** The information in this email has been updated. GW's indoor mask mandate has been reinstated effective April 12, 2022. **
To GW Community Members:
The George Washington University will update its public health protocols beginning Monday, April 4, 2022. Details for GW community members and visitors are as follows:
- Masks will be optional but remain strongly recommended in all university-owned or -operated facilities with the exception of university health care facilities. Wearing a mask will remain a requirement at the Colonial Health Center and the GW Medical Faculty Associates, which is consistent with the District of Columbia’s guidance.
- Visitors coming to GW’s campuses and facilities for routine business reasons, such as meetings, contract work, interviews, classroom visits and campus tours, will no longer be required to demonstrate proof of a COVID-19 vaccination and booster while local positivity rates are low. Visitors and guests at indoor events in GW venues (Smith Center, Lisner Auditorium, Jack Morton Auditorium, etc.) will still be subject to vaccine verification. Please check the specific event's website for detailed information. Updated FAQs about visitor requirements are forthcoming.
- Access to university buildings will remain the same. Please carry your GWorld card with you at all times. All visitors will still need to be escorted in buildings that are not currently open to the public.
- Routine COVID-19 surveillance testing will remain in place at this time. We will re-evaluate our testing protocol later this month.
Although masks are optional on our campuses, their use is strongly encouraged. Individuals may choose whether to wear a mask based on a variety of reasons. We ask that you respect the personal decisions of others who continue to choose to wear a mask. N95 masks remain the most effective way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 and they will continue to be available for free to community members at GW’s testing centers. Moreover, members of our community and visitors from out of town should be aware that many businesses as well as public transport in D.C. continue to require masks; it is a good idea to carry one.
Even though we experienced an expected rise in COVID rates on campus after spring break, we are making these changes for several reasons: the District of Columbia’s community level designation remains “low” and there is not strong evidence that this recent rise has led to significant transmission in indoor academic spaces or increased rates of severe COVID illness in campus members who have tested positive.
We will continue to monitor rates of COVID-19 on our campuses and in the region and may reinstate any such public health requirements as necessary. We believe our COVID-19 vaccine and booster requirement provides strong protection for our community members from severe illness or hospitalization. Thank you for your continued cooperation as we work together to keep one another safe and healthy. We will update our community with any other changes as needed.