Case and Outbreak Management

Mason has set up policies to help prevent infection and limit the pandemic’s impact on students and employees.   

The university case and outbreak management plan will follow the Box It In strategy (Test, Isolate, Find (contacts) and Quarantine), in coordination with the Virginia Department of Health and local health departments. The strategy will include: 

  • Identification of outbreaks. 
  • Guidance on decontamination and closures. 
  • Assistance in contact tracing if health departments request help.  

Mason will work to identify exposure cases in such areas as classrooms, residence halls, and sports facilities. We’ll investigate potential breakdowns in university safety precautions and the possible need for more intensive safety measures. 

The university might need to take steps to distinguish between COVID and influenza or other respiratory illnesses through testing and surveillance of our health care workforce. We’ll also maintain an inventory of PPE supplies. 

We’ll also watch for an increase in influenza-like illness in the Mason community, as well as monitor local health care systems and the larger community outside of the university to allow for advanced planning for potential outbreak management. If necessary, we’ll look into policy decisions about additional precautions.

In accordance with Virginia law, employees and contractors with suspected or confirmed COVID infection can’t be on campus or at any other Mason work site until they're determined to be safe to be around.  

COVID Navigators will follow up on reports of suspected or confirmed COVID illnesses, track cases, and forward information on clusters that could indicate the need to suspend classes or other functions to Mason’s Outbreak Mitigation and Management Team.  

Student Health Services (SHS) will reach out to close contacts of residential cases identified by contact tracing. SHS will also work closely with Intercollegiate Athletics and Housing and Residence Life to provide medical consultation and liaison with the health department for support of contact tracing. 

If there is a resurgence of cases, a campus outbreak, or regional or national public health issues, Mason is prepared to scale back operations and cease in-person instruction.