Note: This letter originally appeared as an email sent to the Hopkins community on November 29, 2021.
Dear Johns Hopkins Community:
Welcome back! We hope you had a relaxing and fun Thanksgiving break. As you return to campus, please take a minute to assess how you are feeling. We have already seen flu and COVID cases among members of our campus community who assumed they “just had a cold” and came to campus with symptoms. If you have any COVID or flu-like symptoms, including fever, muscle or body aches, coughing, congestion or a runny nose, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, or fatigue, do not come to campus. Instead, call the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Call Center (JHCCC), whose representatives will likely suggest that you get tested for COVID and, in some cases, for flu. The center’s number is 443-287-8500. Do not attend work/class or gather with friends until the JHCCC calls you with your test results and gives you further instructions. If you hear that someone at a Thanksgiving gathering you attended has now tested positive, call the JHCCC and follow its instructions.
Faculty have been asked to honor the JHCCC’s directives to students. We do not want students with symptoms or who may have been exposed to the virus to come to campus without first speaking with the JHCCC. It is likely that the JHCCC will tell such students to remain at home until tested.
Even if you are feeling well, it’s important to resume mandatory testing immediately. All vaccinated students are required to test once each week; all unvaccinated students and employees (those with exceptions) are required to test twice each week, except for School of Medicine affiliates, who follow Johns Hopkins Medicine’s once-weekly testing policy. Even if you are not required to test weekly, you may consider getting tested, particularly if you have been traveling. Testing is available at several JHU asymptomatic COVID testing sites.
As we are sure you all have seen in the media, there is a new COVID variant of concern (omicron) that has been reported in the last several days. While much remains to be learned about this variant, and no reports have yet occurred in the U.S., mutations that have the potential for the COVID virus to be more competitive (as occurred with delta) continue to be of concern. Johns Hopkins experts will be carefully monitoring the occurrence of this variant and urge the community to remain vigilant and continue adhering to COVID testing and other measures we have put into place as detailed on the JHU Coronavirus Information website and in community messages.
If you haven’t already gotten the flu shot, the deadline is this coming Friday, Dec. 3. This webpage has information on upcoming Johns Hopkins flu clinics. Unless you were vaccinated at an on-campus flu clinic and had your ID card swiped, you must upload proof to the Vaccine Management System or obtain an approved exception. If you want to check your status, you can go to https://vms.jh.edu/.
Again, welcome back to campus!
Vice Provost for Student Health and Well-Being
Interim Vice Provost for Student Affairs
Interim Vice President for Human Resources
Professor and Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Professor, Vice Provost, and Chief Risk Officer