Mason’s campus guidelines have kept positives low as the academic year comes to a close
BY MADDIE GIERBER STAFF WRITER
Mason is ending its spring semester with a total of 276 positive COVID-19 cases since Jan. 25 and a seven-day average of 2.29 new cases as of April 8. Of the 276 individuals who tested positive, 226 were students and 50 were staff.
Mason responded to the pandemic by extending spring break and transitioning most in-person classes to virtual instruction in March 2020, but has since reopened some classes for in-person instruction and currently allows students to access campus if they follow CDC-recommended health protocols. Students are encouraged to complete a daily health check if they plan on accessing the campus.
The university also implemented surveillance testing to monitor the virus’ spread on campus, randomly selecting 12.5 percent of residential students and staff in high-contact positions for weekly tests.
Ten percent of the general campus population is also tested weekly, with athletes tested according to NCAA guidelines. Students may receive diagnostic testing if they believe they have been exposed to the virus, and enter isolation or quarantine depending on their exposure.
The university has not released an official plan for the fall 2021 semester, but President Gregory Washington stated his intention to increase on-campus activities and have 75 percent of instruction in person while maintaining hybrid options.
In a televised faculty meeting, he praised the university’s response, saying it was “as great of a team effort as I’ve ever seen in academia.”