GW Reinstates Indoor Mask Mandate

July 30, 2021

Dear Members of the GW Community,

Effective Saturday, July 31, until further notice, GW is reinstating its indoor mask requirement in university-owned or -operated facilities for all individuals regardless of vaccination status. This guidance is consistent with the District’s decision to again require that people wear masks in indoor public settings beginning July 31. D.C. takes this action based not only on guidance from the CDC but also as a precaution as COVID rates have increased locally.

GW is committed to the safety of our community.  As you are already aware, GW has gone above and beyond municipal mandates and CDC recommendations by requiring vaccines for faculty, staff and students. The available COVID vaccines are safe and effective, even against the Delta variant. Mask-wearing, in combination with our surveillance testing program, adds an additional level of protection in the context of a vaccinated campus population. The numbers of positive cases remain very low on our campuses, and the risk of COVID-19 to infected individuals who are fully vaccinated is very low. This multi-layered approach will help ensure that we are able to safely resume in-person teaching, learning and working this next semester.

The CDC recommends that you make sure your mask fits snugly against your face and pick a mask with layers. Here is a link to their guidance for how to select and wear masks. 

We understand that this is a time of confusion and uncertainty, and we ask for your patience as we evaluate the latest data about COVID-19 transmission in our community, as well as local and national public health guidance. We will continue to update the GW community about activities on campus, such as athletics, events and classroom activities, which may be affected by the new Mayor's Order.

For frequently asked questions or more information on GW’s public health protocols and the  COVID-19 vaccine requirement, visit

Thank you for your cooperation as we work to keep our community healthy and safe.

Christopher Alan Bracey
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Scott Burnotes
Vice President for Safety and Facilities

Ray Lucas, M.D. 
University COVID-19 Coordinator
Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine