COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated May 21, 2020

Recently Added Questions

GW will be open this fall and operating to the fullest extent that is safely possible, with the goal of in-person instruction and a residential academic experience. 

The university will provide updates on the university's instructional plans throughout the summer. As we work to develop these plans, we are doing so with a commitment to both safety and care for our students, staff, and faculty.

GW staff and faculty have been working tirelessly to prepare for the university’s planned Aug. 31 fall start while also developing contingency plans for all possibilities. These planning efforts are called the Back to Campus Initiative.

The univesity has determined it is necessary to continue the suspension of all non-essential international travel until further notice.

Study abroad programs and other international undergraduate student travel is considered non-essential through fall semester 2020. Students who were scheduled to study abroad this fall have been contacted directly with additional information.

The university has suspended all non-essential international travel until further notice.

Any university-affiliated travel that is believed to be essential will be subject to approval from the relevant dean or vice president. International travel by faculty or staff is not essential if it can be postponed or managed by alternative methods, such as electronically. Professional or educational conferences are defined as non-essential international travel.

To request approval to engage in essential travel, GW community members should contact their dean or vice president.

Research-related travel by faculty, staff and graduate students that cannot be postponed or managed by alternative methods and is required to preserve the results of an ongoing research activity is considered essential.

Any university-affiliated travel that is believed to be essential will be subject to approval from the relevant dean or vice president.

Graduate student international travel that is necessary for academic credit required for graduation and cannot be postponed or offered online or domestically may be considered essential based on approval of the relevant dean or vice president. International travel that is an optional component of an academic requirement is considered non-essential.

Infection Information 

Currently, those at greatest risk of infection are individuals who have had prolonged, unprotected close contact with a patient with symptomatic, confirmed COVID-19 and those who live in or have recently been to areas with sustained transmission, according to the CDC. For more information, reference the CDC’s Risk Assessment.

If you believe you have been exposed to someone who is a confirmed case of COVID-19 please fill out this form

If you believe you or someone you know may have been exposed to COVID-19, please complete this form.

The CDC recommends that close contacts of a person who is symptomatic and either has laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 or is a person who is "under investigation" by public health should monitor their health. They should call their healthcare provider right away if they develop symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, such as fever, cough and shortness of breath. In the case of GW, additionally we require that members of our community self-quarantine off campus for two weeks, if the case is confirmed, or until an investigation finds that the individual under investigation is not confirmed to have COVID-19. The CDC has issued a number of recommendations to healthcare providers for how such close contacts should protect themselves.

No, the university does not. Based on CDC's Interim Guidance for Risk Assessment Potential Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Exposures, the CDC does not recommend testing, symptom monitoring or special management for people exposed to asymptomatic people with potential exposures to SARS-CoV-2, such as in a household.

"Contacts of contacts" are not considered exposed and do not need to contact a healthcare provider unless they develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as coughing or difficulty breathing. However, members of higher-risk groups should be taking precautions regardless of their contact with others. They need to have any necessary supplies on hand such as: essential medications, over the counter medications, supplies like tissues and household items, and groceries in case they need to stay home for a period of time. 

If you believe you or someone you know may have been exposed to COVID-19, please complete this form.

Alcohol-based, antimicrobial hand sanitizer will kill the virus, though regular handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is the preferred method to protect yourself and reduce the spread of the virus. There are dispensers with hand sanitizer and wipes around campus for this purpose.

No. There is currently no vaccine to prevent the COVID-19. To read more about U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) tips on the best way to prevent exposure to this virus and others visit the CDC’s website. Additionally, the World Health Organization has developed an online course to provide general introduction to emerging respiratory viruses, including novel coronaviruses.

No, the flu shot will reduce your chance of getting the flu. It will also help reduce the number of people with flu-like symptoms that healthcare professionals need to treat.

Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object, like a packaging container, that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from packaging, according to the CDC.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently published a list of products that meet its criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. You can find this guidance on the EPA website.

COVID-19 is not airborne, according to the World Health Organization. The virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. You can be infected if you are within three feet of a person who has COVID-19, or by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.

The CDC has advised that anyone traveling in public, particularly to high-density locations such as grocery stores or pharmacies, should wear a face covering. Additionally, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is now requiring anyone who uses public transit to wear a face covering when doing so.

GW Human Resource Management and Development has created a video on how to wear and properly care for all face coverings. If you are interested in making a face covering at home, the CDC has provided a guide on how to construct your own face covering.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N95 respirators, which are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

I'm Feeling Sick, What Should I Do?

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, the CDC advises you to call your healthcare provider for medical advice.

Washington, D.C. residents who may not have a regular healthcare provider can call 844-726-2797 for assistance, according to DC Government.

If you are not feeling well or have any COVID-19 related questions, please contact the Colonial Health Center office at 202-994-5300. The medical advice line and counselors are available to speak with students 24 hours a day.

The Foggy Bottom clinic  and the Mount Vernon clinic are closed for in-person visits until further notice.

The student health insurance is portable and covers students anywhere in the United States. Every doctors office is different and you can call ahead to insure they take the specific plan, but all emergency rooms are covered as they are in the district.

COVID-19 is not treated as a special condition and will be covered as any other medical condition. The physician manages the patient care and all medical test and follow-up are handled in normal course.

You are encouraged to seek immediate medical attention from your healthcare provider. As in all cases when you are experiencing symptoms of a contagious illness, you should not report to work.

If you believe you or someone you know may have been exposed to COVID-19, please complete this form.

In such an event, you should notify your supervisor that you are sick. Please be advised you are not required to disclose your health condition and/or provide medical documentation directly to your supervisor. You can inform your HR representative of your medical condition. The university reserves the right to request medical documentation.

If you believe you or someone you know may have been exposed to COVID-19, please complete this form.

GW's medical enterprise is launching drive-thru COVID-19 testing on Monday, April 6 in parking “Lot 3” on the corner of 20th and H Streets NW, beginning at 9:30 a.m. and running until 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Testing at the GW site will be by appointment only.

Find out how to get a referral and an appointment for testing here.

Community Safety Questions

Social distancing is a term applied to certain actions that are recommended by public health officials to stop or slow down the spread of a highly contagious disease. These recommendations include maintaining a distance of approximately 6 feet from others and avoiding social gatherings of 10 or more people. 

The university has formed a task force that incorporates experts from the Milken Institute School of Public Health, GW School of Medicine & Health Sciences, School of Nursing, and many other individuals to monitor COVID-19 developments and advise on the university's decisions.

The George Washington University and George Washington University Hospital, while affiliated, are separate organizations. The university cannot share information that pertains to hospital operations and patients.

The following organizations are actively monitoring health and or security and providing official resources such as FAQ pages, travel guidance, latest news, and more.

If you have concerns regarding the travel restrictions for your international destination, contact the country’s local consulate for official guidance. The following organizations are providing unofficial compilation summaries of government measures worldwide:

Reports have surfaced of a vulnerability within the chat function of Zoom for Windows that may permit unauthorized access to online classes and video conferences, which may allow hackers to send a malicious link through Zoom chat.

The malicious link looks slightly different from a URL, but is similar enough to cause confusion for users. When the link is clicked, the user’s credentials (NetID and password) may be leaked online. Leaked passwords can be easily cracked with widely available tools. In addition, hackers could gain access to the user's computer, execute unwanted software, send malicious messages, etc.

While there have been no known impacts to GW accounts, please follow these recommendations for video meetings and online instruction:

  • Use Webex instead of Zoom. Webex is GW’s supported secure video meeting collaboration tool, and is available to all students, faculty and staff. Visit the telecommuting page to learn more.
     
  • For online instruction, use Blackboard, GW’s online learning platform. Blackboard allows faculty to share materials with students, as well as facilitate synchronous (Blackboard Collaborate) and asynchronous communications (including discussion boards and integrations with VoiceThread and Echo360). Visit the tools for instructional continuity page to learn more.
     
  • Use meeting passwords for all meetings, verify all participants, and lock entry. To learn how to host secure Webex meetings and lock entry, visit Webex Secure Meetings.
     
  • Do not share or click on any links from unknown users. 
     
  • Avoid links that start with a double back slash (e.g.  for example, domain.com).

Remember to protect your information!

GW Information Technology (GW IT) continues to take proactive measures to keep our campus community safe. Please be aware that phishing attempts often seem legitimate. It is important for faculty, staff, and students to be extremely vigilant and take steps to secure logins, passwords, and data. 

GW’s Office of Ethics, Compliance and Privacy has developed guidance on best practices for data protection when telecommuting, as well as data protection while using virtual meeting, event and collaboration platforms. Visit COVID-19 data protection guidance to learn more.

Remember to report any suspicious electronic communication or request to [email protected].

Questions? Concerns? Please contact GW Information Technology at 202-994-GWIT (4948), [email protected] or IT.GWU.EDU

Essential errands include grocery shopping, banking, getting gas or take-out, and attending medical appointments. Only visit stores to obtain household essentials in person when you absolutely need to. Avoid shopping if you are sick or have symptoms of COVID-19, which include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath

If you are at higher risk for severe illness, find out which stores have special hours for high-risk individuals and try to shop during those hours. Individuals with a higher risk for severe illness include adults 65 or older and those who have serious underlying medical conditions.

The CDC details additional steps you can take to limit potential exposure to others and the virus that causes COVID-19 while running essential errands. 

On May 13, Mayor Muriel Bowser extended the “stay-at-home” order for District of Columbia residents until June 8, 2020. Residents are ordered to continue to avoid all non-essential travel in D.C.

Area governments are currently planning for phased re-opening of cities and towns, though specifics have not yet been announced. The George Washington University is working closely with local officials and monitoring announcements of any phased re-opening. When GW receives information regarding the re-opening of the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland, we will provide our community members with clear guidelines of how our campuses will follow suit.

There are currently no changes to the status of employees returning to our campuses. Students living on campus should only leave their residence in accordance with D.C. guidelines. Only designated on-site employees should travel to and from our campuses. Current telework requirements for our employees and guidance for designated on-site employees remain in place.

Virtual Learning Course Changes

Most GW classes moved online on March 23. Classes will remain online through the summer 2020 semester.

The university will remain open and operational during this period. Current telework requirements for our employees and guidance for designated on-site employees remain in place until further notice. The university will provide additional updates as soon as possible.

The spread of the COVID-19 virus presents unique challenges in college and university residence halls with the close proximity of living spaces and shared amenities increasing the risk of rapid community transmission. The transition to online courses, suspension of student activities, and reduction of students remaining in on-campus housing are intended to promote social distancing and enable continuity of services in the event of increased disruption as the response progresses.

The Gelman, Eckles, and VSTC Library buildings are closed, but library resources remain available to all students, faculty, and staff. Please check this list of remote library services and resources. Remote assistance is available via the virtual Ask Us desk during scheduled Ask Us Desk hours or by email at [email protected]

Himmelfarb Library will be physically closed. The library will remain open digitally, and access to remote library resources and services will remain available to all SMHS, Milken Institute School of Public Health, and GW School of Nursing students, faculty, and staff.

The university is committed to maintaining access to library materials, especially Top Textbooks and other items on reserve, that are needed for teaching and research. Wherever possible we will provide digital rather than physical copies, recognizing that we need to work within copyright guidelines.   

​​​​​​Students should discuss this with individual instructors.

No, transcripts will not be changed to show the switch to online classes during this period.

Free internet for students is being offered nationally: 

Comcast is offering two months free to new "Internet Essentials" customers in response to COVID-19 disruptions. Charter is offering free Spectrum broadband and wifi access for 60 days to households with college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription.

We apologize for the disruption to your semester. We know this is not how our students expected to complete their classes this spring. However, our faculty have worked hard to help our students  finish courses by distance. While our classes usually meet in person, sometimes they do not. And in these extraordinary circumstances, they cannot. This is why GW, like colleges and universities all over the country, has heeded the recommendations of public health experts by providing online classes in lieu of in person classes. As we continue to deliver quality education, the tuition charged remains the same regardless of format. We look forward to seeing our students successfully complete the semester.

The GW Campus Store has partnered with the publishing community to provide students with up to seven free eBooks from participating publishers through May 25 through RedShelf. This includes almost all Top Textbooks. RedShelf may have textbooks for other classes available, as well. 

For the Top Textbooks that aren't available through RedShelfinstructors can contact [email protected] to have relevant portions of a Top Textbook or reserve item available on Blackboard. Students should contact their instructor if required reading assignments are not available on Blackboard.  

Most tutoring and course review sessions will be available online. Check the Academic Commons website for information on tutoring services across campus or to make an appointment. Student Success Coaching is also available online. Please email [email protected] to sign up.

Virtual Learning Support for Faculty

The university has consolidated this information into one, constantly-updated page of resources for the COVID-19 virtual learning period. Information is available on how to get help, engage your students, use remote test proctoring, and insure your online instruction is accessible to all.

GW’s virtual learning period will last through the summer 2020 semester. Courses will meet in an online format throughout the summer and some classes previously scheduled may have to be canceled.

Find more information about summer courses here

The university will update its guidance periodically in light of the evolving situation and its impact on future coursework. 

This document from the Instructional Core describes the first steps to moving online and provides a technology matrix to pair your desired class activities with the appropriate tool.   

The Instructional Core offers a variety of resources for transitioning a course online. Online workshops, conducted live on Collaborate Ultra by the Instructional Technology Lab (ITL), are available in multiple aspects of software needed for virtual learning. A special series on instructional continuity helps instructors make the transition to online learning. Registration is required. 

The Instructional Continuity webpages have information and checklists for both students and faculty about how to transition to virtual learning. 

Faculty guides to Blackboard offer step-by-step guidance to a wide variety of functions needed to construct online activities. 

Find more information on the Resources for the COVID-19 Virtual Learning Period page.

Faculty should contact the Instructional Core (IC) at [email protected] or (202) 994-0485. You will be connected with an IC professional and you will receive a response within 24 hours. 

If students require support with Blackboard, please direct them to the GW Information Technology Support Center. 24-hour Blackboard support is available by calling (202) 994-4948, option 2. Assistance is also available by emailing [email protected] or submitting a support ticket.

Please contact the Instructional Core (IC) at [email protected] or (202) 994-0485. You will be connected with an IC professional and/or paired with an expert online faculty member as part of our Peer-to-Peer Program. 

The Instructional Core has compiled a team of expert GW online teaching faculty from around the university. These faculty are available for one-on-one consultation by appointment to assist faculty new to online learning. The peer-to-peer expert group can share best practices, discuss pedagogical approaches, novel ideas to ensure high quality active learning, and share experiences and tips especially geared to online learning. The Faculty Development department will facilitate introductions with our Peer-to-Peer Team Members.

Find more information on the Resources for the COVID-19 Virtual Learning Period page. 

Please contact the Instructional Core (IC) at [email protected] or (202) 994-0485. Support is available Monday through Friday: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Please be aware that as GW and other universities move to online instruction, most employers are also moving to telework, and most K12 students are at home using the internet for various activities. Given that we will be operating under unprecedented circumstances, it is essential to plan for the possibility of service degradation or interruption due to the load on the overall network. 

If you plan only to use synchronous communication to conduct classes, please develop a plan B in case your internet service at home is unable to connect to Blackboard Collaborate or WebEx during your class session. An alternate plan could be creating a Discussion Board for students to respond to questions asynchronously. Here is a guide on setting up a Discussion Board. 

If you experience this sort of interruption, don’t panic. Contact the Instructional Core at [email protected]

Respondus LockDown Browser is a custom Web browser that works by locking down the testing environment within a Blackboard course. Instructors can choose to require the LockDown Browser for any existing deployed test in their course. When a student uses Respondus LockDown Browser, they are unable to print, copy, go to another website, or access any other applications on their computer. Once an assessment is started, students are locked into the test until it is submitted for grading. Exams are created on Blackboard and deployed using the Respondus LockDown setting (see tutorials below). Students can then test on their own devices by pre-downloading Respondus LockDown widget using a unique link.

Respondus Monitor is an add-on video monitoring service that uses the Respondus Lockdown Browser. It serves as a deterrent to students using secondary computers, phones, calculators, textbooks, or receiving assistance from other students. After a student has taken an exam, instructors can review sessions to check for any suspect behavior. Respondus Monitor is suitable for low or medium-stakes exams that require student monitoring. Students can use either an internal or external webcam with Respondus Monitor. 

More information, including training resources, technical support, and information for students is available on the Resources for the COVID-19 Virtual Learning Period page. 

This document from the Instructional Core provides a technology matrix to pair your desired class activities with the appropriate tool.

Find more information on the Resources for the COVID-19 Virtual Learning Period page.

There are easy steps to take to have a more engaging and successful live learning session:

  1. Prepare in advance. Test using the software by yourself before you have everyone there as an audience. Review this guide on getting started as a moderator using Collaborate or this guide on using Webex. Prepare your slides, visuals, questions, and activities for the session along with a short agenda to keep you on track and let your learners know what to expect. Save every file you need for the session in a folder in your desktop so you can find them easily when the session is live.

  2. Engage with your learners. Try to take breaks in between lecturing to allow students to ask questions over the audio or in the chat window. “Chunk” your lecture into 5-10 minute sections in between questions or activities like polls, whiteboard, or breakout groups to keep attention and engagement higher.

  3. Record the session or explore asynchronous options. In this time of continuity, you or your students may not be in the same time zone or may be unable to completely engage in the session due to illness, children at home, etc. Provide a recording of live sessions so everyone can catch up when they’re able. You may also consider using a blog or discussion board in Blackboard as an alternate form of discussion that students can respond to in their own time.

Find more information on the Resources for the COVID-19 Virtual Learning Period page.

Many digital versions of Top Textbooks are available for free through a partnership between the GW Campus Store and the publishing community. RedShelf can provide you with up to seven free eBooks from participating publishers through May 25. Links to the digital version of individual Top Textbooks are available on the Top Textbooks page. You will be required to create a free RedShelf account with your GW email address to borrow books. Visit RedShelf to see if your other assigned textbooks are available. 

Top Textbooks not available on RedShelf and hard copy reserve readings assigned during the virtual instruction period are available via Blackboard. If you are a faculty member and need to request assigned readings be added to Blackboard, please contact [email protected] for assistance. Students, if you have required reading assignments due by April 5 that are not on Blackboard, please contact your instructor.

Most tutoring and course review sessions will be available online. Check the Academic Commons website for information on tutoring services across campus or to make an appointment.

The Gelman, Eckles, and VSTC Library buildings are closed, but remote library resources remain available to all students, faculty, and staff. Please check this list of remote library services and resources. Remote assistance is available via the virtual Ask Us desk during scheduled Ask Us Desk hours or by email at [email protected]

Himmelfarb Library will be physically closed. The library will remain open digitally, and access to remote library resources and services will remain available to all SMHS, Milken Institute School of Public Health, and GW School of Nursing students, faculty, and staff.

The GW Libraries are committed to maintaining access to course reserves, including Top Textbooks, and some print materials. However, in this quickly-changing situation, if employees are unable to come to campus some materials may not be available. We are currently working to develop a process to provide print resources remotely, in line with fair use standards.

There are some easy steps to take to make your course more accessible. The easiest one is to ensure you’re including contact information in your course for the Office of Disability Support Services (DSS) so students can request help should they need it. Here is a statement you can copy and paste into your Syllabus or into Blackboard:

Any student who may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the Office of Disability Support Services (DSS) to inquire about the documentation necessary to establish eligibility, and to coordinate a plan of reasonable and appropriate accommodations. For additional information, please call DSS at 202-994-8250, or consult https://disabilitysupport.gwu.edu.

DSS provides resources to help university faculty create inclusive, fully accessible course curricula. The Digital Accessibility Checklist provides a step-by-step plan to make improvements to the accessibility of online course materials.

Virtual Learning: Residence Halls Questions

With local and state governments continuing to implement movement restrictions and stay home instructions to limit the spread of COVID-19, we do not believe it will be safe for students and their families to return to campus in the coming weeks to move out on their own accord. With your safety as our top priority, we will begin a phased building by building process of packing and storing belongings in each residential room with the assistance of a professional moving company trained in the most up to date safety and security measures including a video chat and photographic documentation of belongings.

In this initial phase, our focus will be on packing and storing your belongings up until the start of the Fall 2020 semester at no cost to you. We are also exploring options for the retrieval of your stored belongings if this becomes a safe option or shipping some of your items. Additional information will be shared in future communication.

Find more information here

The Mount Vernon campus will remain closed throughout the university’s virtual learning period.

Mount Vernon campus residents with specific questions related to their instructional continuity period housing may contact Dan Wright, Area Coordinator for the Mount Vernon campus, at [email protected] or Campus Living & Residential Education at [email protected]

A credit will be applied to your student account for the nightly rate of your residence hall room starting March 20 through the end of the semester for the extended virtual learning period. The credit will be placed on your student account in the next few weeks. Once the credit has been processed, you will receive a notification from student accounts. After your credit is placed on your student account, a refund request can be made or the credit may remain on the account and be applied towards your housing for a future semester.

You may request a reimbursement of dining plan funds for the number of days the virtual instruction period lasts. If you paid for a parking permit, you may also request a refund for the number of days the virtual instruction period lasts. To request either or both reimbursements, please complete this form.

All other GWorld funds will remain in your account and will continue to carry over year to year. They will not expire unless your account is inactive for 36 consecutive months.

Each building and room type has a different rate. If you take your semester rate and divide it by 123 days, you will find out the per-day rate for your room.

Residence Halls are highly populated and dense living areas which can make viruses like COVID-19 more likely to spread through a population. In most cases, returning home or returning to caregivers is the safest option for students as they can stay in a less populated area and have family/guardians around them. Additionally, the campus staff will be stretched during this time and will be unable to support a large residential population.

For any student who is experiencing an extraordinary financial hardship, support is available. Students may request emergency assistance through the GW CARES Student Assistance Fund or by contacting [email protected]. The Student Support staff will work with individual students to identify needs and identify solutions to the fullest extent they are able.

Please refer any questions you have regarding the closure of residence halls during the virtual instruction period to your Area Coordinator or Community Director. To the right is a list of contact information for each residence hall. You may also direct questions to Campus Living & Residential Education by emailing [email protected], calling 202-994-2552, or visiting the CLRE office in Amsterdam Hall from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Virtual Learning: Campus Operations 

The Foggy Bottom clinic and the Mount Vernon clinic are closed for in-person visits until further notice.

The Colonial Health Center’s top priority is the health and well-being of GW students. If you have any COVID-19 related questions, please contact the Colonial Health Center office at 202-994-5300. The medical advice line and counselors are available to speak with students 24 hours a day.

Please read the following information closely for more information appointments and services available for the remainder of the spring semester:

Medical and Psychiatry Appointments:
During this period of virtual instruction, if you are currently living outside of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan region and are sick, we suggest that you call a medical provider closer to you for more immediate in-person assistance.

Please check with your insurance company to inquire about telemedicine services. For students on GW’s Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), telemedicine services are offered through Teladoc.

For our patients who have questions about continuing your psychiatric care, please contact GW’s case manager at 202-994-1621 for individualized assistance.

Counseling and Psychological Appointments:
The center has canceled all regularly scheduled ongoing counseling sessions as of March 17. Students seeking ongoing or continuing counseling services will be encouraged to have their consultation over the telephone. 

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 911 or visit your nearest hospital emergency room. Other telehealth supports, no matter your location, are:

If you are in need of securing on-going counseling services during the virtual instruction period, you may email your GW CHC counselor directly or you may call your insurance company for a list of local providers. These counseling and psychological service informational sites may also be of assistance:

Students who are enrolled in the student health insurance through the GW Aetna Plan and would like to secure a community based counselor in a location more convenient to where you are currently living, please explore GW’s Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan to search for providers in their area.

Services Available by Phone:
ALL students, no matter your location, can access the following services:

  • 24/7 Phone Consultations: A medical advice line and counselors are available for consultations with students by calling 202-994-5300. An on-call medical provider or counselor provide you with information on next steps for your care. Please note, counseling licensing laws prohibit providing distance-based counseling.
  • Prescription Refills: Refills for existing CHC patients may be managed by calling 202-994-5300.

Self-Care and Connecting with Us:
We realize that this is a period of uncertainty for many, and you may be experiencing a variety of emotions. Please practice self-care during this time and focus on your physical, mental and physical well-being. During tough times, it is often the thing most easily forgotten; however, it is the best thing you can do to help yourself.

We also recognize that you may still have questions about your health and well-being as you transition into this virtual instruction period. We will gladly answer your questions in the days to come. We are available during business hours by phone at 202-994-8951 or by email at [email protected]Please do not include any confidential medical information in your initial written outreach to us.

  • The Vern Express has suspended operations. 
  • MVC dining venues, Mail & Package Services, onsite administrative offices, onsite technology support, and lab support will remain suspended and/or closed until the campus reopens.
  • Access to campus buildings while the campus is closed is limited to staff and faculty whose offices are on the Mount Vernon campus. Buildings will remain locked and closed to the public while the campus is closed.
  • Only essential facilities, safety, and security personnel will remain onsite to maintain critical building systems and security while the campus is closed.
  • Facilities personnel will perform enhanced cleaning of campus buildings, including classrooms. Building systems, including HVAC, will be adjusted for extended vacancy while the campus is closed.
  • The Safeway Shuttle suspended service until fall semester.

For faculty and staff with offices on the Mount Vernon campus:

Faculty and staff are strongly discouraged from utilizing onsite facilities while the campus is closed during the virtual learning period. That being said, we recognize there may be instances requiring onsite access to instructional materials, technology, labs, or other items essential for instructional or business continuity. The following functions/services will be in place during this time:

  • Faculty and staff with offices on the Mount Vernon campus and those with existing GWorld access permissions will maintain access while the campus is closed. Eckles Library is closed and will remain accessible only to library personnel until the campus reopens.
  • Individuals are responsible for use and care of spaces while the campus is closed. This includes ensuring doors are locked, lights turned off, and any trash is taken outside of the building and properly disposed. There will be no office, lab, or building housekeeping services performed while the campus is closed. 
  • Facilities maintenance and repair requests should still be submitted via FixIt request while the campus is closed. Any facilities emergencies should be immediately reported to Facilities Central 24/7 at 202-994-6706 x2. 
  • Unit managers will provide direction to staff related to work arrangements, assignments, and any adjusted responsibilities during the virtual learning period. Designated onsite staff may be re-deployed support critical operations on the Foggy Bottom campus.

Lerner Health and Wellness Center and West Hall Gym is closed. The VSTC Fitness Center is also closed until further notice.

For GW employees: The university is suspending monthly deductions for the Lerner Health & Wellness Center during this interim period.

Based on CDC guidance to minimize mass gatherings, all student organization activities and events scheduled to be held during instructional continuity have been canceled.

If you are a student who was planning to attend a student organized event during that time, please contact the event organizer. If you are a student leader in charge of one of those events, please see the guidance issued by the Office of Student Life sent on March 11. 

All on-campus events are canceled through the end of the semester.

We encourage using remote technology to collaborate via teleconferencing instead of meeting in person to help avoid the spread of coronavirus. Departments should cancel their space reservations for events that will no longer be taking place. Our campuses will remain open and operations will continue with appropriate measures to protect the health of the community.

All Admissions visits scheduled to take place during the virtual learning period have been canceled. 

All GWorld funds will remain in your account and will continue to carry over year to year. They will not expire unless your account is inactive for 36 consecutive months.

However, students may request a reimbursement of the dining plan for the number of days the instructional continuity period lasts. To request this reimbursements, please complete this form.

EMeRG operations have been suspended. 

Faculty and Staff:

Mail service and delivery will continue. To ensure receipt of mail, make sure it is part of your continuity plan.

Mail and Package Services ("MPS") at VSTC and FB are able to hold mail for pickup.

  • The department head will need to email [email protected] staff names authorized for pick up.
  • MPS staff will keep mail sorted by department and GWorld Card must be shown and will be verified against the list of authorized names.
  • DO NOT have mail forwarded by the USPS through their Business portal – all of GW mail could end up at your home and the USPS process takes two weeks to activate.

If you are expecting a package from FedEx/UPS/etc. and your building is not open during instructional continuity, packages will be returned to the sender.

  • You must work with the sender/carrier to redirect packages to alternate address.  

As of Monday, March 16:

  • The Marvin Center garage is closed to the public and current permit holders.
  • The 1957 E Street garage is closed to the public and current permit holders.
  • Permit holders in the Marvin Center and 1957 E Street garages will be contacted in the near future about alternate parking locations.
  • Designated on-site employees who do not have the option to telework will be provided information about where they can park on campus.
  • All other garages will continue their normal operations and are open to the public, permit holders, and GW daily parkers.
  • Teleworking employees who may have to occasionally come to campus are encouraged to use a pay to park garage or available street parking.

The Marvin Center

  • The Marvin Center is closed to the public. The Marvin Center will remain open to all students, faculty and staff with an active GWorld card from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to allow access to the Colonial Health Center and student support offices (Colonial Crossroads) on the 5th floor with limited operational hours. Please check their websites or call for the latest information.
  • GWorld cardholders should use the upper H Street entrance to gain access to The Marvin Center.
  • The Marvin Center garage will be closed to the public and current permit holders. Permit holders in the Marvin Center were contacted about alternate parking locations.

Academic and Other Buildings

  • The Milken Institute School of Public Health will maintain its current access control policies with a guard.
  • Access to Ross Hall will be restricted to personnel authorized by the SMHS Chief of Staff.
  • All other buildings at the Foggy Bottom, Mount Vernon and Virginia Science and Technology campuses and all Virginia academic centers will be secured and only available to authorized GWorld card holders.
  • The Corcoran Flagg Building is closed to the public.
  • The GW Law School will be closed to the public and accessible only to those with GWorld access.

Information about available dining options is being updated regularly here

Information regarding the status of research facilities is being updated regularly here.

As the university has asked all employees that can work remote to do so until further notice, VSTC Shuttle operations will continue to be suspended until normal work operations resume.

The Vern Express has suspended operations.

The Safeway Shuttle suspended service until fall semester.

If you have any questions please email [email protected]

The Title IX office remains open and is functioning remotely at this time. Now that classes and other academic programs are being conducted online, the Title IX office reminds members of our community that maintaining an academic program free from sex/gender discrimination remains a high priority for the university. 

The office issued guidance on this subject to the GW community on March 26. You can find that information here

GW and the GW Medical Faculty Associates (MFA) are working closely with the GW Hospital to understand their needs and provide all the support possible. The university will be providing temporary housing to medical professionals who are unable to travel home to be with their families while they are providing urgent medical care during this growing pandemic. These rooms will be available starting April 13.

For more information about available housing, please contact Tanya Keys at [email protected]

In a letter to the GW community on April 27, GW President Thomas LeBlanc announced the following actions:

  • Senior leadership will take a reduction in salary. This includes the president, provost, EVP/CFO, vice presidents, deans and director of athletics. These changes will take effect on July 1 and continue at least through the remainder of the calendar year.
     
  • The university will freeze all salaries and not award merit increases this year to faculty and staff.
     
  • At this time, the university is not planning immediate layoffs or furloughs. GW will do everything it can to utilize these types of personnel actions only if necessary, but there may come a time when we will need to exercise these options, as other universities have done.

Read the April 27 letter here.

Dr. LeBlanc previously announced in March that the university was suspending all nonessential hiring and noncritical capital projects, and would pause strategic planning for the foreseeable future. He also requested that all university leadership implement cost savings and avoid expenditures in our operations wherever possible.

Student Employees

GW announced last week that classes for GW students will be moved entirely online starting on Monday, March 23 and continuing through the end of the spring semester. Administrative offices, including Student Employment, will remain open during this time.

Due to this, we are providing you with a list of reminders and resources for you and your student employees during this time:

In-Person Work: Students may have an opportunity to report to work on-site if they will remain in DC in alternative housing. These opportunities will be handled on a case by case basis by the employers and subject to the operating status of the University. 

Remote Work: We encourage you to provide students the flexibility to work remotely wherever possible, but realize that in many situations there is no way to do this or it does not make sense. Please take this, GW’s operating status, and the safety and comfort of your student and professional staff in mind when making staffing decisions during this time. At this time student employees are not required to complete the Telecommuting Assessment and Agreement for COVID-19 (referenced in the email from President LeBlanc on March 10, 2020).

Further FWS Support: With support from the Provost and the Office of Student Financial Assistance, GW will follow the Department of Education’s (DOE) guidance and continue to allow departments to enter time(s) on the student's Kronos time card that would have been worked through the end of the Federal Work Study (FWS) Program, May 2, 2020, or up to the point where the student's FWS award has been reached. Departments and organizations will still be responsible for 25% of the student's earnings and the earnings will be subtracted from the student’s overall FWS allotment. Departments are strongly urged to consider using this opportunity to further support our FWS students. FWS students who work for off-campus organizations should check with their employer about this opportunity.

As always, please reach out to [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.

With support from the Provost and the Office of Student Financial Assistance, GW will follow the Department of Education’s (DOE) guidance and continue to allow departments to enter time(s) on the student's Kronos time card that would have been worked through the end of the Federal Work Study (FWS) Program, May 2, 2020, or up to the point where the student's FWS award has been reached. Departments and organizations will still be responsible for 25% of the student's earnings and the earnings will be subtracted from the student’s overall FWS allotment. Departments are strongly urged to consider using this opportunity to further support our FWS students. FWS students who work for off-campus organizations should check with their employer about this opportunity.

Sick LeaveGW student employees have paid sick leave available to them based on the number of hours they have worked in GW positions. Per GW policy and procedures regarding sick leave usage, students may request to use sick leave to cover regularly scheduled shifts missed due to illness. You can view full information and instructions on requesting sick leave on the GW Benefits website.

International Students

1. On March 19, the State Department issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory and advised Americans to avoid all international travel. Americans abroad were urged to return to the U.S. or prepare to shelter in place. 

2. Students who are traveling internationally should be aware that any country may impose travel restrictions at any given time.  These changes may be given with little notice or predictability.

3. Students are advised to travel with a copy of their I-94 and I-94 travel history (https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov) and any other documentation in case they are asked to demonstrate whether or not they have been to an impacted area.

4. Closely monitor travel advisories and updates for any country you are travelling or transiting through.

  • WHO

  • Local/national departments of health

  • Visit country-specific consular websites

5. Monitor the CDC website and note any travel restrictions the U.S. may impose which could impact reentry.

6. Please remember to obtain a travel signature from your ISO advisor on your I-20 or DS-2019.

GW made plans to move most courses and programs online beginning March 23 through the end of the spring semester due to fluid and rapidly evolving COVID-19 health concerns. Recently released guidance by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) note that online coursework will not affect full time enrollment status.

While a travel signature is not needed to depart the U.S, it is absolutely required if you plan to return. ISO recommends that students obtain a travel signature on their DS-2019 or I20 prior to leaving if possible.

No. If you are enrolled for classes, pursuing study abroad opportunities, or conducting research while maintaining appropriate class enrollment during the COVID-19 pandemic, you will not be subject to the Five Month Rule. Students who are outside of the U.S. for more than 5 months and not enrolled or pursuing their degree plan will lose their immigration status.

Yes, you may continue to apply for both OPT and STEM applications if you meet the eligibility requirements and are still within the eligible date ranges. While USCIS has temporarily suspended routine in-person services to help slow the spread of COVID-19, they will continue to perform duties that do not involve contact with the public.

At this point in time, there has been no extension granted to OPT unemployment time in response to the COVID-19 crisis. 

It is important to confirm with your employer if you are being laid off or if you are being "furloughed/placed on temporary leave." If you are placed on leave, with or without pay, but will return when the company reopens, the days you are not working will not count as unemployment. If you are unsure, please contact your HR department or supervisor to make this distinction.

GW Information Technology has received several reports of a phishing scam targeting international students on campus. Victims of this scam may receive a fraudulent email claiming to be from the GW International Services Office. The communication directs the recipient to make a substantial bank deposit and provide other personal information in order to guarantee enrollment for Fall 2020 courses due to COVID-19.

The GW community should ignore such requests and report any suspicious electronic communication to [email protected]. Always be wary of messages requesting account verification, confirmation or upgrade, payment or personal information such as your passwords, GWID, Social Security number or credit card information.

Universities are frequently targeted by malicious actors who will attempt to acquire personal information about you and other members of the university community through email and over the phone. Please be aware that these attempts often seem legitimate.

Ask questions, trust your instincts, and if things seem off, don’t be afraid to take a message and follow-up later. Attackers will frequently use a sense of urgency to elicit the victim into making a risky decision.

The Department of Homeland Security encourages the public to report suspected illicit criminal activity or fraudulent schemes related to the COVID-19 pandemic to [email protected].

Future Programs 

All residence halls will remain closed throughout the summer. In addition, the university will not provide intern or conference housing this summer.

Gelman Library, Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library and the Jacob Burns Law Library buildings will remain closed until further notice. All libraries remain open virtually with online support. Remote library services and resources remain available, although all library buildings will remain closed until further notice. Sharing of print materials is suspended during this time, but digitization of print materials may be available with longer turn-around times. This is dependent on the safety for staff to work in the building. 

The George Washington University Museum and the Textile Museum will remain closed until further notice.

We expect restrictions on travel and gathering to be in place into the start of the summer semester. Thus, in addition to our regularly scheduled online courses, GW will make online accommodations to the courses that are scheduled to be taught in person for summer 2020.

This means that courses will meet in an online format throughout the summer and that some classes previously scheduled may have to be canceled. Curriculum and courses with clinical training are being shifted for the summer. Clinical programs will reach out to students about the ways in which the curriculum is being adjusted. Students should continue to check the summer schedule for upcoming changes.

More information on summer courses can be found here.

GW will be open this fall and operating to the fullest extent that is safely possible, with the goal of in-person instruction and a residential academic experience. 

The university will provide updates on the university's instructional plans throughout the summer. As we work to develop these plans, we are doing so with a commitment to both safety and care for our students, staff, and faculty.

GW staff and faculty have been working tirelessly to prepare for the university’s planned Aug. 31 fall start while also developing contingency plans for all possibilities. These planning efforts are called the Back to Campus Initiative.

Effective April 16, all students currently registered for the spring 2020 semester are able to register for classes as scheduled during the summer and fall 2020 registration cycles, regardless of your current account balance.

Please note that this change in policy applies to summer and fall registration only, and while your account may still display a hold, it will not prevent you from registering. Our current policy is in effect for transcript and diploma requests.

If you have any questions, please contact our team at Student Financial and Registration Services at 202-994-7350 or [email protected].

Student Abroad Programs

GW’s Office for International Programs and related offices continuously review changing safety conditions and risk levels around the world. This information is shared with the academic units in GW’s schools and colleges as well as students in GW approved study abroad programs and those traveling on GW-affiliated non-credit trips (e.g., service or volunteering, athletic, debate, research). Escalations of risk are monitored through sources such as:

  • CDC and State Department risk levels
  • Information from GW's insurance and security firms
  • Information from GW academic and other experts (e.g., regional experts, medical experts)
  • Information from network of higher education institutions with similar programs

The univesity has determined it is necessary to continue the suspension of all non-essential international travel until further notice.

Study abroad programs and other international undergraduate student travel is considered non-essential through fall semester 2020. Students who were scheduled to study abroad this fall have been contacted directly with additional information.

The university will not approve future GW-affiliated student international travel through July 1. 

Cancelation of your academic program may affect your international student status. Please contact an International Service Office advisor for personalized advising services regarding your situation.

On March 19, the State Department issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory and advised Americans to avoid all international travel. Americans abroad were urged to return to the U.S. or prepare to shelter in place. 

Quarantine is determined by officials in each country and will be based on factors that health officials in that country wish to apply for the safety of their nation. These decisions are not entirely predictable world-wide. If you travel to a high-risk destination, such as any destination that the CDC has given a Travel Health Notice, your risk of quarantine is higher. If you have traveled to or through an area with recognized active transmission of a novel virus, any location you move through could impose a quarantine. Because the current public health alert is dynamic and evolving daily, we cannot predict what local agencies will do in the coming days and weeks as new cases develop.

Please keep in mind that a quarantine period is typically 14 days or more and you may not be able to complete your travel itinerary until the quarantine period has elapsed. 

Students enrolled through GW Passport, the software application that supports GW student international travel and study abroad, will receive communication from their Study Abroad Advisor, their program manager within the dean's office, or the International Programs office. Students inquiring about future programs should contact [email protected]. Please keep in mind that GW personnel must obey FERPA guidelines when speaking with parties other than the student about a student’s academic program.  

Because of the unusual nature of this global health situation, the university is making a special policy exception and will compensate students who were set to participate in a short-term abroad programs who have directly incurred program-specific expenses. Given the unique nature of these individualized programs, the compensation process will vary by program and student. Student Accounts will credit 100 percent of a pre-paid program fee onto the student’s account. In addition, students will be reimbursed for demonstrated out-of-pocket, unrecoverable program-specific expenses related to airfare and lodging. School and unit staff representatives are working directly with the students in these programs.   

For those students participating in a full-term spring study abroad opportunity whose original program has been affected, our pledge is to work to understand and address each student’s circumstances. We are currently coordinating information with various partners, including those across the university and our third-party program providers, so that we may provide our students with the best recommendations for the remainder of the semester.

Staff from the Study Abroad Office will be working directly with these students. School administrators and the Office for Study Abroad have already worked with many of these students and begun or completed resolution of their cases. If you are not already working with GW officials on your situation, please contact your study abroad advisor or write to [email protected].

Graduate student international travel that is necessary for academic credit required for graduation and cannot be postponed or offered online or domestically may be considered essential based on approval of the relevant dean or vice president. International travel that is an optional component of an academic requirement is considered non-essential.

Research Activities

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) and its units are tracking university and sponsor guidance. Researchers are encouraged to check OVPR’s COVID-19 webpage for the latest updates.

In the event of a significant disruption to lab functions, the Office of Laboratory Safety (OLS) has provided a checklist to help investigators ramp-down research activities in a safe and efficient manner. The checklist is intended to complement the continuity plans that principal investigators have already developed.

View additional COVID-19 planning information for labs.

The OLS checklist may not address every consideration for every lab. Contact the Office of Laboratory Safety at [email protected] or the Office of Health and Emergency Management at [email protected] with questions about how to secure hazards or safely suspend research operations in your laboratory.

The Office of Human Research (OHR) strongly urges investigators to take steps to decrease the likelihood that they will put themselves, members of their study teams, or their study participants at risk of becoming infected with or transmitting COVID-19. Principal investigators and their study teams should carefully consider their research protocols in light of the rapidly evolving environment, while being mindful of university and sponsor guidelines. OHR has provided more detailed guidance for investigators.

OHR staff are available for phone consultations. Email [email protected] to schedule a session.

Research that can be conducted remotely will continue. Decisions when on-campus research activities can resume will be made separately.

 

GW scholars and researchers are stepping forward to dedicate their efforts and expertise to understanding COVID-19 and mitigating the impacts of the current pandemic. Discovering and disseminating new knowledge for the public good is at the heart of GW’s mission. In support of that mission and our innovative research community, the Office of the Vice President for Research in collaboration with the Milken Institute School of Public Health and the School of Medicine and Health Sciences announces a new special funding opportunity, the COVID-19 Research Fund.

The goal of the COVID-19 Research Fund is to support as many high-impact projects as possible with the allocated funding. In anticipation of a high volume of proposals, we ask that applicants only request funding that cannot be secured elsewhere and that is critical to achieve the project’s objectives.

Find more details about the fund and how to apply here.

Research-related travel by faculty, staff and graduate students that cannot be postponed or managed by alternative methods and is required to preserve the results of an ongoing research activity is considered essential.

Guidance for Staff

The university’s time-off policy is being augmented specifically for the COVID-19 situation.

To support our staff, a new paid time off option, Pandemic Time (PND), is available effective March 16, 2020 and can be submitted in Kronos using the instructions provided here. The new PND time replaces the previously announced option of using sick time in advance of accrual.

Eligible situations where an employee can use PND:

  • Self-isolation or quarantine, even if they are not sick, when it is required or recommended by a public health authority or health care provider.
  • Obtaining a personal diagnosis or care for COVID-19 exposure or symptoms.
  • Assisting a family member who is self-quarantined because of a COVID-19 diagnosis or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and needs to obtain medical diagnosis or care.
  • Caring for an immediate family member who is not sick but needs care due to COVID-19 related closures of schools or daycare.

Find more information on the GW Benefits website.

Please note that the university reserves the right to recuperate this time off from the final paycheck of staff who terminate shortly after using Pandemic Time.

In addition to GW’s virtual town halls and frequently updated GW COVID-19 website, the university has implemented a live-answer GW Information Line for COVID-19-related questions for faculty and staff.

This Information Line will be staffed by Human Resource Management and Development (HRMD), and can be reached at 1-855-GWU-INFO (855-498-4636) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please be aware that specialists on this Information Line will not be able to answer medical questions or provide counseling, but will instead provide support and information regarding employment-related issues faculty and staff may face during this rapidly evolving situation. Specialists will also help connect community members with the appropriate offices or resources if they are unable to answer your specific question. If you have any questions regarding payroll or teleworking, please contact your HR representative

During this unprecedented time, we must approach safety and care using all available resources. While our website and Information Line are critical parts of our response, enhancing our medical and wellbeing benefits is fundamental to how we can support you. Please review the most up-to-date medical, pharmacy, and wellbeing resources available on the Benefits website. If you have any questions on your benefits, please direct them to [email protected] or 571-553-8382.

If you are returning from a Level 3 country, you are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. If you are not returning from a Level 3 country, are not exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, and you have no reason to believe that you have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with the virus, you are welcome back on campus. 

Employees may file an accident report if they feel they contracted an illness through the course of work, and supervisors should complete an as soon as possible. The Incident Reporting Form reports should be submitted to Risk Management for review and determination, feel free to contact them at [email protected] or 202-994-3265. 

We understand the news about COVID-19 can be stressful. Please reach out to the Wellbeing Hotline at 1-866-522-8509 for support.

The university recently announced that all benefits-eligible faculty and staff members will have free, unlimited access to Headspace, a tool designed to provide a collection of mindfulness, sleep, and movement exercises. Instructions on how to sign-up and begin can be found on the Human Resource Management and Development website. Find more information here

We do not expect the campus to close at this time. Please frequently check your emails for GW alerts and the university’s website which will provide updated information when available. 

While we understand the concerns raised by the spread of COVID-19, absent (a) verifiable information suggesting that a community member was exposed to the virus, (b) a recommendation of self-quarantine (e.g., return from a Level 3 country), or (c) a showing of symptoms of infection, the university cannot require individuals who have merely traveled abroad be quarantined.

Please consult the COVID-19 Remote Work page for additional guidance and speak with your supervisor.

There are currently no changes to the status of employees returning to our campuses. Only designated on-site employees should travel to and from our campuses. Current telework requirements for our employees and guidance for designated on-site employees remain in place.

GW is working closely with local officials and monitoring announcements of any phased re-opening. When GW receives information regarding the re-opening of the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland, we will provide our community members with clear guidelines of how our campuses will follow suit.

There is no charge for attending a WebEx meeting when you use your computer to participate in the meeting. This is the preferred method of participation. If attendees opt to participate via the toll-free dial in or the “Call Me” feature the meeting host will be charged the standard contractual rate per minute per attendee who use this service. There is no charge from GW to individual department for WebEx attendees to attend using the 415 area code number.

More information can be found on the GW Information Technology website.

  • Additional guidance for faculty and staff can be found here.
  • Guidance for students can be found here.

Designated employees will receive parking access on their GWorld cards to either the Academic Center garage or the G Street garage. Please contact your supervisor for more information.

Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to a job-protected leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Contact GW Benefits at [email protected] or 571-553-8382 if you have any questions regarding FMLA and/or benefits continuation options. Feel free to also consult with your HR representative.

If it is for your personal health and you have exhausted your FMLA, employees should contact the EEO/ER office at [email protected] or 202-994-9656. However, if it is for a family member, please consult your supervisor and HR representative. You may also discuss the possibility of telecommuting with your supervisor and HR representative, if you are not able to come into the office due to caring for a family member.

Employees may sign up for or suspend their parking payroll deductions at any time.

The university is also suspending monthly deductions for the Lerner Health & Wellness Center during this interim period.

The university is temporarily enhancing its Annual Time Carryover policy to allow all benefits-eligible staff to carry over up to 10 days of accrued but unused annual time. These carryover days must be used by October 31, 2020. 

There will be no change made to the number of days eligible for payout upon departing the university. The maximum number of accrued but unused carryover days eligible for payout remains at five days.

Find more information on the policy here.

Guidance for Supervisors

Leaders and supervisors should follow the guidelines set forth for flexible work arrangements in the March 13, 2020 email. Please refer to the Remote Work tab on this website for more guidance. 

Supervisors should be aware of employee time-off balances and can refer to their HR representative. Please refer to the Remote Work tab on this website for more guidance. 

Terms and conditions of employment are generally governed by the respective collective bargaining agreements. Contact your HR representative for questions regarding changes to union employees work assignments.

Employees should follow normal university/department procedures and call supervisors to inform them if they are unable to report to work, either because of their own illness or to take care of an ill family member. During this temporary period, the university will be flexible and not require doctor’s certification for short-term sick time absences, unless the employee qualifies for FMLA. It is important that supervisors know the time off balance status of employee. Contact your HR representative with any questions concerning time balances.

The first priority is for sick employees to recover as soon as possible. The CDC advises that individuals with COVID-19 follow the directions and guidance of their healthcare provider.

Supervisors should seek assistance from their HR representative if an employee exhibits COVID-19 symptoms. Action should not be taken based solely on a supervisor’s subjective assessments of an employee’s medical condition. Further, employees who have travelled to a CDC Level 3 Country and have not self-quarantined will be sent home, even if they are not symptomatic. Supervisors should consult with their HR representative with any questions or concerns.

Management should complete a continuity of operations plan; review the following template plans for your respective areas; GW Academic COOP Plan, GW Administration COOP Plan, GW Laboratory  COOP Plan, and GW Research COOP Plan. This includes, for example, cross-training employees to take on other essential functions. Employees may be asked and are expected to take on additional or different duties for a period of time, including duties outside of their normal job responsibilities, flexible work arrangements, including telecommuting, should also be considered for those employees who are medically able to work and whose positions are suitable for telecommuting. Contact your HR representative regarding this issue. 

Employees who are otherwise healthy and not immunocompromised, or who have not traveled to a Level 3 country, are required to perform their duties as outlined by their position description and managerial expectations. If an employee is concerned, they should discuss this with their supervisor and HR representative.

The university is working diligently to protect members of the GW community whom the CDC considers to be “at risk,” such as older adults or individuals with an underlying medical issue that can be compromised by COVID-19. Supervisors are encouraged to speak with employees to discuss any concerns the employee may have about the safety of the workplace and actions the university is taking to help ensure a safe workplace. Supervisors should not ask employees specific questions about their health history or current health condition. Employees with concerns may also be encouraged to contact the university’s Wellbeing Hotline to speak with a professional counselor.

Leave by an otherwise healthy employee for the sole purpose of avoiding exposure to the COVID-19 is not covered under the university’s sick time policy or under the FMLA absent a serious health condition. Employees may request to use accrued annual time and/or unpaid time as appropriate. Such time-off requests or other potential work options must be approved by the supervisor, in consultation with their HR representative.

Please refer to the Remote Work tab on this website for more guidance. 

Faculty and Staff Travel

The university has suspended all non-essential international travel until further notice.

Any university-affiliated travel that is believed to be essential will be subject to approval from the relevant dean or vice president. International travel by faculty or staff is not essential if it can be postponed or managed by alternative methods, such as electronically. Professional or educational conferences are defined as non-essential international travel.

To request approval to engage in essential travel, GW community members should contact their dean or vice president.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to refrain from any nonessential, GW-affiliated travel.

Individuals taking trips are advised to stay in touch with their counterparts at the locations they are visiting to obtain their latest operating status. Many organizations and institutions are implementing social distancing strategies similar to ours, and are canceling large gatherings.

Research-related travel by faculty, staff and graduate students that cannot be postponed or managed by alternative methods and is required to preserve the results of an ongoing research activity is considered essential.

Please contact your dean or vice president.