Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community,
As we begin the new academic year, I’m writing to provide a reminder about Georgetown’s public health guidance for the Main and Medical Center campuses, which we shared in our July 22 message, and to provide you with information about monkeypox. We continue to take a layered approach to protecting the health and safety of our University community, and we appreciate your support of these important efforts.
Masks are required in indoor instructional settings, such as classrooms and teaching laboratories, on the Main and Medical Center campuses.
- This applies to organized classes, but not to informal gatherings (e.g., in libraries, study spaces).
- Faculty and other speakers who have received a primary series (e.g., two doses of an mRNA vaccine) and, when eligible, an additional dose of a COVID-19 vaccine (first booster) may remove their mask when lecturing or speaking in indoor instructional settings, if they choose, but they must be at least six feet away from others.
Wearing a mask is currently optional in most other indoor settings in University-owned or operated buildings, including libraries, research laboratories, offices, dining facilities, residential buildings, and fitness centers, with the limited exceptions noted below:
- Individuals must wear a mask while on university-sponsored public transportation (e.g., GUTS buses, shuttles, vans).
- Individuals must wear a mask in University health care facilities (e.g., Student Health Center, CAPS, One Medical testing sites).
- Individuals in, or recently released from, quarantine or isolation must wear a mask for a full 10 days from the date of exposure or infection, consistent with DC Health guidance and CDC guidance.
- Individuals with exemptions or accommodation plans that include enhanced public health measures should continue to abide by those measures, as currently in place.
Free high-quality masks are available at the entrances to most campus buildings.
All students need to take a COVID-19 test either within 48 hours before or within 24 hours after arriving on campus. Failure to get an arrival test may result in disciplinary action.
- Residential students: A PCR test is required.
- Non-residential students: A PCR test is preferred, but an antigen test will be accepted, and results need to be reported via the GU360 app or website.
- Students who have been on campus continuously during the summer should get tested by Wednesday, August 24.
Guidance for students who have tested positive within the last 90 days can be found on the COVID-19 testing protocol page.
Faculty and staff are not required to take an arrival test, but testing is strongly recommended, especially after travel.
You must get tested once per week if:
- You are exempt from vaccination for religious or medical reasons, or
- You received the primary vaccination series and are booster-eligible but have received an exemption or deadline extension from the booster shot requirement.
After arrival testing, other students, faculty and staff are not required to test regularly unless they develop symptoms or are exposed or potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19. Free COVID-19 testing is available on demand on campus.
Wastewater Surveillance Testing
The University will begin to use wastewater surveillance testing to help assess public health conditions on campus in the coming weeks.
Georgetown requires students, faculty, staff and visitors to have received a primary series (e.g., two doses of an mRNA vaccine) and, when eligible, an additional dose (first booster) of a COVID-19 vaccine, or to have an approved medical or religious exemption.
When experiencing any symptoms, students, faculty and staff should:
- stay home or in their on-campus residence;
- complete the COVID-19 Symptom Check-In survey through the GU360 mobile app or website;
- call the Student Health Center (if a student) or their health care provider, if needed;
- schedule a COVID-19 test; and
- not return to class or work until cleared by their health care provider or after a consultation with the Care Navigation team.
Quarantine and Isolation
Please review the University’s quarantine and isolation guidelines. Individuals who test positive will receive guidance from Georgetown’s Care Navigation team. Residential students may need to isolate in their room if they test positive.
Visitors to University-owned, operated or leased buildings need to comply with the University’s visitor vaccination requirement and process.
Visitors are not permitted in residential buildings. Please review the University’s public health guidance for events and share information about your event with the Public Health team so they can provide additional tailored guidance.
On August 4, 2022, the United States declared monkeypox a public health emergency. The virus primarily spreads between people through close contact (e.g., direct physical contact with the infectious rash, including during intimate contact). The risk of contracting this infection is low for those who have been in casual, rather than close, contact with an infected individual (e.g., being in the same room). Georgetown’s monkeypox website includes more information and will continue to be updated.
We are monitoring public health conditions on campus and in the local region, as well as any new guidance from the CDC and the DC Department of Health, and will provide updates when needed.
Thank you for your continued care for one another, and we hope that you have a healthy and enriching start to the academic year.
Ranit Mishori, M.D., MHS, FAAFP
Professor of Family Medicine, Vice President and Chief Public Health Officer