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COMMUNITY UPDATE
October 7, 2020

Dear Georgetown Law Community,

I am writing to provide additional updates on our current operations and planning for the spring semester. 

First, I can now confirm that all students will have the option of taking classes online in the spring semester. Although we hope to be able to hold some classes on-campus, all will use a hybrid model that also allows students to attend and fully participate online. Along the same lines, staff who are currently working remotely should expect to continue to do so in the spring semester, though they should of course check regularly with their supervisor for any changes. 

Second, a small administrative matter for students who are about to register for classes: All spring semester exams will be take-home only. Although we continue to hope for the possibility of some hybrid teaching next semester, exams will not take place on campus.

Third, I am very pleased to report that this past weekend we held our first in-person classes at Georgetown since March, with two days of classes and programming for about 20 international students, satisfying federal requirements for certain F-1 visa holders. The class was designed to satisfy federal requirements for F-1 visa holders. As you will see from the photos below, this class took place outdoors. Professors Marty Lederman, Lisa Heinzerling, and Josh Chafetz each delivered two-hour lectures wearing masks, after which Professor Bob Thompson and Chief Operating Officer David Mao gave students walking tours of the area. I am enormously grateful for the work of the many members of our staff that made this such a lovely event -- from Graduate and International Programs, to Facilities and Security, to IST and Special Events. I never expected that part of our 150-year anniversary celebration would be celebrating our first on-campus class in more than six months. But these are unusual times.

The fourth piece of news also concerns access to campus: The Law Center has received approval to host outdoor events with small groups of 1L and 1E students, starting mid-October. We are using our experience from this past weekend to help plan these gatherings. My paramount concern is to hold these events in a safe manner, reducing the risk of spreading the virus. Planning has been done in consultation with the University’s public health group and leadership and the DC health authorities. Only a small number of students, faculty, and staff will be on campus at any given time, all of whom will be required to wear a mask covering their mouth and nose and maintain six feet or more distance between one another. 

Faculty who indicated an interest in participating in one or more of these events can expect an email from Associate Dean Greg Klass soon asking about your continued willingness to participate and your availability. Anyone interested in more details about the events can read the email I sent to the first-year students last Saturday, which is at the bottom of this message.

Finally, and still on the subject of access to campus, many of you have asked about the protocols that must be followed by community members who have received approval to be on campus. The details are somewhat complex, but as someone who has gone through the process, I can assure you that it is very manageable. We have described the basic process in a section following this email. For more information, the University has created a detailed FAQ on COVID-19 testing protocols.

While we continue to plan for limited campus access this semester, and the possibility of some hybrid classes next Spring, we are also very aware of the current state of the public health crisis. With cooler weather coming, there are indications that the pandemic might get worse before it gets better. As always, our greatest concern is the health and safety of our faculty, staff, and students. I know this has been, and continues to be, a time of unprecedented challenges and uncertainty. I remain in awe of the strength and resilience of our community and we will continue to focus on the well-being of all of the members of the community. 

Sincerely,

Pictures from the F-1 Visa Event
Professor Marty Lederman teaches a course.
Students listen to a presentation.
Dean Treanor welcomes students to campus.
David Mao leads a student tour.
Overview of COVID-19 Testing Protocols

1. Complete the Fall 2020 Affirmation on GU360 Website and Agree to the University Compact

The Georgetown University Community Compact requires an individual to agree to multiple measures to help protect the community. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Engaging in physical distancing at all times.

  • Wearing a mask on campus at all times, unless you are:

    • Alone in an office with the door closed;

    • Eating or drinking in a designated area with appropriate physical distancing; or

    • Exercising vigorously, at least six feet away from others.

  • Engaging in hand-washing.

  • Refraining from participating at any time in off-campus gatherings of more than ten people.

  • Ensuring that you get a flu shot (with accommodations, if necessary).

2. Complete the Daily Attestation

The attestation is in the One Medical mobile application.

  • Once you are approved to come to campus, you will receive an invitation to join One Medical and sign the consent form, which authorizes One Medical to release your COVID-19 test results and your daily risk badge status reported through the mobile application to Georgetown.

  • You must sign the consent form and agree to the University Compact (through GU360) to join the protocol and One Medical.

3. Comply with the Testing Protocol

Individuals must take two COVID-19 tests, and receive a negative result on each, before coming to campus. Additional surveillance testing will follow the
Georgetown University COVID-19 Testing Protocol.

If you are approved to access campus buildings, and if you have done all of the above, you will receive a “badge” through the GU360 Building Access Badge site that will allow you to access campus.

For more information, the University has created a detailed
FAQ on COVID-19 testing protocols.

Dean's Email to First Year Students

From: "Dean William M. Treanor" <treanorwm@georgetown.edu>

Subject: Fall 2020 First Year On Campus Outdoor Gatherings

Date: October 3, 2020 at 4:18:30 PM EDT

Dear First-Year JD Students,

One of my central areas of focus this semester has been to try to find ways to bring you to campus occasionally to spend time in-person with one another and to help you feel more connected to this place that has become your virtual home. My paramount concern has been how we can accomplish this in a safe manner, reducing the risk of the spread of the virus as much as we can. We are far from clearing every hurdle, but we are ready to share the tentative details with you. 

Our current hope is to bring 1L and 1E students to campus between mid-October and mid-November to meet outdoors (under tents if it is raining) in groups of no more than 25 students during designated blocks of time outside of class. This is a complex undertaking in consultation with the University’s public health group and leadership and the DC health authorities. 

We will observe safety precautions including strict physical distancing and universal mask wearing (with an exception for eating if there is food). Most likely, you will be grouped with the other members of your small Legal Practice section. These events will be informal, because we know you probably most want to get to know one another and other members of our community. If everything falls into place quickly, we hope to offer at least two opportunities to come onto campus to each student.

If you plan to participate, take the following two steps. (If you do not intend to participate--for example if you do not live in the DC area--please do not take these steps.) 

First, fill out this form as soon as possible, preferably before Sunday, October 4 at 11:00 p.m. EDT. 

Second, follow all of the instructions in the attachment. The instructions will require you to log in to the GU360 website and click on the “Fall 2020 Affirmation” icon, then (a) read and accept the community compact, (b) enroll in One Medical, and (c) sign up for your first COVID-19 test. If you have moved since you completed the Fall 2020 Affirmation, or if you’re not sure if you signed the compact, please log in to GU360 to make changes or to sign the compact.

The protocol requires two COVID-19 tests prior to coming to campus for this program. To continue to participate, you will need to continue to be tested regularly throughout the on-campus program. The Law Center testing site is currently open on Tuesdays and Fridays only and has limited available slots. You will likely have an easier time securing a slot on the University Main Campus, with tests available Monday through Friday. You may also obtain a test from any other official source, and local jurisdictions are all offering free testing. Here is more info for DC, Montgomery County, MD, Prince George’s County, MD, and Arlington County, VA. If you choose this option you will need to upload your negative test result to Georgetown through the One Medical app.

We will also continue to focus on members of our community who cannot join us in-person. I know that many of you have already joined one or more of our Community Circles, the interest-based groups organized by the Office of Student Life and led by upperclass student mentors. And I know that many of you are now connecting with various student organizations and participating in their Zoom events. We will be devoting energy to organize additional opportunities for you to spend more non-class time with students, faculty, and staff.

You are all in my thoughts in these difficult times. Whether or not we can meet in-person, we will never stop focusing on your safety and well-being.

Sincerely,

Bill