Dear Members of the Georgetown Community,
I write today with encouraging news about the expanding availability of COVID-19 vaccines within Maryland, Virginia and DC, as well as important next steps for those who have been vaccinated.
Vaccination is a critical tool in stopping the pandemic. Studies show all three authorized vaccines are very safe and effective in preventing COVID-19 and, if you do get infected, help keep you from getting severely ill, requiring hospitalization or dying.
Beginning Monday, April 12, all Maryland residents 16 and older will be eligible for vaccination through all providers. Students, faculty, and staff who live in Maryland should refer to Maryland’s state vaccination website to pre-register or schedule an appointment.
Beginning Monday, April 12, all DC residents 16 and older will also be eligible for a vaccine. If you have not already done so, please pre-register for a vaccination appointment via the DC pre-registration website.
Beginning Sunday, April 18, anyone 16 and older who lives or works in Virginia will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Some communities will make the transition sooner and have already begun inviting members of the general public to make appointments. Please refer to the Virginia Department of Health website to see the current vaccine phase for each community and pre-register for an appointment.
Outside the DMV Area
Earlier this week, President Biden announced he has moved up his deadline to Monday, April 19, for states to make every American adult eligible for vaccination. If you are currently living outside of the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area, please refer to your state and county vaccination websites to pre-register or schedule an appointment.
I strongly encourage all members of our community to get vaccinated at your earliest opportunity, and to get whichever vaccine is available to you.
Guidelines for Fully Vaccinated People
I would like to remind you of the University’s current guidelines for fully vaccinated people. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving the final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and University guidelines, fully vaccinated people:
- Do not need to quarantine or test following a known exposure to COVID-19 if they do not have any symptoms.
- Can resume domestic travel and do not need to test before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
- Do not need to test before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and do not need to self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States.
The above guidelines refer to travel for personal reasons. The University’s moratorium on institutional travel remains in effect.
Experts continue to study the effects of vaccination, particularly on how well vaccines keep people from spreading the virus to others, and how long protection lasts for those who are vaccinated. The CDC and the DC Department of Health continuously review and update their guidance for vaccinated people based on the latest science, and our team follows new developments closely.
Continued Compliance with Public Health Measures
I recognize that public health guidelines are changing rapidly, and our national and local responses to the pandemic continue to evolve. I also recognize all of us are tired of having to adhere to public health measures.
However, it remains critically important for everyone on campus and those living near campus, including vaccinated members of our community, to continue to practice all University public health measures, including complying with directions from the Care Navigator team regarding quarantine, isolation and testing, which are based on CDC and DC Health directives.
Everyone on our public health team is doing their best to provide guidance and support to our community. We all need to continue to pull together during this difficult time and treat each other with civility and respect. In the spirit of cura personalis, or “care of the person,” we have a responsibility to care for all members of our community, including our staff, and failing to do so is counter to our values.
The best way to protect yourself and one another is for as many eligible people to be vaccinated as soon as possible. I thank you for your patience as we work toward that goal together.
Ranit Mishori, M.D., MHS, FAAFP
Professor of Family Medicine, Chief Public Health Officer