Note: this letter originally appeared as an email sent to the Johns Hopkins community on April 6, 2022.
Dear Johns Hopkins Community:
The message below was sent to undergraduate students earlier today in response to travel-related COVID cases reported since Spring Break. While the situation does not warrant change to most of our public health protocols at the moment, we have continued to consult with public health and medical experts and are temporarily instituting twice-weekly COVID testing for undergraduates. We are also reinstituting masking requirements for all persons in common areas of residence halls or in university dining facilities, except when actively eating or drinking.
Please remember that asymptomatic testing remains available to all JHU affiliates, and both high-quality masks and rapid test kits are available at various university test sites. More details are on the JHU coronavirus information website.
We will continue to closely monitor the situation and will keep you informed.
Dear Undergraduate Students,
Since Spring Break, we have received reports of COVID cases among undergraduates who have recently traveled or who were exposed to someone who has recently traveled. Nearly 100 undergraduate students have reported a positive test since April 1, with cases evenly split among residential and non-residential students. Consistent with what we have seen this term, many students who tested positive are asymptomatic, and the rest are experiencing only mild symptoms.
To help monitor the situation, we are moving to twice-weekly testing for all undergraduate students for at least this week and the next two weeks (through April 22). We will then re-evaluate and determine whether the increased testing remains necessary. We are also temporarily reinstating masking requirements for all people (students, staff, faculty, contractors, visitors, and guests) in common areas of the residence halls and in university dining facilities, except when actively eating or drinking. This is in addition to the required masking in classrooms. The university will continue to provide free, high-quality masks at asymptomatic testing sites.
In order to effectively manage our inventory of off-campus isolation housing, we may also adopt the isolation-in-place protocols outlined in a January message for residential undergraduates. In that case, we would prioritize off-campus isolation housing for residential students most in need, such as those with medical conditions that place them at higher risk from COVID; those who are experiencing more serious presentations of COVID; or those whose living arrangements may make it difficult to isolate (such as students living in doubles as opposed to suites with individual bedrooms). We currently are not accommodating our off-campus COVID-positive students in university isolation housing. However, they should continue to use the resources of Student Health and Wellness and Student Outreach and Support.
If students are asked to isolate in place, they must remain in their rooms and are not to leave unless there is a building or medical emergency. They will have meals delivered to their door, and mail, laundry, and trash removal services will be made available. Isolating students – whether in their rooms or in off-campus housing — are also instructed to communicate with their professors and create plans for handling absences from classes, assignments, and exams.
A member of the COVID Support Team will reach out to you as a follow up to answer any questions or concerns you may have about the isolation process and resources available to you.
We want to assure you that we are taking these precautions so that other students in the university’s residence hall buildings are not put at risk. To help students monitor their own health, we are making self-tests available to all residential students. These tests supplement, but do not replace, the mandatory asymptomatic saliva testing requirements that are in place. Test kits can be picked upfrom 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, in the Wolman Housing Office or AMR II Residential Life office.
We appreciate your continued flexibility and will provide to updates as conditions warrant.
Vice Provost for Student Health and Well-Being