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            George Mason University

            Coronavirus/COVID-19

            Mason is monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus, and is following guidelines from the  and the . The university will extend spring break, then move to virtual instruction. As new information about the outbreak and its potential impact on the Mason community becomes available, the university will send updates via email.

            A Message from President Holton Regarding the Coronavirus

            Dear Patriots,

            Your health and safety are our highest priorities, and we continue to monitor the coronavirus outbreak around the globe and in the region. While there are no known cases on our campus, we are aware of a number of confirmed cases in Virginia and the Washington, D.C. region. With this in mind, we are taking a number of precautionary measures to limit exposure and minimize risk. 

            Mason to Extend Spring Break, then Move to Virtual Instruction

            To limit exposure on our campus, Mason is extending spring break by an additional week through March 20. This will allow students and faculty to prepare for virtual alternative instruction and reduce close contact on campus.

            The Antonin Scalia Law School will move immediately to virtual alternative instruction and will not go on an extended spring break. Additionally, classes in other colleges and schools that are already online will not be delayed by the extended spring break and will continue as scheduled.

            When spring break ends, most classes will be conducted through virtual alternative instruction, from Monday, March 23 through Friday, April 3.  Students will be contacted by their faculty with additional details about virtual learning. The university will continue to monitor and reevaluate the situation prior to April 3. If an extension of virtual learning is needed, we will adjust as determined and communicate that with you.

            We are also committed to ensuring that our students will successfully complete their coursework this semester, and will work to create tailored plans for those instances where virtual instruction is not a sufficient solution.

            Students Encouraged to Stay Off Campus, but Residence Halls Remain Open

            We know that one of the most powerful ways to minimize the spread of coronavirus is limiting interaction in close spaces. For that reason, we encourage students who are 五福彩票计划软件 to stay 五福彩票计划软件 during this time. We will continue to keep residence and dining halls open for students who cannot return 五福彩票计划软件.  Specific details will be sent to all residential students on Thursday. More information about student services, student centers, and the library will be forthcoming.

            Mason to Remain Operational During this Time

            The university will remain open, and faculty and staff are expected to continue working during this period. In fact, for some, constraints on their time will increase, particularly as we work to shift classes to virtual instruction. I appreciate everyone’s patience as we move through this uncharted territory.

            Of course, if you feel unwell, please stay 五福彩票计划软件. And some faculty and staff may need to telework, particularly those who have medical vulnerabilities that put them at . I encourage supervisors to work with faculty and staff who request flexible work options due to medical susceptibility to coronavirus.

            If you are returning from , or have been instructed by the health department, please follow guidance from the CDC about self-quarantine, whether on or off-campus.

            The Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning and ITS have resources for faculty to migrate to virtual alternative instruction and for staff to be telework-ready as necessary.  Instructional continuity plans can be found on the Stearns Center website, and VPN information is available from ITS. Guidance on telework is available from Employee Relations. Deans, directors and department heads have been in contact with their teams to ensure continuity of operations during this time.

            As a reminder, the university also has suspended university-related domestic and international travel through April 10 for students, faculty and staff, and has cancelled study abroad-related travel for the semester. In addition, we strongly encourage our campus community to postpone or forgo nonessential personal travel during this time.

            Moving Forward

            We are currently evaluating additional options, including cancelling events. We anticipate sending more information about events and other university business this week, and we encourage you to reach out to organizers to check the status of those events.

            As you know, this situation is changing rapidly and we will continue to send information often. I want to urge everyone to monitor their email. Students, if your family members want to receive these emails, please make sure they sign up for the Mason Family Flash newsletter.  In addition, please utilize other university information channels, including the university’s coronavirus website and the university’s switchboard, which can assist in directing calls about Mason’s response to the coronavirus. The number is 703-993-1000.

            All of these decisions are being made with the health and safety of our campus community in mind. Remember to take time to practice good self-care and focus on what you can do to remain healthy: frequent hand washing for at least 20 seconds, getting enough rest, eating healthy and drinking plenty of water.

            We appreciate your patience and flexibility during this time as we navigate this evolving situation, and we will continue to provide regular updates through email and through the website.

            Sincerely,

            Anne Holton

            Interim President


             

            Frequently Asked Questions about Coronavirus/COVID-19 and Mason Plans

            What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

            Symptoms, which can appear 2 to 14 days after exposure, include fever, muscle or body aches, sore throat and cough, fatigue and headaches. If you've been in contact with someone with COVID-19, or in an area where there is an outbreak, contact a health care professional.

            What precautions is Mason taking? What precautions can I take?

            Student Health 五福彩票计划软件 and Mason Safety, Emergency, and Enterprise Risk Management are coordinating with Virginia Department of Health and local health departments to recommended precautionary measures, such as:

            Avoid close contact with sick people.

            • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
            • Stay 五福彩票计划软件 if you're ill.
            • Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue, then discard the tissue.
            • Clean frequently touched objects and surfaces with a cleaning spray or wipe.
            • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
            • Cough into your elbow or a tissue.
            • Eat healthy foods,
            • Get enough sleep,
            • Decrease stress,
            • Limit or eliminate the use of tobacco products.
            • Avoid others when sick and avoid those who are sick.  

            Mason is cleaning public areas more frequently, wiping down surfaces in dining areas throughout campus buildings and common areas. Mason is also cleaning areas that are touched often (e.g., doorknobs, light switch, handrails, etc.) within buildings and residence halls more frequently.

            The best way to prevent the spread of disease is to identify illness early and seek medical advice or care.

            Who is at risk for COVID-19?

            People with weakened immune systems or current respiratory illnesses might have a higher chance of contracting COVID-19 and additional trouble recovering from the infection.

            I'm a student, and I think I'm sick; what should I do?

            If you have a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough, difficulty breathing, or shortness of breath:

            • Do not attend classes, work, or university events. Avoid contact with others. Stay 五福彩票计划软件 except when seeking medical care.
            • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available and stay well hydrated/drink fluids
            • Cover your cough, and avoid close contact with others
            • Before you go to Student Health 五福彩票计划软件 (703-993-2831), a doctor’s office, or emergency room, call ahead and inform the clinic about your symptoms and recent travel, especially to China五福彩票计划软件, Iran, Italy, or South Korea. Follow medical providers' instructions to get the care you need while keeping others safe.
            • Contact your professors to arrange accommodations for missing classes for a temporary time period. 

            Student Health 五福彩票计划软件 has developed triage phone and in-person screening process and has implemented additional protocols to help identify possible cases of coronavirus to provide optimal care for those with symptoms and to protect Mason community.

            For more information about Mason's communicable disease response procedures, consult the  (PDF).

            I'm sick and live near/on campus; what should I do?

            Health facilities are available on all of Mason's Virginia campuses:

            • The Fairfax Campus's Student Health 五福彩票计划软件 office is in the Student Union Building (SUB 1). Call 703-993-2831.
            • The Arlington Clinic is in Van Metre Hall, Room B102. Call 703-993-4863.
            • The SciTech Clinic is in Colgan Hall, Room 229. Call 703-993-8374.

            Mason Korea also has plans in place if students there get sick.

            Before you go to Student Health 五福彩票计划软件, a doctor’s office, or emergency room, call ahead and inform the clinic about your symptoms and travel history.

            Housing and Residence Life staff will work closely with Student Health 五福彩票计划软件 to monitor suspected cases and to support the residential students’ community. If the Health Department deems isolation necessary, we will make arrangements based on their recommendations.

            Students who live close enough to return 五福彩票计划软件 might be advised to do that for the duration of their illness. Mason will provide support and accommodations for international students, and those who live too far to get 五福彩票计划软件 easily.

            can provide meals if you live on the Fairfax Campus, and you're too ill to eat in a dining hall.

            I'm faculty/staff and think I'm sick; what should I do?

            If you have a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough, difficulty breathing, or shortness of breath:

            • Do not attend work or university events. Avoid contact with others. Stay 五福彩票计划软件 except when seeking medical care.
            • Report your absence to your supervisor. 
            • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available and stay well hydrated/drink fluids
            • Cover your cough, and avoid close contact with others
            • Before you go to your primary care doctor or emergency room, call ahead and notify staff of your condition and travel history, especially to China五福彩票计划软件, Iran, Italy, or South Korea. Follow medical providers' instructions to get the care you need while keeping others safe. Follow the instructions of health care professionals.

            For more information about Mason's communicable disease response procedures, consult the  (PDF).

            I have a severe chronic medical condition; what should I do?

            Effective March 9, individuals with health conditions who are considered to be a high risk for COVID-19 complications should make arrangements to remain out of class and away from work.

            • Disability 五福彩票计划软件 will work with immuno-compromised students and their instructors to develop proactive plans if the virus is found near one of our campuses and students no longer feel safe attending classes.  
            • Faculty who are at high risk should convert their coursework to alternative teaching methods to avoid contact with sick individuals; the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning can provide information on how to maintain instructional continuity.
            • Staff who are at high risk should contact their supervisor to discuss telework, flexible work, or accommodations to maintain social distancing while at work. More information is available from HR at the Employee Relations website.
            What are the most effective methods to clean surfaces?

            While COVID-19 is commonly transmitted through respiratory droplets, it can also be picked up through contact with contaminated inanimate objects. The virus might remain viable on surfaces for hours or days.

            • Routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces with soap and water followed by disinfection with an EPA-registered disinfectant is a best practice measure to prevent transmission of any viral respiratory illness in households and community settings.
            • Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting.
            • Use unexpired diluted household bleach solutions (1/3 cup bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water), alcohol solutions with at least 70 percent alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants.
            • Follow product directions.
            • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas such as tables, chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, counters, desks, toilets, and sinks.
            • Wash your hands immediately after removing gloves.
            Do I need to wear a mask?

            No. The Surgeon General of the United States says masks do not protect against the spread of COVID-19. The rush of individuals to purchase masks had decreased the amount of masks available to the medical community.

            Mason does not encourage the use of respiratory protection and does not provide respirators to students unless they are being cared for at Student Health 五福彩票计划软件, when they might get one to prevent the spread of an illness among other patients.

            Are classes still being held?

            Yes; however, on-campus classes have been suspended; the university will hold classes through virtual alternative instruction.

            • For the Virginia campuses, spring break has been extended a week, through March 20. When spring break ends, most classes will be conducted through virtual alternative instruction, from Monday, March 23, through Friday, April 3.  The university will re-evaluate the situation prior to April 3 and notify the community of next steps. 
            • Mason Korea is providing virtual alternative instruction to students through April 6, in accordance with recommendations from the government of South Korea.
            What's going on with study abroad programs/international trips?

            Mason has suspended all university-authorized travel for students, faculty and staff effective Monday, March 16 through at least April 10.

            This includes domestic and international travel. Exceptions can be granted on a case-by-case basis in accordance with Policy 1134; however, travelers must be able to demonstrate a compelling and necessary reason to travel.

            In brief:

            • No student international travel/study abroad through May 15.
            • No university-authorized domestic travel for students, faculty or staff through at least April 10.
            • No university-authorized international travel for students, faculty or staff through at least April 10.  

            The Global Education Office (GEO) will work directly with affected study-abroad students to provide information and address questions. The office is also working to refund program fees for committed students on all spring programs that are suspended. For group flights (purchased through GEO), all tickets were cancelled. You will receive the cost of the ticket in your refund.

            Because some planned business travel might already be scheduled, Fiscal 五福彩票计划软件 advises travelers to cancel their flights and request a full refund. It that’s not possible, cancel the flight and request a credit for a future date.

            Please monitor individual airlines’ announcements about policy changes, as you might be able to make a change without incurring a fee.

            You should also make a reasonable attempt to receive a refund for all other travel-related expenses. Trip- related expenses that cannot be refunded may be reimbursed with department approval.

            I’ve been around someone who might have been exposed; should I be tested?

            The CDC does not recommend testing, symptom monitoring or special management for people exposed to asymptomatic people with potential exposures to the coronavirus (such as in a household), i.e., “contacts of contacts.”

            These people aren’t considered exposed to the coronavirus. If you’re a high-risk contact of someone with suspected coronavirus, the health department will contact you.

            I'm stressed and anxious about COVID-19; where can I get help?

            Students can contact the Student Support and Advocacy Center and/or Counseling and Psychological 五福彩票计划软件. Employees have access to the university’s Employee Assistance Program to help during difficult circumstances, hardship, and stress. Human Resources has a variety of services available.

            What if I want to withdraw/want my child to withdraw?

            If you wish to remove yourself or your student from Mason, contact the Office of the Registrar at 703-993-2441.

            I have tickets to an event at a Mason performing arts venue; are they still being held?

            All performances and events are proceeding as scheduled at the Center for the Arts (CFA), Hylton Center, and all venues managed by Mason's College of Visual and Performing Arts. , including waived exchange fees, are in place at CFA and Hylton. The college is evaluating the situation as it evolves and will continue to follow university guidelines, as well as those from local officials. 

            For the latest information, you can check our websites:


             


             

            Get the Latest Reports from the CDC

            The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posts reports on its response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, as well as the latest news and advice on how to avoid getting sick. They also feature guidance for , as well as for . 

            New York Times Offers Overview of Virus, Possible Factors in Outbreak

            The newspaper looks at six key areas that might have an impact on the size and spread of the outbreak, such as the rate of contagion, the incubation period, and the likely time it will take to develop a vaccine. Be aware that the Times allows users to read five articles per month for free, then requires payment for access.

            Washington Post Compares Coronavirus and the Flu

            The newspaper looks at the similarities and differences between the coronavirus and the flu. Note that the Post has a paywall that goes into effect after a user hits their article limits, so reading may require a subscription.