Frequently Asked Questions

University Operations | Fall 2021 Planning | Health + Safety | Diagnostic Testing | 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 has moved to Phase 2 of its reopening plan, with expanded on-campus activity for the spring semester, including offering undergraduates in-person residential and educational opportunities. Graduate and professional schools have determined their own plans for the spring. This is part of a careful, phased approach to resuming activities, and each step in reopening is in accordance with state and local regulations and our own assessment of the public health status and operational readiness of our community.

During our current Phase 2, we have resumed medium-risk activities with continued reliance on strict physical distancing, frequent handwashing, and appropriate masking requirements, along with frequent testing, contact investigation, and analysis of all symptomatic students and employees. Broadly, this means that some programs have resumed in-person, low-density activity, and always with an online option. Graduate instruction and research labs continue with low density, six-foot distancing, and with masking. Undergraduates may be granted permission to participate in on-campus research, subject to the decision by individual Principal Investigators and incorporation into their Return to Research plans. Limited residential housing (single rooms only) and dining (“grab and go” and/or limited seating based on public health guidance) are available.

Libraries are operational, but hours are more limited than they were pre-COVID to ensure ample time for daily cleaning. Hours vary from facility to facility and will be modified as necessary. The Ralph S. O’Connor Recreation Center (OCR) on the Homewood campus and the Cooley Center at East Baltimore will operate with limited capacity and offerings.

Last updated: March 10, 2021 11:37am

How does the university determine which activities are allowed on its campuses?

Cross-divisional workgroups study the issues, gather feedback, and draft plans to guide the university’s resumption of activities. 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 latest information can be found in the Return to Campus Guidance.

Any decisions to allow on-campus activity are 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 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. 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 at Johns Hopkins.

Last updated: April 12, 2021 4:37pm

What do I need to know if I want to come to campus?

Individuals who are on-campus need to be aware of the following requirements that are detailed in this guidance:

  • Daily health check using Prodensity
  • Use of appropriate face coverings and adherence to other health/safety guidance, including physical distancing
  • No smoking or vaping
  • COVID-19 testing will be conducted upon arrival and on an ongoing basis throughout the semester

In addition, individuals engaging in on-campus research must comply with Research Guidelines and individuals engaging in on-campus instruction must comply with Instructional Guidelines.

Last updated: March 30, 2021 10:31am

Can events be held on campus?

No external (commercial, community, etc.) events will be held during Phase 2. Internal (JH affiliate attendees) events will be limited as follows:

  • All events deemed mission critical during Phase 2 shall be reviewed by HSE and require permission from the appropriate dean’s office or University Administration department. These activities may include events that cannot be effectively conducted virtually and are directly related to research, education, and student activities.
  • JHU guidance will not exceed local regulatory public health rules in restricting group sizes and participants are expected to wear face coverings and maintain 6 feet physical distancing.
  • Event capacity is the number of people who can fit in the room while maintaining 6 feet between them, with a maximum of 10 people.
  • Outdoor event capacity will be based on state and local guidelines, venue capacity, and physical distancing requirements and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but is generally limited to 25.

Last updated: April 12, 2021 4:43pm

Are visitors allowed on campus?

Generally, visitors to the JHU campus—including guests, family members, and pets—are prohibited. Visitors associated with K-12 partnerships, including participants, are also prohibited in Phase 2.

Prospective students and research volunteers will likely be permitted on campus under controlled conditions and for specific types of protocols.

Last updated: Dec 18, 2020 10:42am

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

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

Last updated: Dec 16, 2020 3:36pm

What is the university’s guidance on travel at this time?

Nonessential travel outside of the Greater Baltimore area is strongly discouraged for undergraduates at any time. Undergraduate students are required to register personal travel with Prodensity so they can receive support for prompt testing and self-quarantine upon return. A negative test is required before resuming in-person activities. We urge other students, faculty, and staff to understand the risks before undertaking personal travel. Before making personal travel plans, please review the CDC’s travel guidance. All nonessential university-sponsored travel (both international and domestic) remains suspended.

Last updated: April 12, 2021 4:40pm

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

Fall 2021 Planning

Vaccinations

Who is being mandated for the vaccines and will exceptions for vaccination be granted? What will be the process?

All JHU undergraduate and graduate students who will be on-campus in the United States attending classes, performing duties, and/or participating in on-campus activities will be required to show documentation of receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine or receive an exception. An exceptions policy will be developed but is anticipated to use procedures similar to those we have employed for mandatory flu vaccinations. This will include: (a) medical counterindication for vaccination including severe allergy to the vaccine or components as defined by the most current recommendations of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP); and (b) religious exemption.  Further, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may also request an exemption. The process for medical and religious exemptions to the COVID vaccine are being determined and will be announced by the end of the spring semester.  

Last updated: May 4, 2021 11:09am

How will we get the vaccines if they are mandated?

We are seeking opportunities for on-campus vaccination, but for now, you will need to seek vaccination through the state or your local jurisdiction, a pharmacy, or a health care provider. Registration for the state of Maryland’s mass vaccination sites and a directory of vaccine providers near you is available here. You can also get information on the State’s vaccination program by calling 855-MD-GoVAX (855-634-6829).  

Johns Hopkins Medicine is providing vaccination to all Hopkins affiliates in Maryland and Washington, D.C., as its allocation of vaccine supply from the state allows. You can register through MyChart. If you have trouble activating your MyChart account or are not able to use MyChart, please contact TestingInfo@jhu.edu for help. 

Last updated: April 14, 2021 11:09pm

I’m an international student planning to return to the U.S. and haven’t had access to vaccination – will JHU provide vaccines to me?

At this time, the university is not able to procure its own supply of vaccine; this situation may change over time. However, for now, the university is unable to guarantee vaccination to students. Having said that, the university will try to help facilitate vaccination for those who are unable to be vaccinated in their home jurisdictions before they arrive.  

Last updated: April 9, 2021 11:28am

I’m an international student who received a vaccine not approved by the U.S. Will I need to be revaccinated?

No. For international students, we will accept documentation of vaccination using a World Health Organization-authorized vaccine approved for use in other countries but not approved in the U.S.

Last updated: May 5, 2021 1:16pm

I’m an online student – do I need to show proof of vaccination?

No. You only need to provide proof of vaccination if you are going to be on campus in the United States. 

Last updated: May 4, 2021 11:09am

I’m a post-doc – am I considered a student or staff member in terms of vaccination requirement?

Post-docs will follow the vaccination guidance for staff.  

Last updated: April 9, 2021 11:29am

Will I still be expected to comply with other mitigation measures (e.g., masking, testing, etc)?

Yes. Given the still-evolving understanding of the science related to these vaccines and the operational difficulty of enforcing different rules for different people within our community, we are not relaxing any of our COVID safety protocols at this time based on individuals’ vaccination status. We have robust evidence that all three COVID vaccines that have been approved in the United States (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson) provide strong protection against severe symptoms of COVID, and consequently hospitalization and death from the virus. However, we do not yet have enough information to say with certainty whether they prevent mild symptoms, transmission of the virus, or infection.  

We may soon be able to draw conclusions about the vaccine’s effectiveness in reducing infection and transmission, and may thus potentially consider changes to our operating procedures as a result, but we are not yet at that point. Consequently, vaccinated individuals at JHU are still subject to the same rules, including those for testing, masking, physical distancing, and limitations on gathering. 

Last updated: April 9, 2021 11:29am

What if I don’t qualify for an exemption and don’t get vaccinated?

Students who do not qualify for an exemption and fail to get vaccinated will not be allowed on campus in the United States. 

Last updated: May 4, 2021 11:11am

Where can I get more information about COVID vaccine safety and effectiveness?

We have a tremendous amount of information and support available for those who have questions about the vaccine or want to learn more. JHM has compiled a set of resources on Covid vaccine effectiveness and safety and what to expect when getting vaccinated. JHU’s Coronavirus Resource Center has extensive information about how the vaccines were developed and tested, as well as data on their distribution in the U.S. and internationally. 

Last updated: April 14, 2021 11:09pm

How will we certify that a person is vaccinated?

The university is developing a registration system for COVID vaccines similar to the one used to document compliance with the flu vaccine requirement. We will communicate details about the system as they become available. In the meantime, you should keep documentation of your vaccination. 

Last updated: April 9, 2021 11:30am

Staff Return to Work

When are staff expected to return?

Most staff will return to in-person work by mid-August, though the university will seek to provide opportunities for those who wish to return earlier in the summer to do so. 

Exceptions will be made in cases where staff members have received accommodations through the Office of Institutional Equity or had pre-COVID alternative work arrangements. We are mindful that for many, the resumption of in-person work may be affected by whether your K-12 children return to in-person school and other COVID-related child care and caregiving obligations, and we will work closely with units to address these issues as they arise. 

Last updated: April 9, 2021 11:31am

Why are staff who have been working remotely during the pandemic being brought back to campus?

Regular in-person contact among faculty, students, and staff is fundamental to the vitality of our university. The presence of our staff in Baltimore is also critical to our role as an economic anchor in the city, and we are anxious to reconvene as a community as quickly and safely as we can. We also recognize that our collective return may look different from our past “normal” and must incorporate the lessons learned over the past 12 months about balancing work, home life, and well-being.   

Last updated: April 9, 2021 11:31am

Will the university consider permanent alternative work arrangements, as many businesses are now doing?

As always, there may be discrete areas and roles where more flexible work arrangements are best, and we anticipate differences between business units or functions in what the return to in-person work looks like. We, like many organizations, are thinking deeply about the future of work, and university leadership will take a considered and consultative approach to our long-term policies guided by clearly articulated principles that are informed by research, deliberation, and data. We will convene a staff working group to collaborate with our deans, staff members, and consultative bodies such as the University Pandemic Academic Advisory Committee to develop those guidelines and templates for various work arrangements and share those with the community in the next few weeks. 

Last updated: April 9, 2021 11:31am

Haven’t we just proven that we can carry out the university’s mission while working remotely?

We have been amazed by the resilience of our staff during the pandemic and their ability to quickly adapt to challenging new circumstances. However, we do not yet know what the effects of large-scale remote work will be on productivity, culture, and innovation over the long term. In particular, we have little experience in hybrid work environments in which some team members are on site and others are working remotely. 

We also consider the university’s role as an anchor institution in Baltimore to be central to its mission, and the physical presence of thousands of our faculty and staff on our campuses every day contributes meaningfully to the city’s economic and cultural vitality. 

Last updated: April 9, 2021 11:31am

Are there any opportunities for flexible or remote schedules?

As always, there may be discrete areas and roles where more flexible work arrangements are best, and we anticipate differences between business units or functions in what the return to in-person work looks like.  Managers will determine work schedules according to business and operational needs, with the review and approval of their divisional dean and a central review to ensure consistency across the institution. 

Last updated: April 9, 2021 11:32am

My child care arrangements have changed as a result of the pandemic. Can I get an exemption from the return to in-person work?

We sought to provide ample notice before the return to work date so that employees with caregiving obligations can make arrangementsEven so, we recognize that for many, the resumption of in-person work may be affected by whether your K-12 children return to in-person school and other COVID-related child care and caregiving obligations. We will work closely with units to address these issues as they arise. 

Last updated: April 9, 2021 11:32am

Who will alert me to my return date?

Your manager will communicate with you about the details of your return to work plan, including the date and specific COVID safety procedures that will be in place. 

Last updated: April 9, 2021 11:32am

Will I have the same work environment as I did pre-pandemic?

Similar to our safe and successful resumption of activities in research labs, we will develop brief tailored plans to guide staff to return in their areas, reflecting the conditions and needs in each work spaceCOVID safety measures will be in place in all Johns Hopkins workplaces, including enhanced ventilation and cleaning. In addition, employees will be required to adhere to all applicable requirements for face-covering, physical distancing, and limitations on gathering, with the details of those measures determined according to public health conditions at the time of return to campus. 

Last updated: April 9, 2021 11:32am

How can I be sure that the facilities are ready to receive everyone back at the same time?

Similar to our approach to resumption of on-campus research, we will ask each of our departments and divisions to develop brief tailored plans to guide staff return in their areas. Work groups including staff will convene in April to develop a template to share with units by May 1. Units will then submit their work plans by June 1 for review by our Facilities and Human Resources teams, and approval by the dean, DBO, vice presidents, or vice provost. Once a plan is approved, units may begin gradual return over the summer for those staff who wish to do so, with the majority of faculty and staff required to be working on campus in mid-August. 

Last updated: April 9, 2021 11:33am

Where will I eat safely?

Spaces to safely eat and drink will be designated throughout our facilities as part of our broader planning for a return to campus. Details on required distancing and other protocols while eating will be determined closer to the fall semester based on evolving public health considerations. 

Last updated: April 9, 2021 11:33am

Academics + Student Experience

Will students and faculty be required to be on campus?

Yes. Our expectation is that classes that were conducted in person before the pandemic will be in person this fall, with the exception of large (greater than 50-person) lectures, which will be conducted online or broken into smaller sections for both public health and pedagogical reasons. Faculty and students at heightened risk for severe outcomes from COVID may seek accommodations through the Office of Institutional Equity or the Office of Student Disability Services, respectively.  

Last updated: April 9, 2021 3:14pm

Will all courses have remote/online options?

No. Courses will not be required to have online or remote options. 

Last updated: April 9, 2021 11:34am

What about international students who may be unable to travel to the United States?

We recognize that international students may continue to experience disruptions in their plans to travel to Baltimore; program directors and advising services will work with those students to help identify opportunities for them to continue to make progress in their studies, but hybrid options will not be available in all classes. 

Last updated: April 9, 2021 11:34am

What grading policies will be in place this fall?

Grading policies will be determined by individual divisions, but the expectation is that most will return to pre-COVID policies. 

Last updated: April 9, 2021 11:34am

Will the fall semester schedule be modified as a result of the pandemic?

No. We anticipate a normal fall schedule, starting on August 30 and including all planned instructional breaks, including Thanksgiving. 

Last updated: April 9, 2021 11:34am

Will first-years and sophomores be required to live on campus?

Yes. Our residence halls will operate at near normal capacity in the fall, and we will reinstate the residency requirement for sophomores and maintain it for first-year students. 

Last updated: April 9, 2021 11:35am

Will student dining facilities be open?

Yes. We anticipate that campus dining facilities will be open for in-person dining at a reduced density, with exact requirements to be determined based on public health conditions closer to the fall. In addition, we will retain the temporary structure on the Freshman Quad to provide additional dining space until we are able to operate our dining facilities at normal capacity. 

Last updated: April 9, 2021 11:35am

Health + safety

I feel ill or am concerned about exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. What should I do?

All Johns Hopkins affiliates (students, trainees, staff, and faculty) are strongly encouraged to use Johns Hopkins resources when symptomatic or concerned about exposure. Anyone who feels ill or is concerned about exposure is encouraged to call the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Call Center at 833-546-7546, seven days a week, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. The call center is staffed by Johns Hopkins nurses and physicians and specially trained nursing and medical students. When you call, a representative will instruct you about next steps depending on your circumstances. They will arrange for testing if needed, assist in transmitting information to Occupational Health, and conduct contact notification. Further, the caller will be given instructions regarding quarantine before a test can be secured. The criteria for testing are updated on a regular basis, and the most current criteria will be used when there is an assessment over the phone.

As has always been the case, individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive for infection with SARS-CoV-2 should self-isolate at home except to get medical care until it’s safe to be around others.

Last updated: Dec 16, 2020 3:38pm

I am living with someone who has tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. What should I do?

Anyone who feels ill or is concerned about exposure is encouraged to call the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Call Center at 833-546-7546, seven days a week, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. The call center is staffed by Johns Hopkins nurses and physicians and specially trained nursing and medical students. When you call, a representative will instruct you about next steps depending on your circumstances. They will arrange for testing if needed, assist in transmitting information to Occupational Health, and conduct contact notification. Further, the caller will be given instructions regarding quarantine before a test can be secured. The criteria for testing are updated on a regular basis, and the most current criteria will be used when there is an assessment over the phone.

Last updated: Dec 16, 2020 3:40pm

Who is notified if I test positive?

Individuals who test positive will be contacted by a health care worker to receive guidance regarding self-isolation, monitoring of symptoms, and general health advice. Positive test results will be reported (as required by law) to the Maryland Department of Health, which will be responsible for the associated broad contact tracing. In addition, the JHCCC will conduct a short interview with the test-positive affiliate regarding their on-campus activity and contact with other JH affiliates as part of our own investigation, contact analysis, notification process (ICAN), to help determine if other JH affiliates may have been exposed by a JH affiliate or in a JHU-associated environment.

The ICAN/JHCCC team will do everything in its power to maintain the anonymity of the test-positive affiliate. JH affiliates who may have had meaningful exposure to a COVID-19-positive affiliate will be notified, without being told the identity of the COVID-19-positive affiliate unless consent is provided. These additional affiliates will be advised to self-quarantine for a period determined by the date of the potential contact and exposure. If affiliates are not contacted by the JHCCC, it means the JHCCC has determined that no meaningful contact with or exposure to a COVID-19-positive affiliate has taken place.

Other notifications include:

  • Employees (faculty, staff, post-docs): Supervisors of test-positive employees will not be notified of an employee’s COVID-positive status unless the employee gives consent to do so; the supervisor will simply be notified that the employee is off-duty. Test-positive employees must secure clearance for return to work from Occupational Health prior to returning to campus.
  • Students: Students who have a test ordered and are asked to quarantine will be reported to their respective school’s student affairs representative as being ‘off-duty.’ If a student provides consent, additional information will be provided. If the student tests negative, the school will be notified that the student is cleared. If consent is not provided by the student, a committee will review and evaluate the potential public-health risk to others. The committee can recommend and the university can elect to report the student’s COVID-positive status to the school’s student affairs representative without consent should the public health risks warrant such action. This will be a very rare circumstance. Test-positive students must secure clearance for return to class/campus from the Student Health Center prior to return.

Last updated: Aug 21, 2020 9:45pm

I was told to quarantine for 14 days because I had “meaningful” exposure to someone who tested positive. However, my test came back negative—why do I need to still quarantine?

You should stay home and quarantine for 14 days after your last known contact with a person who has COVID-19, even if you have tested negative. Because the incubation period of the virus varies, you can still be incubating the virus even if you test negative and may become infectious later during the 14-day window.

Last updated: Oct 22, 2020 2:18pm

I tested negative—is it safe to travel or not be so strict in adhering to public health guidelines regarding socializing?

COVID tests are not perfect. While a negative test result means that it is unlikely you have COVID-19, sometimes there are false negatives. So even if your test is negative, you must follow basic prevention strategies, wash your hands frequently, wear a mask, and practice physical distancing.  If  you have a fever, cough, or cold symptoms, you should remain home, minimize contact with others, and call the JHCCC.

Last updated: Oct 22, 2020 2:22pm

Is the information I share with contact tracers confidential? Could I face disciplinary action?

The priority of health measures such as social distancing, masking, and the services JHCCC and ICAN provide are to maximize the health and safety of JHU students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community.

  • The JHCCC will not share data for the purposes of disciplinary action. It is important to note that if Student Affairs or university officials receive reports of misconduct or non-compliance though other channels, the processes of the Student Conduct Code may be enacted.
  •  Behaviors such as lying, omitting or providing false information during the contact investigation is a violation of the Student Conduct Code.
  • Integrity, honesty, and care for one another are the values that will enable us to live and learn on campus in the coming months.

Last updated: Oct 22, 2020 2:24pm

I need clearance to return to work after being tested or recovering from COVID-19. What do I do?

Employees should contact the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Call Center at 833-546-7546, seven days a week, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. if they need clearance to return to work after being tested or recovering from COVID-19. Employees should not call Occupational Health for this activity. Graduate Students who are working on campus and need to be cleared should contact their respective Student Health Center (SOM, SON, BSPH – contact UHS; all other schools contact Homewood Health Center)

Last updated: Aug 21, 2020 9:44pm

Is everyone required to wear face coverings while at JHU locations?

Face coverings must be worn by everyone—including all faculty, staff, students, postdoctoral fellows, other trainees, guests, vendors, and visitors—indoors on campus and in university buildings and in and around leased spaces, on JHU transportation, and in some outdoor settings where individuals are gathered such as athletic events, performances, and the May 27 undergraduate commencement ceremony at Homewood Field. As of April 30, 2021, JHU campuses will no longer require face coverings in most outdoor spaces when 6 feet of distance can be maintained.

The following are not acceptable as face coverings:

  • Any face covering with an exhalation valve
  • Neck ‘gaiter’ coverings
  • Bandanas

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: April 30, 2021 4:34pm

What are the physical distancing requirements on campus?

Everyone on campus is expected to follow physical distancing practices. They should:

  • Stay at least 6 feet (about two arms-lengths) from other people whenever possible
  • Observe gathering limits: As of March 31, 2021, the limit on all undergraduate outdoor gatherings is now 25 people, with a 10-person limit for indoor undergraduate gatherings. More information
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid large social gatherings
  • Engage in noncontact methods of greetings that avoid handshakes
  • Stagger breaks and meal times during the day
  • When eating or drinking indoors or outside, maintain 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: March 31, 2021 3:02pm

What should I do if safety protocols are not being followed by others?

Every member of our community is empowered to request compliance with guidance set forth here and in other university communications. Those who encounter noncompliance with guidance may notify the university via the JHU Hotline at:

Failure to comply with the health and safety guidelines places our community at risk for spreading the virus, which endangers our health and may result in further disruption of research and educational activities. Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) has the authority to shut down facilities and activities that are noncompliant with these health and safety precautions.

Last updated: Oct 15, 2020 12:00am

What follow-up does the university do when it receives reports that students are non-compliant with the Return to Campus Guidance?

Allegations of student non-compliance are referred to Student Conduct and follow the procedures outlined in the Student Conduct Code and the Reinforcement of University Guidelines for Students, to determine the appropriate disciplinary action for COVID safety concerns. The Student Conduct Code covers student and student group/organization misconduct. The expectations for compliance with these guidelines are consistent with content found in existing university policy, specifically outlined in the Student Conduct Code. Except in egregious cases, the Reinforcement of University Guidelines provides for progressive enforcement that would not involve disciplinary action for a first offense. Students are expected to comply with the public health directives and local ordinances where they are currently residing.

Last updated: Dec 16, 2020 12:23pm

Will the university monitor students’ off-campus behavior?

Because we recognize that our Baltimore and D.C. campuses are part of a larger community, and that our students are currently living all over the world, we are advocating for compliance with public health measures that will help minimize the spread of COVID-19 regardless of location. Beyond the normal JHU Campus Safety and Security patrols and the Student Life Student Community Liaison who supports undergraduates, there is no additional monitoring in place.

Students who are not on-campus or residing in the Baltimore or D.C. area should comply with the public health directives and local city or country ordinances where they are currently residing.

Last updated: May 6, 2021 4:48pm

Are faculty and staff held accountable for following Return to Campus Guidance?

Expectations regarding the following of all university COVID-19 guidance, including distancing and masking, apply to all university affiliates, including faculty and staff, not just students. Staff non-compliance is handled via the usual HR disciplinary process; faculty noncompliance is handled via applicable professional misconduct policies and procedures. All non-compliance is first approached in a collegial way, with an emphasis on education.

Last updated: April 12, 2021 4:50pm

Does the gathering limit apply to protests, demonstrations, or other forms of free expression?

When University leadership was setting gathering limits, the intention was not focused on demonstrations. Instead, the focus was on social gatherings in off-campus housing in the communities immediately surrounding our Baltimore/DC schools/campuses. The University supports the right to free expression. We encourage students who want to engage in demonstrations to follow guidance from their local jurisdictions. For those participating in demonstrations in Baltimore City, students should look to the COVID-19 Executive Orders from the Mayor for guidance.

Free expression is not prohibited by the Return to Campus Guidance, and the university is strongly supportive of “the right to speak and create, to question and dissent, to participate in debate on and off campus, and to invite others to do the same, all without fear of restraint or penalty” as articulated in the University’s Statement on Academic Freedom. The guidance states that while JHU remains in Phase 1, event capacity on campus is a maximum of 10 people unless exceptions are approved by Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE)/Risk Management. As noted in the Freedom of Expression Guidelines, students interested in organizing or engaging in protests, demonstrations or other acts of public expression are strongly encouraged to reach out to the Offices of the Provost, Student Life, and Campus Safety and Security to determine viable options, especially during Phase 1 of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are not asking for students to make a choice between protesting and their health. Instead, we are asking for students to work with our offices to ensure this can be done safely.

Last updated: April 12, 2021 4:47pm

How does the gathering limit affect religious services?

The Guidance does not prohibit students from attending religious services off campus. Page 17 of the Return to Campus Guidance states the following regarding events on campus:

No external (commercial, community, etc.) events will be held on-campus during Fall 2020. Internal (JH affiliate attendees) events will be limited as follows:

  • All events deemed mission critical during Fall 2020 shall be reviewed by HSE and Risk Management and require permission from the appropriate Dean’s office or University Administration department. Mission critical activities include activities that cannot be effectively conducted virtually and are directly related to critical research or other activities deemed essential.
  • Event capacity is a maximum of 10 people unless exceptions are approved by HSE/Risk Management. JHU guidance will not exceed local regulatory public health rules in restricting group sizes.
  • All participants are expected to wear face coverings and maintain 6 feet physical distancing between themselves and others.

We encourage students to follow Baltimore City, Washington, D.C., or their local public health orders on religious services and to adhere to public health measures.

Last updated: Feb 17, 2021 10:40am

Can you eat outdoors without your mask if you’re more than 6 feet from someone?

Yes—exceptions to the campus requirement for universal face coverings include time spent in a single-occupancy office with a closed door and eating or drinking at a physical distance of at least six feet from any other person.

Last updated: Sep 2, 2020 11:41am

Will the university test each person who comes to a JHU location?

In Phase 2 of our reopening plan, widespread screening of everyone who comes to campus is not in place. Before the start of the spring semester, JHU adopted a mass testing plan that required a test before students return to campus and, as of Feb. 5, requires all undergraduate students living in the Baltimore area are required to be tested three times per week.

Testing will be required at least once weekly for faculty, staff, graduate students, trainees, and post-docs who are either participating in or directly supporting in-person, on-campus classes (with exceptions for clinically based instruction) or regularly exposed to undergraduates. In addition, the divisions may require more frequent testing or require mandatory testing for affiliates deemed to have a heightened risk of exposure. Testing frequency may be increased to two times per week, based on public health conditions.

Testing is free and available at one of the nine JHU asymptomatic COVID testing sites and will continue throughout the semester (testing frequency may be increased, based on public health conditions). Test centers are located at Shriver Hall and four other locations on the Homewood campus, plus additional sites at Peabody, Harbor East, D.C., and East Baltimore.

Last updated: March 10, 2021 12:52pm

Is the university enforcing quarantine and tracing contacts for anyone who has symptoms?

Anyone who feels ill or is concerned about exposure should call the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Call Center at 833-546-7546, seven days a week, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Callers to JHCCC who are ill or are concerned they may be infected with SARS-CoV-2 will be asked a series of questions regarding their symptoms and possible exposure to others who have COVID-19. For those individuals who meet the criteria set by the Johns Hopkins Infection Control Team in collaboration with Occupational Health, the JHCCC will arrange an appointment for a COVID-19 test.

Individuals who test positive will be contacted by a health care worker to receive guidance regarding self-isolation, monitoring of symptoms, and general health advice. Positive test results will be reported (as required by law) to the Maryland Department of Health, which will be responsible for the associated broad contact tracing. In addition, the JHCCC will conduct a short interview with the test-positive affiliate regarding their on-campus activity and contact with other Johns Hopkins affiliates as part of our own investigation, contact analysis, notification process (ICAN), to help determine if other Johns Hopkins affiliates may have been exposed by a Johns Hopkins affiliate or in a JHU-associated environment.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 3:55pm

Why are undergraduates tested more often than graduate students, faculty, or staff?

Our testing policies are informed by the most successful practices that have emerged from our peer institutions during the fall semester and from emerging data about the pandemic. Undergraduates, because they typically live in congregate settings, tend to be at higher risk of contracting COVID, and of spreading it to a larger number of people, making early detection of asymptomatic cases particularly important in this group. At peer institutions that have conducted in-person operations during the fall semester, the vast majority of COVID cases are among undergraduates.

Last updated: April 12, 2021 4:55pm

Why is testing mandatory for many faculty, staff, and graduate students?

Our testing policies are informed by the most successful practices that have emerged from our peer institutions during the fall semester. Although other institutions have seen none to very little transmission associated with classroom instruction and laboratory settings, and there has been no known transmission in our laboratory settings, we concluded that mandatory testing for many faculty, staff, and graduate students is prudent, particularly for those who come into regular contact with undergraduates. Individuals within our community face varying degrees of risk of serious outcomes from COVID, and individuals have varying degrees of risk tolerance. We and many of our peer institutions have concluded that including many faculty, staff and graduate students in our mandatory testing program, and offering optional testing for all affiliates, provides the greatest level of safety and peace of mind to the community.

Last updated: April 12, 2021 4:56pm

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

Beginning Aug. 26, 2020, individuals returning to campus will be required to complete a daily health check using a mobile app/website called Prodensity. The short questionnaire will ask specific questions to assess a user’s actual symptoms and/or exposure risks. Answers will yield a status to a campus pass, which will be used to grant/deny campus access. The campus pass expires after 12 hours. People may not report to campus unless they have a green campus pass.

This app has provisions for check-in and check-out of campus spaces, although this is not yet operational campus-wide. For those campus spaces (e.g. labs and research areas) that elect to manage density using this app, users may need to scan QR codes to ensure compliance with capacity limits. Please refer to individual laboratory policy for specific requirements.

Last updated: Aug 21, 2020 1:48pm

Is the university providing access to adequate, appropriate PPE?

JHU will have wellness kits available for all undergraduate students, which include a face mask, hand sanitizer, a digital thermometer, and cleansing wipes. Residential undergraduate students will receive their wellness kits at move-in and off-campus undergrads can pick up a kit prior to the start of the semester. All faculty, staff, and graduate students who are on-campus will be provided with a face mask through their division.

Beginning on approximately March 15, free high-quality, three-ply, reusable face masks with bendable nose wires and adjustable ear loops will be available at all on-campus COVID testing sites.

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: March 10, 2021 1:54pm

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.

We are putting extraordinary demands on the JHU cleaning and custodial staff. If you are on campus, please take a moment to thank them for their efforts.

Last updated: March 10, 2021 1:56pm

What is the plan for safe use of elevators?

Affiliates should limit density to a maximum of four per elevator, with each person occupying a corner. While using the elevator, face coverings must be worn, and individuals should press elevator buttons with another object, their knuckle, their elbow, etc., if possible. Everyone should wash hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol upon departing the elevator. Elevators are an area designated for more frequent cleaning.

Last updated: March 10, 2021 1:57pm

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 rides JHU buses and shuttles must wear a face covering while on the bus/shuttle and avoid touching surfaces with their hands to the maximum extent possible.

Based on input of our public health and safety experts, starting on Saturday, May 15, JHU transit buses may transport up to 30 passengers at once, which is an increase from the previous guideline of 20 passengers. Bus windows should remain open as weather permits. At this time, Blue Jay Shuttle vans are still limited to six simultaneous passengers.

Last updated: May 12, 2021 2:25pm

How will the university enforce safety measures in bathrooms?

Use of restrooms should be limited based on size to ensure at least 6 feet between individuals. Fixtures will be limited to 50% to support physical distancing requirements. Individuals should wash their hands thoroughly after use to reduce potential transmission of the virus. Electric hand dryers will be disconnected, and paper towels will be provided in all public restrooms.

Last updated: March 10, 2021 2:02pm

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

Non-essential travel outside of the greater Baltimore area is strongly discouraged for undergraduates at any time. Undergraduate students are required to register personal travel through the Prodensity app or website so they can receive support for prompt testing and self-quarantine upon return and until a negative test is received. All non-essential university-sponsored travel (both international and domestic) is suspended at this time. University-sponsored travel includes all travel funded by the university or its sponsors, including discretionary funds, and all travel sponsored or organized by student organizations, regardless of the funding source. Essential travel may include time-critical research, clinical care delivery, and/or clinical trials, as determined by an affiliate’s dean or designee. Personal travel should be undertaken with an understanding of the risks. Before making personal travel plans, review the CDC’s travel guidance.

Last updated: March 10, 2021 2:06pm

Is the university COVID testing program free for JHU affiliates?

Yes. The university is covering all testing costs, and your insurance will not be billed. While you may be asked to verify insurance information in MyChart, testing will not be billed to either you or your insurance.

Last updated: March 23, 2021 11:50am

Vaccination information

What JHU affiliates are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine?

The state of Maryland determines eligibility for the COVID vaccine.

As of April 6, all Marylanders 16 and older are eligible for vaccination at Maryland’s mass vaccination sites. On April 12, all Marylanders 16 and older will be eligible for vaccination through all providers. For more information, visit coronavirus.maryland.gov.

Last updated: April 6, 2021 4:23pm

Will Johns Hopkins Medicine provide vaccinations for JHU affiliates?

The opportunity to secure vaccination appointments through Johns Hopkins Medicine has been broadened to include all Johns Hopkins affiliates in Maryland and Washington, D.C. Any Johns Hopkins affiliates who would like to receive the COVID-19 vaccine through JHM will be able to schedule a vaccination appointment in MyChart.

We caution, however, that vaccine allotments to Johns Hopkins Medicine continue to be somewhat limited. In response to federal recommendations, JHM has paused the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and will carefully review updated data as it is made available. More information

Last updated: April 14, 2021 11:14pm

What about SAIS? What are the eligibility rules in Washington? Will SAIS affiliates be vaccinated there or in Maryland?

Guidance from Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. indicates that those who are eligible for the vaccine by virtue of their employment should get vaccinated in the jurisdiction where they work rather than where they live. Eligibility criteria in Washington for JHU affiliates are the same as those in Maryland. If you are invited by JHM to schedule a vaccination appointment, you can do so at a location convenient to you, subject to availability, including Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington and Johns Hopkins Medicine in Germantown. Information on locations and hours is available at hopkinsmedicine.org.

Last updated: Feb 4, 2021 2:27pm

I meet one or more of the eligibility criteria. How do I sign up?

If you are among those who are eligible for the vaccine through your role at JHU, you will be notified via email. You also should activate your MyChart account if you have not already done so. Eligible persons are selected at random to receive the vaccine each week. If you are selected, you will receive an invitation from MyChart to schedule an appointment, or by phone or mail if you don’t have a MyChart account.

Last updated: March 30, 2021 5:33pm

How does JHM decide who gets to be vaccinated?

The state of Maryland determines eligibility for the COVID vaccine. Among those who are eligible, JHM randomly selects individuals to receive the vaccine each week, with the number of appointments dependent on the supply the state provides to JHM. If you are selected, you will receive an invitation from MyChart to schedule an appointment.

Last updated: Feb 4, 2021 2:29pm

How long will it take to get vaccinated if I’m in the eligible pool?

It is difficult to predict how long it might take for any individual to be selected from the pool, so we encourage those who are eligible to sign up with multiple providers.

Last updated: March 30, 2021 4:57pm

Is it OK to sign up to receive the vaccine outside of JHM?

Yes. We continue to encourage all eligible affiliates to seek out the vaccine through all possible avenues. You are not required to be vaccinated by JHM, and you are allowed to register for the vaccine with multiple providers. Information on vaccination sites and links to register are available at coronavirus.maryland.gov.

Last updated: Feb 4, 2021 2:30pm

Can I sign up to get the vaccine from multiple providers?

Yes. We continue to encourage all eligible affiliates to seek out the vaccine through all possible avenues. You are not required to be vaccinated by JHM, and you are allowed to register for the vaccine with multiple providers. Information on vaccination sites and links to register are available at coronavirus.maryland.gov.

Last updated: Feb 4, 2021 2:31pm

When will students get the vaccine?

As of April 6, all Marylanders 16 and older are eligible for vaccination at Maryland’s mass vaccination sites. On April 12, all Marylanders 16 and older will be eligible for vaccination through all providers. For more information, visit coronavirus.maryland.gov.

Last updated: April 6, 2021 4:23pm

Diagnostic testing

What is the university’s policy regarding asymptomatic COVID testing for undergraduate students?

It is strongly recommended that all undergraduate students have a negative COVID-19 NAT test 72 hours prior to arrival in Baltimore, based on Maryland state guidance. All undergraduate students must also be tested for COVID-19 at move-in (for residential students) or within 24 hours of arrival in Baltimore (for off-campus students) at a JHU test center, and then quarantine until a negative test result is received. During this approximately 24-hour quarantine, residential students may leave their room to pick up food but are not allowed to walk around campus or gather with other students.

All undergrads living in Baltimore are also required to have a COVID-19 test three times per week throughout the semester. Detailed testing site information and hours of operation can be found on the Testing Locations + Schedules page on this website.

Undergraduates who test positive through the JHU testing program will be promptly alerted. In addition, the Student Health and Wellness Center (SHWC), COVID-19 case managers, housing/residential life, and transportation will be alerted. Residential undergraduates are required to move to isolation housing until they are cleared to resume on-campus activities. Off-campus undergraduates who have tested positive will be offered isolation housing based on need, as recommended by the SHWC, and will not be permitted to resume on-campus activities until they are cleared.

Last updated: March 10, 2021 3:01pm

What is the university’s policy regarding asymptomatic COVID testing for faculty, staff, graduate students, trainees, and post-docs?

Faculty, staff, graduate students, trainees, and post-docs are not required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test at the start of the semester, but testing is available and recommended. While schools, divisions, and/or centers may have additional testing requirements, testing will be required at least once per week across most JHU divisions.

Non-residential graduate students who test positive will be offered isolation housing as recommended by SHWC or UHS on a case-by-case basis, dependent on the combination of need and availability. Affiliates are required to stay at home while they are sick or experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, unless otherwise directed by the JHCCC.

If employees test positive, their supervisors will be notified that they are off duty. Employees must secure clearance to return to work from Occupational Health prior to returning to campus.

If students test positive, the results will be reported to the respective schools’ student affairs representatives in light of the public health risks and the university’s educational interests. Students who test positive must secure clearance for return to class/campus from their respective Student Health Center prior to return.

Last updated: March 10, 2021 3:07pm

How will I know if I am required to participate in mandatory weekly COVID testing?

The Prodensity app Health tab summary screen will track whether you are required to test, the number of tests required per week, and includes links to MyChart to schedule testing.

Specific requirements for each JHU division are as follows:

The Carey Business School, SAIS, The Whiting School of Engineering, The Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education, and University Administration

  • All undergraduates living in the Baltimore area, regardless of campus activity, are required to test three times each week. 
  • All employees, faculty, and graduate students who are on campus weekly, more than 15 minutes each week, are required to test once weekly.  
  • Affiliates who are on-campus less frequently are required to test the weeks they are on campus.  
  • All other affiliates are exempt from mandatory testing. 

 

The Peabody Institute

  • All undergraduates and graduate students living in the Baltimore area, regardless of campus activity, are required to test three times each week.
  • All employees and faculty who are on campus weekly, more than 15 minutes each week, are required to test once weekly.  
  • Affiliates who are on-campus less frequently are required to test the weeks they are on campus.  
  • All other affiliates are exempt from mandatory testing. 

 

The Bloomberg School of Public Health  

  • All employees, faculty, and graduate students who are directly supporting in-person classes, are exposed to undergraduates, have direct contact with study participants (clinical trials), and use wet labs are required to test once weekly. 
  • All other affiliates are exempt from mandatory testing. 

 

The Schools of Medicine and Nursing  

  • There is no mandatory testing requirement for these divisions, however optional testing is available for these affiliates at designated JHU testing centers shown in the MyChart scheduling portal. 

Last updated: March 10, 2021 3:33pm

Where is testing available and what are the hours of operation?

The university has established nine campus locations across JHU for mandatory or voluntary testing. Detailed testing site information and hours of operation can be found on the Testing Locations + Schedules page on this website.

Last updated: March 10, 2021 3:39pm

Will I be required to test every week if I’ve already had COVID or if I have a positive COVID test during the semester?

If you have previously obtained a positive PCR or NAAT test for COVID and it has been greater than 90 days since your diagnosis, you will be required to participate in mandatory weekly testing per your JHU divisional requirements. Antigen and antibody tests are not currently accepted in support of the 90-day testing exemption period.

Those who have tested positive for COVID will be exempt from weekly testing for 90 days from the initial date of diagnosis. You will not have the ability to schedule asymptomatic tests via MyChart until the 90-day exemption period had ended. Affiliates will be notified in the Prodensity app when the 90-day period is over, upon which time asymptomatic testing can resume. Affiliates should continue to complete the daily Prodensity health check and should call the JHCCC should any new COVID symptoms arise.

Students who are in their 90-day period do not need to quarantine upon arrival to campus.

If you obtained a positive COVID test outside of the JHU system and are still within the 90 day exemption period, please submit your test result to the appropriate JHU department: 

Last updated: Jan 12, 2021 8:57am

Will I be required to test every week if I have had the COVID vaccine?

Yes, you will still be required to test per your school’s specific testing requirements:

The Carey Business School, SAIS, The Whiting School of Engineering, The Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, and University Administration

  • All undergraduates living in the Baltimore area, regardless of campus activity, are required to test three times each week. 
  • All employees, faculty, and graduate students who are on campus weekly, more than 15 minutes each week, are required to test once weekly.  
  • Affiliates who are on-campus less frequently are required to test the weeks they are on campus.  
  • All other affiliates are exempt from mandatory testing. 

 

The Peabody Institute

  • All undergraduates and graduate students living in the Baltimore area, regardless of campus activity, are required to test three times each week. 
  • All employees and faculty who are on campus weekly, more than 15 minutes each week, are required to test once weekly.  
  • Affiliates who are on-campus less frequently are required to test the weeks they are on campus.  
  • All other affiliates are exempt from mandatory testing. 

 

The Bloomberg School of Public Health  

  • All employees, faculty, and graduate students who are directly supporting in-person classes, are exposed to undergraduates, have direct contact with study participants (clinical trials), and use wet labs are required to test once weekly. 
  • All other affiliates are exempt from mandatory testing. 

 

The Schools of Medicine and Nursing  

  • There is no mandatory testing requirement for these divisions, however optional testing is available for these affiliates at designated JHU testing centers shown in the MyChart scheduling portal. 

Last updated: March 10, 2021 3:41pm

Will my COVID test results be shared with my supervisor or other university personnel?

Any JHU affiliate who chooses to test at one of the nine JHU asymptomatic testing sites or is part of the mandatory weekly testing program must consent for their test results to be shared with the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Call Center. Those who refuse to consent will not be able to test at a JHU sponsored site and will not be permitted on campus. 

While supervisors, advisers, and other JHU personnel will not be receiving specific test result information, the JHCCC will provide notification of employees, faculty members, or students placed on an isolation or quarantine protocol. 

The local COVID response teams within each JHU division may be conducting outreach to affiliates who test positive or are identified as meaningful contacts through the JHCCC contact-tracing program. 

Last updated: March 10, 2021 4:23pm

What if I don’t want to be tested or simply forget to test?

Asymptomatic testing is a critical element in keeping our community members safe and preventing the spread of infection. Testing compliance for those affiliates who are required to test each week will be closely monitored by JHU Human Resources, Student Affairs, Faculty Affairs, and Divisional Response Teams. The Prodensity app will send push notifications to remind you to get your required COVID test.

Repeated or serious noncompliance with current COVID-19 safety guidance may result in suspended facility access as well as corrective and/or disciplinary action, dependent on the severity and frequency of the infraction 

  • Students who fail to comply with return to campus requirements will be subject to the disciplinary procedures outlined in the Student Conduct Code and may be escalated to a formal allegation of student misconduct. 
  • Faculty members who fail to comply with return to campus requirements will be subject to the disciplinary procedures of their respective division, will involve their Chair and/or Vice Dean for Faculty, and may be escalated to a formal allegation of Professional Misconduct. 
  • Employees who fail to comply with return to campus requirements will be subject to the disciplinary procedures as outlined in JHU’s Human Resource policies and procedures.    

Last updated: March 10, 2021 4:26pm

Do I need to test before coming to campus?

In Phase 2 of our reopening plan, widespread screening of everyone who comes to campus is not in place. Before the start of the spring semester, JHU adopted a mass testing plan that required a test before students return to campus and, as of Feb. 5, requires all undergraduate students living in the Baltimore area are required to be tested three times per week.

Testing will be required at least once weekly for faculty, staff, graduate students, trainees, and post-docs who are either participating in or directly supporting in-person, on-campus classes (with exceptions for clinically based instruction) or regularly exposed to undergraduates. In addition, the divisions may require more frequent testing or require mandatory testing for affiliates deemed to have a heightened risk of exposure. Testing frequency may be increased to two times per week, based on public health conditions.

Testing is free and available at one of the nine JHU asymptomatic COVID testing sites and will continue throughout the semester (testing frequency may be increased, based on public health conditions). Test centers are located at Shriver Hall and four other locations on the Homewood campus, plus additional sites at Peabody, Harbor East, D.C., and East Baltimore.

For those who aren’t currently in Baltimore or D.C., you can also find testing sites available near you via the state-by-state index of community-based testing sites.

Last updated: March 10, 2021 4:40pm

Will I be required to test on specific days of the week?

No. As long as you meet your required testing frequency between Monday and Saturday, you can test any days that are the most convenient. There must be at least one day between tests in a given week; testing on two consecutive days does not satisfy the requirement. 

Last updated: March 10, 2021 4:47pm

How do I schedule COVID testing appointments?

JHU affiliates who do not exhibit COVID symptoms are able to receive free testing on a weekly basis at any one of nine sites on our campuses. Appointments are scheduled through MyChart, and testing can be done during paid work hours. Results are usually available within 24 hours.

JHU affiliates who do not currently have an active MyChart account received an automated system email on Jan. 6 with instructions on how to establish an account. In order to schedule an appointment, log into your MyChart account and click on the appointment scheduling action item. 

If you have any questions or concerns about your MyChart account, refer to the MyChart scheduling tip sheet or contact the Epic Helpdesk at 888-676-3433.

Students, faculty, and staff who are experiencing COVID symptoms are also eligible for free testing, which should be arranged through the Johns Hopkins COVID Call Center by calling 833-546-7546.

Last updated: March 10, 2021 4:54pm

Why can’t I download the Prodensity app?

If you are an international affiliate, your app settings may need to be changed.

For instructions on how to change your location in the App Store settings, please refer to this guide: Change your Apple ID country or region – Apple Support.

Last updated: Jan 18, 2021 9:03pm

What type of testing is employed at the JHU asymptomatic testing sites?

All nine JHU asymptomatic testing sites employ “passive drool” saliva-based testing. These are PCR tests processed onsite at the Johns Hopkins Hospital laboratory located in East Baltimore. Please consult this document for information on how to prepare for your saliva testing and capture a specimen.

 

Last updated: Jan 12, 2021 12:22pm

Is the university COVID testing program free for JHU affiliates?

Yes. The university is covering all testing costs, and your insurance will not be billed. While you may be asked to verify insurance information in MyChart, testing will not be billed to either you or your insurance.

Last updated: March 23, 2021 11:50am

If I travel, or take leave from campus duties, will I still be required to participate in weekly testing?

The Prodensity app will allow affiliates to designate dates for travel and/or approved leave. Affiliates will be exempt from mandatory testing during the designated period. All undergraduate students are required to register their travel plans in Prodensity.

All affiliates are required to quarantine until one negative test result is received after returning from travel and/or leave from campus.

Last updated: Jan 8, 2021 1:04pm

Am I permitted on campus for asymptomatic testing if I have not received my flu shot, or if my Prodensity pass is red because my flu shot documentation is not yet in the system?

Yes. JHU affiliates who are part of the mandatory testing program are still required to present for testing if they have not received the flu vaccine and/or if there is a delay in flu vaccine documentation registered in the system.

Affiliates must display the “status page” of the Prodensity app for testing site personnel. The status page will show “missing flu shot” as the reason for a red Prodensity pass, and the JHU affiliate will be permitted to test.

Last updated: Jan 4, 2021 10:06pm

Can a student submit non-JHU COVID tests in order to get cleared to come to campus? Can I get a test in my hometown right before I leave and have it count toward the two negative tests I’ll need to access campus?

No. For organizational tracking purposes, only JHU test centers can certify that a student is cleared to return to campus. 

It is, however, strongly recommended that all undergraduate students have a negative COVID-19 NAT test 72 hours prior to arrival in Baltimore, based on Maryland state guidance. 

Last updated: Jan 4, 2021 10:10pm

If I plan to live outside of Baltimore, do I need to participate in any of the JHU testing protocols?

As it relates to Johns Hopkins, no, but you are encouraged to follow basic safety precautions and local guidance.

Last updated: Jan 4, 2021 10:13pm

If I plan to live in Baltimore but have no plans to ever go to campus, do I need to participate in JHU twice-weekly testing?

All undergrads living in Baltimore are required to have a COVID-19 test three times per week throughout the spring semester. Testing frequency may be increased, based on public health conditions.

Last updated: March 10, 2021 5:01pm

I’m concerned that I will be falsely reported for being out of compliance with the Prodensity daily health check if the JHU network detects I’ve connected to Wi-Fi when I am close to campus but not on campus. What is being done to address this?

JHU affiliates will only be identified as “on campus” if their Wi-Fi is detected for over an hour at two different on-campus access points. This will significantly reduce false compliance alerts for affiliates who were close to, but not on campus.  Additionally, it is strongly recommended that affiliates do not leave Wi-Fi enabled devices in office locations overnight.

Last updated: Jan 12, 2021 9:08am

Undergraduate student experience

What will the university do if undergraduate students have exposure to COVID-19 or test positive?

We have set aside a substantial number of quarantine and isolation accommodations for residential students as well as isolation accommodations for any undergraduates living off-campus who are deemed in need by our health and wellness team. Students who receive a negative test after being informed that they have been exposed to COVID-19 will still have to quarantine for 14 days, since it is possible to get a false positive from a test.

Last updated: March 12, 2021 11:32am

What are the plans for a surge in cases once students are back? Will you send everyone home again?

We have set aside what we believe, based on peers’ experience, will be a sufficient number of rooms for quarantine and isolation on campus and in nearby hotels. However, if public health conditions deteriorate to the point that we cannot continue to safely conduct on-campus activities, we will revert to an all-remote posture.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 4:54pm

What is happening with student organizations and events in the spring?

Student organizations have found creative ways to keep going and build community. In-person student activities remain restricted by campus guidelines governing physical distancing and limits on gathering size (as of March 4, the gathering limits are set at 10 people outdoors, 5 people indoors). We will update you if these restrictions change. Groups are encouraged to offer remote options for students who chose not to return to campus.

Men’s and women’s lacrosse is underway for the spring 2021 season with safety precautions to protect athletes from contracting and spreading COVID-19. To start the season, fans will not be permitted to attend lacrosse games at Homewood Field. In addition, no tailgating will be permitted at any location on the Homewood campus.

 

 

 

Last updated: March 12, 2021 11:52am

Will the same restrictions be on place regarding gatherings, events and activities?

We will require comprehensive COVID safety measures on campus, including face coverings, physical distancing, limits on gatherings, enhanced cleaning protocols and self-monitoring for symptoms. We will continue to update these restrictions as state and local regulations and our own assessment of the public health situation evolve.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 4:47pm

Why was Spring Break taken off the calendar?

Because of the COVID risks related to travel, we have replaced the 2021 spring break with a series of individual days off throughout the second half of the semester. Spring Break will be replaced by individual days off distributed throughout the semester: March 22, March 30, April 14, April 22, and April 30.

Last updated: April 26, 2021 3:20pm

Will students be able to travel if they are living in Baltimore for the spring semester?

During the spring semester, we are asking undergraduates to register any travel plans with our COVID Support Team through the Prodensity app or website. While we strongly discourage travel this semester, we recognize there are situations in which students may have to leave the greater Baltimore area. Travel registration will help us make sure students are able to receive their weekly testing or, if they are not, to understand why. All affiliates are required to quarantine until one negative test result is received after returning from travel and/or leave from campus. More information for students

Last updated: March 12, 2021 12:50pm

How will JHU offer health and well-being services?

Mental health and well-being programs will be offered remotely, including free access to Mental Telehealth, powered by TimelyMD, for all students and learners. There will be limited access to in-office services for students located in Baltimore who have essential needs. A full list of resources is available at https://wellness.jhu.edu/covid/.

Last updated: Aug 6, 2020 4:01pm

Will students living in Baltimore be able to access the rec center or library?

The rec center, Brody Learning Commons, and Milton S. Eisenhower Library are open with limits on density and reduced hours.

Last updated: March 12, 2021 1:02pm

Will undergraduates be able to have work-study jobs, paid internships, and other work opportunities?

At this time, it is anticipated that undergraduate employment opportunities will remain remote.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 4:51pm

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: Aug 6, 2020 4:08pm

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: Aug 6, 2020 4:08pm

Will the university keep undergraduate tuition at the reduced rate for the spring semester?

Undergraduate tuition for the spring remains at the originally published rate.

As announced in August, the reduction in undergraduate tuition for the fall semester was a one-time action taken as part of a package of supports in recognition of the university’s decision to pivot to remote-only education in the fall semester.

This spring, the university is offering an in-person experience for undergraduates who want one. In order to deliver this successfully and safely it has incurred substantial additional expenses related to COVID mitigation measures, including facilities for testing, contact tracing, and isolation and quarantine.

Last updated: March 12, 2021 1:12pm

Can I get help with financial aid?

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. Students may request help at any time. Answers to financial aid questions related to COVID-19 can be found on the Financial Aid website.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 4:57pm

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: Aug 6, 2020 4:11pm

Financial implications

What has changed since February to enable the university to reinstate retirement contributions for the full fiscal 2021 (July 2020 through June 2021) at this point?

In February 2021, as a result of significantly more favorable financial results than budgeted through December 2020, university leadership and the Board of Trustees approved the reinstatement of the university contributions to employee retirement plans six months earlier than originally planned, effective January 1, 2021.

Now, as of the end of March, we are pleased to report further improvement in the financial results through March and greater confidence in the outlook through June 2021.  In particular, in March the University received an additional $29 million in federal Provider Relief Funds to the School of Medicine, and Congress approved and the President signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP), through which JHU stands to receive additional support from a third tranche of Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds. We are waiting final word on the allocation to JHU from the ARP but anticipate that some of these funds will offset some of the costs the University has incurred this year related to the safe resumption of activity on campus.  Furthermore, clinical revenue generated by the School of Medicine has continued to exceed fiscal year 2021 budget targets through March despite the surge in COVID-19 cases over the winter months.   These recent developments make us confident that the university can feasibly reinstate fully the retirement contributions that were temporarily suspended for fiscal year 2021.

Last updated: April 2, 2021 9:14am

What has changed with regard to the university’s finances that is allowing it to restore employer retirement contributions earlier than anticipated?

At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, Johns Hopkins University’s projections of the pandemic’s fiscal impact suggested that without mitigation actions, we could experience a deficit of as much as $100 million in fiscal 2020 and of as much as $375 million in fiscal 2021. In response, the university implemented several actions to reduce spending, including a freeze on hiring and on salaries and the one-year suspension of employer contributions to faculty and staff retirement accounts, beginning last July 1. University leadership, including the president, provost, deans and others, also took voluntary pay cuts. The divisions and University Administration followed with targeted measures to further reduce expenses and, where possible, increase revenues.

Thanks to those efforts, we were able to report new projections in October that reduced our budgeted deficit for FY21 to a $73 million loss.

Overall university revenues through the first half of the fiscal year (July–December 2020) are $62 million lower than they were at the same point last fiscal year, but we had planned for far worse, and this represents a significant improvement compared to our budget. We are now seeing a substantial positive margin of $151 million, of which approximately $80 million can now be expended to restore six months of our employer retirement contributions.

Several factors have contributed to that result, including:

  • Better than expected clinical revenue at the School of Medicine. After rapid declines in clinical revenue in the spring due to COVID-19, we initially projected $336 million in revenue for the first half of the year (a 14% decline from the same period in the prior year), but the school has generated $383 million year to date ($47 million more than budgeted). This outcome reflects the hard work of our colleagues in Johns Hopkins Medicine to maintain our non-COVID clinical operations even as the pandemic surged during the latter part of the calendar year.
  • Strong philanthropic support. The university received a large, unexpected one-time gift during the first half of the fiscal year, and other fundraising has been sustained at a higher level than projected.
  • Higher levels of student enrollment than projected. We had budgeted for a reduction in net tuition revenue compared to the prior year of $63 million through December (-16%), but thanks to stronger than expected enrollment across our divisions, we experienced an actual decline of $41 million (-11%).
  • Greater cost savings due to the pandemic than expected through December, particularly with regard to travel expense. JHU divisions had budgeted for a nearly 50% decline in non-sponsored travel expense through December, and the actual decline is 95%, saving an additional $10 million.

We are currently calculating new projections for the remainder of the fiscal year based on our results through December, and in doing so we are mindful of the continued unpredictability of the pandemic and the risks posed by new, more contagious variants of the COVID virus. However, the university’s results so far have been strong enough that university leadership and the Board of Trustees believe we can prudently restore employer contributions to faculty and staff retirement accounts for the second half of the fiscal year (January–June 2021).

Last updated: Feb 5, 2021 12:12pm

Why were austerity measures necessary if the university finished FY20 with a surplus and is doing so well in FY21?

The austerity measures enacted in April reflected initial projections of the COVID pandemic’s potential impact on university finances showing a deficit of as much as $100 million in FY20 and as much as $375 million in FY21 if no mitigation actions were taken. The measures taken—a one-year pause on employer contributions to faculty and staff retirement accounts; a freeze on hiring and salaries; and voluntary pay cuts by university leadership—were chosen to help preserve university employment to the greatest extent possible.

Those measures, along with continued careful management by the divisions and other factors, have succeeded in reducing the overall level of university expenditures. In addition, overall university revenues remain below their pre-COVID levels, but they are much improved compared to our budget. Clinical revenue, philanthropy, and tuition have all exceeded our budgeted amounts by a substantial margin, and significant one-time occurrences further improved our outcomes. At the end of December, we saw a positive margin of $151 million, of which $80 million can now be expended to restore six months of our employer retirement contributions, and we are now working with the divisions to calculate new year-end projections.

As President Daniels promised in April, if conditions were more favorable than the university expected, restoring retirement contributions was to be a top priority. Based on the results at the mid-point of the year, the university has announced it will restore employer contributions to faculty and staff retirement accounts as of Jan. 1, and if conditions permit, will take further steps to ease austerity measures earlier than planned.

Last updated: Feb 4, 2021 10:37pm

When will the hiring and salary freezes be relaxed?

We plan to continue our freeze on employee salaries through the end of this fiscal year (June 30, 2021), but we will resume merit pay increases on July 1, 2021. Searches can begin now for faculty and staff positions with a start date after the beginning of the next fiscal year (July 1, 2021). As has been the case for the last 8 months, we will continue to support a process for exemptions for mission critical or strategically important hiring that is required before the end of the current fiscal year.

Last updated: Feb 4, 2021 10:39pm

University divisions have announced furloughs and layoffs over the past few months. Were those necessary?

Our actions in response to the fiscal impact of the COVID pandemic have been designed to preserve university employment to the greatest extent possible, but furloughs and layoffs were regrettably necessary within some units of the university. Those decisions were made at the divisional and departmental level, including within University Administration. However, because of the across-the-board mitigation measures the university undertook, as well as careful management within the divisions and University Administration, job losses at Johns Hopkins were much lower than those in the higher education sector generally—about 1.2% at JHU compared to approximately 10% across higher education.

Last updated: Feb 4, 2021 10:41pm

Do these positive results mean you can continue the fall’s undergraduate tuition reduction in the spring?

No. Undergraduate tuition for the spring remains at the originally published rate.

As announced in August, the reduction in undergraduate tuition for the fall semester was a one-time action taken as part of a package of supports in recognition of the university’s decision to pivot to remote-only education in the fall semester.

This spring, the university is offering an in-person experience for undergraduates who want one. In order to deliver this successfully and safely it has incurred substantial additional expenses related to COVID mitigation measures, including facilities for testing, contact tracing, and isolation and quarantine.

Last updated: Feb 4, 2021 10:42pm

Why is JHHS taking a different approach from the university in relaxing austerity measures?

Both JHU and JHHS have experienced better than expected financial performance in recent months sufficient to ease some of the austerity measures instituted at the beginning of the pandemic. The approaches each took are a response to the unique priorities and needs expressed by their workforces, with the university focusing first on restoring employer retirement contributions and the health system beginning with wage increases.

Last updated: Feb 4, 2021 10:44pm

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

Will the increase in students on campus in the spring mean staff will be required to be on campus?

For the most part, staff who are currently working remotely will continue to do so in order to keep density low on our campuses. Only those needed on campus to support in-person research and academic activities will return. Divisional and department-specific plans are being developed now and managers will provide adequate notice to those who should return. Human Resources stands ready to support anyone who requires accommodations and adjustments.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 5:09pm

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 (oie@jhu.edu, titleixcoordinator@jhu.edu or OIEdisability@jhu.edu). 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 EmployeeRelations@jhu.edu. 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 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 Care.com 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 Care.com digital portal to post a position for an in-home provider on your own. Care.com’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 HRBusinessServices@jhu.edu.

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, 2020, 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, 2020, 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.

Upon entering Phase 2 of resuming on-campus activity, research labs continue with low-density operations with six-foot distancing and with masking. Undergraduates may participate in on-campus research, subject to the decision by individual Principal Investigators and incorporation into their Return to Research plans. Starting April 1, 2021, density restrictions in labs will be relaxed and low-density in-person group meetings will be allowed. More information

Last updated: March 25, 2021 3:01pm

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: March 12, 2021 3:52pm

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: Dec 3, 2020 9:40am

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

As announced on Feb. 5, searches can begin for faculty and staff positions with a start date after the beginning of the next fiscal year (July 1, 2021). As has been the case for the last 8 months, we will continue to support a process for exemptions for mission critical or strategically important hiring that is required before the end of the current fiscal year.

Last updated: March 12, 2021 4:07pm

Will researchers have access to library resources?

MSEL, Brody, and the HUT are open with modified hours and services. Reservations are required for QRR seats, study rooms, and printers. Many materials and services are accessible online. More information on the Sheridan Libraries COVID-19 Updates web page.

Last updated: March 12, 2021 4:22pm

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 2 guidance outlines a number of safety guidelines including:

  • There are maximum occupancy rates for each designated space.
  • Researchers can expect 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.
  • Cleaning protocols remain; limited shared surfaces; some common areas reopen with distancing rules
  • 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: March 15, 2021 10:45am

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

JHU’s 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 was required to 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 occured 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: March 15, 2021 10:48am

What is the requirement for distancing in research labs?

Starting on April 1, 2021, density restrictions in labs will be relaxed and low-density in-person group meetings will be allowed.

In labs, we will now require the equivalent of a 7.5-foot diameter around each person, allowing for approximately 44 square feet per person, compared to the previous standard of 150 feet per person. It is the same standard now in place in Johns Hopkins classrooms and the same or similar to the restrictions now in place at many peer universities, which have also seen little to no evidence of COVID transmission in lab settings.

For meetings, participation will be limited to 10 people, including the PI, in spaces large enough to allow participants to maintain 6 feet of physical distance from one another. Meetings in faculty offices are not allowed. Masks must be worn, and no food may be served. Remote options must be made available for anyone not comfortable with meeting in person.

Both changes are in accordance with current Centers for Disease Control guidelines and have been reviewed and endorsed by Johns Hopkins’ Health & Safety Planning Committee.

 

Last updated: March 25, 2021 3:13pm

Can you eat outdoors without your mask if you’re more than 6 feet from someone?

Yes—exceptions to the campus requirement for universal face coverings include time spent in a single-occupancy office with a closed door and eating or drinking at a physical distance of at least six feet from any other person.

Last updated: Sep 2, 2020 11:41am

What should I do if safety protocols are not being followed by others?

Every member of our community is empowered to request compliance with guidance set forth here and in other university communications. Those who encounter noncompliance with guidance may notify the university via the JHU Hotline at:

Failure to comply with the health and safety guidelines places our community at risk for spreading the virus, which endangers our health and may result in further disruption of research and educational activities. Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) has the authority to shut down facilities and activities that are noncompliant with these health and safety precautions.

Last updated: Oct 15, 2020 12:00am

Is the university providing access to adequate, appropriate PPE?

JHU will have wellness kits available for all undergraduate students, which include a face mask, hand sanitizer, a digital thermometer, and cleansing wipes. Residential undergraduate students will receive their wellness kits at move-in and off-campus undergrads can pick up a kit prior to the start of the semester. All faculty, staff, and graduate students who are on-campus will be provided with a face mask through their division.

Beginning on approximately March 15, free high-quality, three-ply, reusable face masks with bendable nose wires and adjustable ear loops will be available at all on-campus COVID testing sites.

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: March 10, 2021 1:54pm

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 833-546-7546 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: Dec 3, 2020 9:41am

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. At this time, individuals will only be tested if they have symptoms associated with COVID-19. Meaningful exposure includes individuals whose contact with the possibly infected person was within six feet for 15 minutes or more during the infectious period.

Last updated: Aug 27, 2020 8:55am

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 833-546-7546 and go home.

Last updated: Dec 3, 2020 9:42am

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 833-546-7546. 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: Dec 3, 2020 9:45am

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 rides JHU buses and shuttles must wear a face covering while on the bus/shuttle and avoid touching surfaces with their hands to the maximum extent possible.

Based on input of our public health and safety experts, starting on Saturday, May 15, JHU transit buses may transport up to 30 passengers at once, which is an increase from the previous guideline of 20 passengers. Bus windows should remain open as weather permits. At this time, Blue Jay Shuttle vans are still limited to six simultaneous passengers.

Last updated: May 12, 2021 2:25pm

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

JH NEEDS U

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