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Return to Campus, COVID-19 Update: Faculty and Staff

Washington DC 

As the Washington DC campus opens, SAIS faculty and staff are now able to access offices during building hours.

It is essential that you follow all guidelines and restrictions currently in place when on campus. Please continue to review the JHU Return to Campus Guidance that provides a wealth of information on recommended health and safety protocols.

For more in-depth information, please review the messages below.

Faculty and Staff Update

Dear SAIS Staff:

Thank you for being flexible with your work arrangements over the past few weeks.  Starting Monday, February 7th, we will return to our pre-Omicron work arrangements.  Managers should connect with their teams to ensure pre-Omicron schedules are clear.  As we end our remote working flexibility and move back to an in-person and hybrid modality, I want to remind you of some key measures and new resources available to us:

  • Upgraded masks, including N95s, KN95s, KF94s, and surgical masks worn under a cloth mask, are now required and available for free. Masks are available for pick-up at the Asymptomatic Testing Center at the Nitze Building.
  • Free, rapid at-home COVID tests for faculty and staff are available at the testing site in Nitze Building.
  • Daily prodensity health checks are required when on campus.

Please familiarize yourself with these requirements before returning to campus. You can find more details and updates to COVID safety protocols and resources on

Thank you all for your attention to the safety measures put in place to protect our community.

We look forward to seeing you next week!

Gamze Zeytinci
Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Operations

Dear Faculty and Staff:
We are excited to have students, faculty, and staff back on our campuses for the spring semester, and we are particularly pleased to have had a smooth move-in process for our undergraduates, with only a small number of students testing positive for COVID upon arrival and in the first week of classes. For staff and faculty, we are preparing for a Feb. 7 return to our pre-omicron work arrangements (those in effect prior to Dec. 31), and to help ensure a safe transition back to campus, we want to remind you of some key measures and new resources available to you:
More details are below, and you can always find the latest updates to our COVID safety protocols and resources on
We know that it can feel exhausting to continue to deal with COVID, but your actions make a difference and protect our community while allowing us to resume many of the in-person activities that make our university the special place that it is. We are grateful to our entire university community for working with us through this challenging time.
Laurent Heller
Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration
Meredith Stewart
Interim Vice President for Human Resources
Stephen Gange
Professor and Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Jon Links
Professor, Vice Provost, and Chief Risk Officer
Boosters: As the semester gets underway, please remember that the deadline to upload verification that you have met JHU’s booster shot requirement is Feb. 1 or as soon as you become eligible, whichever is later. We are pleased that many of you have uploaded your documentation well in advance of the deadline—more than 80% of faculty and staff have done so. If you still need your booster, please consult our schedule of on-campus clinics. You can also get a booster through your local pharmacy or health care provider. Be sure to get a record of your booster and upload it to the Vaccine Management System.
Masks: As announced previously, JHU has changed its on-campus masking requirements and a cloth or surgical mask by itself is no longer acceptable indoors. N95, KN95, KF94, or surgical masks worn under cloth masks are now required, and a variety of mask types are available for free at asymptomatic testing sites. So far, we have distributed approximately 135,000 of these masks to our campus community.
At-home test kits: Each faculty or staff member or postdoctoral trainee can get one free test kit, which will be distributed through select asymptomatic testing sites. Kits, which contain two tests each, will be available starting Tuesday, Feb. 1, at the Shriver Hall, Bloomberg School of Public Health, and School of Advanced International Studies testing sites, and at select additional locations during the week of Feb. 7. Details, including hours of availability, are posted on the JHU coronavirus information website.
Saliva-based PCR testing will remain available on demand for all faculty and staff and continue to serve as the basis for our mandatory testing requirements. We encourage you to take advantage of it to guard against asymptomatic spread of the virus.
In addition, we will be distributing approximately 5,000 test kits to those who need them in the Baltimore community through partner organizations, including those that we have worked with on food and mask distribution throughout the pandemic.
New procedures for those with symptoms: If you have symptoms, you no longer need to call the Johns Hopkins COVID Call Center. Faculty and staff members are encouraged to use the at-home rapid antigen tests if they experience symptoms. If you test positive with a rapid test, you should begin isolation right away and report the result to the JHCCC via this online form.
If you do not have a rapid antigen test, you can schedule a symptomatic PCR test at Johns Hopkins directly through MyChart.
Consistent with CDC guidelines for use of antigen tests, if you are symptomatic but test negative with a rapid test, we ask that you still arrange for a symptomatic test by scheduling through MyChart.
We also encourage you to use a rapid test to determine if you are clear to return to campus after five days of isolation following a positive COVID test.
Affiliates can still call the JHCCC at 443-287-8500 if they lack internet access or if they have a question or concern on something other than symptoms, such as a possible exposure or vaccination/boosters.
Resumption of limited in-person dining: Given the low number of COVID cases on campus, we will resume in-person dining at 50% capacity starting today, Jan. 31, in the FFC, Nolan’s, and Peabody Dining. Levering will start on Monday, Feb. 7. We ask that you be vigilant and remove your mask only while actually eating and that you socially distance while unmasked. Please sit at designated seats and tables, and do not move furniture closer together.

Applicability: Affiliates of the School of Medicine follow Johns Hopkins Medicine’s COVID guidelines, and their return-to-campus date is aligned with JHM’s return date this summer. 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.

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff –

Welcome back to SAIS!

After a long period of distancing and uncertainty, it’s exciting to reconnect with all of you – in-person! We are thrilled to welcome the largest group of new and returning students in the school’s history, as well as a host of new and returning faculty and staff.
It has certainly been an extraordinarily challenging journey through the pandemic, and we thank you for your efforts, sacrifices, and collaboration through a very difficult time. Though we’ve made significant progress to be able to return to campus, we acknowledge that the pandemic is far from over, and is still causing enormous suffering around the world, directly and indirectly affecting the lives of so many in our community.
This is an exciting and challenging time to study international affairs: a global pandemic, pressures on democracy, changing information spaces, and shifting power dynamics all present a host of issues that we can engage together, in the learning environment.
New and returning students will benefit from the various enhancements that have been made across all of our academic programs to expand areas of study and elevate the student experience. These changes will provide greater flexibility in allowing students to choose an intellectual path; interact with a range of faculty and classmates; and access resources for events, travel, internships, and professional development.
As we implement these changes and commence what we hope will be an exciting academic year, we ask your cooperation as we work together with all of you to ensure a safe and rewarding year. The health, safety and well-being of everyone within the campus community remains the University’s highest priority and the leadership team here at SAIS, in collaboration with our counterparts at the Baltimore campus, will continue to closely monitor public health conditions to keep you informed of any changes in processes or policies. We also encourage you to view the SAIS return to campus resource page, which will continue to be updated with the latest information.
A few reminders:
First, masks must be worn indoors at all times, as mandated by the Washington, DC government, except when eating or drinking.
As you know, the University is requiring students, faculty and staff who will be on campus this year to show proof of an FDA-authorized Covid-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen). Individuals who have documentation of a different vaccine, will be asked to get revaccinated.
SAIS will host a free COVID-19 vaccination clinic for SAIS students, faculty, staff, and their family members ages 12 and older on Monday, August 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Kenney Auditorium in the Nitze Building. Pfizer first-dose and second-dose shots will be available, along with a limited number of Moderna vaccines for second-dose shots only. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments can be scheduled in advance via this link to ensure a spot.
Our operations, academic affairs, and student affairs teams have adjusted the campus and classroom environment to ensure appropriate social distancing between students and instructors, and have implemented a host of other measures to help ensure a safe and productive classroom experience. Classrooms are being monitored to provide lower density attendance. To comply with this, we ask that you not attend courses for which you are not officially registered. As you move throughout the SAIS buildings, you will notice additional sanitizing and cleaning protocols.
Please be reminded that all members of our community are required to use the Prodensity app to report their daily health status, and to gain building entry. The app also links to the Vaccine Management System (VMS), which documents and approves your vaccine status. Johns Hopkins students, faculty, and staff who feel ill or are concerned about exposure to the coronavirus may call the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Call Center (a testing and referral resource) at 443-287-8500, seven days a week, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
We look forward to a productive and enjoyable year! As always, we welcome your input. Please feel free to contact us with any suggestions, questions or concerns.

Kent Calder
Interim Dean
Jessica Fanzo
Interim Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs
Peter Lewis
Interim Vice Dean for Education and Academic Affairs
Gamze Zeytinci
Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Operations

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students –
Today the University issued a memo outlining important changes to the campus-wide vaccination and asymptomatic testing policies. Kindly see the details below. If you have questions regarding vaccinations or documentation uploads, please send them to [email protected]. Any questions regarding testing can be directed to [email protected].
Thank you,
Office of the Dean

Changes to accepted COVID vaccinations - August 19, 2021

Dear Faculty, Students, and Staff:
Keeping our community safe and healthy remains our foremost priority as we all continue to navigate the pandemic together. The overwhelming majority of you have taken the most important step in that effort by getting vaccinated against the virus. Ninety-five percent of faculty and 92 percent of staff have submitted documentation that they have been fully vaccinated; data on students will be forthcoming once they have returned to campus. 
On top of the protection afforded by our high vaccination rates, we are making two adjustments in our protocols at this time based on the latest research and case trends, which show a surge in the delta varient in recent weeks. We are limiting allowable vaccines to those that are FDA-approved and developing plans to increase COVID-19 testing. 
As a reminder, our plans for the fall include a universitywide mandate for COVID vaccinations, twice weekly COVID testing and masking for those who have approved vaccination exceptions, weekly COVID testing for vaccinated residential undergraduate students, limitations on the size of in-person classes and events, and heightened ventilation and air filtration. In the last several weeks, we have also instituted a universal indoor face-covering requirement.
Together, these measures offer strong protection against the spread of COVID within and by our community and allow us to return to campus as planned.
However, there are recent reports that certain vaccines may be less effective against the delta variant. Therefore, out of an abundance of caution and based on the recommendations of our Health Advisory Group, we are instituting the following changes in our campus operations.  
1. Only FDA-authorized COVID vaccines will be accepted. These three vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, J&J/Janssen) have all shown effectiveness against known variants. Any individuals who have not received one of these vaccines must be revaccinated with a full course of one of these vaccines upon arrival, that is two doses, properly spaced, for Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, and one for J&J/Janssen. 
Previously, we allowed any vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization, but given growing data about the potential for lower effectiveness against delta, we are now mandating revaccination for those who have received non-FDA-approved vaccines. The university will assist students if they need help, and vaccination information is on the Johns Hopkins Medicine website. 
Individuals who have uploaded to the Vaccine Management System documentation of vaccination with Oxford/AstraZeneca, Covishield, Novavax, Sinopharm, or Sinovac will be contacted and asked to schedule an appointment to receive one of the FDA-authorized vaccines. You must complete your vaccinations and upload documentation to the Vaccination Management System (VMS) by Oct. 8. Your prior submission will be removed so that you can upload new documentation after your final dose. You may not upload documentation until that point. In the meantime, you will be allowed to come on campus, but you will be required to follow the same masking and testing requirements (twice weekly) as those with vaccination exceptions until you are fully vaccinated (two weeks after your final dose).
2. Asymptomatic COVID testing will be expanded. Our current policy requires anyone on-campus who has an approved vaccination exception to be tested twice a week. Further, all vaccinated residential undergraduates are required to be tested once a week. To facilitate early detection of any COVID outbreaks within our community, we are developing plans to expand mandatory asymptomatic testing, and we expect to provide details in the coming days.
Asymptomatic COVID testing will remain available on a voluntary basis for all students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and staff. Details on testing locations are on the JHU coronavirus information website. Anyone who exhibits COVID symptoms is directed to call the Johns Hopkins COVID Call Center (JHCCC) at 443-287-8500, seven days a week, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. The JCCC will arrange for testing if needed and assist in transmitting information to Occupational Health or Student Affairs.
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.
As always, we are closely monitoring conditions, and both Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medicine are evaluating additional precautions to further protect our community and our neighbors. We will keep you updated on any changes to our protocols. Thank you for maintaining proper COVID safety practices throughout the pandemic and assisting us with preparing for a productive, rewarding, and healthy fall semester.
Stay safe and be well,
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

Dear Faculty, Students, and Staff,
The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies will be hosting a free COVID-19 vaccination clinic for SAIS students, faculty, staff, and their family members ages 12 and older on Monday, August 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Kenney Auditorium in the Nitze Building (1740 Massachusetts Ave NW). Pfizer first-dose and second-dose shots will be available, along with a limited number of Moderna vaccines for second-dose shots only. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments can be scheduled in advance via this link to ensure a spot.

See here for additional information.

Thank you,
Khorey Baker
Interim Assistant Dean of Student Affairs
and Director of Student Life, Washington D.C.

Keep Teaching, Learning & Working

Learn more about the resources and measures that have been put in place to ensure continuity of teaching.