Coronavirus (COVID-19) UTMB Daily Update

As of 3:30 p.m., Sept. 2, 2020

Sep 2, 2020, 15:57 PM by COVID-19 Communications

This will be the final Incident Command Update related to COVID-19 for the time being. Additional communications will be sent at a later date as warranted. Check for information relevant to you and your role in our ongoing pandemic response. Also continue to pay attention to specific instructions from your department or school.

As of 3:30 p.m., Sept. 2, 2020:

Tropical Weather Update

    • There is currently no major risk of tropical weather activity in the next 7 days for areas where UTMB has operations.
    • UTMB continues to monitor conditions as we approach the statistical peak of our hurricane season in mid-September.
  • COVID-19 testing and patient data as of September 2, 2020 (UTMB Health System)

UTMB tests performed for UTMB patients and employees, nursing homes and Galveston County Health District screenings
Cumulative from March 13, 2020, to 9 a.m., September 2, 2020


Positive results from these tests
Cumulative from March 13, 2020, to 9 a.m., September 2, 2020


Patients Under Investigation for COVID-19 (PUI)
Currently hospitalized across the UTMB Health System, as of 9 a.m., September 2, 2020; “PUI” = tested and awaiting results


COVID-19-positive patients in UTMB hospitals
Currently hospitalized, as of 9 a.m., September 2, 2020; does not include TDCJ offenders


COVID-19-positive TDCJ patients in Hospital Galveston
Currently hospitalized, as of 9 a.m., September 2, 2020


COVID-19-positive UTMB hospital patients discharged to home Cumulative as of 9 a.m., September 2, 2020


Deaths among UTMB hospital patients with COVID-19
Cumulative from April 9, 2020, to 9 a.m., September 2, 2020; excludes deaths that occur outside of UTMB hospitals (e.g., nursing home, home hospice) and TDCJ offenders


Deaths among TDCJ patients in Hospital Galveston with COVID-19
Cumulative from April 9, 2020, to 9 a.m., September 2, 2020


  • UTMB’s Department of Healthcare Epidemiology and the Employee Health Clinic
     collaborate to manage employee exposures and return-to-work in accordance with CDC guidance and other clinical best practices. When employees are exposed (whether in the community or at work) or begin to exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, both teams follow these established processes to get employees tested and placed on leave, as necessary. As of today:
    • Less than 0.5% of our employee population is unable to work due to COVID-19.
    • UTMB has tested 7,128 of its employees since the pandemic began.
    • 705 employees have tested positive during that time.
    • In the last 24 hours, no employees have tested positive, while one has returned to work.
  • Updated visitation policy: Effective immediately, the visitation policy for adult med/surg units for Jennie Sealy Hospital, Angleton Danbury Campus Hospital, League City Campus Hospital and Clear Lake Campus Hospital will allow two visitors per patient per day, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visits are limited to 30 minutes.

    No change has been made to the visitation policy for Women’s, Infants and Children’s units.

    Any special requests for visitation outside of the current policy need to go through the Clinical Operations Administrator for approval.
  • UTMB is now publishing test positivity rate data for Galveston County residents who are UTMB patients (outpatient and inpatient).The information is updated daily at
  • Reminder: Employees should use their identification badges to access restricted buildings on UTMB campuses, and should ensure that fellow employees likewise badge into buildings that have restricted access.
  • Shared by the UTMB RISE (Resilience in Stressful Events) Task Force, these Weekly Wellness Tips are just one way we can all work to stay emotionally healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    This week’s tips focus on inspirational quotes to help guide resilience:
    • Positivity: “Resilience isn’t a single skill. It’s a variety of skills and coping mechanisms. To bounce back from bumps in the road as well as failures, you should focus on emphasizing the positive.”—Jean Chatzky
    • Courage: “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”—Mary Anne Radmacher
    • Act: “Forget mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you are going to do right now, and do it. Today is your lucky day.”—Will Durant
    • Flexibility: “Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.”—Anthony Robbins
    • See Opportunity: When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”—Helen Keller
    • Gratitude: “It's a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.”―Germany Kent
    • Self-Awareness: “Take an inventory of the things that no longer serve your best and highest good so you can replace them with things which do.”―Susan C. Young
    • Inner Strength: “Like tiny seeds with potent power to push through tough ground and become mighty trees, we hold innate reserves of unimaginable strength. We are resilient.”—Catherine DeVrye
    • Focus on Solutions: “Become more resilient by learning to focus on solutions rather than problems.”—Byron Pulsifer
  • Take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 throughout our region:
    • Take appropriate precautions in your daily life—both at work and at home—to reduce the risk of infection.
    • Monitor your health every day before arriving to a UTMB campus or clinic.
    • Use the attestation stations to verify your wellness each day at the UTMB health care facilities where they have been installed. For those who work or visit UTMB facilities that don’t have the stations installed, please complete the online Self-Screening Attestation form at prior to beginning a shift.
    • Stay home if you are ill.
    • As required, wear a mask in all public areas of UTMB, including non-clinical buildings. Public areas include lobbies, hallways, elevators, conference rooms, classrooms, restrooms, break rooms and work rooms.
    • Wear a mask when out in public on your personal time.
    • Maintain physical distance from others (minimum of 6 feet whenever possible).
    • Avoid gathering in large groups.
    • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Cover coughs and sneezes.
    • The formula for success is masking AND distancing AND hygiene, not one OR another.
    • Thank you for your continual efforts to keep our workplace and our communities safe and healthy.
  • UTMB remains on emergency status and employees may be reassigned to a different area when necessary to preserve our mission. Thank you for your continued flexibility as we work together to respond to the pandemic.
  • Visit for information on how we’re keeping our patients and employees safe as we continue to increase our clinical services.

This update sent by the Office of Marketing and Communications, on behalf of President ad interim Dr. Ben G. Raimer and the UTMB Health Incident Command leadership.


Resources for:

COVID-19 General FAQs


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

  • 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

  • Patients with symptoms of respiratory illness, including cough, fever or shortness of breath, should contact the UTMB Health Access Center at (800) 917-8906 to speak with our 24/7 nurse hotline.
  • The nurse hotline will advise the patient on what to do next, including the most appropriate clinic location for evaluation if needed.
  • Patients should follow provider 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. 
  • 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 4/29/2020

This is one of the topics that remains under study; it's still not certain exactly how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces. According to the World Health Organization, studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days (at one point nine days was mentioned, which the latest studies suggest may be unlikely). Survival of the virus will vary under different conditions, including type of surface, temperature, humidity and moisture, exposure to sunlight, and other factors.

If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Wash your hands with soap and water or clean them with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose. 

Last modified on 3/14/2020

There are no plans for UTMB to serve as a general quarantine facility in the case of an outbreak in our area. As always, we are prepared to care for patients who need hospitalization due to COVID-19 or any illness.

Last modified on 3/12/2020

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Last modified on 3/5/2020

COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes and to what extent it may spread in the United States.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Last modified on 3/5/2020

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

  • 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

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

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