DC-Area Universities Reinstate Mask Mandates

Masks required indoors on American and George Washington university campuses

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A familiar sight is returning to some college campuses in the District as COVID-19 cases rise.

American University and George Washington University on Tuesday will reinstate their indoor mask mandates for on-campus buildings. Both schools cited the BA.2 Omicron subvariant, which is becoming more common across the U.S.

People will not need to wear masks when alone in their residence halls or private offices or when eating.

George Washington University says the requirement will remain in place through the end of the semester, plus for commencement ceremonies.

American University says officials will reevaluate the mandate by May 9.

Both schools’ spring breaks ended on March 14. Since then, AU reported 192 COVID-19 cases and GW reported 323.

Georgetown University and Johns Hopkins made similar announcements about mask requirements last week.

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Maryland and Virginia have reported increases in COVID-19 cases during the month of April.

D.C. last reported COVID-19 case data on March 27. The weekly case rate was at 110.4, the highest number since the first week of February.

Washington DC Area Mask Mandates at Universities

Most schools require masks in healthcare settings or communal transportation, which is in line with federal mandates.

Here’s what major local schools say about masks on campus:

American University to require masks indoors until at least May 9.

Bowie State says masks are optional as long as low COVID-19 metrics are maintained.

Catholic University says masking is optional.

Gallaudet University says masks are required in student areas.

George Mason University says face masks are optional in most settings.

Georgetown University says masks are required indoors on its main and medical campus.

George Washington University will require masks indoors through the end of the semester and commencement ceremonies.

Howard University continues to have a mask requirement in place on campus.

University of Maryland says masks are required in some specific indoor settings, including classrooms, the health center and shared transport.

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