Note: This letter originally appeared as an email sent to the Hopkins community on January 14, 2021.
Dear Johns Hopkins Community:
We continue to look forward to the beginning of the spring semester on Jan. 24 and are working to resume a broad range of in-person academic, research, and other activities as safely as possible. Two years into the pandemic, we know the strain on our community is great and that coming together in person is vitally important to the well-being and progress of our students in particular. As always, we are carefully considering how best to sustain the safe environment we’ve been able to create on our campuses throughout the pandemic.
As you know, the data suggest that omicron is more easily transmissible than other variants of the COVID virus and that it progresses more quickly but typically results in less severe illness and fewer hospitalizations—particularly among those who have been fully vaccinated, including booster doses. Those characteristics, as well as the near universal rate of vaccination within our community, make the surge we are experiencing now different from the one we faced a year ago. In response, we are taking the following steps:
COVID is a serious and exhausting challenge, but it is important to emphasize how much better prepared we are to face the virus now than we were when it first emerged almost two years ago. The steps you have taken—vaccination, mask-wearing, testing and more—have contributed immeasurably to the safety of our community and to our ability to meet our mission of education, research, and service. At this time of higher community prevalence, we ask you to be particularly careful to monitor yourself for symptoms and to stay home and get tested if you are sick. We thank you for your continued diligence in the weeks ahead.
Stay safe and be well,
Professor and Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Professor, Vice Provost, and Chief Risk Officer
Vice Provost for Student Health and Well-Being
Interim Vice Provost for Student Affairs