Update on COVID-19 Related Guidance
Posted April 21, 2023
For the past three years, we have adjusted COVID-19 protocols, policies and guidance at Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM) to protect the health and safety of our patients, colleagues and community members, especially those most at risk for severe infection. Today, COVID-19 immunity protection is higher due to both vaccinations and recovery from infection. The rates of new COVID-19 transmissions and hospitalizations are declining in our communities, and the public health emergency declaration will end on May 11. Considering these developments, effective Monday, April 24, the following changes will be made to our COVID-19 guidance.
- Masking is strongly recommended but no longer required in all Johns Hopkins Medicine buildings.
- Care partners and visitors: Please do not visit if you have fever, upper respiratory symptoms or COVID-19.
- Patients: Please wear a mask if you have upper respiratory symptoms or fever.
Effective April 24, asymptomatic patients will no longer require COVID-19 testing prior to hospital admission unless the patient:
- Is being admitted to a shared (double occupancy) inpatient room
- Is being admitted to a behavioral health unit
Inpatients in behavioral health units and shared rooms need to be tested at the time of admission and once again within three to five days following admission testing; no further testing is required unless they develop COVID-19 symptoms.
Surgeons and others performing procedures may still order COVID tests prior to the procedure if they feel it is in the best interests of their patients.
Symptomatic patients and patients with a recent exposure to COVID-19 still must be tested for COVID-19 prior to hospital admission. Indications for COVID-19 testing include: fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, new or worsening shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle aches, new or worsening fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of taste or smell, exacerbation of an underlying illness such as COPD or congestive heart failure, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 in the past 10 days.
The Johns Hopkins Medicine COVID-19 vaccine clinics are mostly paused for now, as the volumes have been low. Anyone seeking a vaccine may contact a retail pharmacy or primary care office. As we await any updated recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about the bivalent boosters, we urge you to keep your vaccination schedules up to date as defined by the CDC and Johns Hopkins Medicine and Johns Hopkins Health System polices.
Read more about vaccine and booster recommendations.