Johns Hopkins University (JHU) is requiring students to either wear two masks or wear an N-95 or KN-95 mask on campus during the spring semester despite nearly universal vaccination on campus and mandatory, twice-weekly testing.
The school, which is a global leader on COVID-19 research and public health policy, announced new safety protocols in a Friday email to students emphasizing the surge in COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron coronavirus variant. The single cloth and surgical masks commonly worn on campus no longer meet the university’s mask requirements.
The university reported zero incidents of transmission on campus or in university workplaces when COVID-19 rules were followed. According to JHU, 99% of its students and faculty are vaccinated.
A press release from JHU noted that, with nearly universal vaccination of university students and faculty, the current surge is different from that of 2021, but it went on to explain that the school is imposing a vaccine booster mandate with a Feb. 1 deadline in addition to twice-weekly testing for students. The release acknowledged the relatively low risk the latest variant poses to most students.
JHU will also stop requiring vaccinated and boosted students to quarantine after a “meaningful contact” with a COVID-positive person.
“It is important to emphasize how much better prepared we are to face the virus now than we were when it first emerged almost two years ago. The steps you have taken—vaccination, mask-wearing, testing and more—have contributed immeasurably to the safety of our community,” the email told students. “At this time of higher community prevalence, we ask you to be particularly careful.”
JHU did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.
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