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Johns Hopkins University is planning for the return of activity to our campuses, with the hope and expectation that the university will be substantially back to normal this fall.

Alongside the University’s COVID information, this page shares guidance and policies for applied instruction for the fall 2021 semester.  Given the unique nature of our applied music and dance instruction there are some subtle differences from the University guidance that are specific to Peabody.


  • COVID vaccination is required for all faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate and graduate students who will be working or studying at a U.S.–based JHU campus or worksite. That includes:
    • Members of nonclinical departments at the School of Medicine; members of clinical departments will be governed by Johns Hopkins Health System vaccination policies
    • Members of collective bargaining units
    • Contractors who provide services to the university community and whose primary work location is on university properties located in Maryland or Washington, D.C., regardless of employer
    • Those who are doing business on behalf of the university, including individuals engaged in work-related travel
  • A required JHU vaccination registry is currently open for vaccination card uploads. 
  • Religious and health exceptions for COVID vaccination will be considered in the same manner as exceptions for the influenza vaccine. The application is available through the JHU vaccination registry.
    • Faculty, staff, or students who would like to seek a medical or religious exemption must apply by September 24.
  • Any affiliate on-site who has been granted a vaccination exception will be required to participate in twice-weekly COVID testing at Johns Hopkins and mask at all times indoors.
  • For those international students and others arriving from abroad who may not have access to a U.S.– or FDA–authorized vaccine before returning to campus, we will offer a grace period until September 30 to submit proof of vaccination. The university will provide free vaccination upon arrival for those traveling to a U.S.–based campus or worksite from abroad. Until individuals are fully vaccinated, they will be required to mask when indoors and be tested twice weekly.
  • Students who do not document compliance with the vaccine mandate by September 30 will face disenrollment
  • Faculty and staff who are not yet in compliance with the COVID-19 vaccination mandate will need to get their first dose of the vaccine or receive an approved medical or religious exception before October 1, or they will receive additional warnings, and if they still do not comply, termination or faculty disciplinary procedures will begin on October 15. Those who get Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and require a second dose will have until November 1 to do so, and those who do not comply will be subject to termination or faculty disciplinary proceedings beginning on November 15.
  • Influenza vaccination will also be required. This year’s deadline to submit documentation of flu vaccination will be November 19.

Accepted Vaccines

Only FDA-authorized COVID vaccines will be accepted. These three vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, J&J/Janssen) have all shown effectiveness against known variants. Any individuals who have not received one of these vaccines must be revaccinated with a full course of one of these vaccines upon arrival, that is two doses, properly spaced, for Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, and one for J&J/Janssen. 

Previously, we allowed any vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization, but given growing data about the potential for lower effectiveness against delta, we are now mandating revaccination for those who have received non-FDA-approved vaccines. The university will assist students if they need help, and vaccination information is on the Johns Hopkins Medicine website

Individuals who have uploaded to the Vaccine Management System documentation of vaccination with Oxford/AstraZeneca, Covishield, Novavax, Sinopharm, or Sinovac will be contacted and asked to schedule an appointment to receive one of the FDA-authorized vaccines. You must complete your vaccinations and upload documentation to the Vaccination Management System (VMS) by Oct. 8. Your prior submission will be removed so that you can upload new documentation after your final dose. You may not upload documentation until that point. In the meantime, you will be allowed to come on campus, but you will be required to follow the same masking and testing requirements (twice weekly) as those with vaccination exceptions until you are fully vaccinated (two weeks after your final dose).

How to get vaccinated  

Vaccination remains the most important step you can take to keep yourself and your family safe. If you have not been vaccinated, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible as possible.   

All Johns Hopkins affiliates in Maryland and Washington, D.C., can schedule a vaccination appointment through Johns Hopkins Medicine in MyChart.

Visit the COVID Vaccine Information site for more information about the clinic. Vaccinations are free. 

Vaccine Management System

The Vaccine Management System (VMS) will ask you to upload a photo of your vaccination card. The photo must clearly show your name and that you have been fully vaccinated. For those who have received a two-dose vaccine (e.g., Pfizer and Moderna), your documentation must indicate that you have received your second dose.   

Additional instructions for using VMS are available here. If you encounter any problems, please write to or stop by the testing center at the Glass Pavilion on the Homewood Campus (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) for in-person assistance.  

Request an Exception

Johns Hopkins will grant exceptions to the COVID vaccination mandate for medical or religious reasons, with appropriate documentation. Requests for an exception to the vaccine mandate must be made through the VMS as well. 

Requests for exemptions must be submitted by September 30.

Having had COVID-19 in the past is NOT a permissible exception. However, if you were treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Affiliates in that situation may request a medical exception past August 1 to wait to get the vaccine until 90 days have elapsed.    

Masking, distancing, and testing

  • JHU campuses no longer require face coverings in most outdoor spaces when 6 feet of distance can be maintained.
  • Physical distancing requirements have been lifted indoors and outdoors effective July 1, though we recommend continued distancing for those who are not vaccinated.
  • In accordance with Baltimore City guidelines, masks will still be required indoors in classrooms, labs, common spaces, and shared offices. If the city eliminates its indoor masking mandate, we may do so as well, but only for those who have been vaccinated.
  • Once-weekly COVID testing will be required for all vaccinated undergraduate students starting August 30.
  • Twice-weekly testing will be required for all unvaccinated faculty, students, and staff.
  • Asymptomatic testing on-demand will remain available for all affiliates.
  • Symptomatic testing is arranged by the JHCCC

Other policies

  • Daily health checks through Prodensity remain required.
  • Visitors and guests will be allowed on campus but must follow the same COVID safety rules as JHU affiliates.
  • JHU will allow only essential university-sponsored travel, which must be approved by your division. Affiliates will be required to submit travel approval documentation with their expense reports.

Private Instruction

Private lessons for Keyboard, Strings, Harp, Guitar, Percussion, and Music for New Media

  • Masking for all participants
  • Room air exchanges between lessons are no longer required

Private lessons for wind, brass, and voice

  • Masking for all participants
  • Bell covers and instrument bags will not be required
  • Students will maintain a 6 ft (7.5 ft on-center) social distance between teacher (and/or accompanist) and student
  • Practice water key etiquette. Drape water valve and collect condensate in towel or WindSorb. Disinfect towel/WindSorb after use.
  • Lessons of no more than 60 minutes
  • Low-latency rooms may also be utilized and will be required for any unvaccinated students
  • Room air exchanges between lessons are no longer required

Ensemble Classes

Instrumental Ensembles, Repertoire and Studio Classes

  • Masking required for all individuals. Woodwinds and Brass students will wear a mask while playing which includes a small straight slit in a surgical style mask provided by the Ensemble Office. This mask is for playing, not general use outside of rehearsal. 
  • Bell covers and instrument bags will be required for brass and woodwind instruments.
  • Social distancing of 3 ft (4.5 ft on-center) for wind and brass
  • Students who are unvaccinated either at the beginning of the semester or due to an approved vaccine exemption will need to maintain social distancing of 6 ft (7.5ft on-center)
  • Practice water key etiquette. Drape water valve and collect condensate in towel or WindSorb. Disinfect towel/WindSorb after use.
  • Ensembles may rehearse for their normal class length
  • Following a rehearsal that includes winds or brass the room will be room vacant to allow for a minimum of 3 air exchanges.

Choral Ensembles and Opera classes

  • Singers will continue to rehearse masked until specific masking recommendations related to indoor choral singing change
  • Social distancing of 6 ft (7.5ft on-center)
  • Ensembles may rehearse for their normal class length
  • Following rehearsal, the room will be room vacant to allow for a minimum of 3 air exchanges.

Dance classes

  • Masking required for all individuals at all times, including while dancing
  • Social distancing will no longer required and dancing in close proximity including contact during dancing is now permitted
  • Classes may meet for their normal class length
  • Room air exchanges between classes are no longer required