Category: Messages to the Community

Title: Change of Operating Status on Main and Medical Center Campus Effective Thursday, January 28

Date Published: January 27, 2021

Dear Georgetown University Main and Medical Center Campus Faculty, Staff and Students,

Due to a marked increase in numbers of positive COVID-19 cases affecting our community, we are taking temporary measures to limit the exposure of members of our community. The specific actions are listed below.

As public health conditions allow, we look forward to relaxing these operating restrictions and plan to end the adjustments on Monday, February 15. Thank you for persevering in teaching, working and learning under changing public health conditions.

Hybrid Course In-Person Meetings
All hybrid mode classes, both daytime and evening classes, except laboratory-based instruction in the Biomedical Graduate Education program at GUMC, will meet virtually beginning Thursday, January 28, at 7 a.m. until Monday, February 15, at 7 a.m. At this point, barring further increases to the positive case count in our community, we plan to reinstitute hybrid in-person meetings on Monday, February 15, at 7 a.m.

Use of the Library and Designated Study Spaces
Effective Thursday, January 28, use of the Lauinger Library building and facilities, as well as use of all designated study spaces, is restricted to students currently living on campus in University residential housing and to graduate students who have green GU360 badges, with reservations permitting them to use the study space. Access to Dahlgren Memorial Library, which opens on Monday, February 1, is restricted to BGE, SOM and NHS graduate students. If public health circumstances allow, we hope to expand use of the Library and study spaces to seniors living off campus as of Monday, February 15, at 8 a.m.

Meetings and Gatherings
Meetings of study groups, faculty members and students must move to online mode at this time. No academic meetings or gatherings should take place on campus. If public health conditions permit, we plan to relax these restrictions on Monday, February 15, at 7 a.m.

Faculty Office Hours 
Effective immediately, faculty office hours must take place in a virtual mode. If public health circumstances allow, we hope to reinstitute in-person office hours as of Monday, February 15, at 7 a.m.

Research Activities
Research activities will be restricted in the following manner. Office access (granted through the GMS Office Access Portal), even with prior approval, is suspended, as is any pending request through the Campus Eligibility Access form. These researchers should plan to resume research activities on campus on or after February 15 at 7 a.m.

Researchers with currently approved Research Resumption Plans, as submitted through the GMS portal, can continue to conduct research activities accordingly, but only if the research cannot be conducted from home, or if a temporary interruption would have significant negative consequences. Such continuation is subject to the following restriction on undergraduate participation. The only undergraduate students who can engage in laboratory-based research are those who (a) live on campus and (b) are receiving credit for their work. No GUROP students, undergraduate volunteers, or paid or unpaid interns, and no undergraduates living off campus, are permitted to enter labs or engage in research activities on campus until February 15 at 7 a.m.

It is in our best interest as a community for all researchers to comply fully with their approved research resumption plans, including strict adherence to the 25% density restriction. They are encouraged to adopt enhanced safety measures such as double-masking, the use of surgical masks and other high grade PPE and more frequent cleaning. We remind researchers that their Research Resumption Plans included contingency plans for scaling back activities in the event that such action was needed. If public health circumstances allow, we hope to reinstitute more broad access to offices and buildings for research, as of Monday, February 15, at 7 a.m.

Please direct research resumption questions jointly to Billy Jack at billy.jack@georgetown.edu and Moshe Levi at ml1742@georgetown.edu.

Redeploy Georgetown Assignments
In light of fewer campus buildings being open in the coming two weeks, and reduced traffic on campus, some on-campus redeploy assignments will be adjusted in the coming days. All employees currently redeployed on campus should report to work Thursday as scheduled and will receive a separate communication by the close of business on January 28th from the Department of Human Resources with further guidance. This status change does not impact remote redeploy assignments.

Academic Administrative Units Staff
Unit-level decisions to maintain on-campus services or transition to remote work schedules will be communicated by each unit’s manager.

Religious Services
All in-person religious services will also be paused until Monday, February 15. Please check the Office of Campus Ministry website for the latest scheduling information.

Yates Field House and Kehoe Field
Yates Field House and Kehoe Field remain closed for use. If public health conditions permit, we plan to open these facilities to use for undergraduate students currently living on campus in University residential housing on Monday, February 15, at 7 a.m.

Daily Check-in and Testing Procedures
Faculty, staff and students taking in-person hybrid classes who will not access campus for this two-week period will not be required to come to campus for testing, in accordance with the University’s COVID-19 testing protocol. Students living in the neighborhoods around campus should continue to come to campus to get tested weekly, and we strongly encourage students living in the neighborhoods to get tested twice per week at no charge. On-campus testing is a safe and efficient way to get tested. All faculty, staff and students accessing campus after the two-week hiatus must complete the COVID-19 Daily Check-in, resume testing and have a green GU360 Building Access Badge to gain entry to University buildings.

We will be in touch immediately should circumstances change and a return to a less restrictive operating mode is possible. Our thoughts are with those struggling with the effects of the pandemic and those in our own community who are suffering at this time.

We recognize pandemic conditions have contributed to social isolation and loneliness for many members of our community. We encourage you to take advantage of the many University resources we have in place to promote your physical and emotional well-being.

We must meet our obligations to each other as a community at this difficult time, in restricting our in-person interactions and in supporting each other through transitions in virtual and in-person modes of teaching and learning. We look forward to our continued interactions in virtual mode.

Sincerely,

Robert M. Groves, Provost

Edward B. Healton, Executive Vice President of Health Sciences

Geoffrey S. Chatas, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer