Testing and Symptom Monitoring for Residential Students

All students who have been approved to be on GW campuses this fall must participate in mandatory, free of charge COVID-19 testing.

At the onset of the fall 2020 semester, all community members being granted special permission to access campus will be tested weekly. This frequency may be reevaluated and scaled based on specific changes in disease transmission rates and/or outbreaks.

In order to receive a COVID-19 test, you must sign the consent form before your arrival to the testing center. Your test may be delayed if you do not complete the consent form prior to your appointment.

Testing is being conducted at two locations:

  • Foggy Bottom: Smith Center. Please enter the Gate 1 entrance at 23rd and G streets, NW.  Handicapped entrance is the lower entrance at this same location, then take the elevator to the 2nd floor.
  • Virginia Science & Technology Campus (VSTC): Enterprise Hall. The front entrance facing University Drive is where registration will be set up.

Registering for Your COVID-19 Test

To mitigate crowding at testing centers, you are required to make an appointment. To set up your appointment for a COVID-19 test only, please log into the medical portal using your GW email and password. Check out this step-by-step guide (PDF) for guidance. Please do not show up to the testing center without an appointment.

 When registering, ensure that your mobile phone number is current, and activate text messaging to receive your test results, as well as any updates and reminders.

Please note that when you initially register your account that the system default is set to overdue status. Your overdue status will not be updated until after you complete your daily symptom monitoring and receive your first negative test.

Continue Monitoring for Symptoms

Self-monitoring for symptoms is integral to keeping our campus safe. If you are approved to spend time on campus, you will be expected to self-monitor for and report COVID-19 symptoms on a daily basis in the medical portal.

If you are experiencing any symptoms, please call the Colonial Health Center at 202-994-5300. This number is answered 24/7 by a clinician who can evaluate you for treatment or a referral. Also, please schedule an appointment for a symptomatic test at the Foggy Bottom Campus testing center.

Quarantine Requirements

If at any time during the semester you depart the D.C. metropolitan region and travel to and return from a high-risk state as determined by the District of Columbia Department of Health (D.C. Health), D.C. requires a 14-day quarantine, regardless of test results before returning to campus for in-person activity. Under this guidance, reporting to the test site and other efforts to obtain healthcare are allowed during quarantine. Virginia does not have a comparable quarantine requirement.

If you are a student who has been approved to live on-campus, you are required to quarantine in your room for 14 days after you move-in your residence hall, except to attend mandatory testing at the Smith Center or to seek medical care. Students arriving from states on D.C.’s high-risk list will be required to complete the D.C.-mandated 14-day quarantine. Students who arrive having not traveled to any state on the D.C. high risk list will be considered for discontinuation of quarantine following two negative tests and completion of the required travel history survey. Students will receive individual notification from the Campus COVID Support Team (CCST) upon clearance to discontinue quarantine. Please review your welcome home email for additional information.

If you are a student living off-campus you are required to follow the local guidelines of the state that you are living in (likely MD, VA or D.C.), in addition to all university policies and directives.

Confidential and Secure

All test results will be confidential and will be maintained in a secure GW server and only disclosed to authorized individuals, as noted in the consent. You will be able to access your result through the medical portal. All test results (positive and negative) will be reported by the laboratory to D.C. Health, Virginia Department of Health or other state or county governmental entity as may be required by law.  

 If you test positive:

You will be placed into isolation for at least 10 days and will be out of the routine testing for 90 days.

The Colonial Health Center as well as the GW Campus COVID Support Team (CCST) will coordinate to provide the support needed after a positive test result. The Colonial Health Center will follow up with anyone who tests positive within 24 hours. CCST will facilitate communication with specific GW officials who will assist in coordinating clinical care, isolation, access to food and supplies and return to school. These officials will include members of the Division for Student Affairs CARE Team. GW CARE will alert the students’ professors that they may not be in class for two weeks. After completing the isolation period and before a student can resume any activities on campus, they will need to be cleared by Colonial Health. 

Students who test positive will need to cooperate with GW CCST to provide information necessary for care and the care of members of the GW community, including efforts to identify and test other members of the GW community who may have been exposed. Post-testing protocols as directed by GW CCST will need to be followed. 

GW will be required to file a case report form for anyone we identify with a positive test with D.C. Health (Foggy Bottom) or the Virginia Department of Health (VSTC). These state health departments will carry out contact tracing activities that will include interviewing you and any of your close contacts. It is very important that all members of our community cooperate with public health agencies in these efforts.

Additional guidance for GW students who have tested positive for COVID-19 (PDF) is available for download.

 If you test negative:

You will need to take a second COVID-19 test three to five days after the first test and students who test negative both times will then need to be tested weekly and will need to schedule their appointments through the medical portal

If you are not from one of the designated high-risk states, you may move around the Foggy Bottom campus as needed following a second negative test.