The university plans to begin the spring semester virtually to allow for a gradual and careful in-person return to campus.
Dear GW Community Members,
We write today to update you on our planning for spring semester operations. The number of positive COVID-19 cases among our community members continues to increase and remains high. This current surge, largely fueled by the Omicron variant, has required us to review our approach to how we return to campus in the new year and commence the Spring 2022 semester while ensuring our students, faculty and staff remain healthy and safe.
Our Medical Advisory Group continues to monitor data on COVID-19 transmission on our campuses and in the region, as well as local and federal public health guidance. In addition, the CDC is predicting a potential peak in COVID-19 cases in January. Based on this information, we are developing plans based on a number of scenarios.
At this time, we plan to begin the spring semester virtually to allow for a gradual and careful in-person return to campus. We anticipate that this will be a temporary adjustment, and we are projecting that full in-person operations will resume on January 18, following the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. The university, including libraries and laboratories, will reopen after winter break on January 3.
In addition, we will adjust the deadline of the COVID-19 vaccine booster mandate and will require that all eligible, returning community members receive a booster dose and upload documentation by January 10, instead of February 1. The booster is required for campus access.
These decisions were made with our foremost priority of safety in mind and were based on the unprecedented rapid rise in cases and the unknown information about the severity of the Omicron variant. We believe that our vaccine and booster mandate, indoor mask requirement and routine COVID-19 testing and contact tracing programs will help our community stay healthy and protected. President-elect Mark S. Wrighton has been included in discussions regarding the start of the spring semester and supports the plans that have been made.
We will provide additional information to students, faculty and staff soon, including guidance on COVID-19 testing prior to returning to campus, and we will update you on any changes.
We are grateful for your continued cooperation to help keep our community safe, and we wish you a happy new year.
Thomas J. LeBlanc
Christopher Alan Bracey
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
M.L. “Cissy” Petty
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Interim Vice President and Chief People Officer
Ray Lucas, M.D.