Johns Hopkins University requiring all students to get COVID-19 vaccine to return to campus

Taylor Martinez & CNN Wire

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BALTIMORE, MD (WJZ) — Johns Hopkins University will require all students who plan to be on campus in the fall be vaccinated or have religious or health exemption.

Faculty and staff are also “strongly urged” to be vaccinated before coming back to campus.

The university is in the process of establishing a system for JHU affiliates to register their vaccination status, which will aid decisions about the appropriate level of public health protections over the summer and fall.

“Our plans are predicated on continuing public health strategies to promote a safe campus and community,” JHU President Ronald J. Daniels, Provost Sunil Kumar, and Interim Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Mary Miller wrote in a message over the weekend.

“Ensuring that the overwhelming percentage of our community’s population is vaccinated will greatly reduce the risk of the virus’s spread on our campuses and will also protect our neighbors in Baltimore,” they said.

The university said it will seek to facilitate opportunities for students who cannot get vaccinated in their home jurisdictions to be vaccinated as soon as they get to campus.

They said they are also working to make on-campus vaccination available for all of the Hopkins community.

The university also laid out plans contingent with vaccination, including returning most classes to in-person. They said large classes of over 50 people will generally be taught online or have some smaller sections for public health, and in some cases, pedagogical reasons.

“Attendance by students and faculty will be required in programs that are ordinarily conducted in person, except in cases where individuals receive accommodations through the Office of Institutional Equity or Student Disability Services,” they said in a statement.

Other plans include campus dining halls and bringing most of the staff and faculty back to in-person by mid-August, with some exceptions.

Get the full breakdown here.

“Regular in-person contact among faculty, students, and staff is fundamental to the vitality of our university,” Daniels, Kumar, and Miller wrote. “The presence of our staff in Baltimore is also critical to our role as an economic anchor in the city, and we are anxious to reconvene as a community as quickly and safely as we can. We also recognize that our collective return may look different from our past ‘normal’ and must incorporate the lessons learned over the past 12 months about balancing work, home life, and wellbeing.”

They will continue enhanced cleaning and increased air exchange and filtration “24/7” in all of the facilities. There will also still be testing and contact tracing as well as isolation housing for undergraduates who test positive for COVID-19.

Face covering guidelines will be determined by public health conditions closer to the fall start, and flu vaccinations will be required.

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