New Information about On-Campus Access and Testing Protocols for Students

September 04, 2020

Dear Students:

Welcome back! As we start the new academic year in quite unusual circumstances, many of you have raised questions about access to campus and COVID-19 testing and training requirements for students like you who have been granted special permission to be on campus this fall. 

As shared in an August 10 update to the community, limiting access to our campus facilities to the greatest extent possible is critical to keeping our university community safe. The university is required by the District of Columbia and Commonwealth of Virginia to establish public health measures to safeguard those who need to be on campus and mitigate any potential outbreaks that could burden local health and medical resources.

In keeping with these public health measures, all GWorld access to buildings for students, faculty and staff, except for those who have been granted special permission to be on campus this fall, were turned off at 5 p.m. on Aug. 28. 

To comply with District and Virginia mandates, we are requiring all on-campus faculty, staff and students to demonstrate and acknowledge their shared responsibility in our efforts to control this virus by doing the following: 

  1. Review the GW Commitment to Health and Wellbeing and the COVID-19 Campus Health and Wellbeing Policy.
  2. Complete one-time mandatory training. 
  3. Participate in our policy’s ongoing testing program and only if you receive a positive test, tracing.
  4. Monitor your daily symptoms on our medical portal app to maintain campus access. 

By way of email during the last two weeks you should have received information on how you can complete these mandatory requirements. Many of you have reached out for clarification and questions. As such, the following topics are addressed below:  

  • Testing and training protocol you need to follow if you are on campus
  • What to do if you think you were granted the wrong access
  • What to do if you are traveling and unable to meet testing requirements


Why Was I Granted Access to Campus?

For the safety of the campus community, student access (like faculty & staff) is extremely limited this fall. Approved students had to meet at least one of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Students residing in university residence halls.
  • Students enrolled in classes approved by the Office of the Provost for in-person instruction for Fall 2020.
  • Students conducting university-approved, faculty-sponsored research requiring onsite access to labs or other facilities (with sponsorship of faculty member and approval of academic school/college dean and the provost's office).
  • Students employed in a public health lab or onsite support role for activities related to campus COVID testing, research, or university response with approval of school/college dean and Vice President for Safety and Facilities.
  • Students in the School of Nursing engaged in clinical practice or utilizing GW facilities as part of approved academic/clinical program requirements have access to the VSTC campus and participate in the COVID-19 testing program. 
  • Students in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences have access only to Ross Hall and the clinical buildings and are not included in the required COVID-19 testing program. Individual School of Medicine students granted additional access to other GW facilities for research or academic purposes are required to participate in the COVID-19 testing program.  

If you believe you do not meet any of the above criteria or feel that you no longer need access to campus facilities due to a change in your on-campus engagement, please submit your request to be removed from the on-campus mandatory protocols for this fall. Once received, your request will be reviewed and a staff member will contact you if we have any questions. 

I Have Been Granted Access To Campus, What Next:
If you are a student who has been notified of the mandatory requirements, all testing, training and daily symptom monitoring deadlines are due TODAY, Sept. 4. Anyone in this group who has not completed any of these requirements will have their campus access turned off at 5 p.m. on Sept. 4.  

How to Get Tested:

  • The medical portal WILL NOT work unless you are a student who has been approved to be on campus. In other words, if you will not be on campus, you will not be able to schedule an appointment. 
  • You must make your appointment through the medical portal. You cannot schedule an appointment by phone. 
  • You must enter your mobile phone number and carrier in the medical portal and activate text messaging to receive your test results, as well as any updates and reminders about testing. Follow this step-by-step guide for further instructions.  
  • The medical portal is the same one that students use for visits to the Colonial Health Center. However, the Colonial Health Center is not conducting the testing. Please do not call the CHC with questions about testing. Questions about your testing should be directed to [email protected] Please do not email the testing center about campus services other than testing.
  • You will be provided at least a two-day grace period before you are out of compliance and your access is shut off. 


How to Complete Daily Symptom Monitoring: 

  • The portal is mobile friendly and this daily tracking should take less than two minutes per day once you are in a regular routine. medical portalUpdate your symptoms in the


How to Complete the Training in Blackboard:

  • Your training should appear on your course list under the title, “Keeping GW Healthy.” If you do not see it in your course list, email [email protected].  
  • You must view the entire training. The system knows if you have fast forwarded and will not allow you to acknowledge that you viewed the training until you watch the full 20-minute training.


What Happens if I am Not in Compliance on My Testing:
At any time during the semester if you fall out of compliance because of your testing frequency, and you are notified that your GWorld access has been suspended, you will need to: 

  1. Immediately schedule a test for the next time you will be on campus.
  2. When you arrive on campus, obtain a COVID-19 test. 
  3. For Foggy Bottom Campus: Visit the GWPD Community Police Center at the corner of 22nd and G streets. The center will be open Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. starting Tuesday, Sept. 8.
  4. For Virginia Science & Technology Campus: Visit an Allied Universal staff member at a front desk, Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. starting Tuesday, Sept. 8.
  5. Once there, present your green “Cleared” badge (as displayed on your medical portal) to the security officer. They will call a representative to activate your GWorld card access, but only if the suspension on your account is due to an overdue test. 

What Happens if I am Traveling and Unable to Meet Testing Requirements During My Time Away?

  • If you plan to travel outside D.C., MD, and VA, please complete the Student Travel Notification Form in advance of your departure. 
  • If the duration of your travel causes you to fall out of compliance, your GWorld access will be suspended. Submitting the travel notification in advance of your departure will prevent escalation for non-compliance during your time away. 
  • When you return, if you have fallen out of compliance, you will be required to follow the steps above to restore your GWorld access.

We realize that you may have additional questions not answered in this update. We are updating the FAQs on the university’s Fall 2020 website and recommend you check that page for information before calling or emailing for an answer. 

For additional assistance call the GW COVID-19 Information Line at 1-855-GWU-INFO (855-498-4636) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday or email us at our newly established response team email at [email protected]. Many of your questions cross multiple areas and this email address will help us to coordinate a response.

We want to thank each of you once again for your patience and cooperation as we continue to develop and refine a system that allows us to maintain a safe and healthy campus.

Stay healthy and stay well, 

M. Brian Blake
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

M.L. "Cissy" Petty
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Lynn Goldman
Dean, Milken Institute School of Public Health

Scott Burnotes
Vice President for Safety and Facilities