Your roles and responsibilities in this COVID environment

January 22, 2021

Dear Students,

As we prepare to expand in-person activities on campus this spring, the health of our community continues to remain our top priority. Our collective safety will require everyone to consistently adhere to health and safety guidelines outlined in the Return to Campus guide, including the robust testing program that has been implemented on campus. Noncompliance with health and safety guidelines places our community at risk for spreading the virus, which endangers our health and may result in further disruption of research and educational activities. On an individual level, it could also lead to loss of access to university facilities as well as disciplinary action. Below we have outlined the basic health and safety guidelines with which students are expected to comply during the semester. As you review, please remember the vital role that you play in keeping our community safe—JHNeedsU to help us protect each other!


Alanna W. Shanahan
Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Jen Calhoun
Senior Advisor to the Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Important Takeaways

  • All members of the university community are expected to fully comply with the policies, protocols, and guidelines outlined in the university’s Return to Campus Guide.
  • Noncompliance could lead to loss of facility access and/or student conduct disciplinary action.
  • Students must complete daily Prodensity health checks in order to access on-campus classes and activities.
  • Flu shots are required before coming to campus.
  • Undergraduates living on-campus and in Baltimore must complete twice weekly COVID-19 testing. Graduate students who are directly supporting in-person, on-campus classes or regularly exposed to undergraduates must complete testing at least once per week. Testing frequencies may increase based on public health conditions. Students should check with their schools for school-specific testing policies.
  • Students are also expected to follow all public health guidance, including use of masks, frequent hand washing, and proper physical distancing.
  • Undergraduate students are encouraged to agree to the social compact. Using another person’s J-Card or allowing another person to use your J-Card is a violation of the Student Conduct Code and could lead to student conduct disciplinary action.


The university has developed a comprehensive software application called Prodensity to assist in complying with university policies and protocols. Among its many features, Prodensity offers reminders for testing, a health check, a checklist of requirements, and issues “green” or “red” campus passes to denote whether an individual is in compliance with all requirements. All students who will be on campus must fill out the Prodensity app daily to access all on-campus classes and activities. Failure to do so will result in an expired campus pass, and repeat violations will lead to conduct follow-up. Your campus pass may be checked by Safety Ambassadors in campus buildings and on campus grounds to ensure compliance and to help contain the virus. Data from Prodensity will also be used in reports to university leadership to monitor compliance and to enforce guidelines. Prodensity can be accessed through the JHU technology portal or by downloading the app for iOS or Android devices.

Flu Shots
Before coming to campus, all students are required to have a flu shot. Students can get a free flu shot at any Walgreens pharmacy anywhere in the United States using the voucher provided by Johns Hopkins (valid through March 1, 2021). This voucher will also allow Walgreens to automatically inform Johns Hopkins that you have been vaccinated, and no additional action will be necessary. Student Health Plan participants can get a flu shot at no cost from any in-network Express Scripts pharmacy, which includes most major pharmacies, or from their in-network primary care physician. If you choose this option, the university will not be automatically informed, so please obtain documentation from the provider and enter it in the self-submission site as soon as possible after you have received the vaccine

Anyone who has not had their flu shot or had their flu shot documented with JHU will be issued a “red” pass from Prodensity. Note that a “red” pass due to lack of flu vaccine or lack of documentation of vaccine does not exempt one from the COVID testing requirements.

COVID-19 Testing

Undergraduate Students
It is strongly recommended that all undergraduate students have a negative COVID-19 NAT test 72 hours prior to arrival in Baltimore, based on Maryland state guidance. All undergraduate students must also be tested for COVID-19 at move-in (for residential students) or within 24 hours of arrival in Baltimore (for off-campus students) at a JHU test center. Students should immediately self-quarantine upon arrival in Baltimore and prior to testing, and remain in self-quarantine until they receive a negative result.

Throughout the semester, undergraduates living on-campus or in Baltimore must complete twice-weekly COVID-19 testing with at least 48 hours between tests. Testing frequency may be increased to three times per week, based on public health conditions. The “testing week” will run from Monday–Saturday and reminders will be sent to students via Prodensity if the first test has not been completed by Wednesday at 5 p.m. Failure to adhere to the testing requirements will result in a “red” campus pass at the end of the testing week until the next test is taken and negative. Violations will result in student conduct follow-up. Residential students who fail to meet testing requirements may lead to loss of a housing contract.

Graduate Students
Graduate students are not required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test at the start of the semester, but testing is available and recommended. Generally, during the semester, testing will be required at least once weekly for those individuals who are either participating in or directly supporting in-person, on-campus classes or regularly exposed to undergraduates. Testing frequency may be increased to two times per week based on public health conditions, and schools, centers, and/or divisions may require more frequent testing for their populations. Please check with your school to ensure you have the most up-to-date information on your individual testing requirements.

Scheduling Testing Appointments with MyChart
To ensure your weekly mandated testing goes smoothly, please ensure you have activated your MyChart account prior to arriving the testing site. The MyChart app can be downloaded directly from the app store. You should have received an activation link via email to begin the setup process. If you are experiencing any challenges, please contact the MyChart helpdesk at 443-997-6225 or 888-676-3433, or email your name, date of birth, and JHED ID to with a short description of the issue you are having.

Health and Safety Guidance

In addition to use of the Prodensity app and adherence to vaccination and testing requirements, students are also expected to:

  • Wear a mask, both indoors and outdoors, unless alone in a residence hall room or private workspace.
  • Follow physical distancing practices and not gather in groups larger than 10 people. Students living in residence halls must adhere to the housing contract addendum which stipulates that no guests are permitted in the residence halls.
  • Refrain from moving indoor or outdoor furniture, which has been strategically placed to meet public health guidelines.
  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water, especially after they have been in a public place or after blowing their nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching their face. It is also suggested that everyone wash their hands as they enter and leave various on-campus spaces and before eating.
  • Refrain from using tobacco or vaping anywhere on campus.

Social Compact

To reinforce the precautions that all JHU affiliates are asked to take to keep our community safe and well, a social compact will be launched next week. Please keep your eyes open for the compact. Undergraduate students, we hope you will pledge to abide by the Student Compact/Health and Safety Compliance requirements via the COVID-19 online module.

The university has designated Safety Ambassadors and other JHU-related individuals to assist with carefully monitoring for compliance with COVID-19 guidelines. Additionally, every member of our community is empowered to request compliance with health and safety guidelines. Those who encounter noncompliance may notify the university by submitting anonymous concerns via the JHU hotline 844-SPEAK2US; through an online reporting form; using the LiveSafe app, or by contacting Health, Safety and Environment at or 410-516-8798.

Student Conduct

Students who are found to be non-compliant will be subject to disciplinary action. The Student Conduct Code and Reinforcement of University COVID-19 Guidelines (PDF) detail procedures followed when resolving potential violations of university policy.

Related Links

Have Questions?

The Frequently Asked Questions page on the university’s COVID website offers a great deal of information. Questions can also be directed to

We welcome your feedback on these communications! If you have general suggestions, recommendations for topics you’d like to see covered, or anything else, please email