Johns Hopkins goes “fully remote” for fall

Editor’s note: “The virus” is still winning. TGIF!

“The Johns Hopkins University on Thursday reversed plans to bring undergraduate students back for in-person classes, housing, or activities, urging them to stay away from Baltimore for the fall semester,” as The Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting. “Employees, the campus said, should expect to work from home through the end of the year.

“Previously Hopkins said an in-person undergraduate experience would be available ‘to all who want it.’ Thursday’s announcement is the latest shoe to drop in a late-summer wave of announcements, one after the next, of scaled-back reopening plans.

“The decision by Johns Hopkins — with its deep endowment, breakthrough research on and tracking of the virus itself, and close ties to world-renowned medical services — demonstrates that even higher education’s heaviest hitting research universities may see their in-person plans stymied by Covid-19.

“’Based on extensive consultations with our faculty experts in public health and medicine, and emerging guidance from public-health officials, we have concluded that returning in person would pose unacceptable risks for you, our faculty and staff, and our neighbors in Baltimore,’ wrote Ronald J. Daniels, the president, and other campus leaders in an email to students. 

“The decision follows months of planning for the Baltimore university. Administrators shook up the academic calendar and planned to offer courses online and in person.

“The university also put forward an exhaustive testing plan: Hopkins, one of the wealthiest colleges in the country, said it would test everyone on campus twice weekly, developing a capacity of multiple thousands of tests daily.

“Campus leaders determined that several public-health measures were trending in the wrong direction. The average local number of cases per hundred thousand hit 27, compared to just two or three elsewhere in the country, Inglesby said. The percent of tests that came back positive remained high. And more than 30 percent of Hopkins students would come from areas of the country with high case counts.

“Turnaround times for testing in many regions have been ‘brutally long,’ Inglesby said, which may challenge other campuses’ reopening plans. ‘You need to have quick information about who to isolate.'”

The rest of the article is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

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