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Updated on October 26, 2022

COVID-19 de-escalation protocols announced at MD Anderson 

As of October 26, MD Anderson announced COVID-19 de-escalation protocols. Listed below are some of the protocol changes. View the complete list of protocols at MD Anderson's Endemic COVID-19 Protocol site. (Requires MD Anderson credentials to access.)

  • Personal protective equipment: MD Anderson facilities will return to previous mask-required and mask-recommended zones. (Click here for zoning information. Requires MD Anderson credentials to access.) Masks are required in areas where there are interactions with patients. Employees with an approved medical or religious exemption to the CMS vaccine mandate must continue to take extra precautions, including wearing a face mask in all campus locations regardless of the zone designation. For those performing high-risk and aerosol-generating procedures (AGP), face shields and N95 respirators will no longer be required unless working with patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. 

    As these changes are implemented, please be respectful of the zoning guidance and people’s choices regarding those guidelines. 
  • Employees with COVID-positive household members no longer need to quarantine before returning to work as long as they remain asymptomatic and wear a face mask for 10 days after onset of the household member’s symptoms or positive COVID-19 test.

  • International travel: Employees traveling internationally for business or personal reasons no longer need to report their travel plans in advance to Workforce Health and Wellness and submit to post-travel testing or quarantine as long as they remain asymptomatic. Those taking a cruise must continue to register their travel before they leave. 

GSBS students working remotely

During the height of the pandemic, modifications were made to allow students to work remotely in order to keep our community safe. However, these measures were temporary, made necessary by the pandemic, and were never meant to be permanent. Importantly, even with modifications for remote or hybrid work, GSBS students are expected to conduct their educational training in Houston. GSBS students who hold a GRA are not allowed to work outside the state of Texas due to taxation and employment law implications. International students, to satisfy physical presence requirements of their visa, also cannot work remotely. 

Any exceptions to these requirements must be approved by the GSBS Dean’s Office (all students), MD Anderson Research and Trainee Programs (students appointed at MD Anderson), the Visa and Immigration Services Administration Department (international students at MD Anderson), and Office of International Affairs (all international students). Exceptions will only be considered if a clear educational benefit can be demonstrated (i.e. internships and fellowships). For questions please contact

For the latest information regarding safety protocols, travel, shuttles, parking, health, and more, the Graduate School asks that you refer to these institutional websites listed below. These sites, which require institutional credentials or network to access, are updated on a regular basis and should be checked often as MD Anderson and UTHealth maybe different information for its labs/clinics/employees.

Note: Institutional links require credentials to access.

The Office of Academic Affairs has made updates regarding academic milestones. For students that matriculated into their current degree program prior to fall 2020, the Graduate School will continue to provide a one-semester extension for most degree milestones due to delays in student progress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, this extension will no longer apply to advisory committee meetings. As we move to resume in-person classes for fall 2021 and our parent institutions progress towards regular, in-person operations, the Graduate School expects that our students will be able to schedule their committee meetings at least once every six months.  Students who have not had an advisory committee meeting within the last six months should schedule one as soon as possible. 

Additionally, the publication requirement will be reinstated for all PhD students graduating in the fall 2021 semester. All students that graduate on or after August 30, 2021, will be required to have an accepted first-author scientific publication in order to graduate

Below are additional informational websites and resources regarding the pandemic:

If you still have questions after consulting the resources above, please email for assistance.