George Mason University

Coronavirus/COVID-19

Mason is monitoring the outbreak of coronavirus/COVID-19, following guidelines from the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health, and sending regular updates via email.

Mason Epidemiologist Amira Roess on COVID-19 Testing, Opening the Economy 


Mason Students Give Advice on Social Distancing


 

Message from President Holton: Northern Virginia in Phase 2

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Read the president’s message.

Help Mason Students Complete Their Studies

You can contribute to Mason's Student Emergency Assistance Fund. The affects of the coronavirus outbreak are causing significant disruptions to student life at Mason.

Many students lack the financial cushion needed to travel home, to find alternate housing arrangements, or to even know where their next meal is coming from. Some lack the technical and digital access to continue to take classes online. For these students, a few hundred dollars could be the difference between getting through this crisis with a degree, or being forced to withdraw.

Your gift could have a real impact on our students' lives. Thanks so much for thinking of Mason, and thinking of them.

MAKE A GIFT


 

Plans and Operations FAQs

Are Mason campuses still open?

Mason buildings are closed to the general public for the foreseeable future. We also will be mandating telework for all faculty and staff except for those who need to work on campus to continue critical functions for the university.

Virginia Governor Northam’s March 30 Stay at Home Executive Order (PDF) has extended the stay-at-home period through June 10.

This order reinforces the university’s current guidance for mandatory telework and social distancing precautions with exceptions for health care personnel, critical work, research, and instruction that can only be conducted on campus.

The order also specifically directs higher education institutions to cease all in-person classes and instruction, and cancel all gatherings of more than 10 individuals, consistent with actions Mason has already taken. The order effectively extends these actions on campus until June 10.

To ensure compliance with this order, deans and supervisors will be asked to re-examine all work currently taking place on campus and with the directive that all non-critical functions cease immediately. The university is working on a process to provide credentials for those faculty and staff who must travel to and from campus. University faculty and staff should carry Mason identification when traveling to and from work.

Police and Safety Headquarters will remain open, with police patrolling the campus and facilities monitoring buildings. 

Mason library facilities, including Fenwick, closed as of March 23.  Library services will continue to operate, will expand virtual access as feasible, and will be available virtually to support faculty and students in accessing needed materials for online classes and assisting with other resources and services.  Find more details about library services and accompanying policy changes during this period.

SUB I will be closed to the public, but Student Health Services, the Mason Card Office, and the Cashier’s Office will be open on a limited access basis.

  • To limit risk of infection, we ask students to call 703-993-2831 and speak with a nurse prior to coming in to Student Health Services. For more information, visit the Student Health Services page and click the Patient Notice link.
  • To conduct business at the Mason Card Office, call 703-993-1004 to make an appointment.
  • The Cashier's Office will take appointments Monday to Friday, from 9 to 11 a.m. Call 703-993-2498. 

The HUB will be closed to the public. Packages from USPS, UPS, FedEx and Amazon will be delivered to the Mail Center in the HUB.  Individuals with a valid Mason ID will be able to access the HUB via the ground floor (basement level) door across from the Shenandoah parking deck, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Friday for mail and package pickup.

Where can I find information about working / studying remotely?

ITS is working with offices across the university to adapt our services to meet the needs of the Mason community and will continue to share information as it is available. The ITS Support Center is available to support faculty, staff, and students at certain times every day:

  • Monday through Thursday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sunday: 2 to 10 p.m.

If you have questions or need assistance, contact the ITS Support Center at 703-993-8870.

Working Remotely

All information related to telework technologies is available at Working Remotely: A Guide to Maintaining Continuity.

To help employees stay connected to the workplace, ITS offers communication, collaboration, and productivity tools, which are fully supported and meet the university’s standards for security, accessibility, and compliance. 

  • Office 365: Employee email and calendar 
  • OneDrive for Business: Cloud-based storage to store and share Mason-related files
  • Virtual Private Network: Secure access from off-campus to select Mason applications, including MESA and Banner Admin
  • Webex Meetings: Cloud-based web conferencing tool for meetings and collaboration 
  • Webex Teams: Commonly used for group and one-on-one chat, file sharing, screen sharing, and video/audio calling

Additionally, ITS has introduced new tools to help support the increase in remote work. 

  • Microsoft Teams: Unified communication and collaboration platform that provides chat, video meetings, file storage, and integration with the Microsoft Office Suite
  • Windows Virtual Desktop (VDI): Secure access for users on personal computers to a Windows desktop environment for access to Mason applications and the Microsoft Office Suite  
  • Note: MS Teams and VDI require Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) for Office 365. See the ITS website to enroll in 2FA for Office 365 and to request these services.

Our technology leaders are in frequent contact with Cisco, Blackboard and Microsoft to ensure increased digital capacity. However, because many schools and businesses are looking to these same vendors for support, there may be technology glitches.  Faculty are encouraged to make back-up plans for course instruction or consider asynchronous class structures. 

Contact the ITS Support Center in the event of a technology problem so it can be monitored and shared, and monitor the ITS Alert page. If you have not already registered for the ITS Alert listserv, please take a moment to subscribe so you can be made aware of issues as they arise.

Studying Remotely

  • Exam strategies.
  • Survival skills for finals.
  • Memory strategies.
  • Note-Taking.
Is the Mason shuttle still running?

As of April 20, only the Fairfax/SciTech route is running on a reduced schedule.

There is no weekend service until further notice.

The CUE Bus is still running.  

Check your individual route when planning a trip. 

What’s going on with Metro access?

Metro closed the Virginia Square and Clarendon Stops on March 26, which are the closest stops to the Arlington Campus. The stops are two of 17 that closed as part of Metro’s response to COVID-19.

Metro recommends using the Ballston stop as an alternative, which is approximately a mile away from the Arlington Campus.

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Mason Parking Services suspended parking payroll deductions through August.  Payroll deduction will begin again on September 1. 

In addition, general area and reserved parking restrictions will be lifted for all parking permit owners.  As long as you possess a valid Mason permit, you may park in the general parking areas or in any reserved parking area that is not gate restricted.  While we are offering flexibility in parking at this time, please note that the following spaces will still be enforced:

  • Time zone parking
  • Disabled parking
  • Individual reserved spaces
  • Administrative, state vehicle, and service spaces
  • Spaces designated for specific uses via signage

For those students, faculty, and staff members without parking permits, there is a daily, downloadable, and free option available on all three campuses through August 15, 2020.  Find details on the Parking site.

Mason Parking in Fairfax has closed the parking office to walk-in traffic and moved to an appointment-only system. Everyone is encouraged to use on-line parking resources as much as possible. Check the Arlington Parking and SciTech Parking pages for information on those campuses.

To schedule an appointment, email:

For additional questions, contact Parking Services at parking@gmu.edu.

Is the Cashier’s Office open?

At this time, the Cashier’s Office is not accepting cash payments.  Students are encouraged to make payment online through our Bill & Payment System

For those not able to make payment online and, who traditionally pay with cash, you may purchase a Money Order made payable to George Mason University and send to us by mail.  Money Orders can be purchased at the following places, as well as banks and credit unions:

  • U.S. Post Office
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  • Safeway grocery stores
  • Walmart
  • 7-11 stores

Payments should be mailed to the address below.  Please be sure to include your name and G number with your payment to ensure application to your account.

George Mason University
Cashier’s Office
4400 University Dr., MSN 2E1
Fairfax, VA 22030

Is the Mason Card Office open if I need a new ID?

The Mason Card Office will be open every Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for those who need to do business in person. 

Contact the card office for an appointment if you need a replacement ID.

At other times, the office staff is working remotely and will respond to emails and calls (703-993-1004).

What is the Mail Services schedule for each department?

Mail Services has modified operations: 

  • Fairfax Campus: Regular mail delivery is suspended until normal operations resume. The Mail Services front counter will be open for mail/delivery pick up Monday–Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (The Hub mailroom will be closed on weekends).
  • Arlington and SciTech Campuses: Interoffice mail delivery service will be on Tuesdays and Fridays. Regular mail delivery is suspended until normal operations resume.
  • Mail delivery to essential departments will continue per usual schedule.

For more information, email Kristin Masters.

Are the gyms open?

All gyms are closed on the Fairfax Campus. If you would like to request a gym membership refund, contact Mason Recreation.

The Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center on the Science and Technology Campus is also closed. All memberships and payments have been suspended. The facility will contact any participant enrolled in a program that was cancelled to issue refund or credit.

Is Mason’s Child Development Center (CDC) open?

The center is closed until further notice.

Are events still being held?

The university has decided to extend the cancellation of all events through August 8. We made this decision after considering the Centers for Disease Control’s guidance and recommendations from a working group that included faculty, staff and deans.  

We are creating an exceptions committee that can make decisions for events closer to the start of the semester with the most relevant information at that time. For parents, we encourage you to consider the camps that the university is offering this summer online.

Both the Center for the Arts on the Fairfax Campus and the Hylton Performing Arts Center on the SciTech Campus have cancelled live events through the end of the year. 

Are there any virtual events I can attend?

Yes. The Center for the Arts, along with Mason's College of Visual and Performing Arts, is presenting Mason Arts at Home, a collection of live-streamed performances, releases of previously recorded content, and interactive activities.

Presentations will feature professional guest artists, talented alumni, students, and faculty. 

The Mason Arts at Home Calendar will be updated with events as they are confirmed.

Are there resources to help alumni?

The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) is inviting recent CVPA graduates (2009 or later) to apply for new, immediate funds recently made available to alumni artists. 

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     Mason Arts at Home, a platform of digital programming offering artists a place to continue sharing their ingenuity and talent with our community members. Any web-connected device will now serve as a way in which people can learn, share, and further engage with the Arts at Mason from their homes. This platform will be live from April 2 to May 18.
  • CVPA will commission up to five new artistic works, to be premiered in-person in conjunction with the 2020 – 2021 30th Anniversary season at the Center for the Arts. Recipients will receive up to $1,000 in commissioning funds to create works that will be performed, exhibited, or otherwise shared in the Center for the Arts Lobby or Linda Apple Monson Grand Tier.

Find more information about this alumni artist support project. 


 

Health FAQs

Who should I notify at Mason if I feel ill?

Mason has set up notification guidelines for students, faculty and staff, and contractors (PDF). 

These guidelines will tell you what to do if: 

  • You have mild symptoms. 
  • Your symptoms are more serious. 
  • You are awaiting test results. 
  • You have tested positive for COVID-19. 
What precautions is Mason taking? What precautions can I take?

Student Health Services and Mason Safety, Emergency, and Enterprise Risk Management are coordinating with Virginia Department of Health and local health departments to recommend precautionary measures, such as:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Wear a mask when out in public.
  • Stay home if you're ill.
  • Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue, then discard the tissue.
  • Clean frequently touched objects and surfaces with a cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
  • Cough into the inside of your arm or a tissue.
  • Eat healthy foods.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Decrease stress.
  • Limit or eliminate the use of tobacco products.
  • Avoid others if you are sick, and avoid those who are sick.  

Mason is also cleaning high-touch surfaces (e.g. doorknobs, light switches, handrails, etc.) more frequently.

Specifically, Mason housekeeping services:

  • Implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of high touch points at the beginning of the annual flu season.
  • Placed an order for additional hand sanitizer, which will be deployed around campus as soon as it arrives.
  • Examined the cleaners being used and changed cleaners where necessary to products that are effective against COVID-19.
  • Added approximately 10 additional housekeeping personnel to focus on high traffic areas and heavy touch points in common areas and high traffic areas around campus.
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I’m stressed and anxious about COVID-19. Where can I get help?

Students can contact the Student Support and Advocacy Center and/or Counseling and Psychological Services. Employees have access to the university’s Employee Assistance Program for help during difficult circumstances, hardship, and stress. Human Resources  500 Internal Server Error

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Counseling and Psychological Services is offering virtual mental health workshops addressing anxiety, including worry related to COVID-19, as well as workshops focused on healthy coping skills. All Mason students can register for free, online psycho-educational support through Therapy Assisted Online (TAO).

Can I still get health care from a Mason and Partners (MAP) Clinic?

We will continue to provide services through our MAP Clinics, including telehealth visits. We are educating patients on the best and most current course of action advised by the CDC, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), and the local health departments.

We are also taking preventive steps to reduce people’s exposure while visiting MAP clinics.

Check for MAP Clinics' hours and operating status. This includes hours and locations and a list of services provided. 

What is the Mason community doing while teleworking, studying remotely, and social distancing?

It's a difficult and confusing time for many of us, and while staying informed is important to #FlatteningThe Curve, it's also important for us to relieve stress, find happiness, and support one another.

As we journey together through this time of social distancing and isolation, we want to hear YOUR stories of finding hope, joy, and community. If you provide your email, we might reach out and feature your story on our website.

Let us hear from you.


 

Student-Focused FAQs

Have any decisions been made about fall 2020?

Our plan calls for starting the fall semester on time and bringing students back for a mix of in-person instruction and expanded online classes, as well as the continuation of research. This hybrid approach will allow for appropriate social distancing on campus, while making alternatives available for those students who are not ready to return.    

Based on  what we know now, we believe conditions will allow us to start classes as scheduled on August 24. We are evaluating whether to complete the semester as scheduled, or end in-person classes before Thanksgiving and hold final exams online. We are aware the outlook can change, and if it does, we will remain nimble and adjust as needed.

Our Safe Return to Campus plan assumes that Governor Northam and public health officials will have determined by early August that general conditions in Northern Virginia will allow for a safe return, pursuant to the Governor’s phased approach to reopening Virginia’s economy.  

The university will coordinate with local public health officials to ensure plans are in place for testing, contact tracing, and responding to potential outbreaks on campus, and space will be set aside in residence halls for students who need to quarantine or isolate. We will remain flexible and prepare to pivot back to fully remote and online options if public health and safety requires it. 

Registration for the fall is open. 

Are classes still being held?

Yes. On-campus classes have been suspended; the university will hold classes through virtual alternative instruction.

Most classes are on a 15-week instructional calendar, including classes that are already online. Those classes resumed coursework on Monday, March 23.

This alternative instruction will continue at least through the end of the semester.

A revised academic calendar will be circulated soon, and course registration will be extended.

If you need more guidance, the Provost's site has information and details on instructional continuity.

Mason Korea is providing virtual alternative instruction to students through the end of the semester. The Mason Korea site has in-depth information about operations there.

Will students get housing, dining, and/or parking refunds?
Will this situation affect admissions deadlines?

We will continue to accept enrollment and housing deposits paid through the Fall 2020 deposit portal. If you have any questions, please reach out to your Admissions Counselor for assistance.

Are Student Services and University Life services still available?

The Mason Student Services Center is available for remote services. Face-to-face operations have been suspended. You may reach Student Services via e-mail or contact us via virtual check-in.

All University Life student services are also available.

Are residence halls and dining halls open? Will they be open for fall?

For fall, our plan for on-campus housing seeks to reduce risk in the residence halls. This includes reducing occupancy to allow for increased physical distancing.

We are adding extra cleaning precautions and establishing community guidelines that limit the number of students who can gather together in common areas. We are also setting aside adequate space for residential students who need to isolate should they become sick because of COVID-19 and those who need to quarantine because of exposure to those with the virus.

Currently, residence and dining halls are open for students who cannot return home. 

Southside Dining remains open under modified hours, providing carry-out meals for those remaining on campus. Mason Dining has posted updated hours of operation. 

On the Fairfax Campus, the Starbucks Northern Neck will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wingzone will be providing delivery service through Starship from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. All other on-campus other dining options other than Southside are now closed.

One Stop will be open via Starship beginning March 30 from 5 to10 p.m. for those on campus. One Stop will continue to be assessable via Starship Monday through Friday from 5 to 10 p.m.

The Mason Club is closed for the duration of the spring semester.

Mason Dining safety measures include:

  • Changing utensils every 30 minutes
  • Cleaning and sanitizing all sneeze guards between each meal time
  • Cleaning and sanitizing all tables and chairs
  • Maintaining proper handwashing and glove usage
  • Increasing availability of hand sanitizer for guests

If you live in a residence hall and are ill, are self-isolating, or simply wish to avoid the dining halls, you can order a sick meal through the website. 

For health and safety reasons, Mason Dining is not filling reusable cups at retail locations. Discounts will be honored if you show the cashier your cup. 

Be advised the Bite App might not always be up-to-date as the situation changes. 

For more information, see the Mason Dining website.

I’m having financial problems. Can the university help?

The Mason emergency assistance fund is presently closed, but will reopen for summer semester beginning Tuesday, May 26.

University Life is managing this fund, and will have information about applying, criteria, and other details. 

Does the change to remote learning affect the GI Bill?

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 Military Services site for more information.

What impact will travel restrictions have on those studying abroad? Can the university help?

The U.S. Department of State raised the worldwide travel advisory level to 4. As a result, you are required to return to your permanent residence in the U.S. as soon as possible per University Policy 1134

The Mason Global Education Office (GEO) can help  you make arrangements or finance the flight change.

Please reach out to us at:

Call us:

  • +1–703–993–2154 (Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET)
  • +1–703–993–7500 (Outside of office hours or any time)

If the nation you are studying in has closed its borders, stay registered with the U.S. State Department S.T.E.P. program. GEO will continue to monitor for status changes and contact you as soon as we receive information.

Contact GEO with your return plans. We want to know when everyone gets home safely.

Once you return home, you must self-quarantine for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor your health, and practice social distancing.







For questions regarding the Virginia cases or general coronavirus questions, contact the Virginia Department of Health on their hotline: 1-877-ASK-VDH3 (1-877-275-8343).


 


 

Get the Latest Reports from the CDC, Other Official Sources

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posts reports on its response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, as well as the latest news and advice on how to avoid getting sick. They also feature guidance for colleges and universities, as well as for student foreign travel

LEARN MORE