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Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health

Reopen Texas: Return to Work the Right Way – Webinar Series Recap

On April 17, 2020, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an order to reopen businesses, using a phased approach. General guidelines for specific industry sectors were included in the Governor's order, but due to the unique characteristics of each workplace, employers held many questions on implementing best practices to ensure the safety of their employees and patrons.

To help guide businesses across the state, a seven-part, weekly, industry-specific webinar series was created: Reopen Texas: Return to Work the Right Way. The collaboration between The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (SWCOEH); the Prevention, Preparedness, and Response (P2R) Academy; and the Health and Safety Council (HASC) helped answer FAQs on the safe return to work when reopening businesses and other environments.

The series reached 861 viewers for a total of 1,292 outreach hours to educate employers and workers in the following industries: retail, restaurant, construction and manufacturing, places of worship, promoting mental health and employee resilience, personal care establishments, and other healthcare settings.

The Reopen Texas webinar series is just one example of SWCOEH outreach and continuing education activities during the pandemic. Since March 2020, SWCOEH faculty, staff and students have provided nearly 6,600 hours of COVID-19 outreach and training to a professionals and organizations across Federal Public Health Region 6 and the U.S, on keeping workers and customers safe, returning to work, or use of personal protective equipment. The SWCOEH has also provided numerous consultations to work organizations and news interviews. Visit the bilingual SWCOEH COVID-19 Resources Website for research, response and training resources, and other materials.