Links For Coronavirus Update
Instructions for getting immunized can be found here:Immunizations
Student Health Services' locations and hours of operations can be found here:Locations
From March 7-March 22, SciTech and Arlington clinics will be closed and Fairfax clinic will be open Mon-Thurs 8:30am - 4:30pm & Fri 12:30pm - 4:30pm.
From March 12-April 3, the Immunization and Insurance Offices can be reached by phone or email. Offices are closed to in-person visits.
On April 11: Fairfax Clinic will be closed.
Note: If George Mason University is closed, Student Health Services is also closed. If Student Health Services is closed and you have an urgent medical need, you may contact the free after-hours nurse, an urgent care or emergency facility.
Information on how George Mason University will respond to the Coronavirus outbreak can be found here:
The page is designed to provide current information on the evolving coronavirus outbreak and the actions the university is taking to mitigate the spread of this disease. This page also contains recommendations and instructions for students, faculty, and staff in regards to preparations, international travel, and campus operations. The university is monitoring this situation closely and is taking precautions in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Virginia Department of Health (VDH) guidance. As new information about the coronavirus outbreak and potential impact on the campus community becomes available additional communication will be sent via email.
At this time, no additional precautionary measures or modifications to university operations are recommended by Virginia Department of Health or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, the university is taking steps to prepare for potential impacts on campus operations. The university is discussing continuity of operations plans and instructional continuity plans (please see below). The health department will provide additional recommendations if social distancing, cancellation of events, or suspension of face-to-face instruction is warranted.
The university expects to maintain normal operations for the duration of the spring semester unless an outbreak occurs in our region. The university’s emergency planning assumption is that it might occur within two to four weeks at which time the university will work with the Virginia Department of Health to determine if cancellation of face-to-face classes or closure of administrative offices is necessary. To prepare for this possibility, the university requests that all students, faculty, and staff consider the impact of a two to four-week closure.
If the university is advised or decides to suspend face-to-face instruction and close administrative offices, the university will provide suggestions for alternative methods of instruction (please see instructional continuity below), continue critical administrative functions remotely when possible, and critical student and infrastructure support (housing, dining, facilities, housekeeping, etc.) will be maintained on campus in a reduced capacity. The transition to virtual instruction and remote work may be conducted in phases to facilitate planning and ensure adequate technological and institutional support. If the university moves to this modified operating format, residential students who are not ill may be asked to return to their home for the duration of this event to encourage social distancing.
Faculty and staff will be expected to conduct their work remotely and key university personnel may be required to remain on campus in accordance with university continuity plans. Supervisors should review existing telework agreements, assist employees as necessary to be prepared to work from home, and notify those designated employees who will be expected to continue working on campus. Additional information about telework, designated employee status, and continuity planning are provided below. Faculty will have access to work areas to facilitate ongoing research and to provide a location and technologies to conduct virtual instruction.
If a widespread outbreak occurs in our region, the university encourages students, faculty, and staff to take emergency preparedness measures as recommended for all regional and national emergency scenarios that may include possible disruptions in supply chains. As a precautionary measure, consider which medication and resources you might need if supplies are unavailable for three or more days. Shortages may include food, medicine, personal hygiene products, fuel, and public services.
For up-to-date information on the status of this outbreak and what is known about how the virus spreads or can be prevented from spreading, please visit the following links:
Mason Family Flash Newsletter
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to stress general precautions to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.
- Wash hands often
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Eat healthy foods
- Get enough sleep
- Decreasing stress
- Limit or eliminate the use of tobacco products, and
- Avoid others when sick and avoid those who are sick.
The university is not encouraging the use of respiratory protection. The university is not providing respirators to students unless they present themselves at Student Health Services and are given one to prevent the spread of potential diseases among other patients while they are being cared for by Student Health Services (SHS) staff. Some sub-communities within our student body come from regions of the world where this type of personal protection is commonplace and not an unusual routine precaution. This practice is not indicative of an increased health threat to the Mason community, but rather a personal choice made by individual Mason community students, faculty, and staff.
The university’s communicable disease and continuity of operations plans are designed to maintain critical and student support functions (e.g., dining, housing, administrative functions, and facilities management) during a closure or regional emergency. Additional guidance to faculty and students regarding continuity of instruction will be provided if necessary.
The following recommendations are not intended to cause alarm or anxiety; but rather to help our community avoid future hardship if an outbreak occurs in our region or at Mason. We encourage everyone to consider the possibility of a widespread outbreak in order to be mentally and physically prepared for what might become an unusual situation that impacts our academic, personal, and professional lives. As a precaution, students, faculty, and staff should consider the potential impact of an outbreak in our region and prepare accordingly by:
- Purchasing medication, household items, and food that are necessary if self-isolation is recommended;
- Evaluating childcare options if public schools and daycare facilities temporarily close;
- Reevaluating future international travel plans to destinations where coronavirus is emerging as a public health threat; and,
- Considering ways to limit contact with others at school, work, and in public if health officials recommend avoiding others and cancellation of public events.
No one can predict the course this outbreak will take or impact on our community, but it is likely that the following will occur in the coming days or weeks if this outbreak spreads widely throughout our community:
- Public school systems may close for a few days or weeks
- Local businesses and public services may operate in a reduced capacity due to absenteeism while employees care for their children and families
- The university may require large face-to-face classes (enrollment over 100 people) to be conducted using alternative teaching methods
- Public events on and off campus might be cancelled, and the university may suspend attendance at athletic events (competitions may continue)
- The university might reduce or modify campus operations to maintain only essential services and functions (dining services, residential housing, utilities infrastructure, information technology systems, and some student support services)
- All classes may be converted to a virtual alternate teaching methods.
- Administrative offices may close and employees will be expected to work remotely if possible.
- Food, medication, toiletries, and supplies may be difficult to obtain as our region prepares for disruptions to daily routines.
Effective March 9th, individuals with health complications who are considered to be a high risk for COVID-19 complications should make arrangements to remain out of class and away from work. Faculty who are at high risk should convert their coursework to alternative teaching methods to avoid contact with sick individuals, please visit the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning for information on how to maintain instructional continuity. Staff who are at high risk should discuss telework, flexible work, or accommodations to maintain social distancing while at work with their supervisor.
Click the link to see Interim President Anne Holton's message on what actions George Mason University is taking about the coronavirus and how you can do your part to stay healthy and prevent the spread of coronavirus.President Holton's message
The university will provide guidance on social distancing measures in conjunction with CDC and Virginia Department of Health guidance. Until such time, faculty should continue to hold classes as scheduled and help students understand how to respond to this situation by promoting the guidance provided in university communications.
Faculty with health complications who are considered to be a high risk for COVID-19 complications should make arrangements to remain out of class and away from work. Faculty who are at high risk should convert their coursework to alternative teaching methods to avoid contact with sick individuals, please visit the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning for information on how to maintain instructional continuity.
Faculty are encouraged to follow the guidelines listed below in response to addressing student illness in their classrooms:
- In order to prevent the spread of communicable disease, be lenient with students who miss class due to a reported illness.
- Students should be instructed, but not forced, to remain out of class when sick; faculty can promote this behavior by providing accommodations to students who miss class due to illness.
- If a student is being monitored by the health department, they will have a letter from the health department excusing them from class. Only students directed by the health department to remain out of class may be asked to leave class. When a student completes their mandatory self-isolation/quarantine period and is able to return to class, they will receive another letter stating this from the health department.
- Do not dismiss students from class based on the appearance or symptoms of an illness, ethnicity, race, or travel history.
- Faculty must not request that students obtain a note from Student Health Services or another health care professional before being allowed to attend/return to class. Student Health Services does not provide excuse notes and this request places a student in an untenable position that disadvantages their education.
- Concerned faculty must discuss alternative instruction options with their department before suspending or modifying face-to-face instruction. The university will provide guidance on when it is necessary to convert to alternative instruction methods.
If a student reports an illness, faculty should encourage them take the time that they need to get well and to contact Student Health Services by phone if they suspect that their illness is a result of exposure to coronavirus. If a student reports having coronavirus or must miss classes due to a coronavirus diagnosis, Faculty should notify Student Health Services. The health department will provide a letter when a student completes their mandatory self-isolation/quarantine period and is able to return to class.