Staff Guidance for Spring Semester Return

December 23, 2021

To: GW Staff

Yesterday, you received from GW leadership an update that the university will begin the Spring 2022 semester virtually to allow for a gradual and careful in-person return to campus. Please read below for additional guidance on the following topics: 

  • Spring Semester to Begin Virtually
  • Accelerated Booster Deadline
  • Updates and Adjustments on our Campuses through January 18
  • Return to Campus Testing; Required for Campus Access
  • Reminder about Travel Quarantine
  • University-Sponsored Travel

The information in this email and other updates are available at


Spring Semester to Begin Virtually

Spring semester will begin virtually to allow for a gradual and careful in-person return.  The university will reopen on January 3, following winter break.  In-person operations are projected to resume on January 18.

Accelerated Booster Deadline: January 10

Additionally, the university will accelerate its COVID-19 booster dose mandate and will require that all eligible, returning community members receive a booster and upload documentation to the medical portal by January 10, instead of February 1.  The booster dose is required for access to campus.

The GW Medical Faculty Associates’ Vaccine Center offers free booster doses of Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.  Walk-ins are welcome, but you may also schedule an appointment online.

In Virginia, GW Nursing is partnering with My Dr's Pharmacy to administer COVID-19 boosters; appointments are required.

Many local health departments, retail pharmacies and doctors offices also offer the COVID-19 booster. 

Updates and Adjustments on our Campuses through January 18

  • Hybrid employees should report to work virtually unless directed otherwise by their supervisor.  In-person and designated on-site employees should check with their supervisors for guidance on reporting to campus.
  • All in-person social gatherings and events should be held virtually or postponed.
  • All campus facilities will remain closed to the public. Visitors to campus will be limited to those supporting essential functions.
  • The indoor mask mandate will remain in place on campus and in the District. The use of N95, KN95 or double masking is strongly encouraged. The university is procuring N95 masks to make available on campus.
  • Grab and go on-campus dining will be available for on campus students, faculty and staff only.
  • Lerner Health and Wellness Center and the West Hall Fitness Center will be closed. 
  • The libraries will have limited in-person operations, including restricted access for several libraries the first week of January. Please refer to the Onward site for full details. Occupancy of study rooms and tables will be limited to single occupants and masking compliance will be rigorously monitored.
  • Clinical programs may conduct limited in-person learning activities with social distancing and personal protective equipment. 
  • Athletic events will take place without ticketed fans.  Athletic teams not in their NCAA designated 20-hour playing season, or whose season is not imminent, should not hold practices or any in-person events. 
  • Club and intramural sports competitions are cancelled.
  • Musical and artistic performances will be postponed.

Return to Campus Testing

We are asking all campus members to obtain a COVID-19 test on their own (PCR or antigen) 48 hours prior to your planned return date if you can.  If it is positive, please report the result in the medical portal, begin an at-home isolation and do not return to campus.  Notify your supervisor as you would according to usual sick policies.

To ensure the safety of our fellow community members, all students, faculty and staff are required to take a COVID-19 test at a GW test center upon returning to campus in addition to your pre-arrival test.  As part of our plan for a gradual return to campus and to ensure capacity, we ask staff members to test at a GW test center by the following dates: 

  • January 3: All designated on-site and in-person staff should test on this date or on their first scheduled day of work on campus.  
  • January 14: All hybrid staff are encouraged to test by this date or before their first scheduled day of work on campus.  

The university will offer one hour of free parking in the G Street Garage at the Foggy Bottom Campus to those who test between January 3-14.  Pull a ticket upon entrance to the garage and then ask for a validation ticket at the testing center.  You will need both tickets to exit the garage.

Once you have completed your return to campus COVID-19 test, your GWorld card will be activated within an hour of testing and you may access campus. 

Reminder about Travel Quarantine

If you are unvaccinated by virtue of a GW approved medical or religious exemption and are travelling back from outside of D.C., Virginia or Maryland, you will have a mandatory travel quarantine and will not be able to access campus for at least seven days.

University-Sponsored Travel 

The university will continue to allow limited international travel in accordance with the latest version of the Interim Policy for International Travel during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Students, faculty, and staff traveling domestically will be expected to follow the established domestic travel policies for their school/department and the current local/CDC travel guidelines. 

Additional information and updates are available at