COVID-19 Travel Policy and Protocol/Return To Work


Houston Methodist Exposure and Travel Policy Statement:


Employees who have had a COVID-19 exposure or those who have been quarantined due to cruise ship travel may return to work effective immediately, if symptom free.  You will be required to wear a mask while undergoing active symptom monitoring for up to 14 days from the date of exposure/return from travel. 


Additionally, employees returning from Level 3 international travel are still required to complete the online travel questionnaire, self-quarantine for 14 days, and receive follow up and clearance by Employee Health before they return to work. Due to low prevalence COVID-19 disease in the Houston area, we are still requiring quarantine for Level 3 travel. As the prevalence increases, we may stop requiring quarantine for any international travel. 


Symptomatic employees with fever or any respiratory illness (symptoms involving the nose, sinus, throat and lungs) should not report to work. These employees will be directed to follow up with Houston Methodist Telemedicine and their work location's Employee Health Clinic by phone prior to returning to work.


Houston Methodist Exposure and Travel Employee Health Protocol

Additional Guidance: 


  • If you are symptomatic with fever or any respiratory illness (symptoms involving the nose, sinus, throat and lungs), please leave work immediately and contact the 24-hour Virtual urgent care clinic at 713.441.7965. Please submit your return to work via email to your work location's Employee Health Clinic and contact them by phone prior to returning to work.


  • If you feel ill while at home, do not come to work, but contact the 24-hour Virtual urgent care clinic at 713.441.7965 for assessment and return to work.  Please submit your return to work via email to your work location's Employee Health Clinic and contact them by phone prior to returning to work.


  • If you have been instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days, click here to access the Home Quarantine Symptom Monitoring Log.


  • If you are working, wearing a mask, and have been instructed to also monitor your symptoms for 14 days, click here to access the Symptom Monitoring Log.


Respiratory Protection


  • If you have questions in regards to fit testing, please reference the email that was sent to every Houston Methodist employee from Dr. Phillips, titled, "Important Announcement - N95s".




New COVID-19 Testing Procedure for Employees

Houston Methodist employees system-wide who are seeking expedited testing orders and are ill with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should contact Employee Health at 346.356.3030. Employees who are ill are required to contact a physician as soon as possible (using virtual urgent care on the MyMethodist app or their physician’s office) for a medical evaluation. Once an evaluation with a physician has been completed and the employee notifies Employee Health to place a testing order, the employee should call for a testing site appointment. All COVID-19 testing is covered by the Houston Methodist Employee Medical Plan at 100%, with no cost-sharing for members. 


Virtual Visits and Providers


  • MyMethodist App – Virtual Urgent Care 24/7 (Find the app in the App Store or on Google Play.  For further information, please click here).


  • Find-a-Doctor 713.790.3333 for a virtual visit.


  • Houston Methodist Primary Care Group (HMPCG) 713.394.6724 or E-Visit.


Testing Sites


  • Appointment line 713.441.5509.


  • Testing sites are open from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday.


(If you are seriously-ill after hours or on a weekend, please contact your physician or go to the nearest emergency room for evaluation.)


Testing sites and start dates:


Available Starting Location Address
 Open Spring Branch 833 Katy Frwy., Houston, TX 77024
 Open Rayford 25305 Interstate 45N, Spring, TX 77380
 Open Riverstone 18717 University Blvd., Suite 105, Sugar Land, TX 77479
 April 4, 2020 Tomball 4211 FM 2920, Suite 110, Tomball, TX 77377
 April 7, 2020 Friendswood 107 Woodlawn Dr., Suite 101, Friendswood, TX 77546
April 10, 2020 Kingsland 23530 Kingsland Blvd., Suite 130, Katy, TX 77494
April 13, 2020 Mont Belvieu 8608 North TX-146, Suite 600, Baytown, TX 77523


Additional guidance from the lab:


  • When the employee presents to the collection site, they will need to stay in their vehicle until their exact appointment time, and a staff member will come to greet them.


  • Samples will be tested at Houston Methodist Hospital. Results will be sent to the ordering physician. If ordered by Employee Health, results will be sent to Employee Health.


Non-Houston Methodist providers/staff should contact a HMPCG provider at 713.394.6724. The provider will need to medically evaluate and, if indicated, place the order for testing in Epic. Non-employees should not contact Employee Health for testing orders.


Centralized Employee Health COVID-19 Hotline


Employee Health is available 24/7 through a dedicated COVID-19 hotline, 346.356.3030.  This is a centralized phone number that employees can call for Employee Health related questions.  Common questions and topics that will be managed through this hotline include:


  • Travel related quarantines.


  • COVID-19 return-to-work instructions.


  • Exposure questions.


  • Symptomatic employees needing COVID-19 testing.


Additional Resources


COVID-19 Resources for Employees and Physicians


Interim US Guidance for risk assessment & Public Health Management of Healthcare Personnel with potential exposure in a healthcare setting to patients with COVID-19


Travelers returning from high risk countries

Live Chat Available