COVID-19 Update

HSC Team:

The HSC Reopening Committee is focused on the safety and well-being of faculty, staff and students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of this effort, the Reopening Committee reviewed recent updates to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) revised options amending the 14-day quarantine guidance regarding exposures.

The CDC continues to endorse quarantine for 14 days, but allows for a shorter 10-day quarantine to lessen the economic burden on families and stressed public health systems.

The CDC states: “… a 14-day quarantine can impose personal burdens that may affect physical and mental health as well as cause economic hardship that may reduce compliance. Implementing quarantines can also pose additional burdens on public health systems and communities, especially during periods when new infections, and consequently the number of contacts needing to quarantine, are rapidly rising. Lastly, the prospect of quarantine may dissuade recently diagnosed persons from naming contacts and may dissuade contacts from responding to contact tracer outreach if they perceive the length of quarantine as onerous.”

The CDC’s analysis states that with a 10-day strategy, residual post-quarantine transmission risk is estimated to be about 1% with an upper limit of about 10%. Their data further shows that with the 7-day strategy, the residual post-quarantine transmission risk is estimated to be about 5% with an upper limit of about 12%.

As of Dec. 4, neither the State of Texas nor our local public health authority – which determines and establishes quarantine guidance in our local jurisdictions – have made changes to the CDC’s recommendation of a 14-day quarantine.

Additionally, our experience has been that the 14-day quarantine has been extremely successful with no reports of employees or students acquiring symptoms and/or positive testing after this timeframe.

After careful review, we are maintaining the current 14-day quarantine period for our campus. We will continue to track any new guidelines or recommendations. More information about HSC’s COVID-19 campus guidelines is available online.

Thank you for your time,
Reopening Committee