Updated: Jan. 12, 2022 at 2:59 p.m.
The University reaffirmed its plans to resume in-person learning next week as COVID-19 cases in D.C. remain high and the spring semester is underway.
Officials said in an email to the GW community Wednesday that in-person classes will resume Tuesday, research and lab spaces will be able to return to full operations and University employees should return to their normal schedules from before the virtual period. Officials are “strongly” encouraging community members to wear KN95 masks, N95 masks, which will be distributed throughout campus, or double-mask, the email states.
“Our Medical Advisory Group continues to monitor the rates of COVID-19 transmission on our campuses and locally, and we will provide any updates to you,” the email states.
In-person social gatherings will remain virtual or postponed, all campus facilities will be closed to the public and library study rooms and tables will be limited to single occupancy, according to the email. Athletic events will continue to take place without ticketed fans, and the Lerner Health and Wellness Center and West Hall Fitness Center will be closed.
The email states that officials plan to resume in-person activities in a “phased approach” starting Feb. 1.
The announcement comes after the University’s daily total positive COVID-19 cases reached an all-time high Jan. 5 with 196 cases. Mayor Muriel Bowser reinstated the District’s public health emergency Tuesday.
Officials announced a COVID-19 booster vaccine requirement in December after they identified the first cases of the Omicron variant on campus. The University pushed up its deadline to submit booster documentation from Feb. 1 to the first day of spring classes in tandem with an announcement that the first week of the semester would be virtual.
Officials restricted on-campus students from visiting other residence halls for the start of the spring semester and required on-campus students to quarantine in their residence halls pending two negative COVID-19 tests, taken three days apart.
GW administrators moved remaining final exams online late last semester and canceled in-person events when COVID-19 cases on campus first began to spike.
The District had the highest average rate of daily total COVID-19 cases in the country in late December.