COVID-19 Campus Health and Wellbeing Policy

 

Policy Summary

The George Washington University is committed to maintaining a healthy and safe environment for the GW campus community to the greatest extent possible. This policy is rooted in our GW values and service priorities, particularly the safety and care of the GW Community as we evolve back to an in-person campus experience in an on-going pandemic environment. Although GW cannot guarantee zero cases of the COVID-19 disease on campus, this policy is focused on COVID-19 disease prevention, infection control and mitigation following federal and local public health guidance and the university's best judgment on reasonable and appropriate public safety measures.

This policy informs members of the GW Community of our shared responsibility, as also expressed in the GW Commitment for Health and Wellbeing, in the prevention, infection control, and mitigation of the COVID-19 disease to protect the health and safety of the GW Community.

Related Regulations and Guidance

This policy and the supporting processes outlined at coronavirus.gwu.edu are aligned and consistent with local orders and directives from the Phased Reopening guidelines that have been issued to date by the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the State of Maryland, as applicable. They are also consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and other recommendations by various federal government agencies, D.C., Virginia and Maryland Departments of Health, and GW’s medical and public health professionals, as of this date this Policy was adopted.  GW recognizes that federal, state, and local guidance may change over time based on the unpredictable nature of this pandemic, and certain provisions of this policy may change over time.  Notice of any changes will be provided as soon as practicable.

Who is Governed by this Policy 

  • Faculty, staff, students, volunteers, visitors, and contractors ("GW Community")

Policy

The purpose of this policy is to reasonably reduce the risks associated with operating GW’s academic, research and residential activities within the evolving pandemic environment while at the same time respecting individual circumstances and needs. The university is committed to protecting the health and wellbeing of the GW campus community to the greatest extent possible through the implementation of preventive measures, infection control, and mitigation activities. Members of the GW Community also have a responsibility to foster a safe environment and are expected to adhere to and participate in all aspects of the policy and supporting processes outlined at coronavirus.gwu.edu. Additionally, GW Community members are required to comply with the guidance of local jurisdictions related to reopening phases and protocols.

Specifically, members of the GW Community will be required to self-monitor for disease symptoms, practice personal safety and health practices, adhere to all posted signage and campus directives, and provide records or participate in vaccinations as directed, subject to exceptions related to medical conditions and bona fide religious beliefs. Members of the GW Community will also be required to comply with the infection control and mitigation protocols, including testing, contact tracing, isolating and quarantining, as directed. Please visit coronavirus.gwu.edu for additional details and processes for requesting accommodations and exceptions.

The day-to-day compliance with the requirements set forth in this policy and processes at coronavirus.gwu.edu will take effort, commitment, cooperation, respect and understanding by all members of the community. Protecting the health and safety of the GW Community will require individual action and accountability.

In addition to individual responsibility, members of the community should foster accountability in the people around them. It is a goal of this policy for community members to hold each other accountable to the health and safety standards through empathy and respect, and to avoid escalation. Those who observe violations of these expectations are encouraged, but not required, to address the behavior, if it is safe to do so, through direct communication with the individual(s).

Individuals in positions of authority are expected to lead the implementation of the requirements set forth in this policy and the supporting processes at coronavirus.gwu.edu within the campus spaces for which they are responsible. This includes workspaces, academic environments, residence halls, and other university meeting and event spaces.

If an individual is not able to address an observed violation or is uncomfortable doing so, and needs assistance, the closest individual in a position of authority should be engaged to assist. If the violation occurs in a space where an individual in position of authority is unavailable, or the individual feels uncomfortable addressing the behavior, they should remove themselves from the environment if able to do so.

If the situation escalates to the point of an emergency, 911 or GW Police at 202-994-6111 should be contacted.

Compliance with this policy and the supporting processes at coronavirus.gwu.edu is expected of all individuals on-campus. Non-compliance with any of the requirements of this policy and processes at coronavirus.gwu.edu may result in immediate corrective action such as exclusion from campus properties until compliance is achieved, as well as potential disciplinary action. Reports of non-compliance with this policy may be made in a number of ways:

  • Alleged violations of this policy and supporting processes at coronavirus.gwu.edu by a student or student organization should be reported to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities at studentconduct.gwu.edu, [email protected], or 202-994-6757.
  • Alleged violations of this policy and supporting processes at coronavirus.gwu.edu by a faculty member should be reported to the Office of Faculty Affairs at [email protected].
  • Alleged violations of this policy and supporting processes at coronavirus.gwu.edu by a staff member should be reported to Human Resource Management and Development at [email protected].
  • If you are unsure about the role of the individual engaging in non-compliance you may make a report via EthicsPoint, managed by the Office of Ethics, Compliance, and Privacy. Please visit https://compliance.gwu.edu/reporting for additional information and to file a report. Reports to EthicsPoint can be made anonymously. While the university will strive to fully address all reports, anonymous reports that fail to provide sufficient detail may limit the university’s ability to respond.

GW is committed to fostering a healthy and safe environment free of hate or bias and in which every member of the community feels welcome.  In particular, spreading misinformation and rumors that COVID-19 is being transmitted within certain communities serves only to harm and divide. If you are the target of, or witness a bias incident, please visit https://diversity.gwu.edu/ to learn more about your reporting options and to file a report. Additionally, consistent with GW’s Non-Retaliation Policy, retaliation against GW Community members who make a good faith report of non-compliance, a bias incident, or who participate in an investigation under this policy is prohibited.

Procedures

coronavirus.gwu.edu

Related Information

GW Commitment for Health and Wellbeing

Statement of Ethical Principles

Faculty Handbook

Employee Handbook

Code of Student Conduct

GW COVID-19 Website

Non-Retaliation Policy

 

Contacts

Contact Phone Number Email Address
Division of Safety and Facilities 855-498-4636 [email protected]

Responsible University Official: Vice President for Safety and Facilities
Responsible Office: Division of Safety and Facilities

Last Reviewed: August 12, 2020

 

Non-compliance with this policy can be reported through this website.