Information for Graduate Students + Postdocs

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

As the academic year nears its conclusion, know that your adherence to university COVID-19 safety protocols has made a real difference in JHU’s ability to continue in-person educational, research, and community service opportunities this spring while protecting the health of everyone on and around our campuses.

We want to make sure everyone is clear about our COVID-19 testing plans and mask requirements for the coming weeks. 

  • Masking is required for all people in common areas of residence halls and in university dining facilities in addition to required masking in classrooms, lab- and studio-based classes, and other indoor spaces where instruction or exams take place.
  • Through Commencement on May 22, one-weekly testing is required for undergraduates and graduate students who are on campus.
  • On May 23, as we transition to summer, we will suspend mandatory asymptomatic testing for on-campus students who have received vaccinations and boosters. We have worked closely with summer program staff who will distribute expectations for their individual programs to their participants. We expect to be entirely mask-optional during the summer, but as noted in our April 13 message, there may be times when we require parts of our campus to use face coverings in certain circumstances.
  • Students who have been granted exceptions from the vaccination mandate are still required to wear masks indoors and test twice per week for the remainder of the semester and during the summer. 

School of Medicine affiliates will continue to follow Johns Hopkins Medicine policies.

Thank you for your attention to our COVID guidance this year. We wish you all a safe and healthy summer.

Two students walk side by side on campus
Quarantine and isolation procedures

Learn more about the specific protocols and procedures in place for undergraduate and graduate students who test positive for COVID-19 or who have close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do faculty, staff, and students need to know before coming to campus or to a JHU work location?

Masking

Masking in university administrative spaces, research labs, public spaces, public events, athletic facilities and nonclassroom communal spaces is optional for those who are vaccinated and boosted.

Masks are required in classrooms, lab- and studio-based classes, and other spaces where instruction of university courses takes place, as well as in common areas of residence halls and in Homewood/Peabody dining facilities (except when actively eating or drinking). Mask use will be optional for instructors and presenters in classrooms if they are able to maintain a 6-foot distance from others in the room.

Masks are required at all indoor events with more than 50 people

Family and other guests helping students move out of university residence halls are required to mask.

Those who have been granted exceptions from the vaccination mandate are required to wear masks indoors. Mandatory once-weekly testing for students and twice-weekly testing for all affiliates with approved vaccination/booster exceptions remain in effect.

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. After vaccination and boosting, masking (with an N95, KN95, or KF94) remains the single most effective control measure. While masking is voluntary rather than mandatory in many on-campus settings, we strongly encourage anyone who is concerned about their health and safety to consistently mask indoors.

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.

Vaccination and Booster Requirements

All eligible individuals affiliates must be vaccinated and receive a booster by Feb. 1 and proof of vaccination uploaded to the Vaccine Management System. Full vaccination including a booster is highly protective against severe illness and hospitalization. More information on the booster requirement

Asymptomatic Testing

The following groups must receive a COVID-19 test at one of our on-campus locations:

  • All undergraduate students – 2x/week
  • All graduate students – 1x/week
  • All staff and faculty who have not received a COVID booster (as of their eligibility date) – 2x/week

All JHU students, staff, and faculty may also utilize JHU testing sites for voluntary asymptomatic COVID testing.  Symptomatic testing will be arranged via the JHCCC.  More information on testing locations and schedules

Dining

Food service is allowed at indoor events, with the exception of student events at which more than 50 people are in attendance; at these events, food should be served outside or grab-and-go. Capacity limits on indoor events have been lifted and permission will no longer be required. Physical distancing should still be maintained where feasible.

Until April 30, masking is required requirements for all persons in common areas of residence halls or in university dining facilities, except when actively eating or drinking.

Other requirements

Note: The School of Medicine follows Johns Hopkins Medicine’s rules and policies. Masking rule information and general information on JHM’s vaccination policy are available online.

Last updated: May 9, 2022 8:55pm

Why does Johns Hopkins still have an indoor masking requirement in place in instructional spaces?

Consistent, proper use of high-quality face masks is one of the most effective measures to limit the spread of COVID. We thus require students, faculty, and staff to continue masking in classrooms, lab- and studio-based classes, and other spaces where instruction of university courses takes place. Free N95, KN95, KF94, and surgical masks to wear in combination with cloth masks will be available across the campus throughout the semester.

Last updated: March 9, 2022 4:58pm

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

Can events be held?

Yes. Capacity limits on indoor events have been lifted and permission are no longer required. Food service is now allowed at indoor events. Physical distancing should still be maintained where feasible.

Last updated: April 18, 2022 9:59am

Are visitors and guests allowed on campus?

Both Visitors and Guests are welcome at JHU and are expected to comply with the university mandate that all individuals who are not vaccinated and boosted wear masks indoors on university property.

Visitors: Visiting faculty, scholars, and students are defined in JHU Visitor Policy and generally on campus for a month or more with formal appointments. These individuals are subject to the same policies as faculty, staff, and students, respectively. Because these visitors are assigned a JHED, they should upload proof of vaccination status like all other faculty, staff, and students. 

Guests: Campus guests age 5 and older who will be inside campus-operated buildings in the U.S. are expected to comply with university COVID vaccination requirements already in place for our affiliates. Specifically, masks are required of anyone age 5 and over who is not vaccinated, and we require the use of N95, KN95, KF94, or a two-layer combination of surgical and cloth mask.

More details on the university’s requirements and how they apply to campus guests are available on the vaccination page of this website.

Commencement information

Students participating in on-campus commencement ceremonies and events must comply with the JHU vaccination mandate and must have received either an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccination or an approved medical or religious exception prior to coming on-campus, even if they were fully “online” students during their course of study.

Family members and other non-affiliates attending commencement events fall under the JHU guest policy and are therefore not subject to the vaccination mandate, but they must adhered to all masking regulations at the time of the event. The registrars are working on a policy that separates out provision of diplomas from the graduation ceremony.

Last updated: March 18, 2022 7:17am

Why are vaccinated students required to test?

Our primary focus is on the health and safety of our university community, and asymptomatic testing remains a powerful control measure towards maintaining the goal of zero on-campus transmission. Additionally, our testing policies are informed by the most successful practices that have emerged from our peer institutions and from emerging data about the pandemic. As such, testing is an additional measure of protection for our community.

Last updated: Jan 12, 2022 3:58pm

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 do I need to do if I am working/studying remotely and do not intend to be on campus?

If you are a fully online student or an employee working on a 100% remote basis, or you do not plan to visit JHU campus or travel on behalf of JHU, you do not need to do anything.

If you are not vaccinated, however, you are encouraged to consider vaccination and to upload your status to VMS should your situation change in the future.

Note: If your situation changes in the future and you do come to campusor participate in any off-site business, field studies, or residencies while you are affiliated with JHUyou need to submit vaccination documentation before participating.

Last updated: April 18, 2022 10:01am

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

While there are currently no university-wide travel restrictions:

  • JHU and JHM personnel who have an approved exception or are not yet fully vaccinated are strongly advised to avoid work-related and personal travel.
  • Asymptomatic saliva testing is available before and after travel. People who have symptoms, however, should not visit a testing site without contacting the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Call Center.
  • Before planning any travel, please refer to the domestic travel guidanceand international travel guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Also, check the COVID-19 situation at your destination before traveling, and follow public health guidance according to the CDC risk level. If you are traveling internationally, also become familiar with specific policies in your destination country and follow requirements for vaccines, testing, and quarantine, which can vary widely.
  • Be careful about your activities and observe good health practices once your reach your destination, not just during travel to get there. When traveling for work, be sure to evaluate the precautions being taken by meeting hosts, and continue to be vigilant and to perform masking and distancing when in public, especially when in larger groups.
  • Upon return, if you or anyone in your party has any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or other flulike symptoms, please call the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Call Centerat 443-287-8500 for guidance regarding work.

Last updated: Jan 24, 2022 4:01pm

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.

Last updated: June 22, 2021 12:47pm

What are the current shuttle schedules?
  • Capacity restrictions have been lifted on buses and shuttle vans. Buses may return to carrying all seated plus standing passengers.  Shuttle vans may carry up to 14 passengers. Face coverings are required at all times while on board all JHU buses and shuttle vans.
  • The Homewood-Peabody-JHMI route has returned to its normal schedule. See full schedule 
  • Service has been restored to both the Remington and the Homewood-Mt. Washington Express routes; information on routes and schedules are posted on the Transportation Services website

Last updated: Sep 20, 2021 9:25am

Vaccinations

Will Johns Hopkins provide vaccinations for JHU affiliates?

All Johns Hopkins affiliates in Maryland and Washington, D.C., can schedule a vaccination appointment through Johns Hopkins Medicine in MyChart. Johns Hopkins University is also hosting a series of clinics where faculty, staff, students, and contractors can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccinations are free and staff can use COVID-19 vaccine leave for time off while they receive or recover from the vaccination. Visit the COVID Vaccine Information site for updates.

Last updated: June 22, 2021 11:30am

Is there anything I need to do before I can schedule a vaccination at a Johns Hopkins physician office or JHM clinic?

If you don’t already have a MyChart account, you may receive an email asking you to activate your account. MyChart is a secure website and mobile app used by Johns Hopkins Medicine that can be used to schedule COVID-19 tests and vaccinations, if you need them in the future. If you have any questions about MyChart, please send an email to Testinginfo@jhu.edu.

Last updated: June 29, 2021 3:07pm

Vaccination mandate

Why is Johns Hopkins University requiring the COVID vaccine?

Multiple vaccines have been demonstrated to provide high levels of protection against the COVID virus with reports of only minimal and brief side effects following administration. Ensuring that the overwhelming percentage of our community’s population is vaccinated will greatly reduce the risk of the virus’s spread on our campuses and will also protect our neighbors in Baltimore.

Johns Hopkins affiliates who are required to be vaccinated—and who were not vaccinated at a Johns Hopkins Medicine facility—can upload a photo of their COVID-19 vaccination record to the JHU Vaccine Management System. Affiliates may also submit an exception request in the VMS.

More information about submitting proof of vaccination to the VMS is available on the COVID Info website.

We encourage anyone interested in learning more about the science of the vaccine to visit Johns Hopkins Medicine’s COVID-19 Vaccine Safety website.

Last updated: July 12, 2021 2:52pm

Who is included in the vaccination mandate?

COVID-19 vaccination and booster are required for all JHU faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate and graduate students who work or study at a U.S.-based university campus or worksite. That includes:

  • Members of collective bargaining units.
  • Contractors who provide services to the university community and whose primary work location is on university properties located in Maryland or Washington, D.C., regardless of employer, except contractors or vendors whose presence at any JHU property is solely limited to the delivery of goods.
  • Those who are doing business on behalf of the university, including individuals engaged in work-related travel.

Medical and religious exceptions will be made where appropriate.

School of Medicine affiliates will be governed by Johns Hopkins Health System vaccination policies.

“Worksite” includes locations that are not within the Homewood, East Baltimore, or Washington, DC campuses, such as but not limited to Keswick, Mt. Washington, etc.

Visitors who fall under the JHU Visitor Policy (i.e., visiting faculty, students, and scholars) are subject to the vaccination mandate.

Last updated: April 18, 2022 10:05am

International students

Which vaccines are accepted?

JHU accepts both FDA-approved vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, J&J/Janssen) and vaccines administered outside the U.S.; Johns Hopkins Medicine (including the JHU School of Medicine) only accepts FDA-authorized COVID vaccines. In addition, all JHU affiliates must receive an mRNA Covid booster (either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) as soon as they are eligible (the booster is not required for School of Medicine affiliates). All vaccination documentation must be uploaded to the Vaccine Management System (VMS).

Only mRNA boosters (Pfizer/Moderna) will be accepted. If you already received a J&J booster, you may wait six months to get the mRNA booster. If you were vaccinated with a non-FDA-approved vaccine (e.g., Sinopharm, Sinovac, etc.), you are immediately eligible for a booster (you may wait 28 days following your last dose). Only one booster dose (either Pfizer or Moderna) is required for those individuals.

Last updated: March 9, 2022 5:04pm

What should I do if I only need a second dose, because I received a first dose of an FDA-authorized vaccine while living abroad?

For those who may have received a first dose of an FDA-authorized vaccine abroad and only need to receive a second dose of an FDA-authorized vaccine, please be sure to bring any paperwork you have that shows the vaccination information and date of vaccination. After you are vaccinated, you must upload proof of both vaccines in one submission. (The Vaccine Management System allows submission of multiple documents, so please submit any proof of vaccine and English translations for documents in languages other than English.) 

While you are permitted to be vaccinated at any U.S. pharmacy or other vaccination location, it may be easiest to get a second dose through Johns Hopkins University or Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Last updated: March 9, 2022 5:05pm

Can I receive only one dose of an FDA vaccine as a booster if I have already been vaccinated with a non-FDA vaccine?

Yes, individuals who work or study outside of the School of Medicine may receive one booster dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna).

If you work or study in the School of Medicine, you must follow Johns Hopkins Health System guidance and are required to be revaccinated with an FDA-approved vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J).

Last updated: Jan 12, 2022 3:50pm

How to submit proof of vaccination or request an exception

How do I report my vaccination status?

All JHU affiliates must log in to the Vaccine Management System (VMS) to upload their flu, COVID, and COVID booster vaccination documentation.

Last updated: Jan 12, 2022 3:53pm

How will the university verify COVID vaccine records from other countries in other languages?

The university asks that vaccination documentation in other languages be translated (and certified) before they are uploaded to the forthcoming Vaccine Management System. All affiliates will electronically sign their submission to affirm that the information that they provided is accurate.

Last updated: June 22, 2021 12:15pm

Is the university contemplating an antibody test (or some other proof of immunity) after vaccination?

No.

Last updated: June 22, 2021 12:16pm

How can JHU ask about my vaccine status? Isn’t this a HIPAA violation?

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has confirmed that Federal EEO laws do not prevent an employer from requiring all employees physically entering the workplace to be vaccinated for COVID-19, so long as employers provide reasonable accommodations and other EEO considerations. The EEOC does not consider questions about vaccination status to be medical inquiries. HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, provides protections for patients’ confidential health information, and it covers what your health care provider can share with others—not employers and what they can ask for.

Last updated: June 23, 2021 5:01pm

What file types are acceptable for uploading proof of vaccination?

You can upload a JPEG, HEIC (iPhone), or PNG photo of your vaccination card or a PDF copy of a vaccination record.

Last updated: July 22, 2021 10:45am

What do I do if I lost my vaccination card?

If you were vaccinated in Maryland; West Virginia; or Washington, D.C., you can register and obtain your COVID-19 vaccination record from Maryland MyIR, a free website service that allows consumers to view and print copies of their official vaccination records directly from ImmuNet, Maryland’s immunization information system. Just register, download or print a copy of your certification of vaccination, and upload it into VMS.

If you were not vaccinated in Maryland, your doctor’s office or the location where you were vaccinated (e.g., CVS, Walgreens, etc.) should also have a record and you should reach out to them to get a copy. You may also be able to locate this on your patient portal or on the pharmacy website under prescription records or immunization record.

Last updated: March 9, 2022 5:07pm