Campus Operations During COVID-19

The information on this page is intended to provide general guidance for Texas institutions of higher education (IHE) from the THECB as it pertains to various campus operations during this health emergency. THECB staff will update this guidance as we receive additional inquiries and information. Questions related to the reopening of various campus operations can be directed to Ray Martinez, Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs and Workforce Education, at ray.martinez@highered.texas.gov.

Impact of Executive Order GA-38 on Institutions of Higher Education

Executive Order GA-38 supersedes all previous COVID-19 related executive orders and rescinds them in their entirety, except for GA-37 (relating to the transportation of migrants during the COVID-19 disaster) and GA-17 (relating to the establishment of the Governor’s Strike Force to open Texas) and prohibits public institutions of higher education:

  • From compelling any individual to receive a COVID-19 vaccine administered under an emergency use authorization,
  • From requiring documentation regarding vaccination status for any COVID-19 vaccine administered under an emergency use authorization, and
  • From requiring any person to wear a face covering or to mandate that another person wear a face covering. An exception is made for “government-owned” and “government operated” hospitals, which may continue to use appropriate policies regarding the wearing of face coverings. Accordingly, public institutions of higher education – other than government-owned or government-operated hospitals – may not require the wearing of a face covering.

GA-38 also promotes best practices for mitigating the spread of COVID-19. For example, GA-38 includes the following language (underlines added):

  • “…Texans are strongly encouraged as a matter of personal responsibility to consistently follow good hygiene, social-distancing, and other mitigation practices”
  • “…receiving a COVID-19 vaccine under an emergency use authorization is always voluntary in Texas and will never be mandated by the government, but it is strongly encouraged for those eligible to receive one”
  • “…state and local officials should continue to use every reasonable means to make the COVID-19 vaccine available for any eligible person who chooses to receive one”
  • “In providing or obtaining services, every person (including individuals, businesses, and other legal entities) is strongly encouraged to use good-faith efforts and available resources to follow the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) health recommendations, found at www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus.

Please continue to monitor THECB’s COVID-19 FAQ page for further updates. If you have questions about this guidance, please contact Ray Martinez, Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs and Workforce Education, at ray.martinez@highered.texas.gov or (512) 653-3331.

 

 

Recommended Health Protocols for Institutions of Higher Education

The following health protocols are recommended for IHE for various campus operations. The practices specified are recommended to maintain safety for campus communities. The virus that causes COVID-19 is still circulating in our communities. We need to continue to observe practices that protect everyone, including those who are most vulnerable. IHE leaders may consider adopting additional protocols for their specific needs and circumstances to protect the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors. 

Now that campuses operations are fairly stable during COVID-19, the checklists for reopening posted for fall 2020, summer 2020, and Career and Technical Education have been archived. We have also archived the hyperlinks  for fall 2020 re-opening plans for Public Community, State, and Technical Colleges, Public Universities and Health-Related Institutions, and for Independent Colleges and Universities. These hyperlinks may still provide COVID-19 information for these campuses.