COVID-19 update on university operations and resources

Sent April 6, 2020; Updated April 9, 2020

Johns Hopkins University Faculty, Staff, and Students

Heidi Conway, Vice President for Human Resources
Bob McLean, Vice President for Facilities and Real Estate
Jon Links, Vice Provost and Chief Risk Officer, Professor of Public Health

Dear Johns Hopkins Community:

As the confirmed number of cases of COVID-19 continues to rise regionally, nationally, and globally, we could not be prouder of how the Johns Hopkins community has responded. Every one of you is contributing to our collective efforts to help “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 in order to facilitate our eventual return to normalcy and ease the burden on our community and health system. We salute all of our essential team members doing important work to take care of people and places at the heart of the institution.

We are continually evaluating our mitigation efforts and operations in light of public health guidance and government orders. Below please find newly updated information and reminders regarding the university’s plans and status, the resources that are available to you, and the numbers to call if you feel ill or are concerned about exposure to COVID-19.

We also remind you that as an inclusive university community, we must take care not to make assumptions about others based on perceived symptoms or identities (for example, ethnicity or national origin) and to differentiate between myth and fact. You may visit the Office of Institutional Equity website to learn more about the university’s discrimination and harassment policies and procedures or to make a report.

New Information

  • Remote/online programs extended through June 30. We are now canceling all residential and in-person academic programs through June 30. Many of these programs will shift to online/remote delivery and more information about these opportunities will be provided by the divisions.
  • Events cancelled through June 30. We are now canceling or postponing scheduled university and third-party events both on and off campus through June 30.
  • Labs remain closed. Non-critical laboratory research activities remain suspended until further notice.
  • JHU Adopts CDC guidelines for use of face coverings. Per the new CDC guidelines, we encourage all JHU affiliates to wear non-medical, cloth face coverings in public and at work as a way to slow the spread of the virus and help diminish the risk that asymptomatic people who may be carrying the virus transmit it to others. Note that this guidance is in addition to the recommended six feet of physical distancing. Due to limited supply at this time, medical masks will be prioritized for the health care setting.

Employee/Workforce Information

  • We will maintain our current operational posture for telework, on-site essential personnel, facility management, custodial support, and staffing levels to meet essential functions until further notice. Essential personnel should have received personalized letters from Human Resources as documentation of your essential status. If you did not receive such documentation but believe you should have, please email
  • For the protection of our essential staff, we will continue to evaluate and adjust on-site staffing levels to maximize physical distancing and have the least number of people on our campuses at any given time.
  • We do not yet know a potential return date for all on-site personnel. We will continue to monitor and adjust all calendars and timelines according to public health guidance and government directives.
  • We are working to maintain pay and benefit continuity for our employees to the greatest extent possible and have been in communication with our vendors to help mitigate the negative impacts of COVID-19 on their employees. We were pleased to see that the federal CARES legislation significantly increased the level of unemployment insurance through July 30 for laid off vendor workers, and we continue to explore other ways to support them during this difficult time.

Health and Well-being

We recognize that the continued disruption and stress of this unusual time may take a toll on your personal health and well-being. We encourage you to utilize the mental health support resources available and remind you of the steps you should take if you are concerned about potential exposure or symptoms of COVID-19.

For Employees:

  • Employees, post docs, and house staff who are concerned about COVID-19 symptoms should call the Employee COVID-19 Call Center (ECCC) at 443-287-8500, seven days a week, between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. If you need clearance to return to work after being tested or recovering from COVID-19, please contact the call center for that as well. The Employee COVID-19 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 and assist in transmitting information to Occupational Health.
  • You are always free to call your personal primary care provider, and should continue to do so for family members who have symptoms; JHU employees should call the ECCC so that we can give you the best direction for your circumstances and arrange for testing if needed.
  • Emotional support resources are available through MySupport.

For Students:

  • Students (full- or part-time) affiliated with Carey Business School, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences (including Advanced Academic Programs), Peabody Institute, School of Advanced International Studies, School of Education or Whiting School of Engineering (including Engineering for Professionals) should contact the Homewood Student Health and Wellness Center at 410-516-8270. Online scheduling has been temporarily disabled.
  • Students (full- or part-time) affiliated with the schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health should contact University Health Services (UHS) at 410-955-3250. For urgent concerns after hours, please call the Johns Hopkins Hospital’s page operator at 410-955-4331 and request the on-call physician for UHS primary care.
  • A full list of health support resources, including mental health, for students is available on the student wellness website.

Notice of COVID-19 Cases at JHU

In carefully balancing personal privacy and public health interests, we are not communicating broadly about each positive case at JHU. Rather, we are following established protocols for managing cases involving JHU-affiliates through Occupational Health, Student Health, and other resources. Anyone at the university who has come into close contact with individuals who test positive will be contacted directly and made aware of precautions or steps they should take.

Operational Reminders

  • Access to all campus buildings is restricted. All buildings are locked and require key card swipes for entry or will have a staffed on-site security station. Any faculty member, staff member, trainee, graduate student, or postdoc who believes they need building access must be essential and must have documentation from the university regarding their status.
  • Any undergraduates who have been granted a rare exception to remain on campus will be able to access only their assigned residence hall, dining facility, and Wolman (to retrieve mail). These students must adhere to the requirements of the current stay-at-home order issued by the state of Maryland.
  • Facility maintenance and custodial services have been realigned to operate with the minimum number of staff at any given time to perform necessary duties. Facility managers are scheduling and rotating staff at minimal levels to maximize adherence to public health guidelines and will continue to evaluate and adjust staffing levels.
  • We will maintain an active security posture at all campuses during this period of restricted access and limited campus activity. Campus Safety and Security remains in operation 24 hours a day. In an emergency, contact 410-516-7777 or dial 911. For non-emergencies, call 410-516-4600.
  • Transportation services, including Lyft and the Blue Jay Shuttle, continue but with adjusted schedules to meet current needs and reduced demand. We continue to tailor occupancy restrictions on our vans and buses to ensure appropriate physical distancing.
  • We are proceeding with construction activity that is currently in progress, in conformance with state guidance. This work will be performed with close attention to the health and safety of contractors and crews, who have developed specific plans to follow CDC, state, and local guidelines for physical distancing and health protection. Projects in progress will be reevaluated on a regular basis for health and safety assurance and financial viability. At this time we are deferring the start of all but specifically approved new projects.
  • During this period of restricted access and reduced campus operations, essential supply chain services will continue, including mail and package delivery and critical supplies. In light of recent guidance, mail and package delivery schedules will be reviewed and in some cases reduced.  Specific changes will be coordinated at the campus level.

We will continue to monitor the situation and communicate with you regarding any significant updates. Information on university operations is updated regularly on the Hub COVID-19 information page.

Please continue to prioritize health and safety for yourself and those around you.