A University Will Require Double Masking Despite ‘Near Universal’ Vaccination Rate

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Posted: Jan 19, 2022 11:15 AM
A University Will Require Double Masking Despite ‘Near Universal’ Vaccination Rate

Source: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Johns Hopkins University (JHU) will require students to wear two masks or wear an N-95 or KN-95 mask on campus and undergo mandatory twice-weekly testing, despite having a “near universal” vaccination rate. 

“We will now require the use of N95s, KN95s, or a combination of a cloth mask with a surgical mask. A cloth mask alone or a surgical mask alone will no longer meet the university's mask requirement,” JHU announced in a press release Jan. 15. The spring semester is scheduled to begin Jan. 24.

The university will require booster shots by Feb. 1 and mandatory, twice-weekly testing for students and on-demand asymptomatic testing for faculty and staff. Undergraduate students returning to the dormitories for the spring semester will be required to immediately test and quarantine in their rooms until they receive a negative test result. 

“Two years into the pandemic, we know the strain on our community is great, and that coming together in person is vitally important to the well-being and progress of our students in particular," the administrators said in a statement. "As always, we are carefully considering how best to sustain the safe environment we've been able to create on our campuses throughout the pandemic."

On Dec. 31, school administrators announced that although COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the university has seen no transmission of COVID-19 on campus or in their workplaces. 

“The steps you have taken—vaccination, mask-wearing, testing and more—have contributed immeasurably to the safety of our community and to our ability to meet our mission of education, research, and service,” administrators said in the press release. “At this time of higher community prevalence, we ask you to be particularly careful to monitor yourself for symptoms and to stay home and get tested if you are sick. We thank you for your continued diligence in the weeks ahead.”