Campus facilities to close to public, University offices and testing centers remain open

Media Credit: File Photo by Arielle Bader

Officials said the only visitors allowed on campus from Dec. 17 to Dec. 23 will be “those supporting essential functions.”

Updated: Dec. 20, 2021 at 3:54 p.m.

All campus facilities will be closed to the public starting Friday through the end of the semester, but University offices will remain open, administrators said in an email Thursday.

The update comes a day after officials announced that all in-person events would be canceled for the rest of the semester effective immediately, and all remaining exams starting Friday would take place online. Officials recorded a spike in COVID-19 cases on campus, including the first confirmed cases of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, leading up to the tightened restrictions this week.

“We want to emphasize that the University is open and operating,” the email reads. “Because of the significant increase in positive COVID-19 cases on our campuses, we are making several adjustments to our operations from December 17-23.”

COVID-19 testing centers will continue to operate with their normal hours, according to the Thursday email. Basketball games scheduled for next week will take place without ticketed fans, the email states.

The University recorded 103 positive COVID-19 cases Wednesday, the highest daily total on campus since the start of the pandemic. GW identified its first cases of Omicron on Monday, one day after the District Department of Health confirmed D.C.’s first four cases of the variant.

Officials said the only visitors allowed on campus from Dec. 17 to Dec. 23 will be “those supporting essential functions.”

Hybrid employees should work virtually unless told otherwise by their supervisor, and in-person and designated on-site employees should contact their supervisors for guidance on coming to campus, the email states.

Officials said they urge everyone to receive their booster shot and follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines to stay safe during the holiday season. All students, faculty and staff are required to receive a COVID-19 booster shot by Feb. 1.

Officials said they have not made any changes regarding the status of the spring semester.

“We continue to monitor the COVID-19 transmission among our community members and the region and will provide additional updates to you,” officials said.

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