Masking is optional for those who are vaccinated and boosted in university administrative spaces, research labs, public spaces, public events, athletic facilities, and non-classroom communal spaces such as residence halls and libraries.

Masks remain required in classrooms, lab- and studio-based classes, and other spaces where instruction or exams take place. through May 22. Unvaccinated guests and those students and employees who have been granted exceptions from the university’s vaccination mandate are still required to wear masks indoors.

School of Medicine affiliates will continue to follow Johns Hopkins Medicine’s masking policy.

We have adopted this phased approach to relaxing our indoor masking requirement in consideration of the unique circumstances of our university community and in continued consultation with Johns Hopkins public health and medical experts, the University Pandemic Academic Advisory Committee, the Student Advisory Committee, and others. This decision follows the elimination of citywide indoor mask mandates in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. on March 1.

Face coverings

If you choose to wear a mask, the most effective types of face coverings are:

  • N95 masks
  • KN95 masks
  • KF94 masks
  • A combination of a cloth mask with a surgical mask

In settings where masks are still required, one of the above options must be used.

Whatever kind of mask you use, the most important thing is to wear it consistently and properly—with a tight fit and covering both the mouth and the nose.

The university has obtained a large supply of N95 and KN95 masks to distribute; affiliates are entitled to two masks per week while supplies last. Masks can be picked up at asymptomatic testing locations on campus.

Note that the School of Medicine affiliates will continue to follow Johns Hopkins Medicine’s masking policy.

Mask care and reuse

Cloth masks should be washed and air dried daily. Other types of masks—including N95, KN95, KF94, and surgical masks—can be worn multiple days, until soiled or damaged. Masks should be allowed to air dry between uses; alternating masks daily is recommended to allow adequate drying between uses. These masks should not be washed.

Close-up image of N95 masks with yellow straps stacked on a table
Q+A
Why it’s time to upgrade to N95 or KN95 masks

More effective masks are needed to protect against the highly transmissible omicron variant of COVID-19, says Johns Hopkins expert Chris Beyrer, who also discusses proper mask care and when its time to throw your mask away

Vaccination

Vaccination remains the most important step you can take to keep yourself and your family safe. The COVID vaccines remain remarkably effective against preventing severe illness and hospitalization. Johns Hopkins University has required all faculty, staff, and students to have documented their full vaccination or to have applied for an exception on medical or religious grounds. In addition, all JHU affiliates—except for those who work or study at the School of Medicine—must receive an mRNA Covid booster (either Pfizer or Moderna) as soon as they are eligible. Our goal remains to reach as close as possible to 100% vaccination within our community, and we will follow up with those who have not yet documented their vaccination.

Smoking and Vaping

Smoking and vaping are prohibited on all university campuses and properties. The Human Resources Department has information on smoking cessation support programs for employees on its website. Students can take advantage of the state of Maryland’s smoking cessation program, accessible online at https://mdquit.org/quitline.

Handwashing

Illustration of a person washing their hands

Everyone should wash their hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, especially after they have been in a public place or after blowing their nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching their face. It is also suggested that everyone wash their hands as they enter and leave various on-campus spaces and before eating. People should also avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth.

If soap and water are not readily available, people can use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. They should cover all surfaces of their hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can affiliates get N95 and KN95 masks on campus?

The university has obtained a large supply of N95 and KN95 masks to distribute; affiliates are entitled to two masks per week while supplies last. Masks can be picked up at asymptomatic testing locations on campus.

Last updated: Jan 20, 2022 12:30pm

How frequently can masks be reused? How should they be cleaned and/or cared for?

Cloth masks should be washed and air dried daily. Other types of masks—including N95, KN95, KN94, and surgical masks—can be worn for multiple days, until soiled or damaged. Masks should be allowed to air dry between uses; alternating masks daily is recommended to allow adequate drying between uses. These masks should not be washed.

Last updated: Jan 20, 2022 12:22pm

Can other combinations of masks be worn, e.g. two cloth masks, two surgical masks, or a multi-layer mask (with or without a filter)?

Masks are no longer universally required. In areas where a mask is required—or if you choose to wear a mask—you should wear an N95, KN95, KF94 mask. The only other acceptable option is a surgical mask under a cloth mask.

Last updated: April 18, 2022 9:59am

How long after a natural COVID infection should you wait before getting the vaccine?

In most cases, you should wait until you are out of isolation (all COVID symptoms have resolved) to get the vaccine. If you were treated with monoclonal antibodies and/or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting the vaccine. Affiliates may request a medical exception to wait to get the vaccine until the 90 days has elapsed.

Last updated: March 9, 2022 5:07pm

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: June 22, 2021 12:17pm

Can vaccinated and unvaccinated students share a room as roommates?

Yes. Vaccinated and unvaccinated students can room together, and roommate decisions will not be influenced by vaccination status.

Last updated: May 19, 2021 4:11pm

I feel ill or am concerned about COVID-19 exposure. What should I do?
Johns Hopkins students, faculty, and staff who feel ill should call the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Call Center at 443-287-8500, seven days a week, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Alternately, you can self-schedule a symptomatic or asymptomatic COVID test through your Hopkins MyChart.
When you call the JHCCC, representatives will discuss next steps, arrange for testing if needed, and assist in transmitting information to Occupational Health or Student Affairs. The JHCCC will also manage the process to identify and assist people who may have had contact with someone who tests positive.
The JHCCC is staffed by Johns Hopkins nurses, physicians, and specially trained nursing and medical students, but you are always free to call your personal primary care provider, and should continue to do so for family members who have symptoms.
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: Jan 26, 2022 10:03am