The rapidly evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic has called upon Johns Hopkins—and each of you—to take a series of unprecedented steps to safeguard our community and ensure that we can accomplish our mission to care for those we serve, including the most vulnerable among us. Today, we have arrived at another critical juncture in our response, and we have made the difficult but necessary decision to suspend all in-person classes through the end of the spring 2020 semester.
Community transmission of the virus is accelerating nationally and within our region, and we continue to be guided by public health authorities and infectious disease and epidemiological experts at Johns Hopkins who are now urging all of us to observe stricter social distancing protocols for a longer period of time. We make this decision mindful of the toll caused by the uncertainty around this pandemic, including the uncertainty that comes with not knowing whether or when we might reconvene in person as a university community this semester.
With the safety of our community foremost in mind, we are taking the following steps:
Outlined below, please find details about these actions. Please also check the Hub’s COVID-19 information page for further updates.
We recognize the very real challenges these steps pose for members of our community. In particular, we know that the decision to end in-person activities for the full semester comes as a great disappointment to many, as it does to us. We deeply regret that we will not be able to celebrate in person with our graduating students, their families, and friends at Commencement. Gathering as a community to honor our graduates is a cherished tradition, but in true Hopkins fashion, we will summon our optimism and creativity to mark that important milestone in a way that expresses the great joy and pride we take in the accomplishments of our extraordinary students.
As we face this profound challenge together, we are so proud of our students, faculty, and staff—among them our indefatigable frontline caregivers and researchers—who have demonstrated unflagging devotion to furthering our mission to educate, discover, and serve. You exemplify the best of this institution, and in these most trying times, we are truly grateful for all you have done to help us forge a path forward as a community. Though we will not be together in person for the immediate future, we continue to draw inspiration and strength from this remarkable community no matter where we may find ourselves in the world.
You will continue to hear from us and university leadership over the course of this unfolding situation. Please take care and treat yourselves and one another with compassion and thoughtfulness.