WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Novel coronavirus information

Officials and experts at Johns Hopkins are monitoring the outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). As of Feb. 26, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Johns Hopkins or in Maryland. This page contains resources and communications designed to raise awareness of prevention and preparedness efforts at Johns Hopkins and around the world.

Updated Feb. 26, 2020

While the worldwide number of cases of COVID-19 continues to rise, there have been no confirmed cases at Johns Hopkins University or in the state of Maryland. At this time the general risk of exposure to COVID-19 is very low in the United States. Johns Hopkins continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will provide updates and guidance as needed.

It is important to note, however, that we are in the midst of the annual flu season, and there recently has been a slight uptick in cases. As always, you are reminded to wash your hands frequently, stay home if you are sick, and not return to regular school or work activities until you have been fever-free for 24 hours without medication.

University messages and updates

Important information

INTERNATIONAL IMPACTS

As the outbreak continues, the impact on the university’s international programs, especially those in China, and on the Johns Hopkins community in general becomes more substantial. As of Feb. 20, the university is aware of about 50 faculty, staff, students, and scholars unable to return to JHU’s campuses in the U.S. from China due to travel restrictions. Departments are working through options to support them, and the Office of International Services is currently compiling a comprehensive Q&A to help address the many questions that have arisen.

TRAVEL

Travel restrictions implemented by the U.S. government inhibit entry into the country from China for non-U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens in China will also find limited travel options to and from China. Travelers from China will be routed to specific airports within the United States. At these airports, CDC and U.S. Customs and Border Protection are implementing enhanced health screenings to detect travelers with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing who are entering the United States.

Anyone with international travel plans should remain apprised of current travel guidelines as issued by the U.S. government. Also be mindful of the possibility that guidance may change once you have left the United States and/or arrived in your destination country. Questions about impacts and decisions around specific programs should be directed to department/division leadership for consultation.

SCREENING

As of Feb. 2 at 5 p.m., by federal rule, faculty, staff, and students who have been in China before traveling to the U.S. are expected to stay at home, monitor themselves for 14 days following arrival, and promptly report a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. If you remain free of symptoms, including fever, through the course of this 14-day period without medication, there are no additional activity restrictions and you may return to work and/or school on day 15.

If you arrived in the U.S. prior to Feb. 2 at 5 p.m. and have already returned to work and/or school, you may continue those activities as long as you continue to remain free of symptoms.

During this 14-day self-quarantine, watch for any changes in your health. If you develop symptoms, avoid contact with others until the best course of safe treatment can be determined. Do not go in person to the Student Health and Wellness Center or University Health Services for assessment. Instead, call university health providers for an initial phone screening.

Students (full- or part-time) affiliated with the following schools should contact the Homewood Student Health and Wellness Center at 410-516-5709:

  • Carey Business School
  • Krieger School of Arts and Sciences (including Advanced Academic Programs)
  • Peabody Institute
  • School of Advanced International Studies
  • School of Education
  • Whiting School of Engineering (including Engineering for Professionals)

Students (full- or part-time) affiliated with the schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health should contact University Health Services at 410-955-3250. After hours, you may enter a callback number at 410-283-3855.

Employees (faculty and staff) should contact Occupational Health Services:

  • Between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., call 410-955-6211
  • Between the hours of 4 p.m. and 7:30 a.m., call Centrex on the East Baltimore campus at 410-955-5000 and ask for the Occupational Health Nurse on-call.

In order to manage the volume of calls, you are encouraged to seek screening at this time only if you have symptoms and have been to China in the past 14 days. If an individual does show symptoms of COVID-19, the university will follow a protocol to assist the individual and will notify any other individuals who are known to have had contact with them.

USE OF MASKS

The university is not providing masks and has not issued guidance encouraging people to wear them. A mask is not required or recommended, as there is no evidence available to suggest that they protect healthy people. This aligns with current CDC and WHO guidance. Students, staff, and faculty may obtain and wear masks if they choose.

UNIVERSITY CLASSES AND ACTIVITIES

University classes and activities continue to take place as scheduled, with the exception of those in China.

The university recognizes that the longer the travel restrictions remain in place, the more questions will arise related to future plans for programs, research, and study in China. Administrators are looking ahead at these potential impacts and evaluating the appropriate operational response.

STAYING HEALTHY

Because this is already the season for flu and other viruses, all students, faculty, and staff who have illness accompanied by fever—regardless of their travels—are asked to refrain from going to classes, labs, dining halls, offices, and other places where they could spread illness among others. To limit spread, we ask that a person have a normal temperature for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medications) before resuming a regular schedule.

The university asks faculty to be flexible in allowing students to make these decisions without necessarily visiting a medical practitioner for documentation of their illness. Staff should follow the normal procedures for sick time away from work; please notify your supervisor, and follow the university’s sick leave policy.

Other advice to avoid the spread of viruses includes:

  • Get a seasonal flu vaccination, even if you are not required to do so
  • Clean your hands frequently with soap and water (washing for a full minute) or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Hand washing is crucial, particularly before eating or any activity that involves touching your face
  • Cough into your sleeve (the crook of your elbow) or a tissue, not into your hands
  • Stay home if you have a fever until you are fever-free for 24 hours without any medication

RESOURCES FOR STRESS

The university recognizes that the situation with COVID-19 may be stressful for members of the Johns Hopkins community, especially those with family and friends affected in other areas of the world. Students can find resources for support at wellness.jhu.edu or get in contact with their school’s student affairs office. Faculty and staff can use the mySupport program.

Other resources include:

For students at Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Whiting School of Engineering, and Peabody Institute:

For students at the School of Education, SAIS, Carey Business School, School of Nursing, School of Medicine, Bloomberg School of Public Health, and in the AAP or EEP programs:

For students at School of Nursing, School of Medicine, and Bloomberg School of Public Health

SUPPORTING AN INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY

Johns Hopkins is an inclusive community, with members across the world, and members of that community must take care not to make assumptions about others based on perceived symptoms or identities (for example, ethnicity and/or national origin) and to differentiate between myth and fact. You may refer to this myth vs. fact resource for more information and visit the Office of Institutional Equity website to learn more about the university’s discrimination and harassment policies and procedures.