Frequently Asked Questions

University Operations | Health + Safety | Instructional Activities | Undergraduate Student Experience | Financial Implications | Employee Information | Research Activities | Facilities + Transportation

University operations

What is the status of activity on our campuses?

Johns Hopkins University is conducting an extensive planning process to guide a careful, phased approach to resuming activities on its campuses. Each step in reopening will be in accordance with state and local regulations and our own assessment of the public health status and operational readiness of our community.

A return to research labs for those who need to be present in the lab to do their work began on June 15 with measures in place to reduce density, maintain physical distance, and observe other health and safety measures. Otherwise, only those performing essential roles are on campus while all other employees and students are continuing to work and learn remotely through the summer. Currently, plans are being made to start the undergraduate academic year on Aug. 31 as long as the public health situation allows for the resumption of on-campus activities. Graduate and professional programs follow a variety of schedules and are communicating their fall plans directly to their students, faculty, and staff.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 9:34pm

How is the university determining which activities are allowed on its campuses?

A number of cross-divisional workgroups are studying the issues, gathering feedback, and drafting plans to guide a resumption of activities. Those plans are reviewed by advisory groups of students, faculty, or health experts as needed and then presented to the university community for feedback before they are finalized.

The decision to initiate in-person instruction will be consistent with both state and local restrictions and our own public health experts’ assessment of the COVID-19 pandemic. While our phased approach seeks to align with the state of Maryland’s approach, the alignment is not automatic, and there may be many times when the university cannot—for public health, safety, and/or operational reasons—be in the same phase as the state, just as not all counties in the state may be in the same phase at the same time. It may also occur that different campuses are in different phases. If public health conditions worsen, either locally or regionally, a return to earlier phases may be required.

All plans will follow core principles, chief among them a commitment to equity and inclusivity and the primacy of science and public health guidance offered by the world’s leading public health experts here at Johns Hopkins.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 8:43am

Do decisions about activities and the health and safety protocols apply to buildings not located on the university’s main campuses?

All of the reopening plans and the health and safety guidelines established by the university will apply to people taking part in activities in all of its owned or leased locations.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 9:45pm

How does the university’s phased approach align with the state of Maryland and Baltimore City?

The university is guided by the types of activity allowed by both the state and the city along with its own evaluation of public health and medical advice from Johns Hopkins experts. Regardless of the numbered phases, the university will not allow more activities than the city and state, and at times, it may allow less. Specific instructions for university affiliates are provided by email, on the Hub, and through school- and department-specific communications.

Last updated: June 22, 2020 4:06pm

Health + safety

Will everyone be required to wear masks while at JHU locations?

Everyone must wear face coverings (including all faculty, staff, students, postdoctoral fellows, other trainees, guests, vendors, and visitors) indoors and outdoors, on campus and in university buildings, and in and around leased spaces, except when in a single-occupancy office with a closed door or while eating or drinking at least six feet away from others.

Exceptions to the requirement to wear face coverings outdoors will be made for individuals whose employment requires they work outside full time (e.g security, some facilities staff, etc.). They will need to wear face coverings when interacting with the public or when unable to practice social distancing.

The university will provide face coverings for JHU affiliates, who may also elect to use their own face coverings. Face coverings should be non-medical types in order to maintain supplies for health care use. Cloth face coverings must only be worn for one day at a time, and must be properly hand washed or laundered before subsequent use. They must at a minimum fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, be secured (e.g., with ties or ear loops), cover the nose and mouth, allow for breathing without restriction, and be able to be laundered without damage or change to shape.

Last updated: June 22, 2020 8:14pm

How will the university ensure physical distancing when on-campus activities resume?

Once JHU affiliates have been instructed to return to campuses and buildings, there are several options departments will consider to maintain required physical distancing measures. They include continuing remote activity and telework wherever possible, scheduling partial on-site activity on alternating days and/or based on shifts, and staggering reporting and departure times by at least 30 minutes to reduce traffic in common areas. Issues related specifically to classroom settings are being considered by the Academic Workgroup and information will be forthcoming.

In addition, the university is requiring that all affiliates follow physical distancing practices, such as not gathering in groups, staying out of crowded places and avoiding large gatherings, engaging in noncontact methods of greetings that avoid handshakes, staggering break times during the day, and using designated areas for meals while maintaining at least 6 feet of separation.

Additional planning for occupancy limits in labs and classrooms is addressed in the research and instruction guidance documents.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 9:45pm

Will the university test each person who comes to a JHU location and trace contacts for anyone who tests positive?

At this time, widespread screening of everyone who comes on site is not in place and currently is not planned. We are evaluating options for testing students who will be residents of university-sponsored housing.

For individuals with symptoms, however, testing is free and available. Specifically, employees and students who report symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and meets CDC and Hopkins Infectious Control criteria will be screened by the appropriate call center and referred for testing if they meet current criteria. A health care worker will contact each individual who tests positive to provide guidance regarding self-isolation, monitoring of symptoms, and general health advice. Those individuals will also be asked a series of questions as part of our contact tracing process to help determine if others may have been exposed in the workplace/learning environment.

Testing techniques, uses, and limitations are discussed further in the Draft Recommendations for COVID-19 Screening, Testing, and Tracing, along with the university’s approach to phased implementation of testing and contact tracing activities.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 9:48am

Are you considering technology for doing contact tracing or enforcing physical distancing?

University workgroups are studying technology options to support health and safety while considering a wide range of associated efficacy, privacy, and implementation issues. No decisions have been made, and any plans to adopt new technologies will be shared with the community and open to feedback.

Last updated: June 26, 2020 3:01pm

Is the university providing access to adequate, appropriate PPE?

The university will provide faculty, staff, and students with two reusable cloth face coverings appropriate for meeting the masking requirements for its campuses. More substantial PPE will be provided in situations where the work of the laboratory called for that level of PPE before the COVID-19 outbreak, or where strict physical distancing requirements cannot be met (e.g., equipment requires two persons for safe usage).

Last updated: June 30, 2020 8:56am

What is the plan to clean university buildings, especially those with high traffic?

Custodial crews will clean common areas, lobbies, restrooms, classrooms, and conference rooms daily based on CDC guidance. Several times daily, custodians will provide additional cleaning of high touch points (stairwell and room door handles, elevator buttons, etc.).

Individual affiliates will be expected to clean tables, surfaces, or labs with which they make contact and wipe down personal workspaces. Before starting activity in a space and before leaving any room in which they have been working, individuals must wipe down all areas with a cleaning agent. This includes any shared-space location or equipment (e.g. copiers, printers, computers, A/V and other electrical equipment, coffee makers, desks and tables, conference tables, light switches, door knobs, etc.). People should avoid using other affiliates’ phones, desks, offices, or other tools and equipment and should clean and disinfect them before and after use.

Last updated: June 19, 2020 10:06am

What is the plan for safe use of elevators?

A university workgroup, in consultation with the faculty Health Advisory Group, determined that occupancy in elevators should be limited to four and that individuals should wear face coverings and press elevator buttons with another object (knuckle, elbow, etc.) if possible. Everyone should wash hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol upon departing the elevator.

Last updated: June 19, 2020 10:53am

What is being done about air ventilation in buildings in light of the danger of airborne transmission?

The ventilation—the number of air exchanges per hour and amount of fresh air intake—in each building is being reassessed and increased when appropriate. Facilities is also performing preventative maintenance checks to ensure filters have been changed and that systems are working properly.

Last updated: June 19, 2020 10:57am

Will Hopkins buses and shuttles observe safety guidance?

Everyone who takes public transportation or uses JH buses and shuttles must wear a face covering. Vehicle capacity will be set to limit density and in consultation with public health experts and regulatory guidance. The current limits are set at 24 passengers per JH bus and one rider group (single request) per van with a limit of eight passengers. For buses, passengers will be asked to enter via rear door only. Buses and Blue Jay Shuttle vans are cleaned after each driver’s shift using HSE-approved, hospital-grade products and high touch points are cleaned several times a shift by each driver.

Last updated: June 19, 2020 10:58am

How will the university enforce safety measures in bathrooms?

Individuals are asked to take responsibility for respecting social distancing while using restrooms. Hand dryers will be disconnected and paper towels provided. Education and awareness signage regarding hand hygiene will be provided.

Last updated: June 19, 2020 11:06am

Will there be restrictions related to whether individuals who have traveled outside the area, or the country, can come to JHU locations?

There are no such restrictions for travelers at this time, but the university will be subject to any future such federal, state, or local restrictions. Students returning to campus for instruction in the fall will need to be aware of any restrictions at that time related to where they are traveling from, and they may be asked to quarantine upon arrival if government regulations dictate.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 9:48pm

Who pays for COVID-19 tests, particularly if people need multiple tests after resuming activities on campus?

There is no cost to the individual being tested.  Since the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on March 18, all forms of public and private insurance, including self-funded plans, must now cover FDA-approved COVID-19 tests and costs associated with testing with no cost-sharing.

Last updated: June 22, 2020 4:39pm

Instructional activities

When will fall semester classes begin?

Graduate and professional courses of study follow a variety of schedules, and plans for those upcoming academic activities will be communicated by individual schools and departments.

Undergraduate classes will begin Aug. 31, as previously planned. Many classes will use remote or online formats, some classes will be held in person, and some will combine those approaches. Friday, Nov. 20, will be the last day for in-person undergraduate classes and, following Thanksgiving break, all undergraduate instruction will be online or remote through the reading period (Dec. 5-8) and finals (Dec. 9-17). More information can be found on the Undergraduate Academic Experience page.

Graduate courses or cross-listed grad/undergrad courses may continue to meet in-person at the discretion of the instructor. Undergraduates will not be required to attend these courses in-person but will be able to continue in online/remote modality.

Last updated: July 21, 2020 4:50pm

Will classes be in-person or conducted remotely in the fall?

We are cautiously optimistic that our extensive planning process will enable us to resume a meaningful portion of our on-campus undergraduate, graduate, and professional educational activities if public health conditions continue to improve. However, all schools will continue to see significant use of remote/online teaching and learning because physical distancing on-campus will drastically reduce the number of available seats in classrooms, some affiliates may not return to campus or will be prevented from attending in-person classes, and we must be prepared to regress to more restrictive public health phases anytime during the academic year, and on short notice.

Common teaching strategies that instructors may employ will vary from course to course but are likely to include:

  • Pre-recording instructional content for asynchronous delivery
  • Teaching remote students synchronously
  • Teaching class in-person with a mix of students attending either remotely or in-person
  • Teaching class remotely with students attending either remotely or in person (possibly with a remote instructor with on-campus assistance)

Last updated: June 23, 2020 9:49am

How do I know if my classes are in-person or online/remote for the fall?

Faculty from the Whiting School of Engineering and Krieger School of Arts & Sciences have submitted course-level information regarding fall 2020 teaching modality to the Registrar’s Office. The staff have started to update the schedule of classes in SIS, with a target completion date of July 10.

Between now and then, students will start to see relevant updates in the class schedule. It is recommended that students review their class schedule beginning on July 11 to see if any changes are necessary. Advising will be available to help continuing students reconfigure their schedules. New transfer students begin registration on July 13, and incoming first-year students begin registration on July 20.

To assist student with interpreting the revised class schedule, more information about course modality is available on the Homewood Registrar’s Office website.

Last updated: July 9, 2020 9:17pm

What if I don’t want to return to campus in the fall for undergraduate classes, or am unable to due to health, travel, or other issues?

We recognize there are many reasons students may want to remain off campus next year and we need to limit density for those students who do return. No student will be required to—nor should they feel compelled to—return in person to advance their education. We will support all of our students in pursuit of their Hopkins education, regardless of their location.

Departments have been asked to create options that use online/remote courses and asynchronous learning to accommodate remote students. Not every course will be available in an online/remote format, but students can work with their academic advisers or program directors to determine an effective plan to continue their educational program from an off-campus location.

Any undergraduate student who wishes to apply for a deferral or a leave of absence this semester may do so through the normal procedures. Note that students may not take classes at another college or university to transfer to their Hopkins transcript or degree requirements while on a personal or emergency leave of absence.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 11:24am

How will JHU handle grading for the fall semester?

Grading decisions are made on a school-by-school basis, with input from faculty, program directors, and students. These are currently under discussion, and decisions will be communicated by each school to their enrolled students.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 9:47am

How are faculty members preparing to teach effectively in remote/online modalities?

Schools recognize that supporting instructors in further mastery of pedagogical and technological options through training and resources will be essential for ensuring the success of remote/online instruction in the fall. All school teaching and learning staff are being asked to prepare a scalable plan for supporting faculty who may need to adapt to new teaching modalities.

In addition, schools and the university are co-investing in new technological resources to enhance the digital experience based on recommendations and guidelines developed by the Online Resources Workgroup.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 9:50am

How are faculty members going to teach while wearing face coverings, especially in unusual circumstances, such as instrumental lessons?

We recognize that lecturing with a face covering is not an ideal experience for either the instructor or class. However, it is important to do because of the opportunity for droplets to spread infection even in a pre-symptomatic phase.

Instructors may be granted exceptions for activities that preclude wearing of face coverings and/or distancing, such as instrumental performance, provided that there is a written plan in place that has been approved by the school leadership and HSE. The planning team continues to investigate alternatives and supplements to face coverings for certain situations, but at this time there are no studies that have evaluated potential benefits of face shields on source control (i.e., containing a sneeze or cough).

Last updated: June 25, 2020 10:58am

How are you going to enforce physical distancing during in-person classes?

We are engaged in a detailed and careful assessment of facilities across all our campuses and will establish appropriate limitations on classroom capacity and use of other shared spaces based on a standard of approximately 38 square feet per student (a 7.5 foot diameter around each person).

As on-campus activity resumes, schools will be responsible for informing faculty, TAs, students, and others about expectations and procedures to maintain low density (e.g. by using dedicated signage about physical distancing requirements as provided by their facilities staff). To accommodate classroom capacity, schools may need to consider expanding the class schedule to offer classes during extended hours, evenings, and/or on weekends or breaking larger classes into smaller sections.

Additional information about physical distancing and other health and safety measures—such as face coverings, screening for symptoms and cleaning protocols—is in our Return to Campus Guidance.

Last updated: June 26, 2020 3:00pm

What happens to in-person classes if COVID-19 cases increase after the semester begins?

It is possible that an increased outbreak of COVID-19 would require the university to suspend in-person classes during the semester. Instructors and program directors are being asked to make contingency plans for that scenario that would allow learning to continue without being in the classroom or, potentially, on campus.

Last updated: June 22, 2020 4:47pm

Isn’t there more to a robust academic experience than just classes?

We want faculty and academic staff to work together and with their students to ensure the local academic community remains strong. This includes:

  • Establishing opportunities for connections outside of the classroom and considering remote/online and hybrid options for continuing seminars and special events;
  • Applied practice activities that bring students into short-term projects;
  • Individual and group mentoring and professional development sessions; Participation in student-led groups and activities
  • Student research opportunities in collaboration with faculty to the extent possible remotely
  • Connecting with alumni from around the world and with experts in a chosen area of study

Schools should also evaluate all services and supports normally provided to students to ensure they can succeed, including academic advising, tutoring and writing support, career planning and life design, health and wellness counseling, library resources, information technology support, and other student services support.

Additional efforts to support a vibrant student experience outside the classroom are being actively explored by the Student Life Workgroup and will be shared in the coming weeks.

Last updated: June 22, 2020 4:47pm

Will undergraduates be able to do research in labs?

Principal investigators in each lab will evaluate the opportunity and draft plans to integrate undergraduate students into laboratory work while following spacing and other safety protocols. These plans will be reviewed and approved by department chairs or center directors.

On-campus undergraduate research will be aligned with the instructional calendar, and in-person research opportunities will end on the Friday before Thanksgiving.

To maximize the opportunities for those undergraduates for whom research is required, the number of undergraduate students in labs may need to be limited.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 9:52am

Undergraduate student experience

Housing + Dining

Does JHU have a residency requirement for undergraduates?


  • All first- and second-year students are welcome to apply for housing regardless of the modality of their courses, including those students only enrolled in online courses.
  • There will be no penalty imposed on students who choose not to return to campus in fall.
  • Students may request an accommodation from Student Disabilities Services or request consideration of a hardship (financial, etc.) via the Housing Office to request either (1) priority for on-campus or JHU-secured housing or (2) release from on-campus housing requirement.

First-year students:

  • First-year students who choose to come to Baltimore will be required to live on-campus regardless of academic modality. First-year students who choose to study remotely, from home, have no residential requirement.
  • Accommodations will be single-occupancy (private bedrooms) and include all or mostly shared bathrooms; assigned fixtures in group bathrooms will have no more than three people per fixture (sink, shower, toilet).
  • Students will be able to request to live with others in suites and apartments where possible.

Second-year students:

  • Second-year students are encouraged but not required to live in university-secured housing that includes local hotels and apartments as well as the potential for limited on campus housing.
  • Students can submit roommate and building preferences; priority for double rooms will go to those with roommate preferences.
  • Second-year students may also make private housing arrangements, with support and assistance from the Off-Campus Housing Office and Office of Student Financial Services; locations in Charles Village are encouraged.
  • If the demand for on-campus and JHU-secured housing exceeds supply, a lottery may be needed.
  • More information can be found on the Housing and Dining page.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 2:15pm

Where will first-year students live?

First-year students who come to Baltimore are required to live in on-campus housing, regardless of the modality of the courses they take. They will all have single bedrooms and assigned areas (sinks, showers, toilets) within bathrooms, which will be shared by no more than three people. Students may submit building preferences.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 4:40pm

Where will second-year students live?

Second-year students who plan to attend classes in person are encouraged to live in university-secured housing, but they may also enlist the Office of Off-Campus Housing to make private living arrangements. Once all first-year students have been accommodated, there may be on-campus options available.

JHU is also securing several off-campus hotels and and apartment buildings for second-year students. There will be singles and doubles with bathrooms that will be furnished similar to on-campus residences. Those locations will have university-managed security services, on-site Residential Life Staff, and dining options.

More information can be found on the Housing and Dining page.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 9:54am

When will I need to decide on my housing plans?

Student Financial Services will ask juniors and seniors to confirm their housing plans online by Aug. 1; University Housing will ask first- and second-year students to confirm their housing plans between July 10-22.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 10:50am

How will my housing decision impact my financial aid awards?

Initial financial aid packages sent to first-year students in December and March and returning students on July 9 included our standard housing cost assumptions—that is, we assume that first- and second-year students will live in JHU-provided housing, and juniors/seniors will live in off-campus apartments (not with parents). Once students confirm their fall housing plans—between July 10 and 22 for first- and second-year students, or by Aug. 1 for juniors and seniors—Financial Aid will adjust awards to align with the three possible options noted on our website:

  • JHU-secured housing (includes on-campus housing as well as local hotels/apartment leased by JHU)
  • Off-campus
  • At home with parents and/or relatives

We strongly encourage students to consider which living situation best supports their academic experience. JHU’s Housing, Off-Campus Housing, and Financial Aid offices are working together so that students have full access to their housing options for the fall.

Last updated: July 9, 2020 9:21pm

Can I stay in university housing during and after the Thanksgiving break?

While in-person undergraduate classes will conclude on the Friday before Thanksgiving, undergraduate students whose personal or academic situation would be ameliorated by staying in on-campus or university-managed housing for the entire duration of the semester (including after Thanksgiving) will be accommodated. Students who remain in university housing after Thanksgiving may not travel during Thanksgiving recess. The university will also work with students who have demonstrated hardships to arrange for winter break housing.

Last updated: July 21, 2020 4:51pm

If I live in JHU-provided housing and choose to travel home for the Thanksgiving break, or if the residence halls are closed due to COVID-19, will I receive a partial housing and dining refund for the weeks I won’t be on campus?

Yes. Undergraduate students living in JHU-provided housing who travel home at Thanksgiving will receive a prorated credit for housing/dining because they will not return to campus for the remainder of the fall semester. The same is true for a forced closure of the residence halls due to the pandemic. Students receiving need-based financial aid will also see their aid packages reduced to reflect the lower cost of housing/dining.

Last updated: July 13, 2020 9:09pm

How will JHU provide safe dining options?

Dining facilities will only offer grab-and-go options prepared by dining staff and there will be no seating in the dining areas. Systems will be in place to increase efficiency and reduce lines, and guides for social distancing will be marked. Meal plan options have been adjusted to allow more flexibility, and students on meal plans will have some food options at the off-campus residences managed by JHU.

More information can be found on the Housing and Dining page.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 9:55am

Student activities

Will there be activities or events where students in university housing can interact?

The need to maintain distance between people and wear face coverings will certainly change our approach to social and community events, but we recognize the importance of staying connected. We are working on ways to support small group gatherings, online meet-ups, and regular electronic conversations and check-ins.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 10:11pm

Will student organizations be able to meet?

The teams in Student Engagement will be working with student organizations to make plans to interact remotely or in person with appropriate health and safety measures. Groups will need to offer virtual options for members who are not present.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 10:15pm

How will JHU hold orientation for new students?

All incoming students can participate in virtual orientation, which begins in July and continues through the first six weeks of the semester. Details will be posted on the Orientation website.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 10:14pm

Student services + facilities

How will JHU offer health and well-being services?

Mental health, primary care services, and well-being programs will be predominantly offered remotely unless the in-person care is essential (i.e. allergy shots) or in crisis situations.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 10:13pm

Will we be able to use the Rec Center on the Homewood campus?

The Rec Center will be open with a reduced in-person capacity and reservations will be required for all activities. Face coverings will be required. Locker rooms, the climbing wall, and the rec gym will be closed and there will be no informal or intramural sport activities where appropriate physical distancing can’t be maintained. The center will continue to offer virtual fitness classes.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 10:27pm

Will we be able to use the library or MSE for studying?

Libraries and other campus spaces will operate with reduced density and adjusted schedules. Specific protocols are still being determined.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 10:20pm

Who should students contact regarding IT questions or problems?

Students should contact the IT Helpdesk at 410-516-HELP or via online request for questions related to JHED IDs, wireless network connectivity, and email access.

In-person IT support for laptop repair and general IT issues is also expected to be available during the fall semester at the Technology Store in Levering Hall Sherwood Room (113). Additional information on student IT support will be available on the Information Technology Services webpage.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 12:33pm

Are discounts available for student computer purchases?

Yes, academic discounts are available on both Dell and Apple computers. More information is on the Information Technology Services webpage.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 12:33pm

Will the Krieger Computer Lab be open?

Yes, the Krieger Lab is expected to be open for the fall semester (including printing), with appropriate social distancing and capacity limitations in effect. Students can also access most academic applications remotely through myJLab. Other computer labs operated by academic departments may have different restrictions or availability.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 11:31am

How is the university adapting ID card processes to promote health and safety?

The J-Card Office began providing a fully contactless ID card, the J-Card mobile credential, in April 2019. While we will still provide physical J-Cards to incoming students as a backup option, mobile credential is strongly recommended for all students going forward.

Incoming freshmen should download mobile credential when arriving on campus for Move-In weekend and will receive their physical J-Card when they check into their residence hall. Transfer students can download mobile credential that weekend as well, and should arrange to pick up their physical card from the J-Card Office. The mobile credential can be used immediately once downloaded. Upperclassmen already have access to mobile credential and should utilize it upon returning to campus if they haven’t done so previously.

If for any reason you need to replace your physical J-Card, replacements are $20 and can be picked up by appointment at the J-Card Office. We expect to return to open office hours once social distancing requirements have been eased. Please check the J-Card website for updated hours.

Last updated: July 1, 2020 10:13am

I’m an international student concerned I won’t be able to return to campus in the fall. What should I do?

Each school is being asked to consider the needs of international students and think creatively about options that will allow them to remain enrolled, even while located in another country. Students should discuss their situation with their adviser or program director and they can access support from the Office of International Services.

Last updated: June 25, 2020 10:59am

Student employment

Will the university’s hiring freeze apply to student employees, including those seeking work-study?

Student employment and paid internships will continue to be available for students this fall, including remote options.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 10:17pm

How will students find employment?

Before the beginning of the fall semester, we will announce a new system that will allow students to register and view/apply to paid student jobs and internships from all divisions of the university. Importantly, this system will allow eligible students to identify those positions that can be conducted remotely vs. in-person. Thus, eligible students who will not be in Baltimore will have opportunities to apply for remote positions.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 10:48am

Student health

How will the university monitor undergraduates, in particular those using university housing, for COVID-19?

We are still determining the best approach to screen students who will be living on campus upon their arrival. More information will be coming.

During the semester, students will be asked to monitor their symptoms each day, as will faculty and staff. We are currently evaluating the use of apps that will assist in tracking symptoms, but have made no decisions at this time. Testing will be available to any student who reports symptoms and the university will consider proactive testing of groups as needed.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 10:21pm

What happens if an undergraduate student tests positive for COVID-19?

All students who test positive for COVID-19, whether or not they show symptoms, will be required to follow CDC guidelines and remain in isolation until (a) it has at least three days with no symptoms and fever without the aid of a fever reducing medication; (b) respiratory symptoms have improved (e.g. cough, shortness of breath); and (c) it has been at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared.

JHU will contact individuals who may have had close contact with someone who tests positive. Any student who is determined to have had meaningful exposure to someone who tests positive will have to quarantine for 14 days, similarly staying away from other people and all public places.

Students who are living in the residence halls and are required to quarantine or isolate may be required to move to a designated location. We have set aside approximately 250 beds for isolation and quarantine, with contingency plans in place should more space be needed.

The university will assist students in JHU-secured housing who need to isolate or quarantine with food and other supplies and will check their medical condition by phone. Students living off campus will need to quarantine or isolate in their off-campus residences.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 10:18am

How is COVID-19 covered by the student health plans?

Both the Wellfleet and EHP plans for undergraduate and graduate students have no cost for doctor visits to diagnose COVID-19 or for testing. Coverage for COVID-19 treatment-related services includes the same coinsurance and copays as are charged for any other illness. Students should check their plan details.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 11:07am

If a student gets very ill and needs to take leave, are they in jeopardy of losing their health insurance?

Wellfleet continues medical coverage through the period that has been paid and offers an option to purchase additional coverage after that. EHP benefits continue for the entire period of the leave.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 11:08am

Will students who contract COVID-19 while working for the university get workers’ compensation?

If an undergraduate, graduate student, or postdoc contracts COVID-19 and it can be shown that the infection occurred at the workplace (for example, in a Johns Hopkins lab) while performing duties for which they are paid by the university, such as being a research or teaching assistant, workers compensation will cover medical costs.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 11:21am

Tuition + financial aid

Why is Johns Hopkins raising tuition amid a pandemic?

Tuition and fee increases for the next academic year were set before the COVID pandemic at a level consistent with our goals to support the university’s pursuit of excellence in its educational mission while remaining competitive with our peers. Our tuition increase of 3% for undergraduates in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Whiting School of Engineering, for example, is lower than nearly all of our peer institutions that have published their 2020-2021 tuition rates.

We understand that the COVID pandemic is creating unexpected financial burdens for many families. The university is prepared to help meet these burdens with commitments to significantly increase financial aid. We encourage any students whose circumstances have changed to contact the financial aid office. Answers to financial aid questions related to COVID-19 can be found on the Financial Aid website.

Last updated: June 18, 2020 2:50pm

When will student billing occur?

The billing date for students’ fall tuition bills will be moved from July to August, and payment will be due in early September.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 10:46am

When will financial aid packages be delivered?

Renewal financial aid packages were e-mailed to all students the week of July 6.

Last updated: July 28, 2020 10:34am

My family’s financial situation has changed—who can I call for help?

Financial support is available to help students who need additional assistance as a result of the pandemic, or for any other reason. Call, e-mail, or request a virtual appointment with the Office of Student Financial Services between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 10:52am

If the university decides not to have students return in the fall, would financial packages change?

Yes. Students who were planning to live in JHU-provided housing would see their financial aid packages reduced to reflect their housing status (either off-campus, or at home with parents/relatives). For more information on the off campus and live at home budget allowance, visit the Cost and Tuition page on the Financial Aid website.

Last updated: July 21, 2020 4:53pm

Financial implications

What is Johns Hopkins’ current estimate of the fiscal impact of COVID-19?

The university’s preliminary projections (communicated April 21) of the potential financial impacts from COVID-19 without mitigation actions resulted in projected losses of as much as $100 million in the current fiscal year (FY20) and losses of as much as $375 million for FY21 (July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021).

With the benefit of the mitigation actions taken to date, we are currently projecting net losses for the university of as much as $50 million in FY20 and as much as $150 million in FY21. These updated estimates include the impact of the previously announced one-year suspension of retirement contributions and the hiring and salary freeze, the savings from which go to the divisions and departments, not the university as a whole. The Johns Hopkins Health System has committed to enhanced support for the School of Medicine this year that will further improve our FY20 position.

Note that the University continues to navigate significant uncertainty with regards to its projections for FY21 (e.g., risks with regards to potential spikes in COVID-19 transmissions and illness and fall enrollments, particularly among international students). We will continue to monitor key indicators closely and update projections as we evaluate the potential short and long-term financial impacts of COVID-19 on JHU’s funding sources, including enrollment and net tuition, clinical revenue, sponsored research, and philanthropy.

Last updated: June 18, 2020 2:52pm

What reserves did the university have to cope with a fiscal crisis like this one?

In 2011 the university engaged in an analysis of its ability to withstand an economic downturn or other major fiscal event or pressures, and in the intervening years it markedly strengthened its balance sheet to weather revenue and/or liquidity disruptions. Since 2011, JHU’s net assets have grown at an annual average of 8%, its cash has grown at annual average of 10%, while its debt has been held essentially level.

Johns Hopkins’ improved cash reserves will certainly reduce the severity of the mitigation efforts the university will be required to undertake due to COVID-19. Nonetheless, given the pandemic’s uncertain nature and duration as well as increased costs to safely maintain continuity in university operations, we must also make substantial, multi-year reductions in our expenditures.

Last updated: June 18, 2020 2:53pm

What is the endowment for if not to help the university through difficult times like these?

The endowment is not a rainy day fund. Rather, it is a collection of contributions given for the long-term mission of the university, and the amount that can be withdrawn in a given year is limited by state law to a relatively small percentage of the endowment’s market value. Most contributions to the endowment are further limited to donor-specified purposes – for example, a particular research endeavor, a designated faculty professorship, or student financial aid. The university is legally and ethically bound to preserve and use such contributions solely for those donor-specified purposes and to steward them to support those endeavors in perpetuity. The University cannot use these restricted funds for other purposes, such as general university operations during these difficult times. Only a very small portion of the endowment is unrestricted and, in many cases, represents institutional matching funds for donor-restricted endowment gifts. As noted above, the amount of funds that may be accessed from unrestricted endowment is also limited by state law.

Last updated: June 18, 2020 2:55pm

The university has said that furloughs and layoffs are likely. When will those decisions be announced?

Furloughs and layoffs are regrettably expected to be necessary within some units of the university as a consequence of the financial losses due to COVID-19. Those decisions will be made at the divisional and departmental level, including within university administration. Timelines will vary, but a small number have already begun and have been communicated to affected employees. Substantial transition assistance is being provided for all affected employees.

Last updated: June 18, 2020 2:58pm

Did the university consider alternatives to halting 403b contributions to address its projected losses?

Yes, the university looked at all major areas of expense for potential near-term savings, including both personnel and non-personnel costs. For example, we project more than $80 million in preservation of cash in FY21 from freezing or deferring capital investments. However, because we are a people-driven organization, personnel costs account for approximately 60% of the university’s total expenses, and it is unfortunately not possible to achieve needed savings without impacting our workforce in some respect.

In consultation with the divisions, the university considered a range of personnel-related options including salary and hiring freezes, salary cuts, large-scale furloughs and layoffs, suspension of retirement contributions, and reductions in other benefits (e.g., health care, tuition support).

In deciding to move forward with the one-year salary and hiring freeze, suspension of retirement contribution, and leadership salary cuts, the university sought to prioritize those options that maintained employment and sustained current take-home pay and benefits for the greatest number of employees. Many of our university and academic medicine peer institutions have made similar decisions, including Duke and Northwestern among others. In addition, the university was mindful of its role as an anchor institution in Baltimore and region and sought to minimize the effects on local economy, of which our workforce is such an important part.

Last updated: June 18, 2020 2:59pm

Who decided on the freeze on salaries and hiring and halt 403b contributions, and who was consulted?

University leaders consulted extensively with the deans and their divisional business officers, a subgroup of the Faculty Budget Advisory Committee and a subgroup of the Board of Trustees about the options for initial mitigation actions, and then made the decisions with the approval of the full Board of Trustees.

In the second phase of our mitigation efforts, the university administration and deans are setting goals for strengthening the finances of each school and division over the next five years. Per the JHU’s traditional approach to financial management, it will be up to each school and division to determine how best to meet these objectives while assuring that resources are allocated in alignment with core institutional values as well as achieving excellence in its missions.

Last updated: June 18, 2020 2:58pm

How reliant is JHU on revenue from clinical services?

Clinical revenue comprises approximately 12% of total JHU revenues. Initial projections estimated a FY21 reduction in clinical revenue of as much as $200 million, or 24%, due to the suspension of most non-emergency, non-COVID procedures and in-person visits. Pursuant to the terms of a recent order from Gov. Larry Hogan, Johns Hopkins Medicine has taken steps to resume certain suspended clinical activities, and it will continue to do so as safety allows. As a result, projected losses in clinical revenue for FY21 have been revised to approximately $149 million.

Last updated: June 18, 2020 3:00pm

How has the suspension of most in-person research affected JHU finances?

Our initial projections estimated revenue shortfalls of as much as $30 million, or approximately 1% of the total, due to suspension of research activity. Those estimates reflect our calculation of the potential difference between reduced reimbursements and continued costs, based on actual results so far and modeling of the gradual transition to full resumption of in-person activities.

Pursuant to an accommodation by the federal government and the temporary pay policy adopted by Johns Hopkins, research personnel who were unable to do any work because of the COVID 19 restrictions and whose salary is supported by federal grants have been able to continue to charge salaries to grants through June 15. Researchers who can remotely perform grant activities such as data analysis, literature reviews, and grant or paper writing can continue to charge salaries to grants after that date. However, projections reflect that we anticipate that non-personnel research expenses, such as lab supplies and service center charges, will decrease during the period when on-campus research activities are significantly reduced. As a result, the indirect cost recoveries associated with these expenses will be reduced, even though research facilities and administrative costs are largely fixed and continue to be incurred.

The university has undertaken extensive planning efforts to allow a safe resumption of research activities, and pursuant to recent actions by the state and Baltimore City governments, we have set a target date of June 15 to begin a gradual, phased resumption of our non-COVID research activities.

Last updated: June 18, 2020 3:01pm

University officials have said Johns Hopkins operates on “thin margins.” Why is that?

As a non-profit, Johns Hopkins reinvests its funds in faculty, student aid, facilities, and our community as we pursue excellence in our teaching, research, clinical and service missions. The university typically achieves a financial surplus (which means more revenue than expense) that ranges between 1% and 2% of our total budget. Those surpluses, though small as a percentage of our total budget, fuel the strategic growth of the university.

Johns Hopkins’ surpluses are typically smaller than those of its peer universities. The main reason for this is the fact that funded research, which requires significant institutional subsidies, represents the largest share of university revenues.

Last updated: June 18, 2020 3:01pm

Does the estimate of reduced tuition revenue take into account potential travel restrictions international students may face?

Yes. Potentially restricted travel for international students is one of several factors the university considered in estimating potential revenue shortfalls from tuition. International students make up about 11% of Johns Hopkins’ undergraduate population and 23% of graduate students.

The perspectives international students bring are a crucial element of the Johns Hopkins educational experience, particularly in programs with a global focus, such as those at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the School of Advanced International Studies. Each of our academic divisions is also working creatively to allow international students to be able to continue their education in the fall term, including virtual options.

Last updated: June 18, 2020 3:11pm

Why is Johns Hopkins raising tuition amid a pandemic?

Tuition and fee increases for the next academic year were set before the COVID pandemic at a level consistent with our goals to support the university’s pursuit of excellence in its educational mission while remaining competitive with our peers. Our tuition increase of 3% for undergraduates in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Whiting School of Engineering, for example, is lower than nearly all of our peer institutions that have published their 2020-2021 tuition rates.

We understand that the COVID pandemic is creating unexpected financial burdens for many families. The university is prepared to help meet these burdens with commitments to significantly increase financial aid. We encourage any students whose circumstances have changed to contact the financial aid office. Answers to financial aid questions related to COVID-19 can be found on the Financial Aid website.

Last updated: June 18, 2020 2:50pm

Am I eligible for the CARES Act Emergency Grant?

The first distribution of the CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants will be available to students who are eligible for federal financial aid and meet the following criteria:

Undergraduate Students

  • Federal 9-month EFC at or below 16,000 based on the 19-20 FAFSA
  • Received need-based institutional aid in spring 2020
  • Enrolled in at least one face-to-face instructional course in spring 2020 (as of February 20, 2020)
  • Did not graduate in May 2020

Graduate Students

  • Federal 9-month EFC at or below 16,000 based on the 19-20 FAFSA
  • Received federal student loans in spring 2020
  • Enrolled in at least one face-to-face instructional course in spring 2020 (as of February 20, 2020)
  • Did not graduate in May 2020

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

Can my CARES Act Emergency Grant be used to pay my bill?

The CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants are intended to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. The grant will be sent directly to you according to the refund method you selected. On receipt of your refund, you may then use the funds to help pay your education expenses.

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

How do I apply for the CARES Act Emergency Grant?

Students do not have to submit an application. However, they must have a valid 2019-2020 FAFSA on file with the school and meet the eligibility criteria described above. Financial Aid will notify eligible students directly by email beginning on July 16, 2020. Students will have to electronically certify that they have incurred allowable expenses (E.g. housing, food, transportation, course material, technology, and health expenses) prior to receiving the funds. Detailed instructions will be included with the email notification.

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

If I am no longer enrolled am I still eligible to apply for a CARES Act Emergency Grant?

If you were enrolled in at least one face-to-face instructional course in spring 2020 (as of February 20, 2020), and you received federal financial aid in that semester, you may be eligible for a CARES Act Emergency Grant. Please see the eligibility criteria above. If you believe that you are eligible but did not receive an e-mail notification, please contact your divisional financial aid office below:

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

Are international students eligible for CARES Act Emergency Grant funds?

Per the U.S. Department of Education, international students and DACA students are not eligible for CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

I do not qualify for CARES Act funds, but my circumstances have changed and I need help. What are my options?

Any Hopkins student facing financial uncertainty related to the pandemic should contact Financial Aid to discuss options.  Requests will be reviewed on a case by case basis, and prioritized based on level of financial need.

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

Will the CARES Act grant affect my eligibility for financial aid in the fall 2020 semester?

No. CARES Act funding will not impact your eligibility for fall 2020 financial aid, and will not be listed as part of your financial aid package.

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

Is the CARES Act grant taxable?

No. Per the Internal Revenue Service, the grant will not be included in your taxable income. Please visit the IRS’s site for more details.

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

What expenses qualify under the CARES Act?

Funds must be used for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19, including eligible expenses that are part of a typical student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child care.

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

Employee information

How will I know if I am supposed to return to my JHU location?

Decisions about resuming work activity, once approved, will be communicated through deans, vice presidents, vice provosts, divisional business officers, or other senior leaders. We anticipate that the need to reduce the number of people coming to campus to meet social distancing requirements will continue for some time, and many employees who can continue to effectively work remotely will likely continue to do so for the near future.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 10:29pm

What if I want to return to working on-site at JHU or can’t do my job remotely?

Managers will make decisions about telework in accordance with university guidelines. As more activities resume, it will be important to keep the density of individuals low and have those who can work remotely continue to do so.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 10:30pm

What if I don’t want to return to on-site work because I have concerns about my health and safety, the health and safety of family members who are at increased risk, or other issues?

Based upon CDC guidance, some people may be at higher risk of experiencing negative COVID-19 outcomes due to their individual circumstances. Faculty, staff, students, and other trainees who fall into the CDC’s definition of a vulnerable person, as defined and discussed further on the centers’ website, may learn about reasonable accommodations available or request reasonable accommodations to their work or learning environment.

Information for faculty, staff, and postdoctoral fellows on the accommodations process may be found on the Office of Institutional Equity website, by phone (410-516-8075), or by email (, or Students should contact the Student Disability Services Coordinator at their respective school to begin the process. As always, anyone with a documented disability or who needs a religious accommodation, pregnancy or nursing parent adjustment may pursue accommodations as well.

Individuals who do not fall within the CDC guidelines for a “vulnerable person” but are concerned about returning to a JHU location due to their individual circumstances (such as household members who may be at higher risk) should contact their departmental or divisional human resources manager to discuss their concerns and whether adjustments may be made to address them. You may also contact the Office of Employee and Labor Relations in Central HR at Students with similar concerns should contact their dean of students or equivalent at their school. An adjustment may be made immediately and may be in place while the accommodation approval process is underway.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 10:31pm

Will individuals have notice before they are asked to return to campus so that they can set up child care, travel to Baltimore, or make other necessary arrangements?

The university understands that individuals will have a variety of needs to attend to, and PIs should consider appropriate notice to lab teams as part of their return to research plans.

Last updated: June 3, 2020 8:24am

Will faculty members be penalized if they think it is too soon to provide in-person instruction and prefer to continue remote instruction?

Faculty members are encouraged to reach out to appropriate university resources (outlined in the question above) if they require a health-based accommodation, and to discuss other potential adjustments with their departmental or divisional human resources manager. Any accommodation or adjustment will depend on the technology available to teach effectively—and the university is making more technology available to assist faculty in holding effective online or remote classes—and the social distancing appropriate for the individual faculty member.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 10:32pm

Will employees be able to have flexible schedules to offset personal or family concerns, such as revised school schedules or child care challenges? Will telework be offered as a permanent option?

The university will make every effort to provide enough advance notice for employees to make arrangements for child care and other individual needs. Individual departments will continue to follow HR policies for flexible work schedules and any concerns should be discussed with the employee’s manager. No decisions have been made about long-term telework options.

All university employees have free premium memberships, which allow you to perform self-directed searches for a variety of caregiving needs. You must register through JHU’s portal at or call 855-781-1303. In addition, you can use the digital portal to post a position for an in-home provider on your own.’s website also has information about child care safety during COVID-19.

If you are required to return to work on-site and cannot find childcare, refer to the Sick and Safe Leave policy and JHU’s general Sick Leave policy. Also, FMLA entitles eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period for specified family and medical reasons. For specific questions regarding leave, contact HR Business Services at 443-997-2157 or

Last updated: June 19, 2020 8:44am

Where can I find out more information about the COVID-19 workforce relief funds? Can I make a contribution to those funds to support my fellow workers?

More information about the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Workforce Relief Funds can be found on the Human Resources COVID-19 resource page, under the Financial Resources header. The university has set up two funds to provide support for our lowest-resourced employees and displaced contract workers who are in need of financial assistance as a result of the pandemic. These funds—the COVID-19 Employee Relief Fund and the COVID-19 Contract Worker Relief Fund—will follow the eligibility requirements set forth in the recent federal relief program. Right now, these funds are provided solely by the university, but we appreciate the request from so many of our faculty and staff who want to help their fellow workers by contributing to these funds, and we are exploring ways to make this possible.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 10:35pm

Research activities

Is the university allowing researchers to return to campus?

Critical COVID-related research has been ongoing on campus with research teams practicing appropriate safety protocols. As of June 15, other laboratories were permitted to reopen, with approved plans that reduce capacity, require face coverings and physical distancing, and improve cleaning protocols. On July 16, the university announced an expansion of its guidance that allows non-lab researchers, including humanists, social scientists, and computational researchers, to do on-campus work that cannot be done remotely with approval from their department and division.

The resumption of on-campus research activities in Phase 1 continue to be limited only to those activities that actually require a person to be on campus. Any and all research work that can be accomplished at home via telework continues to be done at home, and people are asked to only be on campus for the time periods necessary to accomplish required on-campus work.

Last updated: July 22, 2020 4:46pm

Does the university’s Phase 1 only allow on-site work in lab settings, or can researchers in other disciplines, such as the humanities, return to their offices and access university buildings as well?

The resumption of on-campus research activities in JHU’s Phase 1 has been limited to only those activities that require a person to be on campus/in the lab. Any and all research work that can be accomplished at home via telework should continue to be done at home.

The university’s Research Workgroup continues to examine the issue of allowing additional types of research on-campus as public health conditions improve and health and safety measures are put into place. More information will be coming soon.

Last updated: July 22, 2020 4:48pm

Are graduate students allowed to return to on-campus research during Phase 1? Are undergraduates?

Graduate students involved in laboratory research that requires on-site activity may return to campus while adhering to safety protocols based on their specific lab plan. Undergraduate students are not part of the Phase 1 return to research.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 10:44pm

When will researchers be able to resume clinical and human subjects research?

Clinical and human subject research will require a gradual, phased reopening that allows for a safe, systematic approach to restarting research. The human subjects research plan is included in the Return to Research Guidance document:

Last updated: July 22, 2020 4:58pm

Will there be any loosening of hiring freeze once the labs begin to reopen?

The current hiring freeze will remain in place. As described previously, we will allow exceptions for hiring to meet critical needs, particularly roles essential to program or clinical activity related to the COVID pandemic. Exceptions to the freeze will require written approval of the dean.

Last updated: June 3, 2020 8:26am

Will researchers have access to library resources?

Starting Monday, June 29, JHU affiliates may check out books and other circulating materials from all Hopkins libraries following procedures—such as requesting books online and picking them up at library entrances—outlined on the Johns Hopkins Libraries Return to Research web page.

Also, on Monday, July 6, JHU graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and staff researchers may begin to reserve time slots to work with noncirculating materials in the Sheridan Libraries Special Collections Reading Room (Homewood), the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives (Mount Washington), and the History of Medicine Library (East Baltimore) while following safety protocols.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 10:45pm

Is the supply store open?

Yes, the supply store remains fully operational.

Last updated: June 3, 2020 8:27am

Lab safety

What safety precautions are in place for on-campus research activity?

Our current Phase 1 guidance outlines a number of safety guidelines including:

  • There are maximum occupancy rates for each designated space.
  • Researchers can expect to return at significantly decreased density compared with normal operations, and research teams may need to stagger work schedules/shifts to limit density.
  • Face coverings are required to be worn at all times indoors and outdoors, unless inside a single-occupancy office with a closed door or eating at an appropriate distance from other people.
  • Each lab must work with its school’s facilities team to develop a plan for regular cleaning and disinfecting of laboratory space.
  • Schools must provide specific guidance on the use/limits on common spaces and shared instrumentation, based on guidance from the University and HSE.

Last updated: July 23, 2020 1:57pm

How are safety protocols applied across so many different kinds of research spaces and specific program requirements?

JHU’s Phase 1 lab readiness is based on a PI-driven approach, with school and university oversight. PIs are the most knowledgeable about the details of their research space, workflow, personnel, shared instrumentation, and program priorities.

Every laboratory must have an approved reopening plan as well as a shut-down plan (in the event of increased infection rates and/or as dictated by public health or government guidance/mandate) in place before resuming on-campus work. Approval of reopening plans developed by PIs occurs at the department level first and then the relevant dean’s office. While the specifics about how particular labs will achieve compliance with central safety guidance will be left to PIs, adherence to safety requirements is a requirement for labs to be permitted to continue on-campus work, and personnel are provided easy means for reporting violations.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 10:42pm

What is the requirement for distancing in research labs?

The university originally set its requirement at 400 square feet per individual in a laboratory. As of July 22, individual PIs may present a higher occupancy plan to their respective school administration responsible for reviewing such plans and make a case for why a higher occupancy level is both safe and needed. One basis, but not the only basis, for a higher occupancy level would be to bring the occupancy of a laboratory up to 50% of pre-COVID levels. Typical occupancy levels would be one person per 300 square feet and occupancy should not exceed one person per 200 square feet.

Last updated: July 23, 2020 9:40am

Is the university providing access to adequate, appropriate PPE?

The university will provide faculty, staff, and students with two reusable cloth face coverings appropriate for meeting the masking requirements for its campuses. More substantial PPE will be provided in situations where the work of the laboratory called for that level of PPE before the COVID-19 outbreak, or where strict physical distancing requirements cannot be met (e.g., equipment requires two persons for safe usage).

Last updated: June 30, 2020 8:56am

If I test positive for COVID-19, what information is shared and with whom?

If you are ordered for a test after calling the Johns Hopkins COVID Call Center, your supervisor or Student Affairs representative will receive an “off-duty” notice. If your test comes back positive, then the JHCCC’s ICAN team will automatically initiate a contact investigation.

The JHCCC ICAN team will follow up with anyone with whom you are determined to have had “meaningful contact” and instruct them to isolate. In some cases, if necessary to determine potential exposure, your name will be shared with close contacts with your consent. If you do not provide consent to the JHCCC, an analysis will be conducted to determine if there is a public health risk that presents a substantial risk of harm to others. If that is determined to be the case, the JHCCC will disclose the test results to your supervisor and anyone else who may need to know your identity in order to mitigate risk and limit exposure to others.

If you test positive for COVID-19 on a test not ordered by the JHCCC, you are not required to disclose your test result to your principal investigator or supervisor, but you are strongly encouraged to contact the JHCCC so that a contact investigation can occur. The test results of individuals who are not tested via Johns Hopkins are not automatically provided to a Hopkins contact investigator.

Last updated: July 23, 2020 9:02pm

How does the university learn if an employee or student working in a lab tests positive for COVID-19?

All students, faculty, and staff who are participating in on-campus activities should monitor themselves daily for any symptoms. Anyone who has symptoms associated with COVID-19 or who has concerns about exposure to COVID-19 is strongly encouraged to call the the Johns Hopkins COVID Call Center, or JHCCC, at 883-546-7546 to be triaged to determine if they meet the criteria for testing. In the case of employees, their supervisor will be informed that the employee is “off-duty” until cleared. In the case of students, their school’s Student Affairs representative will be notified that the student is “off-duty.” The student’s name will be shared with the student’s consent.

The JHCCC will inform you of your test result if you are tested at a Johns Hopkins facility. If your test is negative, your supervisor or Student Affairs Representative will receive a message that you have been cleared. If you test positive, you will remain “off-duty” and there will be no additional communication to your supervisor or Student Affairs representative until you are cleared. You are encouraged but not required to share the information with your supervisor or Student Affairs representative.

Last updated: July 23, 2020 2:00pm

How do I get cleared to go back to work or class after I recover from COVID-19?

Current CDC guidelines allow for anyone who is not severely immunocompromised to return to work if they meet the following criteria:

  1. At least 10 days have passed since symptom onset or asymptomatic testing
  2. At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without using fever-reducing medications
  3. Symptoms have improved.

Employees who believe they have met this criteria should call the Occupational Health Services at the Johns Hopkins COVID Call Center (410-614-6000) for an evaluation and clearance to return to work. Individuals who were first notified of the employee’s “off-duty” status will be informed by OHS that they are cleared to “return to duty.”

Students who need clearance to return to class should be instructed to do the following:

  • Students from the schools of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing should contact University Health Services at 410-955-3250 for an evaluation and clearance to return to class. Individuals who were first notified of the student’s “off-duty” status will be informed by UHS that they are cleared to “return to class.”
  • Students of any other JHU school should contact the Student Health and Wellness Center at 410-516-8270 for an evaluation and clearance to return to class. Individuals who were first notified of the student’s “off-duty” status will be informed by SHWC that they are cleared to “return to class.”

Last updated: July 23, 2020 9:10pm

If someone in a lab tests positive for COVID-19, will the PI be informed?

Due to privacy concerns, a lab’s principal investigator will not necessarily be notified of a lab member’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis. PIs will be notified if a lab member is placed “off-duty” at the time of testing. In the case of students, the Student Affairs representative will notify the PI.

In some cases, the Johns Hopkins COVID Call Center may need to disclose the name of the lab member who tested positive to a PI, or designated lab member, who can identify any lab members with whom the individual has had high-risk close contact as part of a contact investigation. In limited cases, disclosure may also be necessary to a PI, or designated lab member, who can identify areas of concern for cleaning purposes. A JHCCC representative will inform anyone who had close contact with the individual who has tested positive, request they quarantine, and refer them for testing as appropriate.

In general, we will not broadly notify affiliates of COVID-positive individuals on-campus. The only possible exception is when we identify clusters or patterns where notification of the broader groups of which the COVID-positive individuals are members may be helpful. In such cases, we will want to assess the setups in case they are not controlling transmission adequately.

Last updated: July 23, 2020 1:11pm

Should a PI notify the rest of their lab that someone in the lab tested positive for COVID-19?

No. Information regarding an individual’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis should not be shared with anyone else—that information is confidential health information.

If the individual who tests positive for COVID-19 tells a PI of their diagnosis, the PI must not disclose the name of the individual who tested positive, except to report the individual’s diagnosis to the Johns Hopkins COVID Call Center so a contact investigation process can be initiated.

PIs can share that a lab member is “off-duty.”

Last updated: July 27, 2020 2:18pm

Under what circumstances will JHU conduct a contact investigation?

Contact investigations will be used to trace any JHU affiliates who have high-risk contacts of an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. This includes individuals whose contact with the possibly infected person was within six feet for 15 minutes or more.

A Johns Hopkins COVID Call Center ICAN (Investigation, Contact Analysis, Notification) team traces the infectious period, currently defined as two days prior to the onset of initial symptoms in symptomatic patients and two days prior to a positive COVID test result date for asymptomatic cases. High-risk close contacts will be notified of their exposure, asked to quarantine to prevent additional transmission, and monitored for symptoms through Occupational Health (employees) or Student Health (students).

Last updated: July 23, 2020 1:41pm

If a COVID-19 positive case is reported in the lab or classroom, will all the people who shared that space at the same time be tested?

Not necessarily. Criteria for testing is continuing to evolve. However, individuals will only be tested if they have symptoms associated with COVID-19 or it is determined by the Johns Hopkins COVID Call Center that there was meaningful exposure. This includes individuals whose contact with the possibly infected person was within six feet for 15 minutes or more during the infectious period.

Last updated: July 29, 2020 10:16am

Will a lab be closed if someone in the lab tests positive for COVID-19?

No. Due to the fact that large droplets readily settle out of the air, and there are a high number of air exchanges in a lab, you can safely enter the lab without enhanced respiratory protection (fit-tested N95 mask or PAPR) within three hours of the time a COVID-positive individual was last in the lab. Lab personnel should perform their standard cleaning and disinfection procedures in the lab wearing standard PPE.

If the principal investigator has questions or concerns about cleaning protocols or about when they can re-enter the lab, contact the Department of Health, Safety and Environment for assistance (Homewood: 410-516-8798; East Baltimore: 410-955-5918). If HSE determines that additional disinfection is required, EVS/Custodial Services or an outside contractor may perform that service, under the on-site supervision of the PI (or their designee).

More information is available in the Return to Research guidance.

Last updated: July 23, 2020 4:38pm

How will cleaning be conducted in a lab in which a positive COVID-19 case is reported?

Lab staff will typically perform the cleaning after they can safely re-enter the lab without needing enhanced respiratory protection (a fit-tested N95 mask or PAPR). If staff are uncomfortable with performing the cleaning, the principal investigator should contact the Department of Health, Safety and Environment to arrange for cleaning by EVS/Custodial Services or an outside contractor. HSE will coordinate the cleaning of the lab with the PI and Facilities. The PI or their designee must be present on site to oversee the cleaning.

Last updated: July 23, 2020 4:42pm

How does JHU learn if university personnel are ill or experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms?

JHU faculty, staff, postdocs, and student employees who are working on campus are required to complete a health screening attestation every day they are expected to be working onsite. In addition, employees who begin feeling ill after being onsite should contact the Johns Hopkins COVID Call Center at 883-546-7546 and go home.

Last updated: July 23, 2020 4:49pm

If someone in a lab is asked to remain off-site for a few days, how will the PI be notified?

JHU faculty and staff must follow the department’s standard process for reporting an absence from work. In addition, they should talk to their supervisor/local HR representative to determine whether they are allowed to work remotely, if they are feeling well enough to do so.

If a trainee/student is not approved to be onsite, their faculty sponsor will be notified that they must remain offsite. The faculty sponsor will not receive any further information, and they will not have access to the postdoc’s health information. Trainees/students should contact their faculty sponsor, supervisor, or PI directly regarding their absence per policy (RPH 10.3) and should discuss whether and what work can be done from home.

Last updated: July 23, 2020 9:20pm

Someone in my lab has started to feel ill. How should I advise them?

Anyone who feels ill is encouraged to call the Johns Hopkins COVID Call Center at 883-546-7546. The JHCCC will indicate if the individual is approved to remain onsite. If the lab member is asked to leave the lab, the principal investigator should ensure they follow this instruction promptly.

A clinician from Occupational Health (for faculty, staff, and postdocs), Student Health Services (for Krieger, Whiting, Peabody, Carey, School of Education and SAIS students), or University Health Services (for School of Medicine, School of Nursing, and Bloomberg School students) will review the individual’s symptoms remotely and follow up with the person who is sick, as needed.

We recommend labs continue routine cleaning and disinfecting of work surfaces, as prescribed in the Return to Research guidelines.

Last updated: July 23, 2020 4:59pm

Someone in my lab or an adjacent lab is ill. Should I be concerned?

Just as was the case before COVID-19, viruses and colds circulate throughout the year. Recent background testing of certain essential on-site reporting populations indicate there is very low circulation of COVID-19 on site at this time. If someone is sick and not approved to be on site, it should not be assumed that they have COVID-19.

Also consider that COVID-19 is primarily spread through person-to-person contact from respiratory droplets (e.g., uncovered sneezing or coughing). The most effective prevention measures remain maintaining adequate physical distancing, wearing face coverings when in the lab, and frequent handwashing. If these measures are followed, it significantly reduces risk of exposure.

It is important to note that touching a contaminated surface is not thought to be the primary way the virus spreads. While this risk of infection via a contaminated surface is relatively low compared to the risk associated with close contact with infected individuals, it is important to continue frequent handwashing and routine cleaning and disinfecting of shared work surfaces to further reduce the potential for transmission.

Last updated: July 23, 2020 8:50pm

I heard that someone in my lab tested positive. How will I know if I was exposed?

As part of the contact investigation, the Johns Hopkins COVID Call Center ICAN team will interview the individual who tested positive to determine if they had meaningful exposure to any other affiliates—including individuals whose contact with the possibly infected person was within six feet for 15 minutes or more—during the infectious period. High-risk close contacts will be notified of their exposure, asked to quarantine to prevent additional transmission, and monitored for symptoms. If you have not been contacted by ICAN, you should assume there was not an exposure that requires follow up.

Last updated: July 23, 2020 9:17pm

Facilities + transportation

Will the university provide shuttles or other transportation options to accommodate staggered or unusual schedules? Will it provide parking options in order to reduce the use of public transportation? Will shuttles have enough space for physical distancing?

Transportation services will continue to run with reduced density, required face coverings for driver and passengers, and increased cleaning. Transportation schedules will be adjusted to meet demand in support of increased research activity while maintaining capacity limitations.

Routes, schedules, and additional information are on the JHM Transportation Services website and the JHU Transportation Services website.

Vehicles are cleaned each driver shift using HSE-approved, hospital-grade products. Drivers will clean high-touch points several times per shift using Lysol or Clorox wipes. Note: Door opening and closing is controlled by operator in all vehicles. Use rear entry for buses.

For those researchers whose schedules may be adjusted, evening and weekend parking will temporarily be provided at no additional cost.

  • East Baltimore: Employees and students may park for free on the East Baltimore campus during “Base Access” time periods which, during the COVID-19 crisis, have been extended to Monday through Friday, 3 p.m. to 10 a.m. and all day Saturday, Sunday, and designated holidays
  • Homewood: Evening and weekend hang tag requirements are waived and all surface lots will be free until August 17 for the following hours: Monday through Friday, 3 p.m. to 10 a.m. and all day Saturday, Sunday and designated holidays

Last updated: June 26, 2020 3:02pm

Will Hopkins buses and shuttles observe safety guidance?

Everyone who takes public transportation or uses JH buses and shuttles must wear a face covering. Vehicle capacity will be set to limit density and in consultation with public health experts and regulatory guidance. The current limits are set at 24 passengers per JH bus and one rider group (single request) per van with a limit of eight passengers. For buses, passengers will be asked to enter via rear door only. Buses and Blue Jay Shuttle vans are cleaned after each driver’s shift using HSE-approved, hospital-grade products and high touch points are cleaned several times a shift by each driver.

Last updated: June 19, 2020 10:58am

What is the university doing about employees who are paying for parking and can’t use it?

The university is refunding monthly payments to all employees who paid for university parking for the months of April, May, and June, and employees will not be charged monthly parking fees for July. This will apply to individuals who worked at home and those who were asked to fill essential positions on campus during that time.

You do not have to do anything to receive this refund if you are part of the university payroll-deduction parking program. The refund will appear in your mid-July paycheck. For those employees who paid with pre-tax deductions, under applicable tax guidance the refund is required to be treated as wages or taxable income, so you will see that adjustment on your pay stub.

Please note that monthly parking fees will resume in August. If you wish to cancel your parking because you expect to continue working off-site, or for any other reason, you will need to use the online form to make that request. You can make this change at any time, but in order to avoid paying for August, you will need to cancel by July 15. You will be able to restart parking at any time using the current parking sign-up process for your location, which may require pre-payment.

Last updated: July 21, 2020 5:05pm

Can I go to my campus or building to get things from my office?

Quick trips to JHU locations, such as to pick up items, are at the discretion of your school and department and require approval from your supervisor. Please coordinate with them on the dates and times of any quick trip, so it can be done in accordance with the density measures in place.

Last updated: June 19, 2020 8:40am

Will Johns Hopkins security provide an escort to my car?

Security remains staffed 24/7 with presence inside and outside of buildings, and officers can provide walking escorts (with appropriate social distancing) at any time. For a walking escort for the Homewood Campus, call 410-516-7777 and for the East Baltimore Medical Campus call 410-955-5585. Individual may also use the Live Safe app to engage a virtual escort of their choosing who can monitor their location for the duration of their travel. The app is available online.

Last updated: June 3, 2020 8:26am


Help us protect each other

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Cover your face

Always wear a mask on campus

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Wash your hands

Wash or sanitize hands often and don't touch your face

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Distance yourself

Keep six feet between you and others

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If you have symptoms

Self-isolate and call 833-546-7546 right away