Information for Graduate Students + Postdocs

Runhan Tao, Biomedical Engineering graduate student and Mechanical Engineering Teaching Assistant

Johns Hopkins University is actively planning for the staged return of activity to our campuses, with the hope and expectation that the university will be substantially back to normal this fall. We anticipate a broad resumption of in-person classes for our undergraduate, professional, and graduate students this fall.

Our plans are predicated on continuing public health strategies to promote a safe campus and community. However, with increases in vaccine availability and distribution, we are now able to add vaccination as a critical component to our campus safety plan. We will require all students coming or returning to our campuses in the United States this fall, and who do not require religious or health exemptions, to be vaccinated. More information on vaccine requirements and availability

The pandemic continues to present unpredictable challenges, and we will monitor state and local COVID-related restrictions to ensure that our operations abide by them. If we have to scale back our plans to protect the public’s health on our campuses and in our surrounding communities, we will do so.  

Additional details about the policies and procedures that will accompany the careful expansion of on-campus activity will be included in the forthcoming Return to Campus guidance in late April.

Zoom town hall
Fall planning town hall

Topics addressed include vaccination guidelines and requirements; our planning for academics, housing, and dining; staff return; and our expectation for how COVID testing and other health and safety protocols may change in the fall with improving conditions

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Are recreational facilities open?

The Ralph S. O’Connor Recreation Center on the Homewood campus and the Cooley Center at East Baltimore will operate with limited capacity and offerings.

At Homewood, strength and cardio equipment will be available with a maximum facility capacity of 60 patrons. Patrons must agree to and abide by Rec Center protocols regarding physical distancing, face coverings, and cleaning. Group exercise classes will be offered virtually.

In-person classes, with a maximum capacity of 10 per class, will be offered pending the availability of instructors. All group exercise participants must register and use their own mats. Tennis courts will also reopen. The Rec Center will employ an enhanced cleaning and equipment sanitization schedule. The locker rooms will remain closed. There will be no equipment checkout and no towels provided. Athletic field use will be activity-dependent and requests for use evaluated by staff.

Similar capacity limitations will be published for the Cooley Center.

More information on protocols and programming can be found in this Jan. 29 message to students.

Last updated: Feb 1, 2021 9:17am

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

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

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

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 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

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