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Gallaudet University and Clerc Center are open this fall and fully committed to a safe and healthy learning and working environment for all of our students, employees and visitors.
The health and safety of our students, employees, visitors and the Washington, D.C. area community remains our highest priority. We are closely monitoring the public health concern related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) through trusted authorities including DC Health and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This webpage provides updates relevant to the Gallaudet and Clerc Center community along with links to various reliable resources. The content will be continually updated as new information becomes available.
Helpful information about technology support for those returning to campus.
Information about quarantine for those who are arriving in Washington, D.C.
Information about getting ready for online instruction.
Clerc Center requires the use of masks on campus and in buses.
Information about wearing masks for COVID-19 on campus.
Panel discussions addressing vaccine hesitancy among BIPOC and other communities
Links to various helpful resources.
Information about covid testing on campus.
Information about covid mask directives on campus.
Covid testing information.
Information about coming to campus for the first time.
Links to various campus resources.
Information about contract tracing at GU.
Information about COVID-19.
Information about Financial Aid.
Information about tech support.
Information about vaccination on campus.
Visitor Policy at GU.
Information about dining and food services upon the return to campus.
Information about cleaning and sanitation at GU upon the return to campus.
Approach to classroom safety upon the return to campus.
Information about HVAC and Ventilation solutions at GU upon the return to campus.
Information about GU's approach to student transportation upon the return to campus.
Information about GU's approach to contract tracing upon the return to campus.
Information about athletics at GU upon the return to campus.
Information about the Clerc Center's approach to classroom safety.
Information about school buses upon the return to campus.
Information about the residential life protocols upon the return to campus.
Information about GU's approach to cleaning upon the return to campus.
Information about the Clerc Center's approach to cleaning upon the return to campus.
Information about the Clerc Center's approach to classroom safety upon the return to campus.
Information about GU's approach to classroom safety upon the return to campus.
Information about GU's approach to dining and food services upon the return to campus.
Information about the Clerc Center's approach to dining and food services upon the return to campus.
Information about GU's approach to HVAC and ventilation upon the return to campus.
Information about the Clerc Center's approach to HVAC and ventilation upon the return to campus.
Information about GU's approach to quarantine and isolation upon the return to campus.
Information about the Clerc Center's approach to quarantine and isolation upon the return to campus.
Information about the Clerc Center's approach to student transportation upon the return to campus.
Information about the Clerc Center's approach to athletics upon the return to campus.
Information about the Clerc Center's approach to contract tracing upon the return to campus.
Information about the Clerc Center's approach to residential living upon the return to campus.
The U.S. Congress allocated funding to colleges and universities to assist students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) was created to enable colleges and universities to provide cash grants to current students for expenses related to disruptions to their education due to COVID-19. Funds under HEERF can be used […]
The health and safety of our community is a shared priority and responsibility. We recognize that each and every one of us is doing our best, every day, to deal with an unprecedented global event with ever-evolving health and safety guidance. This policy is not intended to penalize people who make innocent mistakes. Rather, it […]
The contact tracing process begins when someone: Self-reports a positive test or close contact* off-campus Email Contact to self-report an off campus COVID test or a potential exposure. Has a positive covid test through on-campus testing SHS will notify the GU/CC Contact Tracing Teams of positive results. You may report potentially high-risk behaviors of others […]
Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of our students and for many students, the pandemic has exacerbated existing challenges and even created new ones, the Bison Aid Fund has been established through the generosity of alumni, friends of the University, and both the Student Body Government and Graduate Student Association. The goal of […]
No, if you have received any other vaccine (flu, shingles, MMR, Tdap, etc.), you will need to wait 14 days before getting the COVID-19 vaccination.
Employees and students who are required to be vaccinated must send documentation – such as an image of your vaccination card or a copy of your immunization records from your physician – to Contact.
You may submit an image of your COVID-19 vaccination card, or a copy of your immunization record from your healthcare provider.
You are encouraged to submit proof of your vaccination as soon as possible, and no later than one day before you first appear on campus.
Vaccination records are maintained electronically and you may receive a record of your vaccination if you lose or misplace your card. First, return to or contact your vaccination site to see if they may provide a replacement card. (If you received two vaccination doses at different sites, contact the site where you received your second dose.)
Alternatively, every state maintains immunization records. The CDC provides contact info for all states and US territories; the process for receiving a copy of your immunization records varies by state.
If you are unsuccessful in obtaining documentation of vaccination, you may submit a medical exemption request which includes an antibody test administered by your physician.
Individuals who do not comply with the policy will be identified to their supervisor/administrator through regular reporting in order to determine access to campus. Gallaudet and Clerc Center will not otherwise share information regarding an individual’s vaccination status – including whether individuals have applied for and/or received a medical or religious exemption. Gallaudet may report on the aggregate vaccination rate of employees and/or students, in order to share this information with the community and comply with any requirements.
Similar to requirements for other vaccines, Gallaudet and the Clerc Center will monitor which individuals have not submitted documentation of vaccination or received a medical or religious exemption. Please ensure that you submit documentation of your vaccination as described in the ‘Submitting Proof of Vaccination’ section below.
Individuals who violate this policy will be subject to progressive disciplinary action, which may include termination or expulsion.
Yes. Overwhelming scientific evidence has shown that COVID-19 vaccines are both safe and effective. See more information from the CDC and these information sessions from Gallaudet.
Vaccines are widely available in the United States through your healthcare provider, local health authority, or pharmacy. See this online tool to help find a provider and schedule an appointment.
Vaccination is also available on campus to all current employees and students 18 years of age or older. (Gallaudet administers the Moderna vaccine, which is authorized for individuals 18 years and older.) Pre-registration is required; please complete this Contact.
COVID-19 vaccination is available in the United States at no cost to all individuals, including individuals who are not insured. There is no cost to you for receiving the vaccination at Gallaudet University or through any other provider.
For community members living in the United States, Gallaudet and Clerc Center will accept any COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use by the FDA. For students from outside the United States, we will accept any vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization (those marked “Finalized” on this list).
Approximately one in four people have reported experiencing mild side effects following the vaccine. These are normal and expected to occur in some people, and typically dissipate in 1-3 days. Common side effects include headaches, muscle aches, fever, chills, and/or fatigue. While there are occasional side effects from vaccination, the risk from vaccines is extremely low. See this CDC website for more information about potential side effects.
Regular status and extended temporary Gallaudet and Clerc Center employees will receive four hours of paid time off for each vaccination dose which is received; this will be applied after employees submit documentation of full vaccination.
Yes, as long as you are not symptomatic and have been medically cleared by a doctor after having COVID-19, you are able to get vaccinated.
During the summer sessions, there will be limited job opportunities available for students. In the fall, it is expected job opportunities will return to pre-pandemic level.
Beginning in June, tours will be available again.
Gallaudet and the Clerc Center, in following overwhelming scientific evidence, believe that mandatory vaccination is the best way to protect all community members’ – and our collective – health and safety, and to provide the most enriching and effective learning and working environments. We are requiring vaccination for COVID-19 in the same way and for the same reasons that we require vaccination for other viruses, such as measles. See this communication from President Cordano for more information.
Your last dose of the vaccination must be at least two weeks prior to appearing on campus. For Clerc Center employees appearing on campus beginning August 16, you must receive your final dose on or before August 2. For Clerc Center students scheduled to appear on campus beginning September 7, you must receive your final dose on or before August 24. Gallaudet employees and students should plan accordingly according to when they are scheduled to first be on campus.
Currently the Clerc Center is strongly encouraging – but not requiring – vaccination for eligible students who are under 18 years old. Presently there is a single FDA authorized vaccine (Pfizer) for 12-17 year olds, while there are multiple authorized vaccines for those 18 and older. We want to ensure that families have a choice in which vaccine is most appropriate for them. From time to time, the Clerc Center will review its requirements for students younger than 18, and it is possible that new guidelines will be issued.
Clerc Center students turning 18 after August 24 will have 45 days following their 18th birthday to become fully vaccinated. After 45 days, the full requirement applies.
Employees who begin working at Gallaudet or the Clerc Center after August 24 will have 45 days following their start date to become fully vaccinated. After 45 days, the full requirement applies.
Yes. This requirement is consistent with all applicable laws and regulations. Gallaudet and the Clerc Center will offer appropriate medical and religious exemptions to this policy as required by law. More information about requesting an exemption is in the ‘Exemption’ section below.
If you are allergic to an ingredient in a COVID-19 vaccine, contact your healthcare provider to discuss options and understand if a different vaccine may be available to you. If you are unable to receive any COVID-19 vaccine, you may apply for a medical exemption.
Exemptions to this policy will be granted solely for approved medical and religious reasons. All others must comply with the requirement to learn, live, or work on our campus.
Yes, as long as you live within the DC/MD/VA area and follow all the campus entry requirements.
Your coach will be in touch with you. If you have not heard yet, please reach out to your coach to ask questions. Residence Life will assign rooms and send you information about arrival dates.
Gallaudet WILL BE re-opening for Fall 2021 semester. Travel plans should not be made until you receive confirmation of acceptance and housing information. Campus arrivals will be scheduled by Residence Life in order to adhere to any quarantine or other requirements.
Yes, all students who live on campus must purchase a meal plan, either in blocks or in dining dollars, to be used at the cafeteria or the Marketplace.
Residence Life will send out an update in late May/early June about the housing application process for Fall.
Yes, both you and your roommate need to list each other on your housing applications.
Residence Life will determine room and roommate assignments based on students’ attributes on the Housing Applications such as room temperature preference, smoking/non-smoking, introvert/extrovert, to name a few. All freshmen will be assigned to Benson Hall, sophomores assigned to Clerc Hall. Other classes will be assigned depending on space availability and information on the housing applications.
Gallaudet will be open this Fall 2021, and all students should plan to return to campus. If you have a medical or other extenuating circumstance that may prevent your return, please discuss with your academic advisor.
Yes. Gallaudet University is working towards re-opening this fall, including fall sports.
Yes, all the residence halls will be open (except for Peet Hall).
No. All residence halls will be open and all classes will be living on campus. There are no limits.
Housing applications will be available soon, in May/June.
No, students will not be divided on the basis of vaccination status.
Freshmen will live in Benson Hall, sophomores will live in LLRH6. Other classes will be assigned to other dorms, depending on availability and needs.
Yes, you may schedule an appointment to work out at the Field House. The pool is closed at this time.
No, not at this time.
Yes, the post office is open.
During the summer, only the cafeteria will be open for take-out meals. By Fall 2021, all dining services will be open.
You may contact Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) for an appointment. Students may also contact their Peer Health Advisor or Student Ambassador for support. Your academic advisor is also a good resource. You are not alone! Please reach out for help.
You will be in your room. You can go outside for exercise (walking/running around campus, socializing from a distance of 6′ or greater with masks on), to the cafeteria to pick up your pre-ordered meals. You may dine outside, safely distanced from others.
Yes, you are allowed to leave campus and stay within the DC/MD/VA area, adhering to all health and safety protocols.
Yes, you may go off campus as long as you stay within the DC/MD/VA area. Please continue to follow safety protocols: wear your mask, practice physical distancing and hand hygiene. Be mindful that you are responsible for your safety and the safety of others around you.
Yes, you may talk and socialize outside with masks and physical distancing.
Yes, you may socialize with other people in your residence hall, following all safety protocols.
Yes, you may need to quarantine upon your return, depending on the current protocol.
Yes, daily self-assessments are required for anyone living on campus or entering campus. All residents will receive PPE swag bags, including thermometers.
No, all residence halls and rooms are dry.
Yes, you will make an appointment to do your laundry.
All freshmen will be assigned to Benson Hall, sophomores assigned to LLRH6. Juniors and seniors will be assigned based on their housing application information and residence hall space.
Yes, all Gallaudet employees and extended term contractors will be given 4 hours of administrative paid leave for each dose.
Employees will use their own accrued leave for this.
No, your training was recorded and does not need to be repeated.
ServiceNow app for daily self-assessment and Shield T3 Safer Community app for COVID-19 testing scheduling and results.
If you are arriving for the first time to check into your residence hall, no. Go directly to your assigned building’s front desk at your appointed time. Please remember to bring your ID card. If you do not have an ID card yet, you will receive your ID card/dorm access card at your check-in appointment.
Yes, vaccines are available to all Gallaudet Unviversity and Clerc Center employees and currently enrolled students (age 16 and over). You must pre-register and wait for an appointment time.
You will not be able to leave your room during isolation, except to go downstairs to the receiving dock area to pick up your delivered meal. You will be checked daily on video phone by a member of the contact tracing team, Student Health Service, or residence life staff.
Yes. Gallaudet University requires all Gallaudet and Clerc Center employees, Gallaudet students, and Clerc Center students aged 18 and above, to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Please view more information on our Vaccination page.
Yes, testing is required for all vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals. The reasons include:
If your family or friend has followed all the campus entry requirements, including quaranting if arriving from outside DC/MD/VA area, negative test result within 7 days before arriving on campus, completing the COVID-19 safety training, then yes. Otherwise, they will need to stay off campus. Gallaudet will provide golf carts to bring your belongings from the street access to your room.
YES – Gallaudet is planning for a full return to campus, face-to-face classes, and the residence halls while adhering to all public health guidelines. Your safety is our top priority.
Every person on campus will be required to follow safety protocols, including mask wearing, physical distancing, practicing hand hygiene, testing weekly for COVID-19, and completing daily self-assessment. Campus members can go out within the DC/MD/VA area to socialize and conduct business, or to go home, and return to campus. Quarantine rules apply when arriving from outside the DC/MD/VA area, or upon known exposure to COVID-19. We are working to provide a vibrant campus experience. We are all in this together, and we each have a responsibility to keep ourselves and our community safe.
PPE stands for Personal Protective Equipment, and can include equipment such as masks, thermometers, and other equipment for COVID-19 safety protocols.
Yes, Gallaudet will provide clear masks for all employees and students.
At this time, the process is being developed.
You will be allowed to pick up food to eat outdoors or in your room. You can exercise outside and talk with people outside – all activities must be done with physical distancing (at this time that is still 6’ apart) and with masks on except when eating/drinking. You will not be able to leave campus or socialize indoors.
All enrolled students and faculty/staff can register to receive the vaccine on campus. Both doses must be received on campus (e.g. if you received your first dose elsewhere, you cannot get your second dose on campus). Currently, we are receiving vaccines weekly. That may change over time depending on the availability of vaccines from the manufacturers and from DC Health.
At this time, yes. You may leave campus and return to campus. As always, use your judgement and follow all safety guidelines, including wearing a mask, maintaining physical distancing, and practicing hand hygiene.
Check with your state department of health, or local drugstores. Many offer testing. Be sure to get PCR testing, and not rapid testing.
At this time, the vaccine is not required. If it does become required, then a waiver process will be established, similar to the flu shot waiver process for medical/religious exemptions.
Registration is open as of April 19. All admitted/enrolled students will receive a registration time.
Safety protocols will be in place in classrooms and common areas, including:
At this time, Fall 2021 tuition rates will revert back to pre-pandemic rates (the same as Fall 2019), and will not differ for online classes.
The new face-to-face courses during the second summer session, for GSR, will be M-F 9:30-11:55am and M-F 2:00-4:25pm. Graduate courses may be on a different schedule; check your registration information.
No. Most classes will be in-person on campus. There will be some online courses, but not many. There will be no hybrid classes (e.g. some students in person and some online for the same class). Experiments with that showed it does not work well for our students and faculty.
August 30, 2021.
You will be assigned a check in date/time by Residence Life if you are living on campus.
Gallaudet is still finalizing the arrival dates and quarantine expectations. The first day of class is August 30. You will be notified as soon as a decision is made.
Registration opened April 19, 2021. You should have received information with your registration time. Please check your Bison account.
Beginning fall 2021, we will return to the normal cap of 15 students per classroom, for most classes. Some may be smaller, some may be larger.
Please send an email immediately to Contact.
Human Resources for more information.
No, since the University asked you to self-quarantine, you will be placed on administrative leave with pay.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) does not apply to Gallaudet University. This policy applies to certain public employers and to private employers with under 500 employees.
The coronavirus would qualify as a “serious health condition” under the FMLA, allowing an employee to take FMLA leave if the employee contracts the disease or when the employee must provide care to an immediate family member who has contracted the disease.
However, FMLA should be applied for only if the employee expects to not be able to work for an extended period of time as a result of his or her sickness or need to care for an immediate family member. Regardless of whether FMLA leave is used, the employee would still use their accrued leave to ensure continuous pay.
Information on how to apply for FMLA can be found here.
You may request reasonable accommodations through the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs. More information on this process can be found under the Administration and Operations Manual.
Gallaudet will offer limited online options depending on need and faculty availability.
Gallaudet will continue to offer limited online options initially as we move towards full re-opening.
No, there will not be any hybrid class options. A class will either be entirely face-to-face or entirely online.
Masks and other PPE will be provided to university students and employees in accordance with our face covering rules. Students will be provided with clear masks to facilitate communication.
Persons who wish to request additional supplies of non-medical grade face coverings and other PPE for faculty and staff can contact DPS or Residence Life. Employees in need of N95 masks will be coordinated through the office of the Chief Operating Officer.
We understand this is a stressful time for many. We want to remind you that the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available for our employees. To set up an appointment, please call 800-607-1522. If needed, EAP will provide you with the names of providers who are fluent in American Sign Language. More information can be found on our website.
Protocols will remain in place for regular and deep cleanings in accordance with CDC and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance. Custodial staff are a part of the university’s essential personnel and have maintained buildings per these guidelines since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Buildings that have been occupied for essential purposes are routinely cleaned and disinfected.
Buildings, specific rooms and areas where a person with COVID-19 has spent time will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The scope of cleaning and disinfecting will be based on the contamination and risk potential as determined by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) and the COVID-19 Response Team in coordination with impacted departments, Gallaudet facilities, and housing and food services as applicable. Detailed protocols are in place for deep cleaning and disinfection.
Student Health Services (SHS) will start the semester consistent with its existing capacity. They are available to students residing on campus to meet their health and medical needs by appointment only. Both in-person and telehealth services will be available. They also will be able to provide limited services to students suspected of coming in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, as well as students demonstrating symptoms of or testing positive for COVID-19. Gallaudet is exploring expanded on-campus medical services in the future.
Visitors, including students residing off campus, will only be permitted on campus for specific, pre-approved reasons. Anyone entering campus will be required to complete a health self-assessment and temperature check, and individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted on campus. Anyone moving about on campus will be required to use face coverings and, as necessary, other PPE where required, adhere to physical distancing protocols, and follow other campus health and safety guidelines and requirements.
As a part of the Gallaudet family, Clerc Center’s plans for fall will mirror those of the broader university.
In keeping with Gallaudet’s Fall 2021 plan, The Clerc Center, Gallaudet’s birth-to-21 program, includes the Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES) and the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD). Both schools will begin with in-person instruction.
Yes. Clerc Center will reopen the campus, including the dorms, this fall 2021.
Yes, a range of resources for children and their parents are available at clerccenter.gallaudet.edu.
Yes, in most cases. Please work with International Student and Scholar Services via Contact as soon as possible to plan your return to campus.
ISSS will monitor, counsel, and refer to other resources as warranted.
If an employee has already returned to campus, they must email Contact here . If they are still working remotely, please contact https://gallaudet.edu/the-redirector/?hrs.
If employees do not feel well or exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, they should contact their primary care physician for next steps and immediately notify their supervisor.
If an employee on campus tests positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 and a health care provider determines that they do not need to be hospitalized, the following steps will be taken to prevent the disease from spreading on-campus:
Employees should not come to campus if they’re exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, per the self assessment questions.
Employees should follow the guidance of their primary care provider and refrain from returning to work until they receive their results of a negative test.
Essential employees have continuously been on campus. Most of the leaders have already returned to campus. Other employees are starting to return, with the goal of having as many return to campus by fall 2021 as possible.
This Return to Campus website will remain the main source of information on our work toward the eventual safe reopening of campus. Communications will be sent out through University Communications channels, including emails, social media posts, and intranet posts on My Gallaudet. Your supervisor and Human Resources will also communicate with you.
The university is planning for the following measures for Fall 2021 to protect our employees:
Weekly testing is required and provided on-campus for all current employees and students after initial arrival. In addition, anyone residing on campus as well as those wishing to enter the campus will be required to complete daily self-assessments and temperature checks. This includes employees, vendors and visitors. Monitoring will be completed through the ServiceNow app. See more information at gallaudet.edu/about/return-to-campus.
If an employee working on campus tests positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 and a health care provider determines that they do not need to be hospitalized, the following steps will be taken to prevent the disease from spreading on-campus:
At least 10 days have passed since their symptoms first started, whichever occurs later.
As we did last year, we will provide technological support to our students who need it. Students may request loaner laptops, wifi routers, and webcams through Gallaudet Technology Services. Also, through our partnership with Apple, Connected Gallaudet is providing all students with free iPads Pros, Apple Smart Keyboards and Apple Pencils.
All academic support services have continued unabated, including Student Success, tutoring, academic advising, career services, disability support services, and counseling and psychological services. Our professional staff has adapted to online service delivery, and we are confident that they will provide the same high-quality services to which you are accustomed.
Employees are generally expected to return to their normal work environment. Talk with your supervisor to discuss your return to work plan.
The largest change for any employees returning to campus is that we must operate in the manner that We’re All in This Together. It’s everyone’s responsibility to not only ensure the safety of themselves but also their colleagues. How we go about our day to day will be drastically different to what we were accustomed to, in order to ensure everyone remains safe. Everyone will follow the established health and safety protocols.
Please use Contact here.
No. All individuals on campus will be required to use face coverings or face masks on campus any time a person is in the presence of others in public settings or where physical distancing is difficult to maintain (e.g. meeting rooms, labs, common indoor workspaces).
D.C. Mayor’s Orders take precedence over University policies. The coronavirus team will monitor any Mayor’s Orders published and update the community as we receive the information.
During Phase Two planning, the administration recognizes that members of our workforce may be challenged. We’re committed to ensuring the greatest flexibility while providing support to our employees. For any immediate questions, please contact your immediate supervisor with any questions. You’re also encouraged to reach out to Human Resource for any questions. https://gallaudet.edu/the-redirector/?hrs.
In addition to the health and safety protocols in place for the campus community, we are providing weekly testing and vaccine clinics. Our student health ambassadors are coaching students on their health and safety. Our custodial staff adheres to the cleaning recommendations established by CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html).
Our COVID-19 Response Team continually monitors the state of COVID-19 locally and nationally, and works closely with DC Health on all plans and protocols.
The safety of our community is paramount.
For those employees who are considered high risk, we suggest that they contact human resources to discuss their options at Contact.
This decision was made after careful consideration of the increased vaccination rates, and the general decline of COVID-19 rates, and following the District of Columbia’s public health mandate and guidelines.
Yes. Fall athletics and on-campus intramural sports will resume while adhering to health and safety protocols.
All courses this fall 2021 will be held in person. There will be a limited offering of online courses, depending on the need of students and the availability of faculty. Please check the course catalog for all course offerings.
Gallaudet’s response to the pandemic has been led by the COVID-19 Leadership Team (C-19LT). This group includes the President’s Executive Team, as well as campus public health and safety experts and other key leaders in the campus community. The C-19LT continues to coordinate all plans with guidance from the District of Columbia.
The university will deliver all instruction remotely during the Fall 2020 semester. Any students allowed on campus for Fall 2020 who choose to leave campus for the Thanksgiving break will not be permitted to return to campus for the remainder of the semester due to the short duration before campus closes for winter break.
Yes, internships are expected to resume while adhering to the policies/protocols established by your internship site. Communicate with your university supervisor about any changes to your internship, as this may have an impact on your ability to complete your program or attain licensure.
Gallaudet University returning to 2019 tuition rates for the fall semester. There may be other resources available to you; please reach out to our Financial Aid office at Contact for more information.
Nearly all faculty have met with the faculty online training team (FOTT) to: (1) be more effective and engaging in their remote instruction (with most certified in online instruction); (2) design sign language-vibrant learning experiences for their students; (3) design learning experiences that are multicultural and trauma-informed; and (4) better use Gallaudet’s learning content platform to optimize connecting with students and monitoring student engagement and success. Students will also engage in a similar online training program (PST90 orientation course) to prepare them to learn and engage remotely.
Yes, all research labs will open.
We recommend you talk with faculty directly about any challenges you are facing with specific class content. Also, academic support services including Student Success and tutoring, as well as Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) are available remotely.
Yes. All on-campus student residents will have roommates for fall 2021. (Summer 2021 residents will remain in single-occupancy rooms.)
Yes, you are free to move around the DC/MD/VA metropolitan area. You will continue to follow all health and safety protocols, including wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing and hand hygiene, and adhering to daily self-monitoring.
All students will adhere to the health and safety protocols, which include mask-wearing, physical distancing, practicing hand hygiene, and staying in your room if you are feeling well. No alcohol or drugs is allowed in the residence halls. All students will receive written and signed communication upon arrival with the rules and expectations.
Yes, most, if not all, public bathrooms will remain open. They will be cleaned in accordance with CDC guidelines. Floor lounges and lobbies will be reconfigured to allow small groups of students, usually five but if space allows up to 10 individuals, to socialize while adhering to physical distance requirements.
We all are responsible for helping to protect the safety and health of our community. Peer accountability is the desired approach to ensure we all do our part to protect the Gallaudet community. Any violations of our health and safety mandates will first be addressed by our student health ambassadors, Residence Life or Public Health and Safety staff.
Yes, DPS staff received training specifically on COVID-19 and how to appropriately respond.
The cafeteria, Marketplace and Rathskellar will all be open for fall 2021. Meals may be taken out, or eaten on site while adhering to physical distancing rules. Food service locations and staff will adhere to health and safety protocols for food preparation and provision. Meals will be delivered daily to any student or staff member in isolation or quarantine.
Yes, on-campus events will be allowed provided that physical distancing is adhered to, as well as other health and safety protocols. Large events may not be allowed, depending on the circumstances. Homecoming 2021 will be virtual.
Summer 2021: students who register for face-to-face courses during the second summer session may return to campus for classes, and apply for on-campus housing.
Fall 2021: all students will return to campus for classes and on-campus housing.
Many activities have been held virtually, and some will continue to be, depending on the participants’ needs. More and more activities will be available in person, beginning with the second summer session and fall.
Yes, Gallaudet provides saliva-based PCR COVID-19 testing by Shield T3. Testing may be scheduled using the Safer Community app, downloadable from the Apple iOS or Google Play store. See more information at gallaudet.edu/about/return-to-campus.
Yes, weekly testing is required and provided on-campus for all current employees and students after initial arrival. In addition, anyone residing on campus as well as those wishing to enter the campus will be required to complete daily self-assessments and temperature checks. This includes employees, vendors and visitors. Monitoring will be completed through the ServiceNow app. See more information at gallaudet.edu/about/return-to-campus.
Yes. DC Health provides a list of testing sites at coronavirus.dc.gov/testing.
Gallaudet uses the saliva-based PCR COVID-19 test by Shield T3.
Yes. Our COVID-19 Response Team is trained on contact tracing. The team includes contact tracers fluent in American Sign Language and Spanish.
Medical records are confidential and privileged and may not be reviewed or seen by anyone except as provided by applicable law of the District of Columbia and the federal government.
DeafBlind students who use manual or protactile communication as well as individuals communicating with them will require close, physical contact. To address this, Gallaudet will establish a protocol that requires the DeafBlind student and anyone interacting with them to use university provided clear masks and PPE.
Yes. The campus will be reopened this fall to all students and employees. With the increase in vaccinated individuals, and the decrease in the COVID-19 rates, Gallaudet has approval from DC Health to reopen the campus, while adhering to all health and safety protocols in place. Safety remains our top priority.
Student Health or Anti-Racism Ambassadors are being recruited by the Department of Student Affairs. Interested students can email Contact.
All students may return to campus for fall 2021.
We all are responsible for helping to maintain the safety and health of our community. Any mask issues will first be addressed by student and residence leaders or our public health staff.
Any student accepted to live in the residence halls will be required to have a COVID-19 test within seven days of coming to campus and must provide documentation of a negative test result. If a student has not been tested prior to arriving on campus, Gallaudet will assist the student in getting tested. Initial test results will be used to establish a baseline rate for ongoing monitoring.
This Return to Campus website will remain the main source of information. All updates will be posted here, as well as communicated through all existing University Communications channels, including University social media and email. We will continue regular online Town Hall meetings for important discussions, and we will use all existing University Communications Office channels including University social media and email. We will also maintain the email Contact, which is monitored by members of the COVID-19 response team.
If a member of the Gallaudet University community tests positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 and a health care provider determines that they do not need to be hospitalized, the following steps will be taken to prevent the disease from spreading on-campus:
Out of an abundance of caution, all campus plans and protocols are designed to adhere to DC Health rules and guidance. DC Health is generally more conservative than CDC. All students are required to sign a Student Pledge of Community and Personal responsibility to follow safety requirements. Consequences of breaking the student pledge will vary depending on the severity of the situation, but can include suspension from classes or living on campus.
DeafBlind students who use manual or protactile communication as well as individuals communicating with them will require close, physical contact. To address this, Gallaudet will establish a protocol that requires the DeafBlind student and anyone interacting with them to use university provided clear masks and PPE as appropriate.
Masks and other PPE will be provided to university students and employees in accordance with our face covering rules. Students will be provided with clear masks to facilitate communication. Persons who wish to request additional supplies of non-medical grade face coverings and other PPE for faculty and staff can contact DPS or Residence Life.
Access to Gallaudet campus will continue to be limited to employees and currently enrolled student. Visitors, including family members, contractors, and others, will only be permitted on campus for specific, pre-approved reasons. Anyone entering campus will be required to complete a health self-assessment and temperature check, and individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted on campus. Anyone moving about on campus will be required to use face coverings and, as necessary, other PPE where required, adhere to physical distancing protocols, and follow other campus health and safety guidelines and requirements.
Access to Gallaudet’s campus will continue to be limited during the Fall 2020 semester. Visitors, including students residing off campus, will only be permitted on campus for specific, pre-approved reasons.
The Gallaudet COVID-19 Leadership Team will actively monitor ongoing COVID-19 developments within the Gallaudet community and the District of Columbia, especially in the northeast quadrant. Should the emergence of an outbreak on campus be suspected, the COVID-19 Response Team will work in close coordination with the District of Columbia Department of Health to take any necessary actions. Gallaudet will also review and adjust, as needed, the university’s surveillance, testing, and monitoring protocols.
In the event of a COVID-19 outbreak on campus or within the District of Columbia, students who are living on campus will be given the option to move off campus or remain and be required to follow all District of Columbia and university stay-at-home orders. All on-campus events or gatherings will be cancelled. All shared spaces will be closed, and only essential personnel or those with a specific purpose will be permitted access to campus.
If quarantines are necessary, Gallaudet has identified a residence hall on campus for isolation purposes. Ten rooms have been reserved for isolation in a separate building from where other students and staff will be housed. The building will be secure and only essential employees will have access. The residence hall will be monitored and visitors will not be permitted to have in-person interactions with infected individuals, though virtual engagement will be encouraged.
Any visitor coming to campus for the first time, including students accepted to live in the residence halls, employees returning to campus, and other visitors will be required to have a COVID-19 test within seven days of coming to campus and must provide documentation of a negative test result. Weekly testing is required and provided on-campus for all current employees and students after initial arrival.
Not being vaccinated is not a reason to be waived from returning to campus.
Gallaudet will grant waivers for medical or health reasons with appropriate documentation. Waivers for other reasons will be evaluated on a case by case basis. The application process for a waiver is being established and will be communicated once available. Remote/online options will be discussed for students who have been granted a waiver from returning to campus.
Clerc Center is still assessing whether a fully remote option is feasible for their programs. A decision will be made before the end of June, following input sessions with employees and families.
If your home country does not provide documentation of vaccination, you may do the following.
No. It is not recommended that you delay vaccination if another vaccine is available to you. All WHO authorized vaccines are accepted by Gallaudet and Clerc Center. If you receive a vaccine not authorized by WHO, you may seek a medical exemption by following these instructions.
Yes. Vaccines are available based on residency, not citizenship status. If you are an international student living in the United States you are eligible to receive a free vaccination.
Employees and students who do not qualify for an exemption and fail to get vaccinated will not be permitted on campus.
If you receive a religious or medical exemption, you will be required to follow the same protocols as all other Gallaudet and Clerc Center employees and students – including social distancing and use of personal protective equipment. You will be able to live in residence halls, attend classes in person, and participate in campus activities. You may also be required to take other measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission.
Yes. Religious and medical exemptions to this requirement will be considered in the same way as other vaccinations. For medical requests, you must submit documentation from your healthcare provider stating the reason and diagnosis which prohibits vaccination. For religious requests, employees or students/guardians must submit a letter expressing the reason for exemption.
More information about how to submit these requests is here. Requests will be reviewed by the appropriate personnel and responded to within two weeks.
All on-campus health and safety procedures and protocols will meet or exceed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for college and universities and will reflect other, evolving professional guidance.
All individuals on campus will be required to adhere to the following physical distance guidelines:
Yes. All individuals on campus will be required to use face coverings or face masks on campus any time a person is in the presence of others in public settings or where physical distancing is difficult to maintain (e.g. meeting rooms, labs, common indoor workspaces).
All Gallaudet University and Clerc Center employees, all new and returning Gallaudet students, and all Clerc Center students who are 18 years of age or older are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to appear on campus. All other community members – including Clerc Center students ages 12 to 17 – are strongly encouraged to become vaccinated.
Not being vaccinated is not a reason to be waived from returning to campus, unless you are in a defined remote position.
Gallaudet will grant waivers for medical or health reasons with appropriate documentation. Waivers for other reasons will be evaluated on a case by case basis. The application process for a waiver is being established and will be communicated once available. Remote/online options will be discussed for employees who have been granted a waiver from returning to campus.
Fully vaccinated means that a minimum of two weeks have passed since the administration of your final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This allows the body to build up immunity to the virus; your vaccine is not fully effective until this time.
Clerc Center COVID-19 Information
Gallaudet University, chartered in 1864, is a private university for deaf and hard of hearing students.
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