January 31, 2022
Dear Faculty and Staff:
We are excited to have students, faculty, and staff back on our campuses for the spring semester, and we are particularly pleased to have had a smooth move-in process for our undergraduates, with only a small number of students testing positive for COVID upon arrival and in the first week of classes. For staff and faculty, we are preparing for a Feb. 7 return to our pre-omicron work arrangements (those in effect prior to Dec. 31), and to help ensure a safe transition back to campus, we want to remind you of some key measures and new resources available to you:
- The deadline to get your COVID vaccine booster and register with the Vaccine Management System is tomorrow, Feb. 1.
- Upgraded masks, including N95s, KN95s, KF94s, and surgical masks worn under a cloth mask, are now required and available for free on all campuses.
- Free, rapid at-home COVID tests for faculty and staff will be available starting tomorrow, Feb. 1.
- Dining facilities on campus will begin a phased return to eat-in dining at 50% capacity starting today.
More details are below, and you can always find the latest updates to our COVID safety protocols and resources on covidinfo.jhu.edu.
We know that it can feel exhausting to continue to deal with COVID, but 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 grateful to our entire university community for working with us through this challenging time.
Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration
Interim Vice President for Human Resources
Professor and Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Professor, Vice Provost, and Chief Risk Officer
Boosters: As the semester gets underway, please remember that the deadline to upload verification that you have met JHU’s booster shot 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 well in advance of the deadline—more than 80% of faculty and staff have done so. If you still need your booster, please consult our schedule of on-campus clinics. You can also get a booster through your local pharmacy or health care provider. Be sure to get a record of your booster and upload it to the Vaccine Management System.
Masks: As announced previously, JHU has changed its 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 are available for free at asymptomatic testing sites. So far, we have distributed approximately 135,000 of these masks to our campus community.
At-home test kits: Each faculty or staff member or postdoctoral trainee can get one free test kit, which will be distributed through select asymptomatic testing sites. Kits, which contain two tests each, will be available starting Tuesday, Feb. 1, at Shriver Hall, the School of Nursing, and the School of Advanced International Studies, and at select additional locations during the week of Feb. 7. Details, including hours of availability, are posted on the JHU coronavirus information website.
Saliva-based PCR testing will remain available on demand for all faculty and staff and continue to serve as the basis for our mandatory testing requirements. We encourage you to take advantage of it to guard against asymptomatic spread of the virus.
In addition, we will be distributing approximately 5,000 test kits to those who need them in the Baltimore community through partner organizations, including those that we have worked with on food and mask distribution throughout the pandemic.
New procedures for those with symptoms: If you have symptoms, you no longer need to call the Johns Hopkins COVID Call Center. Faculty and staff members are encouraged to use the at-home rapid antigen tests if they experience symptoms. If you test positive with a rapid test, you should begin isolation right away and report the result to the JHCCC via this online form.
If you do not have a rapid antigen test, you can schedule a symptomatic PCR test at Johns Hopkins directly through MyChart.
Consistent with CDC guidelines for use of antigen tests, if you are symptomatic but test negative with a rapid test, we ask that you still arrange for a symptomatic test by scheduling through MyChart.
We also encourage you to use a rapid test to determine if you are clear to return to campus after five days of isolation following a positive COVID test.
Affiliates can still call the JHCCC at 443-287-8500 if they lack internet access or if they have a question or concern on something other than symptoms, such as a possible exposure or vaccination/boosters.
Resumption of limited in-person dining: Given the low number of COVID cases on campus, we will resume in-person dining at 50% capacity starting today, Jan. 31, in the FFC, Nolan’s, and Peabody Dining. Levering will start on Monday, Feb. 7. We ask that you be vigilant and remove your mask only while actually eating and that you socially distance while unmasked. Please sit at designated seats and tables, and do not move furniture closer together.
Applicability: Affiliates of the School of Medicine follow Johns Hopkins Medicine’s COVID guidelines, and their return-to-campus date is aligned with JHM’s return date this summer. For APL staff members who work, teach, or attend classes at other JHU or JHM campuses, the mandates for each campus apply and can supersede APL guidelines.