George Mason University

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.

A Message from President Holton (March 27)


Get Tips on Remote Learning


 

Updates: Students to Receive Refunds for Housing, Dining, Parking

Students will begin to receive their refunds in the coming weeks, with all refunds expected to be processed by the end of the semester. Credits will be applied automatically to outstanding balances on student accounts, with the remainder refunded by Direct Deposit or check. In total, the university will refund $7.1 million in housing fees, $4.3 million in dining fees, and $1.77 million in parking fees. Find more details in President Holton's latest message. 

Update: Summer Classes to Be Remote

For summer 2020, all classes will move to online delivery, shifting from the alternative virtual learning model to a more robust, intentional online experience. Registration for Summer Term will open on Wednesday, April 15.  Find more details in the latest academics message.

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


 

FAQs about Mason Plans and Operations

Are classes still being held?

Yes. On-campus classes have been suspended; the university will hold classes through virtual alternative instruction.

Most classes are on a 15-week instructional calendar, including classes that are already online. Those classes resumed coursework on Monday, March 23.

For those classes that are on an eight-week calendar, online classes will begin Monday, March 16. Classes at the Antonin Scalia Law School began on Monday, March 16.

This alternative instruction will continue at least through the end of the semester..

A revised academic calendar will be circulated soon, mid-term grading will be extended by a week, and course registration will be extended.

If you need more guidance, the Provost's site has information and details on instructional continuity.

Mason Korea is providing virtual alternative instruction to students through April 6, in accordance with recommendations from the government of South Korea. The Mason Korea site has in-depth information about operations there.

Are Mason campuses still open?

Mason buildings are closed to the general public for the foreseeable future. We also will be mandating telework for all faculty and staff except for those who need to work on campus to continue critical functions for the university.

Virginia Governor Northam’s March 30 Stay at Home Executive Order (PDF) has extended the stay-at-home period through June 10.

This order reinforces the university’s current guidance for mandatory telework and social distancing precautions with exceptions for health care personnel, critical work, research, and instruction that can only be conducted on campus.

The order also specifically directs higher education institutions to cease all in-person classes and instruction, and cancel all gatherings of more than 10 individuals, consistent with actions Mason has already taken. The order effectively extends these actions on campus until June 10.

To ensure compliance with this order, deans and supervisors will be asked to re-examine all work currently taking place on campus and with the directive that all non-critical functions cease immediately. The university is working on a process to provide credentials for those faculty and staff who must travel to and from campus. University faculty and staff should carry Mason identification when traveling to and from work.

Police and Safety Headquarters will remain open, with police patrolling the campus and facilities monitoring buildings. 

Mason library facilities, including Fenwick, closed as of March 23.  Library services will continue to operate, will expand virtual access as feasible, and will be available virtually to support faculty and students in accessing needed materials for online classes and assisting with other resources and services.  Find more details about library services and accompanying policy changes during this period.

SUB I will be closed to the public, but Student Health Services, the Mason Card Office, and the Cashier’s Office will be open on a limited access basis.

  • To limit risk of infection, we ask students to call 703-993-2831 and speak with a nurse prior to coming in to Student Health Services. For more information, visit the Student Health Services page and click the Patient Notice link.
  • To conduct business at the Mason Card Office, call 703-993-1004 to make an appointment.
  • The Cashier's Office will take appointments Monday to Friday, from 9 to 11 a.m. Call 703-993-2498. 

The HUB will be closed to the public. Packages from USPS , UPS, FedEx and Amazon will be delivered to the Mail Center in the HUB.  Individuals with a valid Mason ID will be able to access the HUB via the ground floor (basement level) door across from the Shenandoah parking deck, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Friday for mail and package pickup.

Will residence halls and dining halls stay open?

We will continue to keep residence and dining halls open for students who cannot return home. Specific details will be sent to all residential students. 

Southside Dining remains open under modified hours, providing carry-out meals for those remaining on campus. Mason Dining has posted updated hours of operation. 

On the Fairfax Campus, the Starbucks Northern Neck will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wingzone will be providing delivery service through Starship from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. All other on-campus other dining options other than Southside are now closed.

One Stop will be open via Starship beginning March 30 from 5 to10 p.m. for those on campus. One Stop will continue to be assessable via Starship Monday through Friday from 5 to 10 p.m.

The Mason Club is closed for the duration of the spring semester.

Mason Dining safety measures include:

  • Changing utensils every 30 minutes
  • Cleaning and sanitizing all sneeze guards between each meal time
  • Cleaning and sanitizing all tables and chairs
  • Maintaining proper handwashing and glove usage
  • Increasing availability of hand sanitizer for guests

If you live in a residence hall and are ill, are self-isolating, or simply wish to avoid the dining halls, you can order a sick meal through the website. 

For health and safety reasons, Mason Dining is not filling reusable cups at retail locations. Discounts will be honored if you show the cashier your cup. 

Because the university remains open, the question of meal plan refunds is under evaluation. 

Be advised the Bite App might not always be up-to-date as the situation changes. 

For more information, see the Mason Dining website.

Will students get housing, dining, and/or parking refunds?

The university is committed to refunding money to students for housing, dining and parking. The Student Accounts Office has information on refunds in a series of FAQs

We also have refund tables set up showing amounts based on your Mason residence, your parking plan, and your dining plan. (PDF)

Have there been any changes in regard to graduation?

We have decided to postpone Commencement and our degree celebrations indefinitely.

Our hope is to either reschedule at a later date, and/or to find a creative way to celebrate our students online.

We will be seeking input from our graduating students on how they would like to be celebrated during these unprecedented times.

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

Are events still being held?

The university has decided to extend the cancellation of all events through May 18. We made this decision after considering the Centers for Disease Control’s guidance and recommendations from a working group that included faculty, staff and deans. We will re-evaluate the situation in April and share more details about how this affects future events going forward.

  • The Center for the Arts is closed to the public.  The ticket office is available by phone (703-993-2787) and online.
  • At this time, the Hylton Performing Arts Center building is still open for ticket office transactions.  Call 703-993-7700.
  • EagleBank Arena is closed through June 10. All scheduled events have been postponed and some have been cancelled. Ticket buyers should keep their tickets and can contact Ticketmaster (TM) at 1-800-653-8000 for more information. Event promoters are working to finalize rescheduled show information. When a new date is confirmed, TM will email customers to let them know new date and explain how to request a refund. Check back on this page and the EagleBank site for updated information. Call 703-993-3000.
Are there any virtual events I can attend?

Yes. Starting Thursday, April 2, the Center for the Arts, along with Mason's College of Visual and Performing Arts, will present Mason Arts at Home, a collection of live-streamed performances, releases of previously recorded content, and interactive activities.

Presentations will feature professional guest artists, talented alumni, students, and faculty. 

The Mason Arts at Home Calendar will be updated with events as they are confirmed.

The April 2 launch features a conversation with NEA Jazz Master and Mason Artist-in-Residence Maria Schneider and highlights from artists across the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

On Saturday, April 4 at 8 p.m., there will be a live performance by The Bumper Jacksons.

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 recommended precautionary measures, such as:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • 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 cleaning public areas more frequently, including wiping down surfaces in dining areas throughout campus buildings and common areas. Mason is also cleaning areas more frequently that are touched often (e.g., doorknobs, light switch, handrails, etc.) within buildings and residence halls more frequently. 

Specifically, Mason housekeeping services:

  • Implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of high touch points at the beginning of the annual flu season.
  • Placed and 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 to include low traffic restrooms, offices, classrooms, and unoccupied common areas so that 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.
Who should I notify at Mason if I feel ill?

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

These guidelines will tell you what to do it:

  • You have mild symptoms.
  • Your symptoms are more serious.
  • You are awating test results.
  • You have tested positive for COVID-19. 
I have a severe chronic medical condition. What should I do?

Effective March 9, individuals with health conditions who are considered to be a high risk for COVID-19 complications should make arrangements to remain out of class and away from work.

  • If you are a student with a medical condition that compromises your immune system or puts you at risk for coronavirus complications, consult with your primary care provider. Based on your medical condition, your provider can help you make the decision about whether you should stay away from classes and other activities and discuss any other precautions you should take to care for your health. If your primary health care provider is Student Health Services, call us at 703-993-2831. Once you have talked with your provider, email your professors to discuss how to manage your class work. If students have more specific accommodations that are not approved by faculty, please contact Disability Services.
  • Faculty who are at high risk should convert their course work to alternative teaching methods to avoid contact with sick individuals; the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning can provide information on how to maintain instructional continuity.
  • Staff who are at high risk should contact their supervisor to discuss telework, flexible work, or accommodations to maintain social distancing while at work. More information is available from Employee Relations.
I know this situation is causing hardships for some students. How can I help?

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.

What impact will the recent travel limitations have on students who are abroad? Can the university help?

The U.S. Department of State raised the worldwide travel advisory level to 4. As a result, you are required to return to your permanent residence in the U.S. as soon as possible per University Policy 1134

The Mason Global Education Office (GEO) can help  you make arrangements or finance the flight change.

Please reach out to us at:

Call us:

  • +1–703–993–2154 (Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET)
  • +1–703–993–7500 (Outside of office hours or any time)

If the nation you are studying in has closed its borders, stay registered with the U.S. State Department S.T.E.P. program. GEO will continue to monitor for status changes and contact you as soon as we receive information.

Contact GEO with your return plans. We want to know when everyone gets home safely.

Once you return home, you must self-quarantine for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor your health, and practice social distancing.

Is the Mason Shuttle still running?

Yes, but  the Mason Shuttle has moved to a reduced serices schedule through the end of spring semester. There will be no weekend service on any routes until Saturday, May 30.  We advise you to check your individual route when planning a trip. 

What's going on with Metro access?

Metro is closing the Virginia Square and Clarendon Stops as of Thursday, March 26, which are the closest stops to the Arlington Campus. The stops are two of 17 that will close 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 impact, if any, does the current situation have on parking?

Mason Parking Services is suspending all parking payroll deductions effective with the April 16 paycheck, which covers the March 25 to April 9 pay period; there will be no deductions starting with that period.

Deductions also will be suspended through June 16, with the possibility to extend longer.  Payroll deductions will be re-instated if on-campus activities resume prior to those dates.

In addition, 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.  While we are offering flexibility in parking at this time, please note that the following spaces will still be enforced:

  • Time zone parking
  • Disabled parking
  • Individual reserved spaces
  • Administrative, state vehicle, and service spaces
  • Spaces designated for specific uses via signage

For questions, contact Parking Services at 703-993-2710 or 703-993-2828. 

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 will soon offer virtual 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).

What is the Mason Community doing while teleworking and social distancing?

It's a difficult and confusing time for many of us, and while staying informed is important to #FlatteningThe Curve, it's also important for us to relieve stress, find happiness, and support one another.

As we journey together through this time of social distancing and isolation, we want to hear YOUR stories of finding hope, joy, and community. If you provide your email, we may reach out and feature your story on our website.

Let us hear from you.

Will Mason's Child Development Center remain open?

The center is closed until further notice.

Will the GI Bill be affected?

The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued detailed guidance on how the Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) and other factors will be affected due to school closure or change of modality. Visit our Military Services site for more information.

Are student services available?

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

Are there resources to help alumni?

The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) is inviting recent CVPA graduates (2009 or later) to apply for new, immediate funds recently made available to alumni artists. 

  • CVPA will pay up to ten artists $500 for the rights to stream, air, or otherwise showcase artistic work via Mason Arts at Home, a platform of digital programming offering artists a place to continue sharing their ingenuity and talent with our community members. Any web-connected device will now serve as a way in which people can learn, share, and further engage with the Arts at Mason from their homes. This platform will be live from April 2 to May 18.
  • CVPA will commission up to five new artistic works, to be premiered in-person in conjunction with the 2020 – 2021 30th Anniversary season at the Center for the Arts. Recipients will receive up to $1,000 in commissioning funds to create works that will be performed, exhibited, or otherwise shared in the Center for the Arts Lobby or Linda Apple Monson Grand Tier.

Find more information about this alumni artist support project. 

Are the gyms open?

All gyms are closed on the Fairfax Campus.

The Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center on the Science and Technology Campus is also closed.

 

Will this situation affect admissions deadlines?

The Admissions Office has extended the National Candidates Reply date for Freshmen from May 1 to June 1. 

What is the Mail Services schedule for Mason departments?

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 at kmaster@gmu.edu.
 

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.

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

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







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).


 

Mason COVID-19 Communications
to the University and Surrounding Community See Older Messages


 

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

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