University leaders announced updates to the University’s fall semester COVID-19 policies in an email to constituents on Wednesday. The broadcast reiterated the vaccination requirement for students announced in April and extended the mandate to all faculty and staff.
Barring religious or medical exemptions, all Hopkins affiliates will be required to upload their proof of vaccination by August 1 through the University’s COVID-19 vaccine registration system, which will be launched July 1. International students will be eligible for free vaccinations upon their arrival to Hopkins and have until September 30 to submit proof of vaccination.
Hopkins is not alone in requiring vaccinations: Many peer institutions — including Stanford University, Emory University and all eight Ivy League schools — are also mandating vaccinations for all undergraduates returning to campus.
Vaccinated undergraduates will be required to complete a COVID-19 test once a week, and all unvaccinated students, faculty and staff will be required to to test twice a week. Additionally, the University will continue to require that students and faculty receive the influenza vaccine before participating in on-campus activities.
Rising sophomore and international student Juliana Marquez praised the University’s decision to provide vaccines for international students, noting that vaccines are not nearly as easily accessible in other countries as in the United States.
Rising junior Tomisin Longe also agrees with the new guidelines.
“The guidelines have been well crafted and were along the lines of what I was expecting,” Longe said. “At this point, everyone has been looking forward to returning to normal, so it’s nice to see Hopkins address that.”
Longe agreed that regardless of vaccination status, it is important for the University to continue regular testing for all undergraduates.
The administrators also announced that indoor and outdoor social distancing restrictions and occupancy limits will be lifted starting July 1. Unvaccinated individuals will be able to eat in socially distanced dining spaces and are still encouraged to socially distance elsewhere.
Affiliates will still be required to use Prodensity for daily health checks. Visitors and guests will be welcome on campus but held to the same health and safety guidelines as students and faculty.
In an interview with The News-Letter, incoming freshman Hannah Puhov expressed approval for stricter health measures for unvaccinated students and for the University’s plans to return to more traditional ways of operating.
“It’s good that even if there are people who are exempted from vaccination, they’ll still have to wear masks and get tested more often, so either way it’s safe,” Puhov said.
Masking will still be required in all shared indoor spaces, including laboratories and classrooms, but the University may update those requirements if Baltimore City chooses to remove those restrictions.