Officials announce grace period for COVID-19 testing requirement at end of winter break

Media Credit: File Photo by Lillian Bautista

Unvaccinated community members who have University-approved medical or religious exemptions will be required to quarantine for seven days if they traveled outside of the District, Virginia or Maryland over winter break.

Officials will grant students returning from winter break with campus access for the first two days of classes before requiring them to take a COVID-19 test.

Administrators said Wednesday that students who are near campus the week before classes should schedule a test before the semester begins to avoid peak testing times, adding that campus access holds will be reinstated on Jan. 12. Students who test between Jan. 3 and Jan. 7 will have one hour of free parking at the G street Garage if they validate their ticket at the testing center.

“We strongly encourage you to test the day you return,” the email reads. “Testing hours are available online. Schedule your test now, or before you leave for winter break, for the day you will return to campus.”

The email states students who return on Jan. 3 will also receive a two-day grace period before campus access holds due to overdue testing go into effect on Jan. 5. Officials said students who need “immediate campus access” and are having trouble scheduling an appointment should email the COVID Campus Support Team at CCST@gwu.edu or call the coronavirus information line.

“If you do not have an appointment and use the walkup line, you should anticipate a wait time much longer than normal,” officials said. “We ask that you use this option only as a last resort.”

Students will have to wait approximately one hour after their coronavirus test before their GWorld card is activated to unlock campus buildings.

Officials announced in the email that they anticipate “very high demand” for testing on Jan. 10, 11 and 12 as students return to campus.

Officials said students can also get tested outside of GW to stay in compliance with the University’s testing policy. Students who choose to do so should upload their external coronavirus PCR test to their medical portal.

“This is another way to avoid peak testing times January 10-12 and to avoid access interruption for testing non-compliance,” the email reads.

Students who need a coronavirus test before traveling home for winter break should schedule their test for 48 to 72 hours prior to leaving. Students who get tested before 7 p.m. on Dec. 22 will receive their results by the end of the following day, officials said.

Unvaccinated community members who have University-approved medical or religious exemptions will be required to quarantine for seven days if they traveled outside of the District, Virginia or Maryland over winter break.

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