Campus operations for the remainder of the semester and the new year 

Mason Faculty and Staff,

Thank you for everything you have done to make Fall 2020 a success. We began this semester with a major challenge—reopening our campuses and bringing students, faculty and staff back safely. We not only met our goal, we have been a national model for success.

We have among the lowest number of positive COVID cases for colleges and universities in the state, with 27 active student cases, and cumulatively 121 students and 29 employees who have tested positive since the start of the semester. We are actively supporting members of our community who test positive to help their recovery. Our efforts are working, and the biggest reason why is that everyone has done their part.

We expect to make greater progress in the spring, which will allow us to bring more people back on campus and offer more to our students. To do that, we will need everyone to stay vigilant. Please continue to wear a face covering, practice physical distancing and proper hygiene, participate in random testing when selected, fill out the Mason COVID Health Check. These efforts have made a difference. Also, expect to hear more about our efforts to expand testing in the coming weeks.

As we approach the Thanksgiving break and the university’s transition to virtual learning on November 30, we want to share a few operational changes that will occur between Thanksgiving and our return to work after the winter break.

Holiday Travel 

Our individual activities and collective commitment to health and safety over the next two months are instrumental to positioning Mason to have a successful Spring 2021 semester. We recognize many people may travel locally, nationally, and perhaps internationally to be with family and friends over the holidays. We urge you to please continue to observe health and safety precautions as you travel: wear a face covering, practice good hygiene, avoid those who are ill, and isolate or quarantine if you become sick or are exposed. Please use good judgment and travel safely.

Post-Thanksgiving In-Person Instruction 

If your instruction/research requires students to participate in on-campus instruction or a unique space to complete academic projects, please submit a Request to Continue Instructional Activities in University Facilities or in Field or Clinical Settings form to continue on campus/field/clinical activities until December 19.

Building Access 

As in years past, all exterior, office and classroom doors will be locked during the Thanksgiving break, Nov. 25-29.

From Nov. 30-Dec. 19, exterior doors will remain open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday; buildings will be secured on Sundays. Offices will maintain their existing unlock schedule. Classrooms will be secured during this time.

Dec. 20-Jan. 3: All exterior, office, and classroom doors will be locked.

Jan. 4: Exterior doors will reopen 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday; buildings will be secured on Sundays. Offices will maintain their existing unlock schedule.

Jan. 10: Classrooms doors will be open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

If necessary, Building/Space Coordinators can coordinate alternate office and classroom access times directly with the Card Access and Security Office ( Those who currently have electronic access to exterior and interior doors will maintain access even when buildings are secured. If you require access to a space secured by lock and key, keys may be requested from Key Control (

Additional information about Mason’s spring COVID precautions, testing strategies, and operations will be announced before winter break. Thank you for doing you part to keep the Mason Nation healthy.


Julie A. Zobel, PhD
Assistant Vice President
Safety, Emergency, & Enterprise Risk Management

Posted in Coronavirus Communications, Official University Communications.