Fall COVID-19 Campus Protocols

August 08, 2022

Dear GW Community Members, 

We hope you have had a restful summer!  As we make preparations for the Fall semester, we have made several updates to our COVID-19 campus protocols. Please read the following information for further details on the university’s efforts to help keep one another healthy and safe. 

  • COVID-19 Vaccine and Booster Requirement
  • Pre-arrival and Return to Campus Testing
  • COVID-19 Testing
  • Masks
  • Quarantine and Isolation Protocols
  • Visitors to Campus
  • Campus Commitment

COVID-19 Vaccine and Booster Requirement

All GW students, faculty and staff are required to be up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccinations, meaning you are fully vaccinated and have at least one booster dose. Campus access through a GWorld card is granted to those in compliance with this requirement. Students not in compliance with GW’s vaccine and booster requirement will not be able to register for fall classes, and students with an on-campus housing assignment will not be able to move into their residence hall.

Additional information on GW’s COVID-19 vaccine and booster requirement and how to submit vaccine documentation is available online.

Individuals seeking a medical or religious exemption from the university’s vaccine or booster requirement should submit their request now, as the deadline was August 1. Those who were previously approved for an exemption do not need to resubmit a request form.

Pre-arrival and Return to Campus Testing

  • If you accessed a GW campus, center or location in-person in July:
    You are NOT required to take part in pre-arrival and return to campus testing. You may disregard this section.

  • If you DID NOT access a GW campus, center or location in-person in July:
    You are required to participate in pre-arrival and return to campus testing. This applies to all students, faculty and staff. Please read below for detailed instructions.

Pre-arrival Testing:

To help ensure the health and safety of our community members, all campus members who did not access a university campus, center or location in-person in July must obtain a pre-arrival PCR lab test one to three days prior to their return to campus or first-time arrival. If you are unable to obtain a PCR test prior to arrival, you should use an antigen test (self-test kit) and should schedule a PCR test at the GW testing lab upon your arrival to campus. Also, if you recently had a COVID-19 infection, you should take an antigen test for pre-arrival.


  • For All GW Community Members:
    If your pre-arrival test is positive or you have symptoms of COVID-19, please upload your positive results to the medical portal and do not come to campus until you are out of isolation (per guidelines listed below).
  • For Residential Students:
    If your pre-arrival test is negative, you will be required to present your negative results when you check-in to your residence hall. Residential students are not required to quarantine before or after their arrival to the residence halls.
  • For Other Campus Members, including faculty, staff and students who live off-campus:
    If your pre-arrival test is negative, you may return to campus and are strongly encouraged to keep a copy of your negative test results with you.


Return to Campus Testing:
All GW community members who did not access a university campus, center or location in-person in July are required to schedule a return-to-campus test through the GW testing lab within one to three days of their return to campus or first-time arrival.

You are not required to have a return to campus test if you can show proof of a recent COVID-19 infection in the last 90 days (doctor’s note or a copy of lab result which you may upload to the medical portal).

COVID-19 Testing 

After your return to campus test (if applicable), ongoing, routine asymptomatic COVID-19 testing is optional but available on-demand at no charge for all GW students, faculty and staff. Campus access is no longer tied to COVID testing compliance. On-demand, asymptomatic testing is available at multiple university locations throughout D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Details on locations and hours of operation are available online. Appointments are required and can be made through the medical portal.

Symptomatic testing remains available at the University Student Center’s Student Health Center. Appointments are required.

Additional asymptomatic test appointments will be available during the move-in weekends of August 20-21 and August 27-28.

Any individual who tests positive for COVID-19 is ineligible for a PCR test on campus for 45 days unless directed otherwise by the Student Health Center or Occupational Health.

Please see FAQs regarding COVID-19 testing.


GW’s indoor mask requirement remains in place as there continues to be an increase in transmission as new variants arise. Wearing masks indoors helps to limit exposures and can help reduce infection rates. This policy is evaluated regularly.

 Quarantine and Isolation Protocols


DC Health requires quarantine for anyone who:

  • Is not fully immunized, which at GW means those who have been determined to be exempt from the vaccine or booster mandate, and
  • Meets the current medical definition of COVID-19 exposure.

Quarantine is not required for individuals who are up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccines (i.e., you are fully vaccinated and have at least one booster dose). Additional information on quarantine protocol is available online.  

There is no requirement for quarantine on the basis of travel, regardless of vaccination status. However, GW recommends that following travel from areas outside of the District of Columbia, Maryland or Virginia, individuals self-monitor for COVID symptoms for 10 days and test for COVID-19 one to three days after arrival.

A minimum five-day isolation period is required for anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 through a PCR or antigen test, regardless of whether symptoms are present. Individuals in isolation must participate in daily symptom monitoring. The university’s isolation protocol is available online.

If the test is taken outside of GW’s testing lab, you must upload your positive test results to the medical portal. Only a GW medical provider can release a GW community member from isolation and provide the individual with the medical clearance needed to resume in-person campus activities. For the 2022-2023 academic year, GW will practice isolation in place for COVID-positive individuals within the residence halls. 

Visitors to Campus

Visitors to GW’s campuses and facilities are not required to demonstrate proof of COVID-19 vaccination and booster. 

Campus Commitment 

As we approach a new academic year, all members of the GW community should review GW’s Commitment for Health and Wellbeing and the COVID-19 Campus Health and Wellbeing Policy, which informs community members of our shared responsibility in the prevention, infection control and mitigation of COVID-19.

We will continue to monitor transmission rates of COVID-19 on our campuses and in the region, and we will review and adjust our public health guidelines as necessary. For more information on GW’s COVID-19 health protocols, visit coronavirus.gwu.edu

We look forward to seeing you back on our campuses in a few weeks. Thank you for your continued cooperation and support.