Guidelines for returning to campus, town hall Friday

May 28, 2020

Dear Johns Hopkins Community:

As we continue to work with a broad array of faculty, students, and staff on our plans for the gradual resumption of on-campus activities and operations at Johns Hopkins, we want you to know that we share both your eagerness to return to key elements of our lives before the COVID-19 pandemic and your commitment to ensuring that we continue to put health and safety first.

With that in mind, we write to share with you a draft of our universitywide health and safety guidelines–the JHU Return to Campus Guide–with detailed proposals for the new policies, procedures, and norms that will allow us to begin coming together as a community in the weeks and months ahead.

These guidelines are based on detailed recommendations and analysis from several of the 2020 planning workgroups and reflect valuable input from faculty experts in the Bloomberg School of Public Health as well as feedback from the Student Advisory Group and the many faculty, staff, and students who have participated in virtual town halls or submitted comments and questions about the planning process. The guidelines cover such topics as maintaining an inclusive workplace, altered staffing and scheduling plans, significantly augmented cleaning protocols, required physical distancing, and universal face coverings. They will evolve over time as circumstances warrant, and will lend support to the local plans and protocols being developed by each school, department, and program.

On Friday, May 29, at 10:30 a.m., we will host the latest in the university’s series of virtual town halls related to our comprehensive planning process. 

We hope you will join this discussion and those to follow, and we look forward to addressing your questions and including your feedback as we refine our plans. You can submit questions for the town hall by email to If you cannot attend, you can provide feedback on all aspects of the planning process through the online comment form. Students are also encouraged to reach out to members of the Student Advisory Committee.

Importantly, the status of current operations on campus remains unchanged, and in this we will continue to follow the considered advice of our own public health experts, as well as state and local restrictions.

In the near-term, any resumption of on-campus activity will remain limited to only those activities that require a person to be on campus. Any and all work or learning that can be accomplished remotely should continue to be done at home, and people should be on campus only for the time periods necessary to accomplish required on-campus activity.

In drafting these guidelines, we were mindful that some members of our community face a greater risk from COVID-19 than others, and we have described mechanisms for those in high-risk groups to seek accommodations. Because of the potential for the virus to spread through the close quarters of our large community, we implore those who do not consider themselves at high risk to take these guidelines just as seriously. Our collective health requires the cooperation of all of us in adhering to the full range of measures to prevent transmission of the virus.

We thank you for your attention to these important proposals and for your feedback. In the last few months, this community has shown tremendous adaptability and ingenuity in coping with the many challenges posed by the COVID pandemic, and we know you will apply the same qualities to the resumption of on-campus activities in the months ahead.


Heidi Conway
Vice President for Human Resources

Andrew Douglas
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Bob McLean
Vice President for Facilities and Real Estate