American University, GW revive indoor mask policy

Two D.C. universities are revising their indoor mask policy amid an uptick of coronavirus cases.

American University said it will once again require masks in all buildings in its Northwest D.C. campus.

The new mask guidelines, which take effect April 12, require masks in campus buildings except when people are alone in private offices, inside dorm rooms with roommates or when actively eating or drinking.

Masks remain required in campus medical facilities and on the AU shuttle.

The university’s online COVID guide says faculty can choose whether to wear while teaching if there is at least 3 feet of distance from others in the class.

The university shifted to a mask-optional policy in most campus facilities less than a month ago.



The George Washington University also said that it is reinstating its indoor mask requirement for its buildings and facilities starting Tuesday. Through the remainder of the spring semester, including exams and graduation, masks must be worn at all times indoors unless actively eating or drinking or are in a private office or residence hall room.

“We strongly encourage you to use a N95 or KN95 mask in classrooms and in all indoor university spaces rather than a cloth mask,” GW said in a statement. The university is giving free N95 masks  to all students, faculty and staff.

The move reviving the mask policy follows an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the D.C. region believed to be driven by the BA.2 subvariant of the virus.

Other universities in the D.C. area are also moving to reinstitute mask policies.

Last week, Georgetown University reimposed its mask policy citing a significant increase in COVID cases among students and staff. Johns Hopkins in Baltimore did the same.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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