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. This includes the anticipated return of the majority of our staff and faculty to campus in person by mid-August for the start of the semester.

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 wellbeing. 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.

Zoom town hall
Fall planning town hall

A discussion of vaccination guidelines and requirements; academics, housing, and dining plans; staff return; and health and safety protocols

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. All on-site staff are required to be vaccinated by Aug. 1

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.

Vial of Moderna COVID-19 with needle and vaccination record card
Vaccination Information

Details on the university’s vaccination requirement, how to submit documentation, and how to request an exception

Health + Safety

Updated protocols and best practices for keeping our community safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19

Frequently Asked Questions

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:

  • Faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate and graduate students who have uploaded vaccine documentation to VMS will no longer be required to wear face-coverings indoors, as well as to visiting faculty, scholars, and students.
  • Face-coverings will continue to be required in indoor settings for faculty, staff, and students who are not fully vaccinated.
  • Unvaccinated campus guests will be required to wear face-coverings while on the property. By not wearing a face-covering, guests are self-attesting that they have been fully vaccinated.
  • No smoking or vaping.
  • Students, employees, and contractors who are on-campus must complete a daily health check using Prodensity.

As of July 1, unvaccinated affiliates who are on campus must test twice weekly.

Last updated: July 12, 2021 8:49am

Can events be held on campus?

Yes. Outdoor events can be held without any capacity limits, but indoor events are limited to 50 persons unless special permission has been granted. Special permission is also required for food at indoor events (no restrictions for outdoor). Please email the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer at CAO-Office@jhu.edu with questions or to request permission.

Last updated: June 23, 2021 5:15pm

Are visitors and guests allowed on campus?

Both Visitors and Guests are welcome at JHU.  

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 JHED, they should upload proof of vaccination status like all other faculty, staff, and students. 

Guests: All others are considered “guests,” who are not subject to vaccination mandates. Unvaccinated campus guests will be required to wear face coverings while on the property. By not wearing a face-covering, guests are self-attesting that they have been fully vaccinated. 

Last updated: June 23, 2021 5:14pm

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?

The university’s travel policies have returned to normal effective July 1, 2021.

Last updated: July 12, 2021 8:50am

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?

As of July 1, the following changes are in place regarding JHU Transportation Services: 

  • 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 still 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 is expected to be restored to both the Remington and the Homewood-Mt. Washington Express routes in early August; when available, exact start dates and routes / schedules will be posted on the Shuttles page and communicated through Transportation Services social media, the TransLoc apps, the Hub, and Today’s Announcements. 
  • Hop Van rentals are once again become available, to be driven by faculty, staff, and students who have completed the Hop Van Student Driver Certification program. Vans may carry their normal capacity of 7 or 8 total occupants. Face coverings are still required at all times while on board a JHU Hop Van. New Hop Van Student Driver certifications are expected to resume at some point in August, but students wishing to begin the certification process may complete the online training program and submit their release forms allowing for a driving record check per the process outlined on the Hop Van Rentals page.

Last updated: July 12, 2021 2:40pm

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 will be required for all faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate and graduate students who will be working or studying at a U.S.-based university campus or worksite, beginning August 1. That includes:

  • Members of non-clinical departments at the School of Medicine; members of clinical departments will be governed by Johns Hopkins Health System vaccination policies.
  • 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. Affiliates who are pregnant or attempting to get pregnant may also request an exception.

“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: July 1, 2021 2:08pm

Who is exempt from the mandate?

Individuals who are, with permission of their supervisor, working in a fully remote capacity and do not visit any Johns Hopkins worksite or third-party location on behalf of JHU are exempt from the COVID-19 vaccination mandate. 

Contractors or vendors whose presence at any JHU property is solely limited to the delivery of goods are exempt. 

Students who are enrolled in entirely online programs and do not utilize Johns Hopkins facilities, and non-degree and non-credit students, including those attending the Peabody Preparatory, are exempt. 

Guests (individuals who are on campus and not subject to the JHU Visitor Policy), which includes those on campus for short periods for tours, meetings, and public events are exempt. 

Medical and religious exceptions will be made where appropriate using our standard vaccine exemption processes. Those who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant may also seek an exception. The deadline to apply for an exemption exception is August 1.

Last updated: June 22, 2021 12:50pm

When will the mandate take effect?

Those covered by the mandate will be required to submit proof of vaccination or apply for a medical, religious, or pregnancy exception by Aug. 1.

The university will provide free vaccination upon arrival for those traveling to a U.S.-based campus or worksite from abroad. Until individuals are fully vaccinated, they will be required to mask when indoors (even if masks are not broadly required) and be tested twice weekly.

Last updated: July 12, 2021 2:53pm

Can I take time off to get vaccinated?

Yes. Faculty and staff can take up to two days off to be vaccinated and/or to recover from any side effects of the vaccine. See JHU HR Information Regarding Novel Coronavirus for details.

Last updated: June 30, 2021 12:41pm

Can I take time off to get vaccinated?

Yes. Faculty and staff can take up to two days off to be vaccinated and/or to recover from any side effects of the vaccine. See JHU HR Information Regarding Novel Coronavirus for details.

Last updated: June 30, 2021 12:41pm

Can I take time off to be tested (if I am required to test because I have an exception, or if I choose to be tested voluntarily)?

Yes.

Last updated: June 30, 2021 12:34pm

How does the policy apply to faculty or staff who may be traveling/returning to Johns Hopkins’ U.S.-based campuses or worksites from abroad?

For those faculty or staff from abroad who may not have access to a U.S.- or World Health Organization-authorized vaccine before returning to campus, we will offer a grace period and allow them until September 30 to submit proof of vaccination. The university will provide free vaccination upon arrival for those traveling to a U.S.-based campus or worksite from abroad. Until individuals are fully vaccinated, they will be required to mask when indoors (even if masks are not broadly required) and be tested twice weekly.

Last updated: June 22, 2021 1:57pm

Does the mandate apply to university contractors?

The mandate includes non-employees 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, with the exception of contractors or vendors whose presence at any JHU property is solely limited to the delivery of goods.

Last updated: June 9, 2021 12:53pm

Will vaccinated individuals need to continue with COVID-19 safety protocols?

No. As of July 1, vaccinated individuals who have submitted documentation to JHU’s Vaccine Management System are no longer required to wear face-coverings indoors. Those who are not fully vaccinated are required to wear a face covering when indoors and be tested twice-weekly.

Last updated: July 12, 2021 3:39pm

Can I ask my colleagues/can they ask me about my status?

Managers and business partners have a business need-to-know in many situations, and are allowed to ask about vaccine status. However, it is not the same for colleagues/peers. Asking why an individual did not receive a vaccination may elicit private information about a disability and forcing a co-worker to disclose a disability could be noncompliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In other words, asking about status is only allowed if it is “job-related and consistent with business necessity,” which means that JHU and managers can ask their direct reports, as can HR business partners. However, peers/colleagues do not have a business necessity to know this. Therefore, while you may be allowed to ask your coworker, they have the right to refuse to tell you (and vice versa).

Last updated: June 22, 2021 12:05pm

Who will know my status if I upload my vaccine information to the Vaccine Management System?

Your manager and divisional HR business partner will have access to see your status but will not know why you were granted an exception, if you have one. Managers and HR have permission to access this information for business-related reasons (such as when it is a requirement for working in person), to ensure that everyone is being compliant with the vaccination mandate or the masking and COVID testing requirements associated with an approved exception to the mandate. 

Last updated: July 1, 2021 3:32pm

For new employees starting after August 1, by when should they be vaccinated?

All JHU employees are required to be vaccinated. If a new employee has not been vaccinated before the first day of employment, there is a 6-week grace period to complete the full vaccination process (including both doses of a two-dose vaccine). Proof of vaccination should be uploaded to VMS as soon as possible, and no later than 6 weeks after the first day of employment.

Last updated: June 22, 2021 12:06pm

Will influenza vaccination be required this year?

Yes. In addition to using the Vaccine Management System to submit proof of COVID vaccination, affiliates will also need to use the Vaccine Management System to submit proof of influenza vaccination this fall. The 2021 deadline is November 19, 2021. More details will be provided when the system comes online.

Last updated: June 9, 2021 12:53pm

Vaccination exceptions

Are there exceptions to the vaccination mandate?

Yes. Medical and religious exceptions will be made where appropriate using our standard vaccination exception processes. Those who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant may also seek an exception.

Affiliates can apply for an exception using JHU Vaccine Management System. Requests are due by Aug. 1. Additional details on how to submit and on required documentation can be found on the COVID Info website.

Last updated: July 12, 2021 3:41pm

What are the medical criteria for COVID vaccination exceptions?

The only true contraindications to the COVID-19 vaccine are 1) a severe anaphylactic reaction to a prior dose of one of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (requiring the use of epinephrine or EpiPen) or 2) an allergy to a component of the vaccine.

If you were treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Affiliates may request a medical exception to wait to get the vaccine until the 90-days has elapsed.

NOTE: Having had COVID-19 in the past is NOT a permissible criterion for an exception.

Last updated: June 23, 2021 12:21pm

What additional requirements will be in place for faculty/staff with vaccination exceptions?

Testing requirements will be increased for affiliates who have not been vaccinated. The requirements are:

  • Vaccinated faculty and staff – no mandated testing
  • ALL unvaccinated students, staff, and faculty – 2x/week

Face-coverings will continue to be required in indoor settings for faculty, staff, and students who are not fully vaccinated.

Last updated: June 23, 2021 5:17pm

If I have an exception, can I work from home to avoid masking/testing?

Having an exception does not automatically grant employees permission to work from home. Employees should work with their manager and divisional HR director if they need additional accommodations such as fully remote work. In addition, they may be required to submit an accommodation request.

Last updated: June 30, 2021 12:38pm

How to submit proof of vaccination or request an exception

How do I report my vaccination status?

The university has created a Vaccine Management System (VMS) for reporting vaccine status, similar to the system used to report flu vaccination. All JHU affiliates must log into VMS to upload their documentation by August 1. Affiliates who were vaccinated at a JHM clinic and who provided consent for JHU to access their vaccine record upon logging into the VMS will not need to do anything further. 

Last updated: July 1, 2021 2:13pm

Do I still need to use Prodensity once I have uploaded proof of vaccination or received an exception?

Yes. All students, employees, and contractors who are on-campus must complete a daily health check using Prodensity. If you are 100% remote or online, you should change your status to indicate you will not be coming on campus using Prodensity. For more information, read a Prodensity tutorial on how to ensure your status is up-to-date.

Last updated: July 5, 2021 6:59am

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, 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 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: July 1, 2021 2:18pm