JHNeedsU: Johns Hopkins launches COVID-19 health and safety awareness effort

The campaign emphasizes best practices for preventing the spread of COVID-19 and promotes available resources and personal responsibility

JHNeedsU sign is tacked up against the wall at the entrance to Mason Hall

Credit: Will Kirk / Johns Hopkins University

With the health and safety of all Johns Hopkins community members a top priority as the university navigates the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, a new outreach effort is urging collective action.

Through consistent signage, digital media, and other resources, the "JHNeedsU" campaign promotes safe and responsible behaviors among all Hopkins community members—for the limited in-person activities taking place now, for those working and studying remotely, and in anticipation of expanded activities in the future. The campaign emphasizes four key best practices for preventing the spread of COVID-19: cover your face, wash your hands, keep your distance from others, and report symptoms. It also offers further guidance and contacts, with the motto "Help Us Protect Each Other."

Illustrations of visual aides reminding people to practice social distancing, wear masks, wash hands, and monitor for symptoms

Image caption: Signs include visual reminders to wear masks, wash hands, practice social distancing, and monitor for symptoms of illness

"As a community, we really have to be working together to establish and sustain healthy behaviors," says Jane Schlegel, vice president and chief administrative officer at the university. "This involves not only our faculty, staff, and students, wherever they may be, but also anyone visiting our campuses during the pandemic. Everyone needs to participate."

The JHNeedsU campaign includes:

  • New signs posted in and around Johns Hopkins facilities and across digital platforms reminding all community members and visitors of expected behaviors.
  • Information and resources for faculty, staff, and students on the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Information website, including guidelines for best practices in shared spaces (such as labs and elevators) and details on updated safety and cleaning protocols the university has implemented.
  • The Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Call Center (833-546-7546), which is open seven days a week between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. The hotline is open to faculty, staff, or students experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or concerned about exposure.
  • Johns Hopkins employees acting as safety ambassadors at specified campus locations, encouraging compliance with face covering and social distancing requirements. The ambassadors can provide a free face covering to any visitor who doesn't have one.

The JHNeedsU campaign leans on the expertise of the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, a global leader in public health behavior-change communications and part of the Bloomberg School of Public Health. The center currently has more than 60 active projects in 50 countries around the world.

CCP is applying the same science and systematic processes it uses globally to develop impactful behavior-change campaigns for this effort at home.

"The situation with COVID-19 is always evolving, and JHNeedsU is designed to adapt to those changes, all the way to the point when we can welcome all of our students, faculty, and staff back to our campuses," says Susan Krenn, executive director at CCP. "Our goal is to share the most up-to-date information we have available and encourage everyone to practice the prevention behaviors that will protect them, wherever they may be."