Mail Call
from Hopkins on Alert

Johns Hopkins handles an estimated 35,000 pieces of mail daily on the East Baltimore Medical Campus alone. We are working on converting the initial sorting procedure there from a manual to an automated process, and we are retraining our staff on identifying and handling suspicious mail.

We strongly discourage staff from sending personal packages to their workplaces, and we urge you to ask your family and friends NOT to send personal packages to your office.

Procedures for Handling Suspicious Mail

The delivery of a contaminated letter to Johns Hopkins is believed to be unlikely. Nevertheless, as a precaution, we want to offer the following advice if you come in contact with a package or mail that appears suspicious:

  1. Stay calm
  2. Do not open or handle the package or mail.
  3. Put the item down gently.
  4. Isolate the item if possible.
  5. In East Baltimore and at JH Community Physicians, call the JHM Internal Response Team (Security Duty Desk) at
    ext. 4-3473 (or 410-614-3473) from Monday to Friday (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)
    ext. 5-5585 (or 410-955-5585) during non-business hours.
  6. At Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, JH Home Care Group and JH HealthCare,
    call Security at 410-550-0333
  7. At Howard County General, call Security at 410-740-7911

Packages with no return address, postmarks that do not match the return address, or an envelope that feels like it contains a substance, or is oily on the outside, should be considered suspicious.

If you discover a powdery substance upon opening a package or envelope:

  1. Close the package or envelope carefully.
  2. Place it in a trash bag if possible and tie off the bag.
  3. Set the bag aside. If spillage occurs, DO NOT CLEAN UP the substance.
  4. Leave the room and close the door.
  5. Do not breathe the substance.
  6. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  7. Call Security at the above phone numbers immediately.