George Mason University

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Coronavirus/COVID-19

Mason is monitoring the outbreak of coronavirus/COVID-19, following guidelines from the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health, and sending regular updates via email. We've now shifted our focus to our Safe Return to Campus Plan, which will have our most up-to-date information.

Mason Epidemiologist Amira Roess on COVID-19 Testing, Opening the Economy 


Mason Students Give Advice on Social Distancing


 

Help Mason Students Complete Their Studies

You can contribute to Mason's Student Emergency Assistance Fund. The affects of the coronavirus outbreak are causing significant disruptions to student life at Mason.

Many students lack the financial cushion needed to travel home, to find alternate housing arrangements, or to even know where their next meal is coming from. Some lack the technical and digital access to continue to take classes online. For these students, a few hundred dollars could be the difference between getting through this crisis with a degree, or being forced to withdraw.

Your gift could have a real impact on our students' lives. Thanks so much for thinking of Mason, and thinking of them.

MAKE A GIFT


 

Plans and Operations FAQs

Are Mason campuses still open?
Where can I find information about working / studying remotely?

ITS is working with offices across the university to adapt our services to meet the needs of the Mason community and will continue to share information as it is available. The ITS Support Center is available to support faculty, staff, and students at certain times every day:

  • Monday through Thursday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sunday: 2 to 10 p.m.

If you have questions or need assistance, contact the ITS Support Center at 703-993-8870.

Working Remotely

All information related to telework technologies is available at Working Remotely: A Guide to Maintaining Continuity.

To help employees stay connected to the workplace, ITS offers communication, collaboration, and productivity tools, which are fully supported and meet the university’s standards for security, accessibility, and compliance. 

  • Office 365: Employee email and calendar 
  • OneDrive for Business: Cloud-based storage to store and share Mason-related files
  • Virtual Private Network: Secure access from off-campus to select Mason applications, including MESA and Banner Admin
  • Webex Meetings: Cloud-based web conferencing tool for meetings and collaboration 
  • Webex Teams: Commonly used for group and one-on-one chat, file sharing, screen sharing, and video/audio calling

Additionally, ITS has introduced new tools to help support the increase in remote work. 

  • Microsoft Teams: Unified communication and collaboration platform that provides chat, video meetings, file storage, and integration with the Microsoft Office Suite
  • Windows Virtual Desktop (VDI): Secure access for users on personal computers to a Windows desktop environment for access to Mason applications and the Microsoft Office Suite  
  • Note: MS Teams and VDI require Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) for Office 365. See the ITS website to enroll in 2FA for Office 365 and to request these services.

Our technology leaders are in frequent contact with Cisco, Blackboard and Microsoft to ensure increased digital capacity. However, because many schools and businesses are looking to these same vendors for support, there may be technology glitches.  Faculty are encouraged to make back-up plans for course instruction or consider asynchronous class structures. 

Contact the ITS Support Center in the event of a technology problem so it can be monitored and shared, and monitor the ITS Alert page. If you have not already registered for the ITS Alert listserv, please take a moment to subscribe so you can be made aware of issues as they arise.

Studying Remotely

  • Exam strategies.
  • Survival skills for finals.
  • Memory strategies.
  • Note-Taking.
Is the Mason shuttle still running?

Schedules will be finalized in the next few weeks.

We expect only the Sandy Creek to Metro, Fairfax-SciTech, Burke VRE and the Gunston Mason routes to be operating, with reduced service from what you would normally see in the fall semester.

Buses will operate under reduced capacity to meet physical distancing requirements.

Find more information on transportation on the Safe Rerturn to Campus Transportation page, as well as the Mason Transportation Services site.

What’s going on with Metro access?

Metro closed the Virginia Square and Clarendon Stops on March 26, which are the closest stops to the Arlington Campus. The stops are two of 17 that closed as part of Metro’s response to COVID-19.

Metro recommends using the Ballston stop as an alternative, which is approximately a mile away from the Arlington Campus.

What's going on with parking?

Through August 15, general area and reserved parking restrictions will be lifted for all parking permit owners. As long as you possess a valid Mason permit, you may park in the general parking areas or in any reserved parking area that is not gate restricted. Beginning August 16, all regular parking rules and regulations will be enforced. For more, read the Safe Return to Campus page on parking, and the Mason Transportation site.

Is the Cashier’s Office open?

At this time, the Cashier’s Office is not accepting cash payments.  Students are encouraged to make payment online through our Bill & Payment System

For those not able to make payment online and, who traditionally pay with cash, you may purchase a Money Order made payable to George Mason University and send to us by mail.  Money Orders can be purchased at the following places, as well as banks and credit unions:

  • U.S. Post Office
  • Giant grocery stores
  • Safeway grocery stores
  • Walmart
  • 7-11 stores

Payments should be mailed to the address below.  Please be sure to include your name and G number with your payment to ensure application to your account.

George Mason University
Cashier’s Office
4400 University Dr., MSN 2E1
Fairfax, VA 22030

Is the Mason Card Office open if I need a new ID?

The Mason Card Office will be open every Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for those who need to do business in person. 

Contact the card office for an appointment if you need a replacement ID.

At other times, the office staff is working remotely and will respond to emails and calls (703-993-1004).

What is the Mail Services schedule for each department?

Mail Services has modified operations: 

  • Fairfax Campus: Regular mail delivery is suspended until normal operations resume. The Mail Services front counter will be open for mail/delivery pick up Monday–Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (The Hub mailroom will be closed on weekends).
  • Arlington and SciTech Campuses: Interoffice mail delivery service will be on Tuesdays and Fridays. Regular mail delivery is suspended until normal operations resume.
  • Mail delivery to essential departments will continue per usual schedule.

For more information, email Kristin Masters.

Are the gyms open?

The Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center on the Science and Technology Campus resumed operations on June 15.

On the Fairfax Campus, the Skyline Fitness Center, the Recreation Athletic Complex (RAC), and Aquatic and Fitness Center resume operations in July and August.

For more information, see the Safe Return to Campus page on Recreation Centers, Training Areas, Athletic and Exercise Spaces.

Is Mason’s Child Development Center (CDC) open?

The Child Development Center (CDC), which reopened on August 3, will meet class size, physical distancing, health screening, and cleaning and disinfection requirements outlined in the guidance on the Virginia Department of Social Services' Child Care Virginia site. For more information, see the Safe Return to Campus CDC page.

How will meetings and events be handled?
Are there limits on travel?

The university is limiting travel through fall 2020. Restrictions are based on state mandates, Center for Disease Control and Prevention levels, U.S. Department of State Travel advisories, and Mason’s risk assessment of travel conditions and risk exposures.

Find more information on travel on the Safe Return to Campus Plan's Travel page.


 

Health FAQs

Who should I notify at Mason if I feel ill?

Mason has set up notification guidelines for students, faculty and staff, and contractors (PDF). 

These guidelines will tell you what to do if: 

  • You have mild symptoms. 
  • Your symptoms are more serious. 
  • You are awaiting test results. 
  • You have tested positive for COVID-19. 
What precautions is Mason taking? What precautions can I take?

Student Health Services and Mason Safety, Emergency, and Enterprise Risk Management are coordinating with Virginia Department of Health and local health departments to recommend precautionary measures, such as:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Wear a mask when out in public.
  • Stay home if you're ill.
  • Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue, then discard the tissue.
  • Clean frequently touched objects and surfaces with a cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
  • Cough into the inside of your arm or a tissue.
  • Eat healthy foods.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Decrease stress.
  • Limit or eliminate the use of tobacco products.
  • Avoid others if you are sick, and avoid those who are sick.  

Mason is also cleaning high-touch surfaces (e.g. doorknobs, light switches, handrails, etc.) more frequently.

Specifically, Mason housekeeping services:

  • Implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of high touch points at the beginning of the annual flu season.
  • Placed an order for additional hand sanitizer, which will be deployed around campus as soon as it arrives.
  • Examined the cleaners being used and changed cleaners where necessary to products that are effective against COVID-19.
  • Added approximately 10 additional housekeeping personnel to focus on high traffic areas and heavy touch points in common areas and high traffic areas around campus.
  • Is cleaning and securing unoccupied spaces, including low-traffic restrooms, offices, classrooms, and unoccupied common areas, so housekeeping staff can focus on providing more frequent and more intensive cleaning of spaces that remain occupied or are accessible to students, faculty, and staff.
I’m stressed and anxious about COVID-19. Where can I get help?

Students can contact the Student Support and Advocacy Center and/or Counseling and Psychological Services. Employees have access to the university’s Employee Assistance Program for help during difficult circumstances, hardship, and stress. Human Resources has a variety of services available.

Counseling and Psychological Services is offering virtual mental health workshops addressing anxiety, including worry related to COVID-19, as well as workshops focused on healthy coping skills. All Mason students can register for free, online psycho-educational support through Therapy Assisted Online (TAO).

Can I still get health care from a Mason and Partners (MAP) Clinic?

We will continue to provide services through our MAP Clinics, including telehealth visits. We are educating patients on the best and most current course of action advised by the CDC, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), and the local health departments.

We are also taking preventive steps to reduce people’s exposure while visiting MAP clinics.

Check for MAP Clinics' hours and operating status. This includes hours and locations and a list of services provided. 


 

Student-Focused FAQs

When do classes start?

In Virginia, fall semester starts on August 24, with a mixture of in-person and remote learning. For more information, see the Safe Return to Campus Fall Learning page.

 The Mason Korea site has in-depth information about operations there.

Are Student Services and University Life services still available?

The Mason Student Services Center is available for remote services. Face-to-face operations have been suspended. You may reach Student Services via e-mail or contact us via virtual check-in.

All University Life student services are also available.

Students who require services with enrollment, financial aid, student accounts, or the registrar’s office are asked to complete a Student Services online form or email the MSSC to receive service virtually. 

A service member will follow up with each student via email to either provide an answer to the submitted inquiry or offer a virtual conferencing session to engage in further discussion.

Are residence halls and dining halls open? Will they be open for fall?
I’m having financial problems. Who can answer questions or offer help?
Do the learning changes affect the GI Bill?
Are library services available?

Libraries will continue to provide expanded virtual services to promote physical distancing amid a staged opening phase.

Once the central library opens in the initial stage, only university students, faculty, and staff can come in. Requests for access to library collections and appointments for in-person services will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

For more information, go to the Mason Libraries site, and the Safe Return to Campus Library page. Who can answer questions about financial concerns?

Do you offer virtual tours/visits?

Admissions is offering virtual information sessions, virtual tours, and virtual one-on-one meetings (by request). Visit Admissions to register for a session or to connect with a counselor. The virtual campus tour is accessible online at any time.







For questions regarding the Virginia cases or general coronavirus questions, contact the Virginia Department of Health on their hotline: 1-877-ASK-VDH3 (1-877-275-8343).


 


 

Get the Latest Reports from the CDC, Other Official Sources

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posts reports on its response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, as well as the latest news and advice on how to avoid getting sick. They also feature guidance for colleges and universities, as well as for student foreign travel

LEARN MORE