Information for Undergraduate Students

You have a lot on your plates as the academic year comes to a close—exams, class events, and, for our seniors, Commencement. We know that the last thing you want is for COVID to interrupt those plans and, in that spirit, we are both enacting a few additional precautions and encouraging you to wear a mask in group settings.

We have seen a significant increase in COVID cases among undergraduates recently, with a large proportion traced to a concert that took place on Saturday, April 30. The event was in full compliance with our current COVID rules, but it is a reminder that even in a population with universal vaccination such as ours, the virus can still spread.

We are taking the following steps through Commencement (May 22) to reduce the spread of COVID on campus:

  • Undergraduates are required to test twice a week at our asymptomatic testing sites.
  • Masks are required in the libraries and study areas, such as Brody Learning Commons, given increased use during finals.
  • Family and other guests helping students move out of university residence halls are also required to mask.
  • Masks are required at indoor events of more than 50 people.

Because it will take place outdoors, where the risk of COVID transmission is low, we are not considering changes to our plans for the universitywide Commencement ceremony.

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

Updated May 11, 2022

What is being done in response to the recent increase in cases among students?

We have taken several steps in response to the recent rise in cases. We have:

  • Increased mandatory testing to twice a week for undergraduates, which helps us to more closely monitor the extent to which COVID is spreading on campus and to more quickly move to isolate students who test positive.
  • Reinstated masking requirements for libraries and other study spaces, which are heavily used during reading period/finals. We had previously reinstated masking requirements in common areas of residence halls and in campus dining facilities when not actively eating or drinking. Masking has always been required in classrooms and other instructional spaces.
  • Added a masking requirement for indoor events with greater than 50 people.
  • Required that food and drink at large (greater than 50 people) indoor student events be served outside or in a grab-and-go format.

Last updated: May 10, 2022 10:07am

Is it safe for undergrads to take in-person finals when case counts are so high?

Though case counts have increased recently, we have not seen any evidence of COVID transmission in instructional spaces since the beginning of the pandemic and we have confidence in the safety of in-person finals.


  • Masking, which is highly effective in preventing the spread of COVID, is required for all in-person finals.
  • All of our instructional spaces have upgraded ventilation and filtration.
  • Twice-weekly mandatory testing of undergraduate students means we are detecting cases and placing COVID-positive students in isolation sooner.

Last updated: May 10, 2022 10:11am

Why is the university continuing to allow events to take place?

We have reinstated required masking at large (greater than 50 people) indoor events and now require that food and drink at large indoor student events be served outside or in a grab-and-go format. We are also encouraging masking at smaller events.

Outdoor events are safer and you are less likely to be exposed to COVID-19 during outdoor events, even without the use of masks. While it may be disappointing to not participate in activities, anyone who is sick with COVID should remain in isolation and not participate in events. If you have symptoms and are unsure of your COVID status, you are required to stay at home while you are experiencing symptoms.  You should contact the JHCCC and get tested before returning to campus and participating in any event. More information about how to schedule a test is available on this website.

Last updated: May 9, 2022 9:30pm

Are COVID-positive residential students isolating in place in the dorms?

We are at times isolating residential students who live in single bedrooms, either with their own bathroom or a bathroom shared with suitemates. These students are not permitted to use any common areas.

We are not isolating any COVID-positive student with a non-COVID-positive roommate. In the future, we may isolate COVID-positive roommates together, noting that the CDC says, “The goal of isolation is to avoid infecting people who are not already infected. If multiple people in a household have confirmed COVID-19, it’s fine for them to isolate together.”

Last updated: May 9, 2022 9:36pm

When can I leave isolation and resume normal activities after a COVID infection if I had symptoms?

The CDC advises: You can end self-isolation after 5 (full) days since symptoms first appeared AND 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications AND other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving. JHU will release students from isolation after 5 days if they are symptom-free. Residential students in university-provided isolation housing will automatically be released on day 7+ even if they still have symptoms. This will enable us to prioritize isolation housing for students with new-onset COVID infections since people are more contagious two days before on-set of symptoms and the first 3-4 days of symptoms than they are on day 7+ of symptoms. 

We further require that, afterwards, individuals wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public until they have reached 10 days from the onset of their illness. 

Last updated: May 12, 2022 8:42am

Should people wear a mask even where/when not required?

We strongly recommend wearing a mask at all times indoors when outside your room/home. While the risk of COVID transmission is lower in certain settings than in others, masking when around others provides an important protection against COVID.

Last updated: May 10, 2022 10:09am

What should I do if I test positive at home?

Students who test positive at home should complete this form and wait for a nurse from the Student Health and Wellness Center to contact you.

Employees who test positive at home should either call the JHCCC at 443-287-8500 or complete this form; a nurse will call you with next steps.

Last updated: May 11, 2022 9:56am

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