JHSPH Plans for Return to Campus
DEAR FACULTY AND STAFF,
You will have recently seen the message from University leadership with fall planning updates and the announcement that vaccinations will be mandatory for all faculty and staff (in addition to students, as previously announced). As indicated, JHU will be operating with minimal COVID-related restrictions beginning July 1. In particular, as of July 1, we will no longer restrict building access to essential personnel. It is important to remember, however, that we are still in the throes of the pandemic, and we must remain vigilant and continue to follow best practices as we begin to reengage on campus.
We are writing today to share some specifics regarding our plan for a phased return to the Bloomberg School. A separate communication will go out to all students shortly.
Vaccinations and testing. The Bloomberg School will follow the University guidance around vaccinations: All affiliates who will spend any time on campus should be vaccinated as of August 1 with exceptions made for medical and religious reasons. Vaccination clinics are operating now at various campus locations, and details are available here. We will use an app called Prodensity to manage vaccinations and building access. Affiliates will receive additional guidance on how to get the app and upload proof of vaccination (or requests for a medical or religious exemption) to Prodensity closer to July 1, when the app will go live.
Twice-weekly testing will be required for all unvaccinated faculty, students, and staff, and we will have a self-service testing station available on the first floor of the Wolfe Street Building.
Visitors will be expected to adhere to JHU general COVID-safety guidelines, including those for vaccinations and testing.
Masking and distancing. While we will not generally have physical distancing requirements, masking will be mandatory in all Bloomberg School buildings other than when eating or drinking or when in a private office with a closed door. We continue to track CDC guidance and Maryland regulations, and we will send additional messaging when the masking requirement is lifted. When the masking requirement is lifted, we will continue to require masks for all individuals who have not been vaccinated.
Hybrid and remote work. The last year has shown us that working remotely can have benefits. It has the potential to boost productivity for some roles and to promote a healthier and more satisfied workforce overall. While the School is committed to leaning into this new operating model, we must do so deliberately and always keeping the student experience and our research and practice mission front of mind. Together we will reimagine our workplace and provide more flexibility in both place and schedule.
We have asked a small task force to develop a set of guidelines for how hybrid and remote work will be implemented at the School this fall. These guidelines will be driven by a set of agreed-upon principles and best practices. A draft of these guidelines will be shared with faculty and staff for input and, once finalized, they will be operationalized at the department or unit level.
In the meantime, all employees are encouraged to have direct conversations with their supervisors about their individual needs and plans beginning July 1, and supervisors should remain flexible and empathetic in accommodating ongoing remote work in the near term.
Building hours. Ramping up to “new-normal” operations will not happen overnight. The Wolfe Street Building has offered and will continue to offer 24-hour access. However, to ensure that our facilities management team has enough time to bring our buildings back up to regular capacity and prepare for hybrid fall teaching, we will stagger the return to normal operating hours for some buildings as indicated below:
- July 1: 415 N. Washington Street and 2213 McElderry Street
- July 19: 624 N. Broadway (Hampton House)
While we will no longer restrict building access to essential personnel, current modified operating hours will remain in place until these dates. Leased facilities will observe operating hours as agreed with applicable building management. Please see your department administrator if unsure about operating hours for your building.
Eating spaces and dining options. For the start of the academic year (at least), we will have designated eating spaces with and without spacing restrictions. Vaccinated affiliates who choose to eat together will have that option, but there will also be specific seating set up for those who are not vaccinated or otherwise prefer to maintain 6-foot distancing while dining. Our designated socially distant eating spaces will be clearly marked and include the Garden Plate on the 9th floor of the Wolfe Street Building and designated space on the 9th floor of Hampton House.
While eating spaces will be available starting July 1, we will bring our food vendors back onsite in a phased manner, as outlined below:
- August 1: Daily Grind, 2nd Floor, 615 N. Wolfe Street
- September 1: Hampton Café, 1st Floor, Hampton House
- September 15: Garden Plate, 9th Floor, 615 N. Wolfe Street
Travel. After July 1, the Bloomberg School will no longer require special prior approval for travel on sponsored funds. Further, there will be no travel restrictions in place, other than a requirement that anyone traveling overseas on official business be fully vaccinated. While faculty and staff will be permitted to follow pre-COVID travel approval processes as established by the departments, we expect anyone contemplating official travel to consider the COVID conditions in their destination country before booking. Deferral of travel to ongoing hotspots may be prudent, even for those who are vaccinated.
We have compiled some resources to assist travelers with planning, preparing, and completing safe travel (while the essential travel approval forms are no longer required, they may be helpful to review prior to travel). Further, all affiliates will have the right to make their own decision about official travel—no one should feel pressured to travel if they have safety concerns.
Research and practice activities. Similarly, we will no longer have Schoolwide restrictions or require prior approval for in-person non-human subjects research (e.g., field research) or practice activities as of July 1. Laboratory research also will be able to resume relatively normal activities without social distancing requirements. We will, however, continue to require human subjects research (HSR) protocols predicated on the submission and approval of a Safe HSR plan through our Safe HSR process that has been in place this past pandemic year. We expect all investigators to keep COVID safety front of mind when designing and executing their research and practice activities. Any COVID safety-related questions or concerns related to research should be addressed to our Vice Dean for Research, Greg Kirk, or if practice-related, to our Assistant Dean of Practice and Training, Beth Resnick.
As we near the end of Phase 2, we want to again thank all our affiliates for their unwavering dedication to keeping the business of saving millions of lives on track. The School has indeed thrived during a year of complications and disruptions, and we will no doubt continue to thrive as we manage the challenges of easing into a new operating phase.
Please send any questions or concerns to your departmental administrator or director, and keep an eye out for additional updates on our return to campus over the course of the summer.
Ellen J. MacKenzie, PhD ’79, ScM ’75
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor
Jackson Ireland, MPA, MBA
Executive Vice Dean for Finance and Administration