Officials announced Tuesday that the University’s indoor mask mandate will remain in effect as a citywide requirement is dropped.
The District lifted its mask mandate in most indoor settings on Tuesday, leaving in place requirements for certain places like K-12 schools and congregate facilities, including residence halls. Officials said they anticipate an increase of positive cases after spring break, which is less than two weeks away, and the continued mandate has helped keep on-campus transmission “very low.”
Officials said despite the “dramatically” decreased COVID-19 case rate in the District and on campus, cases remain higher compared to previous pandemic phases. GW’s positivity rate fell below 1 percent in recent days as cases have nearly returned to pre-Omicron levels, according to GW’s testing dashboard.
“We continually review our public health guidelines, including our indoor mask mandate, based on the latest data about COVID-19 transmission in our community, as well as local and national public health guidance,” officials said in an email. “We will update you on any changes to our guidance.”
Officials are also continuing to “strongly recommend” GW community members wear N95 or KN95 masks while indoors on campus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its pandemic guidance on Friday to suggest that most Americans can stop wearing masks and avoid crowded indoor spaces, including in D.C. The updated guidance for D.C. recommends people become fully vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19, saying they can choose to wear a mask at any time.
Officials said the University’s indoor mask mandate remains consistent with D.C. Health’s current guidance.
“The District’s guidance still requires masks to be worn in K-12 schools and in facilities where a large number of people congregate, like the University Student Center, District House and residence halls,” officials said. “Additionally, the guidance allows for private entities, like the University, to require masks.”
This article appeared in the March 3, 2022 issue of the Hatchet.