COVID won’t be on break. Patriots, get your booster

Gregory Washington was named 8th president of George Mason University on Feb. 24, 2020. Photo provided by University of California-Irvine.

Dear Patriots,

As our semester comes to a close and we finalize plans for winter break, we want to take a moment and encourage all Mason Patriots – whether near or far – to please continue to prioritize your health and safety. Here are a few departing reminders to help ensure that we close out this year happy and healthy!

Get a Booster!

The omicron variant is moving quickly, and the delta variant remains a threat, so we must be diligent during this holiday season. While experts are still determining if omicron poses an increased threat, health officials agree: getting vaccinated (to include boosters) is the best way to combat COVID. The CDC is recommending COVID booster shots for anyone who is eligible for a booster, which includes anyone over 18. In addition, the FDA on Thursday authorized Pfizer booster shots for all eligible 16- and 17-year-olds who completed their two-shot Pfizer series at least six months ago. Vaccines and boosters have proven to be effective in helping to reduce the spread of COVID and the severity of COVID illness. We strongly recommend boosters for all Mason Patriots who are eligible to receive one, and Mason is offering booster shots Monday-Friday for free. Appointments can be made at and hours will be expanded to accommodate the end-of-semester demand.

Test Before Traveling

For those who are leaving campus, we recommend testing before and after holiday gatherings. Mason will continue to provide walk-in tests through December 17. Please take advantage of this service before you leave. International travelers need to check with their airline and get tested 24 hours before travel to the US. If you are unvaccinated, you must quarantine upon arrival and get tested 3-5 days after arrival. The CDC provides travel guidance at their website.

Mason will also offer limited walk-in surveillance testing on Monday, Dec. 20 and Monday, Dec. 27 from 9-noon at Fenwick A Wing on the Fairfax Campus. Surveillance testing will reopen at Fenwick only on Monday, January 3.

Stick with What Works

As many of us plan to gather with family and friends, it’s more important than ever to continue the practices that have kept our community safe. We know our plan works, let’s continue to work it. Let’s maintain our safety protocols throughout the holiday break:

  • Continue to use Mason COVID Health Check, as this is the provides our health experts the ability to understand the extent and impact of COVID on campus. We will streamline the Mason COVID Health Check in the new year. Look for more information soon.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • Wear masks when in large groups.
    • Follow the CDC’s guidance for close contact situations. If you are notified that you are a close contact please:
      • Get a surveillance test 5-7 days after potential exposure if you are vaccinated and asymptomatic.
      • Quarantine for 14 days from date of exposure if you are unvaccinated and get tested 5-7 days after exposure.

Thank you ALL for helping to keep Mason safe and open. Your consistency and care for your fellow Patriots has contributed to a successful fall semester. Please continue to do your part by following these guidelines so that we can start 2022 healthy and strong. Enjoy your winter break!


Gregory Washington

Posted in Coronavirus Communications, Official University Communications.