The JHU 2020 Planning task force shared the updated guidance document on Dec. 18. Comments and questions can be shared via the JHU 2020 Planning feedback form.


Our COVID-19 plans have relied on a phased approach beginning with the resumption of low-density activities (labeled broadly as ‘Phase 1’) followed by medium-density activities (‘Phase 2’). This document is intended to serve as guidance for activities while the university remains within Phase 2 and replaces the Phase 1 guide published Oct. 28, 2020.

During this phase, only faculty and staff who are teaching, performing research, providing clinical services, or are required for campus operations should work on campus until further notice. All other faculty and staff will continue to work from home throughout the spring semester.

All students, faculty, and staff who are on-campus are required to do the following to support the safety of our community:

  • Document receipt of the flu vaccine through the self-submit site before coming to campus if you have not received the vaccine through the Walgreen’s program or one of the on-campus clinics;
  • Complete two daily health check questions regarding COVID symptoms and exposure on any day when on campus;
  • Complete the required mandatory COVID-19 testing, when required;
  • Wear a mask, both indoors and outdoors, unless alone in a dorm room or private workspace;
  • Do not use tobacco or vaping anywhere on campus; and
  • Adhere to other health and safety guidance, including physical distancing.

A communications campaign for the university’s social compact—included on page 5—for all JHU affiliates will be launched in January 2021. The social compact reinforces the precautions that all JHU affiliates are asked to take to keep our community safe and well. While affiliates are not required to sign it, the university expects all JHU affiliates to adhere to the precautions included in the social compact.

The university has developed a robust testing program to monitor and control the spread of the virus among affiliates. It is strongly recommended that all undergraduate students have a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival in Baltimore, based on Maryland state guidance. The university continues to monitor both the state and city guidance. All undergraduate students must also be tested upon arrival at a JHU test center, and then quarantine until a negative test result is received. During this approximately 24-hour quarantine, residential students may leave their room to pick up food but are not allowed to walk around campus or gather with other students.

All undergraduate students in Baltimore are required to be tested twice per week throughout the semester, regardless of their on-campus activity. Testing will be mandatory for faculty, staff, graduate students, and post-docs once per week for any who are participating in or directly supporting in-person, on-campus classes (with exceptions for clinically based instruction) or who are regularly exposed to undergraduates. Vendors and contractors who interact directly with JHU students, faculty, or staff will be required to participate in mandatory testing. Schools, centers, and/or divisions may require mandatory testing for other affiliates deemed to have a heightened risk of exposure to infection due to the nature of their activities and/or the environment in which they are operating. If you have questions about whether you are or are not subject to mandatory testing, please speak with your principal investigator, supervisor, or student affairs office.

JHU affiliates who test positive through the JHU testing program will be promptly alerted. If a student tests positive, the Student Health and Wellness Center (SHWC) or University Health Services, case management (Student Outreach and Support Services), housing/residential life, and transportation will also be alerted. Residential students who test positive will be required to move to isolation housing until they are cleared to resume on-campus activities. Off-campus undergraduates and graduate students who have tested positive will be offered isolation housing based on need and availability, as recommended by the SHWC.

This Return to Campus Guide will continue to be updated. The guidelines will be revised based upon state and local regulations, public health guidance, and community input. University working groups focused on research, academic programs, student life, and other aspects of health and safety will provide details about how the issues presented in this document apply in specific contexts. Ultimately, each school, department, and program will develop local plans and protocols for carrying out our research, educational, and support activities going forward.

Your feedback and input are important throughout this process. We hope you will join upcoming virtual town hall discussions and share your comments through our online form.

Town hall on returning to campus

Aug. 25, 2020

Learn about updates to JHU’s Return to Campus Guidance that will govern health, safety, and operational practices for the limited number of students, faculty, and staff that will need to be on the university’s campuses this fall.


Help us protect each other

Illustration of person wearing a face mask

Cover your face

Always wear a mask on campus

Illustration of person washing hands

Wash your hands

Wash or sanitize hands often and don't touch your face

Illustration of two people six feet apart

Distance yourself

Keep six feet between you and others

Illustration of a digital thermometer

If you have symptoms

Self-isolate and call 833-546-7546 right away