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Health and Law Experts to Share Insights on Coronavirus Threat in Webinar Hosted by UH Law Center


HOUSTON - Feb. 14, 2020 — In response to the global health emergency caused by the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Health Law & Policy Institute at the University of Houston Law Center will present a webinar Feb. 19 with health and legal experts providing updates on the outbreak and preparations for its potential threat to the United States.

“The COVID-19 outbreak is unquestionably a serious problem for much of the world and potentially a serious event for the United States,” said Seth Chandler, Law Foundation Professor of Law who will serve as moderator.  “We want to connect people with the latest information from experts to permit a better understanding of legal, medical and practical issues for people here in Texas and elsewhere in the United States.”

The webinar is intended for the general public and media, but will be of particular interest to those in law enforcement, the judiciary, public health, business and education. Speakers will discuss laws pertaining to isolation and quarantine while local health officials will analyze the epidemiology of the outbreak and efforts to prevent and respond to a potential emergency. There will also be discussions of legal and practical issues for employers and educational institutions.

Speakers include:

  • Umair Shah, M.D., M.P.H., Executive Director, Harris County Public Health Environmental Services and Harris County Local Health Authority
  • Peter Hotez, M.D., Ph.D., Dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine,Baylor College of Medicine
  • Luis Ostrosky-Zeichner, M.D., Vice-Chair, Healthcare Quality and Professor, Infectious Diseases, UTHealth McGovern Medical School
  • Katharine Weber, J.D., Principal, Jackson Lewis P.C.
  • Vanessa K. Tilney, M.D., Executive Director/Chief Physician, University of Houston Student Health Center

Speakers also will discuss various resources for information about the virus, including material created by Johns Hopkins University and the updated 2020 Texas Bench Book, “Control Measures and Public Health Emergencies,” published by the Law Center’s Health Law & Policy Institute. The book serves as a guide for judges who evaluate public health control measures and public health authorities who implement them.

The webinar will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 19. Registration is limited to 500 participants. Questions may be submitted to the panelists via the Zoom application and a recording will be available after the event.


Media contacts: Carrie Anna Criado, UH Law Center Assistant Dean of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-2184,; Elena Hawthorne, Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-1125,; John T. Kling, Communications Manager, 713-743-8298,; and John Brannen, Senior Writer, 713-743-3055,

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter for excellence in undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city and one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse regions in the country, UH is a federally designated Hispanic- and Asian-American-Serving institution with enrollment of more than 46,000 students.

 About the University of Houston Law Center

The University of Houston Law Center (UHLC) is a dynamic, top tier law school located in the nation’s 4th largest city. UHLC’s Health Law, Intellectual Property Law, and Part-time programs rank in the U.S. News Top 10. It awards Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees, through its academic branch, the College of Law. The Law Center is more than just a law school. It is a powerful hub of intellectual activity with more than 11 centers and institutes which fuel its educational mission and national reputation. UHLC is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.

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