We have just completed one of the most challenging times in the history of George Mason University, and I am grateful for the important role that everyone played in making this year a tremendous success.
This week, I am pleased to share that we are reporting just one active case of COVID-19 on our campuses. Think about that for a moment. That’s an amazing accomplishment for our community and it is a testament to the number of people who have been vaccinated.
As we turn our attention to the Fall Semester, we must all continue to do our part and work together to keep Mason safe. This starts with new policies for COVID-19 vaccination, testing and masking. Below is a summary of what we will require, so please read this carefully.
- Students: Mason will require that all students be vaccinated against COVID-19 by August 1. This policy does not apply to students who take online courses only and do not come to any campus, or to individuals who have an approved medical or religious exemption.
Plan ahead: Depending on the type of vaccine you receive, you may have to receive your first dose no later than July 4 to meet the August 1 requirement.
Upload COVID vaccination documentation to the Health Services Patient Portal. Visit the Student Health Services website for FAQs, information on how to upload your COVID vaccine documentation (all students), or submit your Mason Immunization Record Form (newly admitted students). If you are an international student with limited access to COVID vaccines, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an extension. Students with approved extensions must get vaccinated when they arrive in the United States.
- Faculty and Staff: All faculty and staff are expected to be fully vaccinated in time for the Fall Semester, and are strongly encouraged to receive vaccines over the summer. All employees are required to disclose whether or not they have been vaccinated in Mason Covid Health Check by June 11, 2021.
Those who have been fully vaccinated will be required to upload vaccination documentation into the Health Services Patient Portal before August 1. We anticipate full FDA approval of at least one COVID vaccine over the summer. At that time, we anticipate requiring that all employees receive the vaccine. An exemption process will be made available.
We encourage everyone to learn about the vaccine and get immunized. Mason will continue to host vaccination clinics on campus at no cost through the fall semester. To set up an appointment, go to vaccine.gmu.edu.
- Mason will lift mask requirements for all fully vaccinated individuals on campus as of May 29 – except in medical facilities, public transit, child care facilities and in accordance with the Governor’s policy.
- Unvaccinated individuals should continue to wear masks on campus, per the Governor’s new executive order. Masks may be removed while eating, drinking, playing instruments and for other exemptions allowed.
- Mason will encourage everyone to wear masks in classes and indoors this summer, to allow more time for people to get vaccinated, and will support anyone who wants to continue wearing a mask after that.
- See Mason’s updated mask policy.
- Unvaccinated individuals will be required to participate in COVID testing at least once a week and as frequently as three times a week, depending on conditions.
- Vaccinated faculty, staff and students may be required to participate in less frequent testing, based on the guidance from public health officials and testing capacity.
- Symptomatic individuals, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, should still self-isolate and seek evaluation and diagnostic testing.
Additional Safety Policies
- Physical Distancing: Mason will require physical distancing of three feet during the summer; in the fall, we anticipate being able to remove physical distancing requirements once vaccination rates exceed 80 percent.
- Mason COVID Health Check: Mason will continue to require everyone’s participation in the daily health check this summer; we will reassess the need for continuing in the fall, based on the vaccination data received.
We have made tremendous strides during this extraordinary time. I continue to be amazed by the resilience of the Mason Nation. Let’s keep working together to keep Mason safe.