Note: This letter originally appeared as an email sent to the Hopkins community on December 31, 2021.
Dear Johns Hopkins University Community:
As we continue to plan for return to in-person learning on Jan. 24 for the spring 2022 semester and navigate challenges posed by the omicron variant of the COVID-19 pandemic, we write to announce some changes to Johns Hopkins University’s operations and to reinforce the importance of our ongoing requirements and guidelines.
Importantly, we want you to know that although case counts continue to rise in our area and among our affiliates, we continue to see no transmission of COVID-19 on campus or in our workplaces when our rules and guidance are followed. Nonetheless, we are mindful of COVID spread in the community and of the strain on our dedicated health care colleagues.
Key elements of our updated and existing protocols and policies include:
This change follows recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is made in consultation with our own experts in public health and infectious disease. In light of better developed evidence about the period during which COVID is most transmissible as well as our own extensive measures to prevent the virus’ spread (e.g., near universal vaccination, required masking, increased surveillance testing, and enhanced ventilation), we believe this change appropriately balances our need to protect our community with a desire not to force our faculty, staff, students, and post-doctoral fellows to isolate or quarantine longer than necessary.
As always, our ability to safely carry out our mission of education, research, and service to the fullest extent depends on your efforts to keep yourself, your colleagues, and our Baltimore neighbors safe. It is crucial that you remain diligent in masking, monitoring yourself for symptoms, following our testing requirements, avoiding large gatherings—particularly indoors—and staying up-to-date with your vaccination.
Fortunately, we continue to see no evidence of transmission in our classroom or laboratory spaces, and our plans to begin the spring semester in person on Jan. 24 remain unchanged. As always, we will closely monitor conditions, and we will not hesitate to enact additional protections or to change course if needed, in consultation with the Health Advisory Group, the University Pandemic Academic Advisory Committee, and the Student Advisory Committee.
We thank you again for your diligence and care in maintaining good public health practices, and we look forward to seeing you on campus again in the new year.
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