Mason Nation masks up to fight COVID-19

The Patriot helped encourage the use of masks to fight the spread of COVID-19. Photo by Shelby Burgess/Strategic Communications

Some George Mason University students got an unexpected visit from the Patriot last week to remind them of the university’s mask policy.

The Patriot visited students in common areas of Horizon, Innovation, Planetary and Enterprise halls on the Fairfax Campus, offering masks to those who were without and giving Mason swag as a “thank you” to those who were in compliance with the mask policy.  

Mason Nation is being asked help reduce the spread of the coronavirus by wearing masks indoors, unless actively eating or drinking, and outdoors when physical distancing is not possible. Unvaccinated members of the community are expected to wear masks at all times while on campus. 

“Masks continue to be a very effective way to control the spread of COVID, especially in indoor environments,” said Julie Zobel, Mason’s associate vice president for safety, emergency, and enterprise risk management. “It’s important for all members of the Mason community to wear a mask when indoors with very few exceptions.” 

The use of masks is just one element in Mason’s efforts to slow the spread the virus. Others include mandatory vaccinations for all students, faculty and staff unless granted an exemption, testing, physical distancing and completing the Mason COVID Health Check each day. Mason’s strategy is detailed in the COVID Safety Plan

“Although most of our campus community is vaccinated, masks coupled with vaccine help to prevent the spread of COVID,” said David Farris, Mason’s executive director of safety and emergency management. “However, they only work if we are diligent about wearing masks whenever and wherever we are able to, on or off campus, particularly when we are around others—whether they are vaccinated or not.” 

Farris also urged Mason Nation to consider their behavior while off campus, as that can also impact the spread of COVID among the Mason community. 

“We need everyone’s assistance to keep the Mason Nation safe, and this responsibility does not end at the borders of our campuses,” he said. 

COVID vaccines are available at the Fenwick A Wing (formerly the MIX) on the Fairfax Campus.  

Zobel also noted that masks will provide additional help in keeping community members healthy as flu season is now upon us. Mason will offer flu shots at its Fairfax and SciTech Campuses in October by appointment; sign up links will be shared soon.