Health Tips for Winter Break

December 17, 2022

Many of our community members will soon begin departing GW’s campuses to mark the start of winter break.

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly urged individuals to wear face masks regularly, especially when traveling or indoors with large groups of people, to reduce the spread of the “tripledemic” –- the convergence of influenza, COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). 

Please remember that masks continue to be mandatory in indoor instructional settings, such as classrooms and teaching laboratories, as well as the Student Health Center and GW transportation services such as the Mount Vernon Express, VSTC Express and SafeRide. N95 masks are still available for free to community members at GW’s test sites.


Tips to Stay Healthy

To help remain healthy this season, GW’s medical experts encourage community members to get the seasonal influenza vaccine and bivalent COVID-19 booster, as well as take general health precautions to help prevent the spread of germs, such as handwashing and staying home if you are sick or showing symptoms of illness.

The GW Medical Faculty Associates (MFA) Pharmacy offers both the flu vaccine and the bivalent COVID-19 booster during business hours. Appointments are not required. You can also find a vaccine location near you at


Free COVID-19 Testing and Reporting External Positive Tests

If you are traveling, we encourage you to take advantage of GW’s free COVID-19 testing prior to and upon return from travel.

To make an appointment, visit the medical portal. Instructions on how to schedule a test are available online.

Special winter break operating hours for GW’s test sites begin next week. All results from tests taken by December 22 will be available by the end of the day on December 23.  Details are below:

  • Wednesday, Dec. 21: VSTC, Mount Vernon Campus and the Alexandria, Arlington and Rockville test sites will close at the end of day for winter break.
  • Thursday, Dec. 22: Foggy Bottom test sites will close at 4 p.m. 
  • Friday, Dec. 23 - Monday, Jan. 2: All GW test sites will be closed.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 3: All GW test sites will reopen for normal operating hours.

If you test positive for COVID-19 while you are away from campus, please upload your positive test results to the medical portal. Please do not return to campus until you are out of isolation.

For more information on GW's COVID-19 protocols, visit We hope you have a restful winter break!