMB tests our patients for COVID-19 in advance of any procedure or hospital admission.
    • You may also wish to check with your local county health officials for testing available through local government. In Galveston County, Health District testing information is online.

    Please note: Our process and procedures may be updated as the COVID-19 situation develops in our region.

    Last modified on 10/16/2020

  • Can COVID-19 spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects?

    It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

    How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

    The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas.

    Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

    Last modified on 3/16/2020

  • Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
    • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
    • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

    Last modified on 3/5/2020

  • If someone has minor symptoms and tests positive for COVID-19, can they be isolated at home instead of a hospital?

    At this time, patients testing positive for COVID-19 who have mild symptoms, are not over age 60 and do not have an underlying medical condition are advised to isolate at home. If a patient with COVID-19 is concerned, begins to experience shortness of breath, starts feeling worse a week or so into the illness, is over age 60 or has an underlying medical condition, they are strongly encouraged to call their doctor or the UTMB Access Center at (800) 917-8906 to speak with our 24/7 nurse hotline.

    Last modified on 3/16/2020