Asymptomatic COVID Testing Before Winter Break

| December 14, 2020
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Note: This letter originally appeared as an email sent to students on December 11, 2020.

Dear Students,

I hope you are staying safe and healthy as we finish the fall semester and that you will continue to follow all necessary precautions to protect yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19. In addition to mask-wearing, physical distancing and frequent hand-washing, it is critical that we all continue to avoid unnecessary travel and gatherings with people other than those with whom we currently live. We know, however, that many of you plan to return home over winter break and to stay there until the start of the spring semester. In order to help you do so safely, Johns Hopkins University will expand asymptomatic testing for students in the days before the winter break begins.

A limited number of tests for students will be available by appointment only at Shriver Hall on the Homewood campus from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. starting Tuesday, Dec. 15, through Friday, Dec. 18, and from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday, Dec. 21, through Wednesday, Dec. 23. Appointments will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis as capacity allows.

To take advantage of this opportunity, register here.

You will then get an email asking you to register for MyChart, which you can use to schedule an appointment at Shriver Hall. You will need to bring your JCard and Prodensity pass when you come to Shriver Hall. Results should be available in MyChart within 24 to 48 hours. If you receive a positive test result, Student Health, along with Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Call Center (JHCCC) contact tracers, will reach out to you regarding next steps.

Students living in residence halls are allowed to remain there throughout the holidays.

This pre-holiday testing is in addition to the expansion of asymptomatic testing for students, faculty and staff that will begin universitywide in January. Now and in the future, those who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should call the JHCCC at 883-546-7546.

Any asymptomatic student living in Baltimore who wishes to get a test can also do so at the Baltimore Convention Center. Information is available here. For students in the Washington, D.C., area, the city offers free asymptomatic testing at a host of locations which can be found here.

Even with a negative test, you will still need to follow all public health measures and remain careful and vigilant as you travel. You should quarantine upon your arrival at your destination, as you may have become infected during travel, and follow any travel-related restrictions there. Please remember that a negative COVID test shows only that the collected sample did not contain enough virus to be detected. Most often, that is because you were free of the virus at the point in time when the test was administered. Sometimes, however, you were infected, but the virus hadn’t yet multiplied enough to be detectable or cause symptoms. And of course, a negative test can’t address subsequent infection.

Wishing you a healthy and happy holiday season,

Kevin Shollenberger
Vice Provost for Student Health and Well-Being