Dear Class of ‘25,
Congratulations on getting into Hopkins! We are so excited to finally resume a sense of normalcy this coming school year and welcome you on campus. However, with cases on the rise and new variants spreading, the fight against COVID-19 is not over. Here is a checklist of a few important University rules (as of Aug. 23) to keep in mind to best PROTECT JHU as everyone returns and begins a new year in-person:
First and foremost, everyone must download the Prodensity app, available on iOS and Android devices. Through the app, created solely for Hopkins affiliates, you will be able to submit the required daily health checks, receive COVID-19 test results and report COVID-19-related violations. The health checks, which must be completed every 12 hours, ask you to confirm that you have been compliant with all testing and vaccine protocols and have not been exposed to the virus nor experienced any of its symptoms. After completing your daily health checks, you will receive your campus pass, which is necessary for accessing on-campus facilities. If you are unable to download the app, you can also complete the daily health checks online.
Remember to mask up
In light of the surge of cases, the University has reinstated its mask policy, requiring all affiliates to wear masks in indoor spaces. If you are in your dorm room or apartment, you may remove your mask as long as your roommates are the only other people with you. Masks have been proven to be one of the most basic but effective measures of protecting yourself from the virus, so please adhere to this simple guideline. In fact, they can even be used as a fashion accessory, as Marque Magazine explored in its 2020 issue After. You can opt to use the University-issued mask or expand your unique mask collection to elevate and coordinate your outfits. Just remember to never sacrifice protection and comfort for style when choosing a mask!
Observe vaccination and testing protocols
Everyone who returns to campus must be fully vaccinated, and all Hopkins affiliates were required to submit documentation of their full vaccination through the Vaccine Management System last August 1. In addition, undergraduates living on campus still need to be tested once a week, even if they are fully vaccinated. However, asymptomatic testing is not required for fully vaccinated undergraduates living off-campus. All unvaccinated Hopkins affiliates on the Homewood Campus must be tested twice a week. On the Homewood Campus, there are three testing sites open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Shriver Hall, AMR II and Charles Commons.
If you test positive for COVID-19, don’t panic. You will be sent to a different housing that has been designated by the University for quarantine and isolation (if you’re lucky, you’ll even be able to stay at the Inn at the Colonnade again, which has nice amenities as reported by students last year). If you give the University consent to inform others, the administration will release an announcement to the student body. If not, public health officials will evaluate your case and the extent of the risk you pose to others to determine if a University-wide announcement is necessary.
At the moment, the University has once again suspended all indoor dining services, except for takeout options at the Fresh Food Cafe and Nolan’s at Charles Commons. Even though you won’t be able to sit and enjoy your meals with friends indoors like before, you can take this opportunity to organize a picnic outside at the Beach or take up an interest in cooking! You can even use this time to burst the Hopkins bubble and venture around the city to find restaurants to try. Eat well and keep your energy up to keep your immune system strong against the virus.
Classes and clubs
Despite the University’s fall reopening, classes with more than 50 students will remain online to further protect students by reducing large gatherings. According to the University, in-person classes will not be required to provide an online option. Fortunately, Brody Learning Commons, Milton S. Eisenhower Library and the Hutzler Reading Room will be open, though with restricted hours and capacity. You can use these spaces to organize group study sessions with friends while adhering to social distancing protocols!
With everyone returning to campus, student groups are excited to start hosting in-person events and activities again. However, the University’s limit for in-person gatherings remain capped at 50 people indoors. So, make the most out of Zoom events and any in-person gatherings to connect with your fellow Blue Jays and find people who share the same interests and passions as you! Register for the Student Involvement Fair on Sept. 3 to learn about the hundreds of available organizations on campus (including The News-Letter, wink wink)! If you are nervous about attending a large in-person event, there will also be virtual fair booths available on CampusGroups.
Take time for yourself
Though Hopkins is infamous for its rigorous workload, most students can vouch that there are many opportunities for leisure and entertainment as well if you consciously make the time for it. Because it is very easy to get drawn into the daily grind, it is important for students to balance academia and responsibilities with fun and personal growth. College is the time to explore and develop one’s passions to truly find yourself. Break the Hopkins bubble, explore Baltimore, make friends, take a class purely out of curiosity and step out of your comfort zone to pursue new interests!
Despite everyone’s eagerness to return to campus, we do acknowledge that the uncertainty of the pandemic exacerbated by the stress of academics can take a toll on one’s mental health. Mental health is a serious issue that should not be discounted nor stigmatized. If you need professional help, you can contact the Health and Wellness Center at (410) 516-8270, the Counseling Center at (410) 516-8278, the Office of Multicultural Affairs at (410) 516-8730 or Religious & Spiritual Life at (410) 516-1880. Also, remember that you have the entire Hopkins community to lean on for support and encouragement!
Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Call Center (JHCCC)
All students can contact the JHCCC at (443) 287-8500 every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. if they are feeling ill, experiencing symptoms or concerned about exposure to the virus. Everyone on campus is responsible for each other’s health and well-being, and preventing COVID-19 outbreaks on campus will require the joint effort of all Blue Jays!
Don’t forget that these rules are constantly changing and may still be updated in the coming weeks, depending on the situation’s progression. You can stay updated by checking The News-Letter’s website for breaking news on the University’s latest broadcasts.
As the world continues to recover from the pandemic, always remain vigilant and practical about the decisions you make. Most importantly, do not view these rules as limitations but rather as precautions and opportunities to work with your fellow Blue Jays and make the most out of your time at Hopkins!
Welcome to the Nest!