Officials will close GW offices and Foggy Bottom COVID-19 testing sites during the upcoming presidential inauguration out of security concerns following last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol.
University President Thomas LeBlanc and other administrators announced Wednesday they will designate Inauguration Day as a University holiday, close the Foggy Bottom Campus except for residential students and designated on-site staff and implement an expanded security presence. The National Guard has deployed thousands of troops to the District as the FBI warns of potential armed protests at all 50 state capitols and in D.C.
“Please be assured that, as ever, safety is driving every action we take, and we remain in close coordination with our local, regional and federal partners,” officials said. “We stand ready to take any additional actions necessary to protect the safety of our campus and our University community.”
Officials said the additional measures came after consulting with GW’s safety and security teams.
The Foggy Bottom Campus will be limited to residential students and designated on-site staff between Saturday and Inauguration Day. Campus libraries will suspend in-person services but continue virtual operations, officials said.
“If you are not required to come to campus, do not come to campus,” officials said.
Mayor Muriel Bowser asked people to avoid the Central Business District, except for those with essential work.
Officials said they will also close COVID-19 testing sites on Foggy Bottom between Monday, Jan. 18 and Wednesday, Jan. 20.
Medical Faculty Associates clinics located in Foggy Bottom will also close out of security concerns on Tuesday but were already planned to be closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Inauguration Day.
“In the wake of the events at the Capitol and in anticipation of the upcoming presidential inauguration, we expect local and federal agencies will deploy a significant security presence in the District over the coming days due to the potential for further civil unrest,” officials said. “This will include a large contingent of National Guard members, and we anticipate there may be checkpoints, roadblocks and other limitations on movement in the vicinity of our Foggy Bottom Campus.”
This article appeared in the January 14, 2021 issue of the Hatchet.