Category: Messages to Faculty, Messages to Staff, Messages to Students, Messages to the Community

Title: Masks Will Be Optional in Indoor Instructional Settings

Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community,

Beginning Wednesday, September 28, 2022, wearing a mask will be optional in indoor instructional settings on the Main and Medical Center campuses, such as classrooms and teaching laboratories, in addition to other locations where they are already optional.

After an anticipated spike in the first few weeks of the academic year as students returned to campus, the number of COVID-19 positive cases on Georgetown’s campuses is showing a consistent decline. Positive cases are also decreasing locally and nationally. These improving conditions have informed the University’s decision to resume our mask-optional policy for indoor instructional settings.

As a reminder, masks are optional in all University-owned or operated buildings, including academic buildings, libraries, offices, dining facilities, residential buildings and fitness centers, with the limited exceptions noted below:

  1. On university-sponsored public transportation (e.g., GUTS buses, shuttles, vans).
  2. In University health care facilities (e.g., Student Health Center, CAPS, One Medical testing sites, flu vaccination clinics).
  3. Individuals in, or recently released from, isolation must wear a mask when around others for the full 10 days from the date of infection.
  4. Individuals with exemptions or accommodation plans that include enhanced public health measures should continue to abide by those measures, as currently in place.

Everyone has the right to wear a mask whenever and wherever they wish on our campuses, and anyone may request – but not require – that those interacting with them wear a mask. Free high-quality masks are available at the entrances to most campus buildings.

As we shift to our mask-optional policy in classrooms and teaching laboratories, we are guided by our Jesuit values and community norms of care, civility, and mutual respect. If a professor, student or colleague requests that you wear a mask, please consider honoring their request.

To help foster a respectful and inclusive environment as we adjust to this policy, the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) has developed this teaching and learning guide.

Faculty and staff who believe that this change in policy may impact their health due to a specific medical condition may seek an appropriate accommodation from IDEAA, and students may seek an appropriate accommodation from the Academic Resource Center.

Georgetown’s HVAC systems meet CDC COVID-19 guidance as well as American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards for mitigation of virus transmission. However, if you have concerns about ventilation in your classroom, please submit a service request, email or call 202-687-3432.

We will continue to monitor public health conditions on our campuses, as well as in DC and across the nation. Depending on community transmission levels or other risks (e.g., a new variant of concern) in the future, we may reinstate the indoor mask requirement or other restrictions for short periods, as needed.

We encourage every member of our community to care for yourself and each other, and we hope you have a safe, healthy and rewarding semester.


Robert M. Groves

Edward B. Healton
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences

David Green
Interim Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Ranit Mishori, M.D., MHS, FAAFP
Professor of Family Medicine, Vice President and Chief Public Health Officer