Officials double COVID-19 testing frequency for vaccinated individuals

Media Credit: File Photo by Grace Hromin | Senior Photo Editor

Officials had signaled earlier this month that they might increase the frequency of COVID-19 testing for community members if cases rise.

Officials are increasing the University’s monthly COVID-19 testing requirement for vaccinated students, faculty and staff from once to twice per month, they announced in an email Wednesday.

Officials said the change – which will take effect on Sept. 15 – comes after a rise in COVID-19 cases locally attributed to the Delta variant. The limited number of unvaccinated community members will continue weekly tests, and officials will also “strongly recommend” vaccinated students, faculty and staff who travel outside of D.C., Maryland and Virginia receive a COVID-19 test when they return.

“As described in GW’s Onward plan, the University’s Medical Advisory Group – comprising medical and health experts – continually monitors and evaluates the latest data about COVID-19 transmission in our community, as well as local and national public health guidance,” the email states.

GW’s COVID-19 positivity rate has remained relatively low during move-in and the first few days of classes, increasing slightly to 1.14 percent on Tuesday.

Ray Lucas, the University’s COVID-19 coordinator, said earlier this month that officials were considering increasing the frequency of required COVID-19 cases if cases continued to rise.

“Our campus members have been very compliant with our vaccine mandate, testing requirement and mask policies, and we thank everyone for doing their part,” Lucas said in an email to The Hatchet.

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