FAQs: Operations, Health, and Safety
Plans and Operations
Mason is following a six-stage approach to resume operations, instruction, and research. We have the flexibility to adjust the timeline, depending on developing events, instructions from the governor, and guidance from state and local health officials. Read the full plan (PDF).
Yes. Classes start on August 24, with a mix of in-person instruction and expanded remote sessions. Move-in begins on August 15.
We have instituted many health and safety protocols, including the wearing of face coverings, physical distancing, hygiene guidelines, Return to Campus training, health assessment surveys, testing and other measures.
For faculty and staff, payroll deduction for parking will begin again on September 1.
You can stop your annual permit deductions and move to a shorter-term parking option by mailing your physical permit to the Parking Services office by August 10 to avoid any charges when payroll deductions resume. Mail permits to Parking Services, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, MS 1G4, Fairfax, Va. 22030.
For students and others, Mason will sell only semester permits instead of annual permits, with a few exceptions.
There will be multiple daily permits that students can buy online and print out to use in addition to hourly visitor parking in the garages. West Campus permits will not be available.
Online permit sales will begin August 3. There will be no in-person sales. Mason will email and post information on parking as it is developed. The Safe Return site will also post information on parking as it becomes available.
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.
Contact the office you plan to visit and make an appointment. Some buildings and offices will limit access. For your safety, as well as ours, you’ll need to follow guidelines on hand hygiene, physical distancing, and cough and sneeze etiquette. You must also wear a face covering while on campus and any other Mason-operated areas.
With some exceptions to the face covering requirements, if you don't comply with Mason's health and safety policies and procedures, you'll be asked to leave university buildings.
Repeated non-compliance may result in disciplinary action for members of the community.
- Students who violate precautions will be in violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Noncompliance can be referred to the Office of Student Conduct through their online reporting portal.
- Employee noncompliance concerns can be reported anonymously to Human Resources and Payroll at 703-993-2600.
Visitors who fail to follow Mason policies and/or state laws while on campus grounds or buildings could be seen as trespassers. This can result in a visitor being banned from any and all Mason grounds or buildings.
Health and Safety
We are working with public health agencies to monitor health on campus, track potential symptoms of COVID-19 through self-reporting, testing and contact tracing, and isolate and treat those in our community who become ill.
In addition, to help track the virus spreading via carriers who display no symptoms, throughout the academic year Mason will randomly select members of the community to request that they participate in voluntary testing at the Cabrera Global Center.
You should self-quarantine for 14 days and have a negative COVID test. If you test positive, seek medical attention, and do not come to campus until cleared by a medical professional. Students will receive an email with detailed instructions.
Seven days prior to returning to campus, you need to start filling out a daily Mason COVID Health Check, a brief online questionnaire about your health status.
- Complete your daily Mason COVID Health Check
- Wear a face covering over your mouth and nose at all times in buildings and outdoor public places.
- Practice appropriate social/physical distancing.
- Practice appropriate hygiene, including thoroughly washing hands for at least 20 seconds, and if you can’t do that, use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes.
- Stay home if you feel symptoms consistent with COVID.
Everyone in the Mason community who will be on one of our campuses.
- Training is now available to faculty and staff.
- Students can take training starting July 27 in Blackboard.
- Contractors have access to specialized training and are expected to follow Mason community guidelines.
The training covers basics of COVID-19 transmission and symptoms, accommodations for those at high risk, safety precautions, best practices, rules regarding travel and events, health resources, enforcement procedures and other information. The student version also includes information about residence halls, facilities, student centers and various aspects of campus life.
Students, as well as uninsured Mason employees and on-campus contractors, will be tested at the Mason On-Campus Testing Site.
Student Health Services will serve students at regional campuses through video telehealth and will help them get testing convenient to their location.
Insured Mason employees should be tested through their covered health providers.
Mason has established procedures to follow on:
If there is a high-risk person in the home, students are encouraged to take all their courses online.
Contact Mason’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) (703-993-2380) for reasons ranging from anxiety or relationship distress to suicidal ideation or other serious mental health issues during regular business hours.
After 5 p.m. and on weekends, Mason is partnering with crisis hotline Protocall Services to provide services for Mason students.
Protocall is staffed by licensed clinicians to provide crisis intervention and referral services from 5 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and 24 hours on weekends. Call the CAPS number, 703-993-2380, then press 1 to be connected to Protocall.
The university is prepared to pivot to virtual learning if developing events, instructions from the governor, or guidance from state and local health officials determine we need to return to all-remote classes.