COVID violations in off-campus housing

February 5, 2021

Dear Undergraduates,

Our investigation of the cluster of COVID cases among undergraduates this week has confirmed that students held one or more large social gatherings at 3209 N. Charles Street, the former Wawa House, in apparent violation of university policies and city and state public health regulations. Many (though not all) of the COVID cases that led to the suspension of in-person classes and activities, prohibition on all gatherings, and required self-quarantine of hundreds of your classmates have been linked to interactions at that location. We are also aware of other, smaller gatherings that violated university, city, and state rules that may have also contributed to the situation.

The 3209 North Charles property is off campus and not controlled by the university. In light of last weekend’s events, we strongly urge all students to avoid 3209 N. Charles Street. We will work with the residents of the property to help protect their health and safety, and to assist them if they wish to secure other lodgings.

We continue our efforts to contain the recent cluster of cases and to prevent further spread. As we communicated yesterday, all student athletes and residents of Charles Commons are under orders to self-quarantine until 8 a.m. Monday, except for a COVID test or to pick up grab-and-go food. Leaving your residence to walk or run by yourself is acceptable. All Homewood and Peabody undergraduates are now required to test three times a week, except Charles Commons residents and athletes, who will be required to test more frequently. 

In addition, off-campus students who test positive and live in high-risk circumstances, including those who have a roommate, a communal living situation or are part of an identified cluster, will now be required to relocate to university isolation housing at the direction of university personnel. 

We cannot underscore enough how important it is for members of the Hopkins community not only to model good decision-making but also to ensure that others do the same. As we have witnessed during the last few days, unsafe activities during the COVID pandemic can affect you profoundly even if you do not take part in them.

If you observe noncompliance with the university’s COVID policies, we urge you to submit a confidential, anonymous report immediately via the LiveSafe app. If you do not have access to the app, you can use an online form, or call 844-SPEAK2US (844-773-2528). Had the university learned of plans for last weekend’s events before they happened, many of the subsequent events that have so profoundly impacted our community might have been avoided.

We will only be able to safely carry out our plans for in-person activities this semester if we all remember our mutual responsibility to one another. 

Sunil Kumar

Alanna Shanahan
Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Kevin Shollenberger
Vice Provost for Student Health and Well-Being