Coronavirus (COVID-19) UTMB Daily Update

Employee Screening at all UTMB Health clinical facilities

Mar 31, 2020, 10:19 AM by COVID-19 Communications

Based on direction from Texas Health and Human Services, all hospitals are required to screen employees and faculty members who work in an inpatient hospital location, a process that is similar to the screening UTMB has already implemented for visitors to patients.

On March 19, employees and faculty members started being asked health screening questions upon entrance. If the employee or faculty member answers yes to any of the questions, they are be asked to refrain from entering the building and instructed to call their supervisor for further guidance.

UTMB is conducting screenings at all entry points to UTMB ambulatory clinics, hospitals and emergency departments where we currently see patients face to face. Anyone entering a health care facility (ambulatory, emergency room or inpatient), will be screened, and if symptomatic, denied entrance. (Get additional details.) 

All UTMB employees, faculty and staff must enter through the employee screening locations during the screening times outlined below. Employees will be issued a sticker each day when they pass the screening to show they have completed the process. All other badge access entrances will be closed/locked down, so employees will have to plan on a new entrance as above. Employees should plan for delays entering the buildings.

We ask your patience and adherence with this process and request that you use the following access points:


Jennie Sealy Hospital main lobby (24/7)

John Sealy Hospital  main lobby (24/7)

UHC clinic entrance (6 a.m. to 8 p.m.)

Since the main entrance in Research Building 6 will be closed, those who work in the Galveston National Laboratory and/or in the Academic Enterprise who enter through the cafeteria and or Starbucks will have to instead go through the entrance at John Sealy Hospital or UHC and complete employee screening.

In addition, the loading dock entrance will be restricted to deliveries only and will not be used as an employee entrance. 

League City (All Hours)

On the League City Campus, employees and faculty members should use the single door located to the left of main North Hospital entrance during the following times 

Employee Screening Hours:

  • 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Noon to 3 p.m.
  • 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

and otherwise enter the screening entry point at the hospital elevator lobby(24/7)

Clear Lake (All Hours)

On the Clear Lake Campus in Webster, employees and faculty members should use the second floor parking garage entrance during the following times:

Employee Screening Hours:

  • 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Noon to 3 p.m.
  • 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

and otherwise enter the screening entry point at the hospital elevator lobby(24/7)

Angleton Danbury (All Hours)

On the Angleton Danbury Campus, use the main hospital lobby entrance.(24/7)

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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