January 14, 2022
Dear Undergraduate Students,
I’m writing as a follow-up to the university message that was sent out earlier today with some important points of clarification for undergraduate students. Based on trends within our community, the region, and the nation, we are planning for the possibility of a large number of COVID cases during the first few weeks of the semester. With almost all of our JHU students vaccinated and boosted, we expect most of these cases to be mild or asymptomatic. Still, such an increase in cases at the beginning of the semester would pose several challenges, given the need for sufficient isolation space and support for students in isolation, as well as the need to prevent students from falling behind in classes.
To address the anticipated increase in cases, we have put the following measures in place. Please read the information below carefully.
Students who have tested positive:
If you test positive more than 10 days prior to your return to campus, and you did not receive that test through Hopkins, you should complete this form to let the Student Health and Wellness Center staff know when you tested positive and to upload your test results. This will exempt you from asymptomatic testing for 90 days from your positive test collection date, and you will not need to test upon return to campus. If you test positive less than 10 days prior to your return to campus, please complete the form and delay your travel until you have completed at least a five-day isolation period and are symptom free. Student Health & Wellness COVID Call Center staff must clear you before you return to campus.
Before you travel to Baltimore:
We strongly encourage you to get tested prior to arriving back in Baltimore. We do understand that right now it can be difficult to get tested. If you test positive, please complete this form as soon as possible to let us know of your positive test. You will need to delay your arrival on campus until you have completed at least a five-day isolation period and are symptom free. Student Health & Wellness COVID Call Center staff must clear you before you return to campus.
Mandatory Arrival Testing:
For residential students planning to arrive in Baltimore on or before January 20, OR on or after January 24: If you have not tested positive in the last 90 days, you will need to take a saliva-based PCR test, scheduled through MyChart. Testing will be available at multiple locationsbetween the hours of 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. You are expected to test upon your arrival, and you should plan to self-quarantine in your room until you receive your results (approximately 24 hours after you test). You should only leave your room to pick up food or for medical appointments. If you arrive on campus outside of testing hours, please go to your room, self-quarantine, and get your test first thing the next day. *Please note: Arrival tests are in addition to your required twice-weekly tests. Prodensity compliance is determined by counting the number of tests taken between Monday and Sunday of the previous week.
For residential students arriving in Baltimore between Friday, January 21 and Sunday, January 23:
If you have not tested positive in the last 90 days, you will need to take a rapid antigen self-test and saliva-based PCR test, scheduled through MyChart (you only need to sign up for the PCR test as you will be given the antigen test upon arrival at the testing center). Arrival testing will only be available in the Rec Center and the Peabody dining hall testing sites between the hours of 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday, January 21 through Sunday, January 23. You are expected to test prior to moving back into your room. If you arrive on campus outside of these hours, please go to your room, self-quarantine, and get your tests first thing the next day. *Please note: you will be expected to start your twice weekly testing on Monday, January 24.
For off-Campus students: You will need to start your twice-weekly mandated testing immediately upon arrival in Baltimore. If you have not tested positive in the last 90 days, you will need to take a saliva-based PCR test, scheduled through MyChart, and quarantine in your residence until you receive your results. Extended weekend testing will be available in the Rec Center and the Peabody dining hall between the hours of 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., Friday, January 21 through Sunday, January 23, 2022.
Following recent CDC guidance and the advice of Johns Hopkins’ experts in public health and infectious disease, the university will reduce the isolation time from ten to five days from the date of a positive test, if the individual is symptom-free at day five.
Residential students who test positive upon arrival on campus may be moved to university-provided isolation housing. Please note we have limited capacity, and if we experience a major surge, students may be required to isolate in their residence hall rooms. In this case, we will prioritize university-provided isolation rooms based on the type of room in which the student is living; for example, we may give priority to those in doubles versus those in suites where students have their own room.
Undergraduates living off-campus are no longer required to isolate in university-provided housing. Student Health and Wellness Center staff will work with off-campus students who request to isolate in university-provided housing, and we will try our best to accommodate requests based on supply and individual circumstances.
Students who are vaccinated and boosted who have had close contact with someone who tested positive do not need to quarantine. Those who are unvaccinated or vaccinated but not yet boosted and have had close contact with someone who tested positive must quarantine for five days.
Unvaccinated or vaccinated but not yet boosted residential students who have had close contact with someone who tested positive will quarantine in their residential rooms and will not be moved to the university-provided isolation housing as we have done previously. While quarantining, students should wear a KN95, N95, or a combination of a cloth mask with a surgical mask underneath when using common areas in the suite or hall such as kitchens, hallways, bathrooms, etc.
Student Activities and Dining:
In-person student activities with over 50 participants will be substantially limited through February 6. We also ask that students not engage in informal social gatherings that will promulgate the spread of the virus during this time. Please help us keep Hopkins safe and healthy by restricting social activity during these crucial two weeks.
Dining halls will be open with grab-and-go meals available.
Recreational facilities and libraries will remain open during this time, following current public health guidance on masking and density.
Athletic events will continue as scheduled during these two weeks with proper protocols in place. However, there will be no spectators allowed at indoor competitions.
Along with vaccination and boosters, masks remain a critical part of reducing the spread of the virus. All faculty, staff, and students must comply with the university’s masking policy of utilizing high-quality masks worn correctly. We require the use of N95s, KN95s, KF94s, or a combination of a cloth mask with a surgical mask underneath. As announced in the university-wide message, cloth mask alone or a surgical mask alone is not sufficient to meet this requirement. Hopkins will make a wider variety of masks available, including N95s and KN95s, which will be distributed at numerous locations next week. What is most important is that you wear your mask consistently and properly – with a tight fit and covering both your nose and mouth.
As a reminder, JHU requires all students, staff, and faculty to get a COVID-19 booster by February 1 or upon eligibility. Obtaining a booster prior to returning to campus is highly recommended. Please upload your results to the Vaccine Management System (VMS) if you have not done so. We are also offering a number of booster clinics on the Homewood campus.
We acknowledge that these past two years have been quite challenging, and all of us are frustrated and tired from the impact of the pandemic. Nonetheless, we must continue to be personally responsible for adhering to all public health guidance and university measures in order to continue the kind of residential and academic experience that we so value.
We are grateful for your ongoing flexibility and attention to these critical public health measures, and while the omicron variant has once again changed the trajectory of this virus, we are optimistic that we are on the path to a sustainable and happier future. We wish you all the very best.
Vice Provost for Student Health and Well-Being and Interim Vice Provost for Student Affairs