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Fall 2021 Return to Campus Resources

Washington DC Campus Updates

All JHU students, faculty and staff will be required to have proof of a Covid-19 vaccine before returning to campus in the fall. The University will offer vaccination clinics throughout the summer. Additional information and upcoming clinic dates can be found here.

Dear Johns Hopkins Faculty, Students, and Staff,

We write with important updates to our plans for maintaining COVID safety during the summer and the fall semester, including our decision to mandate vaccination for all on-site Johns Hopkins University faculty and staff as of August 1.

Together with our previously announced vaccination requirement for undergraduate and graduate students, this step effectively extends our vaccine mandate throughout the university community, with continued exceptions for medical and religious reasons. It also reflects the unequivocal advice of our medical and public health experts that achieving as near to universal vaccination as possible is the most effective way to keep our community safe as we return to fully in-person and on-site activities.

Fortunately, the vaccine shortages that marked the winter and spring are no longer an issue, and we have been able to provide free vaccination clinics on our campuses for members of the university community. Those clinics will continue throughout the summer at a variety of locations to make vaccination as convenient as possible. Information is available here. International students or others who cannot access the vaccine in their home communities will be able to get vaccinated when they arrive on campus.

To establish proof of vaccination, the university will launch a COVID vaccine registration system on July 1, similar to the one we have used in the past for submitting proof of influenza vaccination. All faculty, staff, and students are required to register their vaccine status by August 1. Please keep your COVID vaccination record and plan to upload an image of it, or apply for a religious or medical exception, through the registration system as soon as possible.

We have compiled a great deal of information about the vaccine’s development, safety, and effectiveness on the Johns Hopkins Get the Facts, Get the Vax website, and we encourage those who have not yet been vaccinated to review the resources there. We also have hosted a series of town hall meetings in which members of the community could ask the university’s experts in medicine and public health about the vaccine. The town halls can be viewed here.

We are greatly encouraged by the increasing rates of vaccination and the related reduction in the rates of infection and severe complications of COVID locally and nationally, and we plan to establish much closer to normal operating conditions for students, faculty, and staff this fall.

Below is a summary of our current plans for COVID safety policies for the summer and fall, effective July 1, and more details on our vaccination requirements. Revised return to campus guidance and other information about how to submit vaccination documentation will be forthcoming on our website. As always, we will continue to monitor the public health situation and will make adjustments, either to tighten or loosen our protocols, as appropriate.

We were heartened to see the safe increase in on-campus instruction, research, and other work during the recently concluded spring semester, and we are confident that with broad vaccination we can do even more this summer and fall.

Be well,

Ronald J. Daniels

Sunil Kumar
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Mary Miller
Interim Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration
Summer and fall operating plans – beginning July 1
  • COVID vaccination will be required for all faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate and graduate students who will be working or studying at a U.S.–based university campus or worksite, beginning August 1. That includes:
    • Members of nonclinical departments at the School of Medicine; members of clinical departments will be governed by Johns Hopkins Health System vaccination policies
    • Members of collective bargaining units
    • Contractors who provide services to the university community and whose primary work location is on university properties located in Maryland or Washington, D.C., regardless of employer
    • Those who are doing business on behalf of the university, including individuals engaged in work-related travel
  • A required JHU vaccination registry will open on July 1. During the month of July, managers will be working to make sure all members of their team upload proof of their vaccination or submit an application for a religious or medical exception before August 1.
  • Religious and health exceptions for COVID vaccination will be considered in the same manner as exceptions for the influenza vaccine. Those who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant may also seek an exception. The deadline to apply for an exception is August 1—application will be through the JHU vaccination registry.
  • Any affiliate on-site who has been granted a vaccination exception will be required to participate in twice-weekly COVID testing at Johns Hopkins and mask at all times indoors (even if local and/or university masking requirements are later eased for those who are vaccinated).
  • For those international students and others arriving from abroad who may not have access to a U.S.– or World Health Organization–authorized vaccine before returning to campus, we will offer a grace period until September 30 to submit proof of vaccination. The university will provide free vaccination upon arrival for those traveling to a U.S.–based campus or worksite from abroad. Until individuals are fully vaccinated, they will be required to mask when indoors (even if masks are not broadly required) and be tested twice weekly.
  • Influenza vaccination will also be required. This year’s deadline to submit documentation of flu vaccination will be November 19.
Masking, distancing, and testing
  • Physical distancing requirements will be lifted indoors and outdoors on July 1, though we recommend continued distancing for those who are not vaccinated.
  • Spaces for eating will be available in both undistanced format (for those who are vaccinated) and distanced format (open to all and required for those who are unvaccinated).
  • Occupancy limits in elevators and bathrooms will be eliminated on July 1.
  • In accordance with Baltimore City guidelines, masks will still be required indoors in classrooms, labs, common spaces, and shared offices. If the city eliminates its indoor masking mandate, we may do so as well, but only for those who have been vaccinated.
  • Once-weekly COVID testing will be required for vaccinated residential undergraduates.
  • Twice-weekly testing will be required for all unvaccinated faculty, students, and staff.
  • Testing on demand will remain available for all affiliates.
Other policies
  • Daily health checks through Prodensity remain required.
  • The university’s travel policies will return to normal beginning July 1.
  • Visitors and guests will be allowed on campus but must follow the same COVID safety rules as JHU affiliates.
Staff return to work
  • Divisions and departments have submitted plans for the resumption of in-person work by staff, including designation of each position as fully in-person, hybrid, or remote based on operational needs.
  • The review of these plans will be completed over the next two weeks to ensure a level of equity and consistency across the university while still recognizing the unique needs of each division or department.
  • Opportunities will be available for those who want to return to in-person work to do so beginning July 1, and we expect workplaces to fully transition into their fall operating posture by mid-August.
  • We will continue to evaluate our staff operating posture throughout the fall, and divisions and departments will make adjustments based on emerging best practices and evolving public health circumstances.

Dear Johns Hopkins Community, 

In a message last Friday, we shared the university’s plans for the staged return of activity on our campuses, with the hope and expectation that the university will be substantially back to normal this fall. As an opportunity to provide feedback on our plans for fall 2021 and share your questions, we invite you to a virtual town hall scheduled for Monday, April 19, from 1 to 2 p.m. EDT. The event will be broadcast on the JHU Coronavirus Information Site. Registration is not required. Members of the university community are invited to submit questions in advance at   

Topics to be addressed include vaccination guidelines and requirements; our planning for academics, housing, and dining; staff return; and our expectation for how COVID testing and other health and safety protocols may change in the fall with improving conditions. Panelists include: 

  • Heidi Conway, Vice President for Human Resources 
  • Stephen Gange, Professor and Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs 
  • Jon Links, Professor, Vice Provost, and Chief Risk Officer 
  • Jane Schlegel, Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer 
  • Alanna Shanahan, Vice Provost for Student Affairs 

The town hall moderator will be Lainie Rutkow, Professor and Senior Adviser to the President. A recording will be made available shortly after it concludes. 
Vaccination Appointments Through Johns Hopkins Medicine  

As we communicated last week, given the importance of mass vaccination in protecting our community, we will require all students coming or returning to our campuses this fall—and who do not require health or religious exemptions—to be vaccinated. We strongly urge, and may soon require, all faculty and staff to be vaccinated as well.  

We are pleased to share that as COVID-19 vaccination eligibility and availability expand, the opportunity to secure vaccination appointments through Johns Hopkins Medicine is now being broadened to include all Johns Hopkins affiliates in Maryland and Washington, D.C. Any Johns Hopkins affiliates who would like to receive the COVID-19 vaccine through JHM will be able to schedule a vaccination appointment in MyChart.  

We caution, however, that vaccine allotments to Johns Hopkins Medicine continue to be somewhat limited. In response to federal recommendations, JHM has paused the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and will carefully review updated data as it is made available. 

We continue to encourage all JHU affiliates to seek vaccinations through a variety of venues including health departments, retail pharmacies, and mass vaccination sites. To find a vaccine clinic in Maryland, visit the state’s vaccine locator website
To schedule a vaccination appointment through JHM, log on to MyChart, select Visits > Schedule an Appointment and then select the COVID-19 box. After completing the screening questions, select one of the locations available for COVID-19 vaccination that’s most convenient: Turner Concourse at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview, Sibley Memorial Hospital, Suburban Hospital, or the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab. If you have any questions about this new process, or need assistance scheduling an appointment, please contact the Johns Hopkins COVID Call Center at 443-287-8500 and select option 4. If you need information about how to set up your MyChart account, call the MyChart help desk at 888-676-3433. 

Thank you for your continued cooperation and commitment as we envision with hope and excitement a return to more traditional university life in the fall.   


Stephen Gange 
Professor and Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs 

Jon Links 
Professor, Vice Provost, and Chief Risk and Compliance Officer 

Dear Johns Hopkins Community, 

We are writing to share our plans for the staged return of activity back to our campuses, with the hope and expectation that the university will be substantially back to normal this fall.  

Our plans are predicated on continuing public health strategies to promote a safe campus and community. However, with increases in vaccine availability and distribution, we are now able to add vaccination as a critical component to our campus safety plan. 

The pandemic continues to present unpredictable challenges, and we will monitor state and local COVID-related restrictions to ensure that our operations abide by them. If we have to scale back our plans to protect the public’s health on our campuses and in our surrounding communities, we will do so.  

In the meantime, below are the key elements of our fall plans. 

As you know, multiple vaccines (from Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson) have been demonstrated to provide high levels of protection against the COVID virus with reports of only minimal and brief side effects following administration. Thankfully, vaccine supply shortages have eased. The United States is now vaccinating more than 4 million people a day, and more than 100 million Americans have already received at least one vaccine dose. And this week, Governor Hogan announced that all adults in Maryland will be eligible to receive the vaccine starting April 12. If the pace of current vaccination continues, we expect that every member of our community will be able to be vaccinated over the next few months. 

Given the importance of mass vaccination in protecting our community, we will require all students coming or returning to our campuses this fall, and who do not require religious or health exemptions, to be vaccinated. We strongly urge, and may soon require, all faculty and staff to be vaccinated as well. 

We will seek to facilitate opportunities for students who are unable to get vaccinated in their home jurisdictions to be vaccinated when they arrive on campus, and we are working to make on-campus vaccination available for all members of our community. Ensuring that the overwhelming percentage of our community’s population is vaccinated will greatly reduce the risk of the virus’s spread on our campuses and will also protect our neighbors in Baltimore. 
We encourage all campus members interested in learning more about the science of the vaccine to visit Johns Hopkins Medicine’s COVID-19 Vaccine Safety website.  

We are in the process of establishing a system for JHU affiliates to register their vaccination status, so you should retain documentation when you are vaccinated. Registration will be required for students, and we will urge faculty and staff to voluntarily report their status to help us determine the appropriate level of public health protections over the summer and fall. More information on the registration process will be available in the coming weeks. 

Fall 2021 Academic Schedule, Classes, and Housing and Dining
As always, offerings will vary by division, but on the whole, we anticipate a broad resumption of in-person classes for our undergraduate, professional, and graduate students this fall.  

For undergraduates, most classes previously taught in person will return to that modality. Large (50 person-plus) classes will generally be taught in online/remote modality or broken into smaller sections for public health, and in some cases, pedagogical, reasons. The Peabody Institute may implement special protocols for some performance classes as needed. Course modalities are being updated for fall registration to begin in mid-April and may be further refined as planning continues over the summer. 

Attendance by both students and faculty will be required in programs that are ordinarily conducted in person, except in cases where individuals receive accommodations for the fall semester through the Office of Institutional Equity or Student Disability Services. We recognize that international students may continue to experience disruptions in their plans to travel to Baltimore; program directors and advising services will work with those students to help identify opportunities for them to continue to make progress in their studies, but hybrid options will not be available in all classes.  

We plan to increase the density in our residence halls to near-normal capacity, and we are reinstating the residency requirement for sophomores in addition to maintaining it for first-year students for fall 2021. We also expect to resume in-person dining on campus in a de-densified environment.  

Staff Return to Campus
Regular in-person contact among faculty, students, and staff is fundamental to the vitality of our university. The presence of our staff in Baltimore is also critical to our role as an economic anchor in the city, and we are anxious to reconvene as a community as quickly and safely as we can. We also recognize that our collective return may look different from our past “normal” and must incorporate the lessons learned over the past year about balancing work, home life, and well-being.   

As conditions improve, we are looking forward to and planning for the majority of our staff and faculty to return to campus in person by mid-August for the start of the semester.  

Exceptions will be made in cases where staff members have received accommodations through the Office of Institutional Equity or had pre-COVID alternative work arrangements. We are mindful that for many, the resumption of in-person work may be affected by whether your K-12 children return to in-person school and other COVID-related child care and caregiving obligations, and we will work closely with units to address these issues as they arise. We also know that some of you would like to return sooner, and we will provide opportunities to do so earlier in the summer.  

As always, there may be discrete areas and roles where more flexible work arrangements are best, and we anticipate differences between business units or functions in what the return to in-person work looks like. We, like many organizations, are thinking deeply about the future of work, and university leadership will take a considered and consultative approach to our long-term policies guided by clearly articulated principles that are informed by research, deliberation, and data. We will convene a staff working group to collaborate with our deans, staff members, and consultative bodies such as the University Pandemic Academic Advisory Committee to develop those guidelines and templates for various work arrangements and share those with the community in the next few weeks. 

COVID Testing and Other Health and Safety Protocols
We will continue to follow the best advice of public health experts with respect to our health and safety protocols, with specific details to come as we get closer to the fall semester. At this time, we are planning for:   

  • The continuation of enhanced cleaning and increased air exchange and filtration 24/7 in all facilities  
  • Continued capacity for high-volume asymptomatic COVID testing in the fall, with details on required testing frequency to be determined  
  • Continued testing and contact tracing through the Johns Hopkins COVID Call Center for those with symptoms or meaningful contact with a COVID-positive person  
  • Availability of isolation housing for undergraduates   
  • Use of face coverings with specific guidelines determined by public health conditions closer to the fall start  
  • Required flu vaccination   

Moving Forward
Your feedback on our plan for fall 2021 is important to us, and we hope to hear from you and to answer any questions you may have via the JHU online feedback portal and in a town hall planned for next week, with details to be announced shortly via the Hub and the JHU Coronavirus Information website. We will publish an updated JHU Return to Campus Guide by the end of April, with some additional details to be decided based on public health conditions at the end of the summer. We will also update the community regularly at

We know that the months ahead will present further challenges, and our return to greater in-person activity will require adjustments—for us as individuals and as an institution—as we renew the connections to one another in this new environment that are core to our university’s mission now and for the future.  

We appreciate everything you continue to do to keep one another and our Baltimore community safe and thriving, and we look forward to seeing you all back on campus this fall.  

Ronald J. Daniels 

Sunil Kumar 
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs 

Mary Miller 
Interim Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration

Information and Resources

JHU Coronavirus Resources

JHU Coronavirus Information
JHU Return to Campus Guide
JHU Social Compact
Your Health & Safety
JHU Coronavirus FAQ
Teaching, Learning & Working


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