Changes to D.C.'s Gathering Limits and Vaccine Distribution

May 05, 2021

Dear GW students,

With the vaccination rates increasing in the District of Columbia, Mayor Bowser has announced a phased process to reopen the District. Consistent with updated guidelines in D.C.’s Guidance for Colleges and Universities, starting Wednesday, May 5 at 5 p.m., the university will require that outdoor student social gatherings on- or off-campus be limited to 50 people or less based on the size of your location. Indoor social gatherings are still limited to 10 people or less.
We understand that vaccination status is a key factor in public health measures. GW students, faculty and staff should upload their vaccination documentation to the medical portal after receiving the full dosage of the vaccine. Once your vaccine status is confirmed in this system, you will be expected to comply with the D.C. guidance for fully vaccinated people for outdoor or off-campus gatherings. On-campus indoor gatherings must still adhere to the gathering limits above, regardless of vaccination status.

As various parts of the nation and the world make phased adjustments to their health and safety guidelines, you will need to know and be expected to follow the guidance of the local jurisdiction and/or establishment where you are located. When you are on-campus, university guidelines and policies take precedence. As more individuals get vaccinated, GW will provide additional guidance for fully vaccinated people. 

In addition, the following university guidelines apply regardless of vaccination status:

  • Any outdoor gathering on campus must be in accordance with other university policies.
  • In student residence hall rooms, the current guest policy will continue to apply. Each resident may have one guest from their own residence hall. Student athletes are able to gather in affinities with up to one guest per affinity resident, and student athletes may only be guests of or host guests who are on their team. The exception to this policy is during student spring semester move-out and summer move-in where up to two guests can help a student move for up to three hours.
  • In shared indoor spaces on campus (e.g. residence hall lounges), the university will continue to follow the posted capacity limits based on the room’s size in accordance with the 10 person or less District guidance. This is currently being evaluated. If this changes during the summer as more people become vaccinated, we will post new room capacity.
  • As before, if you are gathering on- or off-campus, you must continue to be considerate of those around you, with regard to noise, groups of people, litter and so on.
  • Failure to abide by these expectations creates public health risks and may result in referral for student conduct violations. 

While we can start to safely allow increased outdoor gatherings within the District’s capacity limits starting this weekend, we have not yet finalized plans to fully reopen our libraries, museums, pools, meeting rooms and other publicly accessible spaces on our campus. As we continue to make progress this summer with our reopening plans, updates and information will be communicated and available at our website.
The Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities will host virtual Q&A sessions regarding these changes:

  • Wednesday, May 5 from 8:30 - 9:30 pm EDT. No pre-registration required. Enter the WebEx.
  • Thursday, May 6 from 8:30 - 9:30 pm EDT. No pre-registration required. Enter the WebEx.

You can also submit questions to [email protected] or direct message @GWConduct on Twitter.   

Also as of May 1, the District of Columbia no longer requires appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine. Eleven high-capacity, walk-up sites will be available across the District. Visit the D.C. coronavirus website for information on days, hours and locations. For students and their families, GW is planning to hold a vaccine clinic at our VSTC campus in Ashburn, Va., later this month. More details will follow. GW continues to urge members of the university community to get vaccinated, understanding that vaccination will be required for the fall for in-person, on campus activities. GW students should upload their vaccination documentation through the medical portal.

Finally, as more students, faculty, staff, families and community members are coming to campus, we expect you to continue to social distance, engage in regular hand washing and wear a mask indoors. Both the District and the university’s current guidelines require the use of a face covering indoors.

Thank you for your continued support in helping keep our community healthy.

Dr. Raymond Lucas, M.D., University COVID Coordinator
Scott Burnotes, Vice President for Safety and Facilities
Seth Weinshel, Assistant Dean of Students, Campus Living and Residential Education
Stewart Robinette, Assistant Dean of Students, Campus LIving and Residential Education
Christy Anthony, Director, Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities