George Mason ends on-campus mask requirement

Northern Virginia’s George Mason University is dropping its mask mandate, effectively immediately.

In a message to the school community posted Tuesday, university president Gregory Washington announced GMU had switched to a mask-optional policy on all its campuses. He said the decision reflected low transmission and positivity rates in Fairfax County and nearby communities.



“The current low level of COVID-19 means that we can take another step forward,” Washington said.

“Every Mason Patriot should feel free to practice the masking measures that make you feel safe. If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask, we support you. If you choose not to wear a mask where they are optional, we support you as well.”

The university is also transitioning to a COVID test-optional environment, with the exception of unvaccinated students.

Masks will remain mandatory in certain event venues, health care settings, on public transit and child care settings, Washington said. More information on when and where masks and tests are still required is available on GMU’s website.

Testing remains available at Student Health Services or at Peterson Hall for students and staff. GMU is offering free second booster shots for anyone over age 50 at the Fenwick Library vaccination clinic, in accordance with the latest guidance from federal and state health authorities.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital reporter and editor in June 2018. He is a writer and photojournalist focusing on politics, political activism and national affairs, with recent multimedia contributions to Reuters, MSNBC and PBS.

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