Personal and Public Health

Mason is counting on all members of our community to do their part to keep everyone as healthy as possible. We'll do our part, too.

We’ve established some policies and best practices to make sure everyone feels comfortable while working, teaching, learning, and conducting research on our campuses and facilities.

We’re asking you to:

The university will:

Our guidelines and requirements are based on resources from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Protecting the Community

To lessen the chance of an outbreak within the Mason community, you must:

  • Take COVID Safety training. We want all faculty, staff, and student workers returning to campus to have the information necessary to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within our community. This training discusses:

    • Transmission.
    • Precautions the university has in place.
    • Faculty and staff responsibilities.
    • Best practices to protect yourself and others while on campus.
  • Complete the Mason COVID Health Check.  Anyone planning to come to campus must complete the Mason COVID Health Check on a daily basis (7-days/week). 

Mason will maintain the privacy and confidentiality of members of the university community and their close contacts. Only authorized university officials involved with the case investigation and the health department will have access to the information.

Information, Guidelines, and Best Practices

Vulnerable Populations / Unvaccinated People

Mason does not prohibit unvaccinated people and those with challenged immune systems from coming to campus; however, we encourage those at risk for severe illness to take appropriate precautions and discuss options with their health care providers.  

Faculty and Staff

Mason has implemented a three-days-on-campus / two-days-of-telework schedule. If this would be a problem for you due to a medical issue, you can request an accommodation from the Office of Compliance, Diversity, & Ethics

Human Resources, in coordination with the ADA Coordinator, will work with employees and supervisors in cases where it may be challenging to implement an accommodation, adjustment, or modification. 


If you’re at high risk per CDC guidelines, consult your health care provider and work with Disability Services if you need an accommodation.  

If you need help with online programs and services or additional academic assistance related to a high-risk condition(s) of a household member, contact the Student Support and Advocacy Center or the Dean of Students Office


Everyone who plans to come to campus must fill out the Mason COVID Health Check on a daily basis.

Mason requires individuals who feel ill or have COVID-19 symptoms to self-isolate.

Residential students who feel ill or report exposures must contact Student Health Services at 703-993-2831 and follow staff or health department recommendations for isolation or quarantine.  Mason will deliver meals, and the Virginia Department of Health or university staff will monitor their situation.

Nonresidential students, faculty and staff who have symptoms consistent with COVID should seek medical attention and report their circumstances to the university.

Potential Exposure

A potential exposure means being a household contact or being within 6 feet of a person with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes while the person was sick and 48 hours before the person became sick. If you have experienced a potential exposure, you must self-quarantine and monitor for symptoms.

  • If your exposure was to someone who is not in your household, stay home and monitor for symptoms until 14 days after the date of last contact with the person with COVID-19.
  • If your exposure was to a member of your household, stay home and monitor for symptoms while the person is home sick and for 14 days after he or she has been released from isolation.

If you have questions about a potential exposure and need to quarantine, consult with a medical provider. All currently enrolled students can consult Student Health Services at 703-993-2831.

Getting Tested

Isolation and Quarantine

If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have it, stay at home and separate yourself from others as much as possible.  Talk to your health care provider and get testing through their office or at a community testing site. 

Notify your supervisor, report the illness to the university, and isolate at home until you meet the criteria for ending self-isolation. You'll also need to report your status on the Mason Covid Health Check.

Residential students who have mild COVID-19 and are able to care for themselves at home must follow Housing and Residence Life protocols for isolation. Mason will deliver meals, and the Virginia Department of Health or university staff will monitor their situation.

Find more information on Isolation and Quarantine policies and guidelines.

Ending Self-Isolation

If you test positive for COVID-19, and have symptoms, the Virginia Department of Health or your health care provider will recommend when you can be cleared from isolation. 

The CDC also has a Quarantine and Isolation calendar.

If you are self-isolating because you have COVID-19 symptoms, you can leave your home when meeting three criteria:

  • You have no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of medicines that reduce fever; AND
  • Other symptoms have improved; AND
  • At least 5 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared. Some people who experience severe illness may remain infectious for more than 5 days; if this is the case, consult your health care provider about when to end self-isolation.

If you tested positive for COVID-19 but remained asymptomatic, you can leave your home if:

  • At least 5 days have passed since the date of your first positive COVID-19 diagnosis (RT-PCR test) 

The Virginia Department of Health has established guidelines on when it is safe to be around others (PDF).

Emergency Symptoms

If you or another individual shows certain symptoms, seek medical care immediately. Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency care facility. Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19. Symptoms include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

This list does not include every symptom. Call your health care provider to discuss any other severe or concerning symptoms.

The CDC also provides information on COVID symptoms.

Influenza Season and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic could overlap with influenza season. Because the symptoms of these illnesses are so similar, any patient with flu-like symptoms is COVID-19 positive until proven otherwise.

If you have these symptoms, you must:

  • Isolate.
  • Have a clinical evaluation.
  • Be tested for COVID-19.
  • Ensure that your residence undergoes additional cleaning.
  • Provide a list of your close contacts, who should be traced and advised to quarantine.

To reduce the impact on you, the campus community, and the health care sector, we strongly encourage you to get an influenza vaccination, especially if you will be in high-risk situations or areas where people congregate, such as a residence hall.