COVID updates: Resumption of in-person dining, antigen tests for students in isolation [residential students]
January 30, 2022
Dear Residential Students,
We are excited to have you back on campus for the spring semester. I hope you were able to get some time over the break to relax and recharge.
We were particularly pleased with the smooth process moving students back into the residence halls with only a small number of students testing positive for COVID upon arrival and continued low rates with our undergraduate population this past week. I want to thank each of you for your cooperation.
We want to update you on a few COVID-related matters:
Resumption of Limited In-Person Dining: Given the low number of COVID cases, we will resume in-person dining at 50% capacity starting Monday, Jan. 31 in the FFC, Nolan’s and the Peabody Dining. Levering will start on Monday, Feb. 7. In order for us to continue to lighten restrictions, we need all of your help. Spread of COVID is most likely when people are in close proximity and not masked. We know that eating is also a time to socialize and catch up with friends. We ask that you be vigilant and only remove your mask while actually eating and to put your mask back on if you continue to socialize. You should also distance while unmasked, by sitting only at the designated seats and tables and not moving the furniture closer together. We ask for your cooperation when Safety Ambassadors and other community members remind you of these guidelines. If we see consistent noncompliance with these rules or an increase in our COVID numbers among our student population, we may unfortunately need to go back to to-go dining.
Moving out of Isolation Housing – Testing Required: We have been fortunate to secure a number of iHealth Home rapid test kits. These are the same antigen-based kits we used this past weekend for students moving back to the residence halls. Students in university isolation housing must be asymptomatic and test negative using the home kits before being cleared to return to the residence halls and classes. The test kits will be handed out when students check into the isolation housing. SHWC staff will evaluate your symptoms regularly, and after day 5 of isolation, you may be eligible to leave isolation housing if you are 100% symptom free and have a negative antigen test. The SHWC staff will inform you when you should use the antigen test, and it will be observed via Facetime or Teams messaging. You may not use the kits until you receive instructions from SHWC.
Booster Mandates: As the semester gets underway, please remember that the deadline to upload verification that you have met JHU’s booster requirement is Feb. 1 or as soon as you become eligible, whichever is later. We are pleased that many of you have uploaded your documentation in advance of the deadline, but a number of you have not yet uploaded your documentation. If you still need your booster, please consult our schedule of on-campus clinics. You can also get a booster though your local pharmacy. Be sure to get a record of your booster and upload it to the Vaccine Management System by Tuesday.
Upgraded Masking Requirements: As announced previously, JHU has changed the on-campus masking requirements, and a cloth or surgical mask by itself is no longer acceptable indoors. N95, KN95, KF94 or surgical masks worn under cloth masks are now required, and a variety of mask types is now available for free at asymptomatic testing sites.
We know that many of you, like society in general, are frustrated with continued alterations in our normal operations due to COVID. Your actions make a difference and protect our community while allowing us to resume many of the in-person activities that make our university the special place that it is. We are constantly reviewing public health guidance and adjusting our protocols as needed, and we are hopeful that improved conditions will allow us to relax some of our restrictions such as the residence hall guest policy. We are grateful to our entire university community for working with us.
Vice Provost for Student Health and Well-Being and Interim Vice Provost for Student Affairs