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Johns Hopkins University Brings Back Indoor Masking Mandates

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Johns Hopkins University has brought back indoor masking mandates, effective Thursday, due to the rise in cases from the delta variant of COVID-19, the school announced on Wednesday.

Face coverings will be required inside, except in single-occupancy offices where six feet of distance can be maintained, in residences or dorm rooms with only roommates present, or while eating indoors at a proper distance. Students and staff are allowed to momentarily unmask to have a snack or drink.
University officials cited guidance from the CDC that says masking should resume in states where there are 50 or more cases per 100,000 people or places where the positivity rate is more than 8%. The Maryland Department of Health reported 729 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday morning.
"We are hopeful that this increase in cases will abate in the coming weeks, but our cautious approach to protecting our campus community and our Baltimore neighbors warrants this added precaution," wrote Stephen Gange, professor and executive vice provost for academic affairs; Jon Links, professor, vice provost, and chief risk officer; and Jane Schlegel, vice president and chief administrative officer, in a joint email to the Hopkins community.
Plans to hold an in-person fall semester and bring most staffers back to campus remain unchanged, the school said. Hopkins has required all faculty, staff, and students to present documentation that they are fully vaccinated. To date, 80 percent of the campus population has done so.
"We recognize that masking in the workplace may be inconvenient, but we believe the benefits of returning together as a community in pursuit of our common mission outweigh that discomfort," Gange, Links, and Schlegel wrote. "As always, your health and safety remain our top priorities."
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