Information for Undergraduate Students

Following a fall semester that was conducted online-only in order to protect our campus community and neighbors in Baltimore, we are now planning for a spring semester that will offer in-person residential and educational opportunities for undergraduates while providing expanded COVID-19 testing and observing key public health strategies. 

We are outlining the parameters of our plan in early November and will offer more details when we release our Phase 2 Return to Campus Guidance in December. We will evaluate the public health conditions in Baltimore and nationally and make a determination in January, if not sooner, about whether our plans for the semester can be carried out safely or whether we will need to change course.

6 things you need to know

1. We plan to offer in-person educational opportunities for undergraduates for the spring semester.

  • Courses will be offered in a mix of modalities. In-person courses will be limited in size and conducted in a physically distanced environment, and select courses will continue to be taught virtually.
  • To the greatest extent possible, in-person courses will also have a remote option.
  • Students who come to campus may continue to have some or all of their classes conducted remotely.
  • Course modalities will be visible in SIS before registration, which begins:
    • Nov. 13 for seniors
    • Nov. 16 for juniors
    • Nov. 18 for sophomores
    • Nov. 20 for first-years
  • In-person research opportunities will be available for undergraduates as part of school-approved lab plans. Remote opportunities will continue to be available.
  • The semester will start Jan. 25.
  •  Instead of a week-long spring break, days off will be scattered throughout the semester.
  • The suspension of university-sponsored undergraduate travel will continue at least through Intersession. Additionally, the outgoing undergraduate Study Abroad program has been suspended for Spring 2021.  

2. Students will not be required to come to campus.

  • Students who remain remote for the spring semester will be able to maintain their academic progress.
  • All Intersession courses will be offered in the virtual environment from Jan. 4 – 15, 2021. Students interested in attending the Intersession virtually can view the published schedule on SIS beginning Nov. 16; Intersession registration will open in SIS on Dec. 1.
  • Virtual student services will continue to be offered to all students regardless of location. 

3. The university will provide on-campus housing and dining options for the spring semester.

  • First-year students who come to campus will live in residence halls in a de-densified environment, with single bedrooms and limited sharing of bathroom facilities.
  • Based on housing surveys, we are optimistic that we will be able to provide housing in residence halls for all sophomores who expressed a desire to live in JHU-secured housing, but they will also have the option to live off-campus.
  • Juniors and seniors will continue to live off-campus as usual.
  • Dining plans will be available, with options dependent on the public health situation at the time.
  • We are setting aside a substantial number of quarantine and isolation accommodations for residential students as well as isolation accommodations for any undergraduates living off-campus who are deemed in need of them by our health and wellness team. 

4. On-campus activities will continue to follow best public health practices.

  • In-person student activities will remain restricted by campus guidelines governing physical distancing and limits on gathering size (currently 10 people).
  • We expect a decision about spring sports will be made in December.
  • We plan to open the rec center, Brody Learning Commons and Milton S. Eisenhower Library with limits on density and reduced hours.  

5. The university will significantly expand its COVID testing program.

  • The university will provide mandatory twice-weekly testing for undergraduates, beginning the week of Jan. 18.
  • Testing will be required at least once weekly for faculty, staff, and graduate students who are participating in or directly supporting in-person, on-campus classes (with exceptions for clinically-based instruction) or who are regularly exposed to undergraduates.
  • The divisions may also designate for required testing any faculty, staff, or graduate students who are deemed to have a heightened risk of exposure.
  • Voluntary testing will be available for all other affiliates in the Baltimore area.   

6. We will continue to require students, faculty, and staff to observe COVID safety measures.

  • We will require comprehensive COVID safety measures on campus, including face coverings, physical distancing, limits on gatherings, enhanced cleaning protocols and self-monitoring for symptoms.
  • Individuals will be required to check their symptoms using the ProDensity app every day before going to one of our campuses.
  • All students must have a flu vaccine or an approved exception before returning to campus.
  • Non-essential travel outside of the greater Baltimore area is strongly discouraged for undergraduates at any time. Essential or emergency travel should be registered with Student Affairs so students can receive support for appropriate self-quarantine and testing upon return to Baltimore/campus. Depending on the circumstances of travel, additional testing and quarantine may be required. 

JHU’s Studios for Remote Learning

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Johns Hopkins University has invested in new technology that offers an enhanced learning experience for both students and instructors. In this video, JHU students react to their first experiences with the new technology.
A female student studies outside in the grass with her laptop
Student Experience

We will not be conducting in-person academic or co-curricular activities on campus during the upcoming fall semester.

Academic Experience

All undergraduate instruction, labs, and co-curricular activities to be held online for the duration of the fall 2020 semester.

Housing + Dining

We will offer limited opportunities for students to live in campus housing based on a demonstrated hardship associated with distance learning. But all those who can complete their coursework from home should do so.

Two students sit and talk at an outside table
Health + Wellness

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended our lives and routines. It’s imperative that students take care of themselves, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Frequently Asked Questions

University operations

What is the status of activity on our campuses?

Johns Hopkins University has been conducting an extensive planning process to guide a careful, phased approach to resuming activities on its campuses. 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.

We are currently planning for an expansion of on-campus activities for the spring semester as long as the public health situation allows it, including offering undergraduates in-person residential and educational opportunities.  Graduate and professional schools are also determining their plans for the spring and will announce them shortly. For the remainder of 2020, however, we will continue to operate in Phase 1 of our reopening plan.

During our current Phase 1, on-campus activities will be restricted to mission critical functions that cannot be performed remotely. Broadly, this means that most Johns Hopkins affiliates will not be on-campus on a full-time basis and services will continue to be offered virtually. All undergraduate and most graduate students will take their courses online or remotely.

Those who need to be present in their lab, office, or other campus location to conduct research activities can proceed after permission from a researcher’s divisional leadership. Individuals engaging in on-campus research must comply with the guidance in Research Guidelines to reduce density, maintain physical distance, and observe other health and safety measures. Most instruction will remain in an online/remote modality, and the standards and expectations for teaching will be determined by each school individually. For example, schools may ask faculty and TAs to use campus studios for remote instructional purposes—these will be sanitized and set up with measures to protect users as described in the Instructional Guidelines.

Libraries will be operational, but access will be limited. Most other campus facilities, including recreational centers, will remain closed for the fall semester.

 

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 3:43pm

Will the university keep undergraduate tuition at the reduced rate for the spring semester?

Tuition for the spring semester will be at the originally published rate. As indicated in August, the 10% tuition reduction for the fall was a one-time occurrence included in a package of supports in recognition of the hardships associated with our change of plans for the semester.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 4:57pm

How is the university determining which activities are allowed on its campuses?

A number of cross-divisional workgroups are studying the issues, gathering feedback, and drafting plans to guide a resumption of activities. Those 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 will be 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 many 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 here at Johns Hopkins.

Last updated: Aug 21, 2020 12:44pm

What factors will you consider when making a final determination about the spring semester?

No single public health metric will be determinative. Rather, our public health and infectious disease experts will advise the university based on a combination of factors and trends. We routinely review a comprehensive set of data, at the city, state, national, and global levels. We look at a number of metrics, including daily new cases, hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and mortality, as well as a set of Hopkins-specific capacity metrics that include testing, tracing, isolation and quarantine. In addition to our ongoing review of metrics, our public health experts are also conducting modeling in an attempt to forecast the trajectory of the disease in populations of relevance to us.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 3:44pm

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
  • Mandatory influenza vaccination (by Nov. 20)
  • For the limited number of residential students, 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: Oct 29, 2020 11:54am

Can events be held on campus?

No external (commercial, community, etc.) events will be held on-campus during fall 2020. Internal events for Johns Hopkins affiliates 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.

Last updated: Aug 21, 2020 12:50pm

Are visitors allowed on campus?

Only mission-critical Johns Hopkins affiliates will be permitted on campus during Fall 2020. Non-mission-critical visitors and guests, family members, and pets are prohibited. Visitors associated with K-12 partnerships, including participants, are also prohibited for Fall 2020.

Last updated: Aug 21, 2020 12:56pm

Are recreational facilities open?

All on-campus recreational facilities will remain closed for Fall 2020. For Spring 2021, we plan to open the rec center, Brody Learning Commons, and Milton S. Eisenhower Library with limits on density and reduced hours.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 3:43pm

Do decisions about activities and the health and safety protocols apply to buildings not located on the university’s main campuses?

All of the reopening plans and the health and safety guidelines established by the university will apply to people taking part in activities in all of its owned or leased locations.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 9:45pm

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

Undergraduate student experience

Are undergraduates required to come to campus for spring semester?

No. Undergraduates will continue to be able to make academic progress this semester whether they come to campus or not.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 4:42pm

Will any students be allowed to live on campus?

For the fall semester, all students who were able to complete their coursework from home were encouraged to do so, and we offered limited opportunities for students to live in campus housing based on a demonstrated hardship associated with distance learning.

For the spring, JHU will offer an in-person experience to undergraduates. First years who choose to come to Baltimore will live in residence halls in a de-densified environment, with single bedrooms and limited sharing of bathroom facilities. Based on housing surveys, we are optimistic that we will be able to provide housing in residence halls for all sophomores who have requested it, but sophomores will also have the option to live off-campus. Juniors and seniors will continue to live off-campus as usual. More information is available on the Community Living web page.

All undergraduate students in the Baltimore area will be required to be tested twice-weekly for COVID-19 and to be vaccinated for influenza. All affiliates accessing on-campus facilities will be expected to participate in daily self-monitoring of COVID-19 symptoms and all affiliates will be able to access the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Call Center (833-546-7546) for medically required testing.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 4:39pm

Will students who live on campus have access to dining plans?

Multiple dining facilities will be available to students, faculty, and staff of the Homewood campus including FFC, Nolan’s, Levering, and Charles Street Market. Additional dining locations will open as the campus recovery plan progresses.  All facilities will feature grab-and-go service unless public health guidance allows limited seating. More information on dining plans for students is available on the Community Living web page.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 4:39pm

Will COVID-19 testing be mandatory? Will it be for on-campus residents only or anyone taking classes on campus?

Optional, free testing will be available on a weekly basis beginning in January for all asymptomatic affiliates who are on campus.

Testing will be required twice weekly and provided by the university for all undergraduates living on or off campus in the Baltimore area. Testing will be required at least once weekly for faculty, staff, graduate students and post docs who are (1) participating in or directly supporting in-person, on-campus classes (with exceptions for clinically-based instruction) or (2) regularly exposed to undergraduates.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 4:46pm

What will the university do if undergraduate students have exposure to COVID-19 or test positive?

We are setting aside a substantial number of quarantine and isolation accommodations for residential students as well as isolation accommodations for any undergraduates living off-campus who are deemed in need by our health and wellness team. Students who receive a negative test after being informed that they have been exposed to COVID-19 will still have to quarantine for 14 days, since it is possible to get a false positive from a test.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 4:46pm

What are the plans for a surge in cases once students are back? Will you send everyone home again?

We have set aside what we believe, based on peers’ experience, will be a sufficient number of rooms for quarantine and isolation on campus and in nearby hotels. However, if public health conditions deteriorate to the point that we cannot continue to safely conduct on-campus activities, we will revert to an all-remote posture.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 4:54pm

What will happen to student organizations and events in the spring?

Student organizations have found creative ways to keep going, build community, and welcome the newest and returning Blue Jays into the fold during the fall. They will have some additional opportunities for in-person meetings in the spring while observing campus guidelines about the size of gatherings and safety measures. They will also be encouraged to continue to offer remote options for students who do not chose to return.

We expect more information about spring sports in December.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 4:48pm

Will the same restrictions be on place regarding gatherings, events and activities?

We will require comprehensive COVID safety measures on campus, including face coverings, physical distancing, limits on gatherings, enhanced cleaning protocols and self-monitoring for symptoms. We will continue to update these restrictions as state and local regulations and our own assessment of the public health situation evolve.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 4:47pm

Why was Spring Break been taken off the calendar?

Because of the COVID risks related to travel, we have replaced the 2021 spring break with a series of individual days off throughout the second half of the semester.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 4:52pm

Will students be able to travel if they are living in Baltimore for the spring semester?

Non-essential travel outside of the greater Baltimore area is strongly discouraged for undergraduates at any time. Essential or emergency travel should be registered with Student Affairs so students can receive support for appropriate self-quarantine and testing upon return to Baltimore/campus. Depending on the circumstances of travel, additional testing and quarantine may be required.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 4:52pm

How will JHU offer health and well-being services?

Mental health and well-being programs will be offered remotely, including free access to Mental Telehealth, powered by TimelyMD, for all students and learners. There will be limited access to in-office services for students located in Baltimore who have essential needs. A full list of resources is available at https://wellness.jhu.edu/covid/.

Last updated: Aug 6, 2020 4:01pm

Will students living in Baltimore be able to access the rec center or library?

We plan to open the rec center, Brody Learning Commons and Milton S. Eisenhower Library with limits on density and reduced hours.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 4:51pm

Who should students contact regarding IT questions or problems?

Students should contact the IT Helpdesk at 410-516-HELP or via online request for questions related to JHED IDs, wireless network connectivity, and email access.

Last updated: Aug 6, 2020 4:04pm

Are discounts available for student computer purchases?

Yes, academic discounts are available on both Dell and Apple computers. More information is on the Information Technology Services webpage.  Students may also request financial aid to help with computer and/or technology purchases by submitting the Budget Adjustment Request form in SIS.

Last updated: Aug 6, 2020 4:05pm

I’m an international undergraduate student. Will I be able to come study in the U.S.?

The situation regarding international student access to the United States is complex and changing. Students should discuss their situation with their adviser or program director, and they can access support from the Office of International Services.

Last updated: Aug 6, 2020 4:06pm

Will undergraduates be able to have work-study jobs, paid internships, and other work opportunities?

At this time, it is anticipated that undergraduate employment opportunities will remain remote.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 4:51pm

How is COVID-19 covered by the student health plans?

Both the Wellfleet and EHP plans for undergraduate and graduate students have no cost for doctor visits to diagnose COVID-19 or for testing. Coverage for COVID-19 treatment-related services includes the same coinsurance and copays as are charged for any other illness. Students should check their plan details.

Last updated: Aug 6, 2020 4:08pm

If a student gets very ill and needs to take leave, are they in jeopardy of losing their health insurance?

Wellfleet continues medical coverage through the period that has been paid and offers an option to purchase additional coverage after that. EHP benefits continue for the entire period of the leave.

Last updated: Aug 6, 2020 4:08pm

Will the university keep undergraduate tuition at the reduced rate for the spring semester?

Tuition for the spring semester will be at the originally published rate. As indicated in August, the 10% tuition reduction for the fall was a one-time occurrence included in a package of supports in recognition of the hardships associated with our change of plans for the semester.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 4:57pm

Can I get help with financial aid?

We understand that the COVID pandemic is creating unexpected financial burdens for many families. The university is prepared to help meet these burdens with commitments to significantly increase financial aid. We encourage any students whose circumstances have changed to contact the financial aid office. Students may request help at any time. Answers to financial aid questions related to COVID-19 can be found on the Financial Aid website.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 4:57pm

My family’s financial situation has changed—who can I call for help?

Financial support is available to help students who need additional assistance as a result of the pandemic, or for any other reason. Call, e-mail, or request a virtual appointment with the Office of Student Financial Services between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Last updated: Aug 6, 2020 4:11pm

CARES Act Emergency Grants

Am I eligible for the CARES Act Emergency Grant?

The first distribution of the CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants will be available to students who are eligible for federal financial aid and meet the following criteria:

Undergraduate Students

  • Federal 9-month EFC at or below 16,000 based on the 19-20 FAFSA
  • Received need-based institutional aid in spring 2020
  • Enrolled in at least one face-to-face instructional course in spring 2020 (as of February 20, 2020)
  • Did not graduate in May 2020

Graduate Students

  • Federal 9-month EFC at or below 16,000 based on the 19-20 FAFSA
  • Received federal student loans in spring 2020
  • Enrolled in at least one face-to-face instructional course in spring 2020 (as of February 20, 2020)
  • Did not graduate in May 2020

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

Can my CARES Act Emergency Grant be used to pay my bill?

The CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants are intended to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. The grant will be sent directly to you according to the refund method you selected. On receipt of your refund, you may then use the funds to help pay your education expenses.

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

How do I apply for the CARES Act Emergency Grant?

Students do not have to submit an application. However, they must have a valid 2019-2020 FAFSA on file with the school and meet the eligibility criteria described above. Financial Aid will notify eligible students directly by email beginning on July 16, 2020. Students will have to electronically certify that they have incurred allowable expenses (E.g. housing, food, transportation, course material, technology, and health expenses) prior to receiving the funds. Detailed instructions will be included with the email notification.

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

If I am no longer enrolled am I still eligible to apply for a CARES Act Emergency Grant?

If you were enrolled in at least one face-to-face instructional course in spring 2020 (as of February 20, 2020), and you received federal financial aid in that semester, you may be eligible for a CARES Act Emergency Grant. Please see the eligibility criteria above. If you believe that you are eligible but did not receive an e-mail notification, please contact your divisional financial aid office below:

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

Are international students eligible for CARES Act Emergency Grant funds?

Per the U.S. Department of Education, international students and DACA students are not eligible for CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

I do not qualify for CARES Act funds, but my circumstances have changed and I need help. What are my options?

Any Hopkins student facing financial uncertainty related to the pandemic should contact Financial Aid to discuss options.  Requests will be reviewed on a case by case basis, and prioritized based on level of financial need.

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

Will the CARES Act grant affect my eligibility for financial aid in the fall 2020 semester?

No. CARES Act funding will not impact your eligibility for fall 2020 financial aid, and will not be listed as part of your financial aid package.

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

Is the CARES Act grant taxable?

No. Per the Internal Revenue Service, the grant will not be included in your taxable income. Please visit the IRS’s site for more details.

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

What expenses qualify under the CARES Act?

Funds must be used for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19, including eligible expenses that are part of a typical student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child care.

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

Instructional activities

How will JHU offer classes this spring?

All undergraduate classes and academic activities will continue to be online during the fall semester. The university is making plans to expand in-person activity for the spring semester and to offer some classes in person and others remotely or in a mixed modality. For some students, depending on their courses, all classes may remain virtual even when they are living on or near campus.  Students will not be required to come to campus and will be able to maintain their academic progress remotely.

Graduate and professional programs will continue to evaluate their own operations, and many are expected to offer some in-person activities in the spring subject to strict public health guidelines. Decisions about specific programs will be communicated by the schools.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 4:20pm

Will faculty be required to teach courses in person this spring?

No. Faculty will continue to have the option to teach remotely, including at the instructional studios that have been constructed at various locations on campus.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 4:22pm

How are faculty members preparing to teach effectively in remote/online modalities?

Schools recognize that supporting instructors in further mastery of pedagogical and technological options through training and resources will be essential for ensuring the success of remote/online instruction in the fall. All school teaching and learning staff have been asked to prepare a scalable plan for supporting faculty who may need to adapt to new teaching modalities.

In addition, schools and the university are co-investing in new technological resources to enhance the digital experience based on recommendations and guidelines developed by the Online Resources Workgroup. KSAS and WSE have constructed dozens of remote teaching studios on campus to help faculty provide a truly engaging educational experience.

Last updated: Aug 6, 2020 4:43pm

Will there be academic opportunities beyond our classes?

We want faculty and academic staff to work together and with their students to ensure the academic and intellectual community remains strong. This includes exploring online options for seminars and special events, short-term projects, student research, and professional development.

Schools have also evaluated and enhanced as needed for the remote environment all academic services and supports normally provided to students to ensure they can succeed, including academic advising, tutoring and writing support, career planning and life design, health and wellness counseling, library resources and information technology support.

Last updated: Aug 6, 2020 3:55pm

Will undergraduates be able to do research in labs?

Yes, but only as part of a school-approved lab plan.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 4:21pm

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: Aug 21, 2020 9:42pm

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: Aug 21, 2020 9:43pm

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

Will everyone be required to wear face coverings while at JHU locations?

Everyone must wear face coverings (including all faculty, staff, students, postdoctoral fellows, other trainees, guests, vendors, and visitors) indoors and outdoors, on campus and in university buildings, and in and around leased spaces, except when in a single-occupancy office with a closed door or while eating or drinking at least six feet away from others.

Due to recent studies and in alignment with Johns Hopkins Medicine, the following are not acceptable as face coverings:

  • Any face covering with an exhalation valve
  • Neck ‘gaiter’ coverings
  • Bandanas

Exceptions to the requirement to wear face coverings outdoors will be made for individuals whose employment requires they work outside full time (e.g security, some facilities staff, etc.). They will need to wear face coverings when interacting with the public or when unable to practice social distancing.

The university will provide face coverings for JHU affiliates, who may also elect to use their own face coverings. 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: Aug 21, 2020 12:55pm

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
  • Not gather in groups
  • 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: Aug 21, 2020 1:43pm

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:

Last updated: Oct 15, 2020 12:00am

What follow-up does the university do when it receives reports that students are non-compliance 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: Sep 25, 2020 2:18pm

What measures will be used to monitor student 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: Sep 25, 2020 2:19pm

Are only students being held accountable for the Return to Campus Guidance, or does it also cover faculty and staff?

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: Sep 25, 2020 2:23pm

Does the 10-person 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: Sep 25, 2020 4:02pm

How does the 10-person 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: Sep 25, 2020 4:03pm

Can I attend off-campus exercise classes that have more than 10 people?

We encourage students to follow Baltimore City, Washington, D.C., or their local public health orders on exercise classes and to adhere to public health measures including wearing a mask and social distancing.

Last updated: Sep 25, 2020 4:07pm

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?

For the fall, while we remain in Phase 1 of our reopening plan, widespread screening of everyone who comes to campus is not in place. Before the start of the spring semester, JHU will adopt a mass testing plan that will require a test before students return to campus and will require twice-weekly testing conducted by the university for undergraduates.

Testing will be required at least once weekly for faculty, staff, graduate students and post docs who are (1) participating in or directly supporting in-person, on-campus classes (with exceptions for clinically-based instruction) or (2) regularly exposed to undergraduates. In addition, the divisions may require testing for any faculty, staff, graduate students or post-docs who are deemed to have a heightened risk of exposure. Testing will be available and/or required for faculty, staff and students who are asked to quarantine due to exposure on campus, or who were working or learning in the same enclosed space (e.g., classroom or lab) at the same time as someone who tests positive. In addition, testing will be required for specific groups of contract workers and vendors, and all approved visitors.

Optional, free testing will be available on a weekly basis beginning in January for all asymptomatic affiliates who are on campus. More information and detailed guidelines for testing will be available in December, including test collection locations on all campuses and instructions for how to make testing appointments and receive test results.

The university will continue to provide medical management testing for those exhibiting symptoms of COVID or who have been identified for screening through our contact tracing process.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 3:48pm

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

When testing is expanded, how quickly will COVID test results be made available? Will it be the rapid test or PCR?

Our mass testing program will use saliva samples, and our goal is to provide results within 24 hours.

Last updated: Nov 2, 2020 3:56pm

Why are undergraduates going to be 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: Nov 2, 2020 3:57pm

Why is testing going to be 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: Nov 2, 2020 3:58pm

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?

The university will provide faculty, staff, and students with two reusable cloth face coverings appropriate for meeting the masking requirements for its campuses. 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: June 30, 2020 8:56am

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.

Last updated: June 19, 2020 10:06am

What is the plan for safe use of elevators?

A university workgroup, in consultation with the faculty Health Advisory Group, determined that occupancy in elevators should be limited to four and that individuals should wear face coverings and press elevator buttons with another object (knuckle, elbow, etc.) if possible. Everyone should wash hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol upon departing the elevator.

Last updated: June 19, 2020 10:53am

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 takes public transportation or uses JH buses and shuttles must wear a face covering. Vehicle capacity will be set to limit density and in consultation with public health experts and regulatory guidance. The current limits are set at 24 passengers per JH bus and one rider group (single request) per van with a limit of eight passengers. For buses, passengers will be asked to enter via rear door only. Buses and Blue Jay Shuttle vans are cleaned after each driver’s shift using HSE-approved, hospital-grade products and high touch points are cleaned several times a shift by each driver.

Last updated: June 19, 2020 10:58am

How will the university enforce safety measures in bathrooms?

Individuals are asked to take responsibility for respecting social distancing while using restrooms. Hand dryers will be disconnected and paper towels provided. Education and awareness signage regarding hand hygiene will be provided.

Last updated: June 19, 2020 11:06am

Will there be restrictions related to whether individuals who have traveled outside the area, or the country, can come to JHU locations?

There are no such restrictions for travelers at this time, but the university will be subject to any future such federal, state, or local restrictions. Students returning to campus for instruction in the fall will need to be aware of any restrictions at that time related to where they are traveling from, and they may be asked to quarantine upon arrival if government regulations dictate.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 9:48pm

Who pays for COVID-19 tests, particularly if people need multiple tests after resuming activities on campus?

There is no cost to the individual being tested.  Since the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on March 18, all forms of public and private insurance, including self-funded plans, must now cover FDA-approved COVID-19 tests and costs associated with testing with no cost-sharing.

Last updated: June 22, 2020 4:39pm

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

Illustration of two people six feet apart

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