George Mason University

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FAQs: Operations, Health, and Safety

Plans and Operations

How is campus life different?
What's the situation with parking?

For faculty and staff, payroll deduction for parking began 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. Mail permits to Parking Services, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, MS 1G4, Fairfax, Va. 22030.

Find more information on faculty and staff parking.

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.

Find more information on student parking.

We are selling permits online. 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.

What is the Mason shuttle schedule?

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 site, as well as the Mason Transportation Services site.

I'm not a member of the Mason community, but have business on campus. How will that work?

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.

What happens if someone doesn't follow Mason's guidelines for being on campus?

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.

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

What is the university doing to create a safe campus environment?

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.

I will be a residential student. What do I need to do before coming to campus?

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.

I’m a non-residential student. What do I need to do?

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.

What do all members of the Mason community need to do?
  • 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.
Who must take Safe Return to Campus Training?

Everyone in the Mason community who will be on one of our campuses.

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.

What if I develop symptoms?

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.

What if I get sick/test positive?
What if someone I live with is vulnerable/at risk?

If there is a high-risk person in the home, students are encouraged to take all their courses online.

I'm a student with stress and anxiety. Can I get some help?

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.

If there is an outbreak, will Mason close?

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.