Note: This letter originally appeared as an email sent to the Hopkins community on August 27, 2021.
Dear Johns Hopkins Community:
We are excited to have students returning to our campuses and to be starting another academic year. As we increase in-person activities this fall, we are committed to keeping you safe, and, as we indicated last week, we have decided to take some additional precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among our faculty, students, and staff. We would also like to remind you of some important guidelines to help you protect yourself and your colleagues and to invite you to a town hall next week.
More than 95% of our faculty and 91% of our staff have documented their full vaccination against COVID, and we expect that once students who have not had the opportunity to receive an FDA-authorized vaccine arrive on campus, their numbers will be similar. Thanks to our high vaccination rates and other safeguards we have employed throughout the pandemic, such as masking, testing, and restrictions on eating and drinking, we have seen no documented cases of transmission in laboratory or classroom settings since the beginning of the pandemic. And the diligence of our community in maintaining good public health practices is evident in the initial test results from students moving into our residence halls—less than 0.5% were positive for COVID.
Based on CDC advisories and our consultation with experts in public health and infectious disease, we are confident that these measures are sufficient at this time without the need for distancing or de-densification in our facilities or on university transportation. However, the number of COVID cases regionally and nationally has increased in recent weeks, so out of an abundance of caution, we are enacting the following policies.
We also offer the following reminders:
The School of Medicine continues to follow Johns Hopkins Medicine policies for vaccination. APL has its own policies for individuals on its property, but for APL staff members who work, teach or attend classes at other JHU or JHM campuses, the mandates for each campus apply and can supersede APL guidelines.
If you have any questions about our policies or guidelines, we invite you to attend a virtual town hall hosted on covidinfo.jhu.edu next Wednesday, September 1, at 12:30 p.m. You may submit questions during the event or in advance at HRCOVID19@jhu.edu.
Thank you for helping us have a successful and safe semester. We will continue to keep you updated by email and through the coronavirus information website in the coming weeks.
Professor and Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Professor, Vice Provost, and Chief Risk Officer