The George Washington University is closely monitoring the recommendations being made regarding the stages to resume activities throughout the National Capital Region (NCR). To ensure consistency across all GW facilities in the NCR, the university is using the D.C. timelines and corresponding mitigation measures to guide our reopening process, unless the local jurisdiction (i.e., Virginia or Maryland) is more restrictive. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, the university will continue to maintain the recommended universal public health safeguards in accordance with the latest local and federal guidance.
On June 15, the university submitted the required reopening plan to D.C. for approval. Similar initiatives are in process for our locations in Virginia. D.C. joined the other jurisdictions in the NCR by entering “Phase 2” of their reopening process on Monday, June 22. Therefore, we anticipate a gradual return of employees to campuses starting on Monday, July 6.
During D.C. Phase 2, the guidelines strongly encourage continued teleworking and require that employers limit on-site work to no more than 25 percent capacity in work spaces, with physical distancing. Only upon explicit request from their Vice President or Dean should a staff member return to campus. Otherwise, all staff members should continue to telework until further notice.
For all employees working on campus, six feet of physical distancing and the wearing of cloth masks will be required. Employees will also be responsible for abiding by other building specific restrictions, such as for ingress and egress. Designated on-site and essential personnel as well as those in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Milken Institute School of Public Health, School of Nursing, and faculty authorized to return to research labs should continue to report to work and follow the guidelines specifically established for their area.
It is the supervisor’s responsibility, with their Vice President or Dean’s approval, to review the office environment and decide the best options for employees in order to meet these requirements. A simple way to address this issue is to only allow up to 25 percent of your staff to be on campus at any given time. If you have multiple employees who need to be on campus and normally work in close proximity (within six feet without barriers) to each other, you should also consider the following options:
- Alternating the days they are on campus;
- Staggering their work times;
- Identifying other workspaces such as a conference room.
Supervisors should call the GW Information Line Monday through Friday (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at 1-855-GWU-INFO (855-498-4636) to request further assistance if they believe they have a unique situation and are unable to address this issue on their own.
In Phase 2, mass gatherings that bring together more than 50 people in a single confined or enclosed space at the same time are prohibited. Office meetings and social gatherings must be conducted virtually and all employees should conduct a self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms before coming to work. If you feel sick, stay home and contact your supervisor.
GW encourages you to continue to take every precaution to practice physical distancing. Do not put yourself or others at risk. Please take care of your own health and the health of those around you, both mental and physical.