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COVID-19 Update

 

COVID-19 Information for School of Medicine Graduate Students

SARS-COV2 Virus

VIRUS IMAGE (photo credit NIAID, pulled from https://hub.jhu.edu/2020/03/20/sars-cov-2-survive-on-surfaces/)

In light of the evolving COVID-19 situation, we want to assure you that your health and well-being remains our topmost priority. Please find below information and resources developed to support you during this time.

 

Updates

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COVID-19 Facts

  • Coronavirus information for the Johns Hopkins community: This page contains resources and communications for the Johns Hopkins community about prevention and preparedness efforts—from class changes to campus access to HR guidance. Check this page regularly for new information.
  • Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center: This website is a resource to help advance the understanding of the virus, inform the public, and brief policymakers in order to guide a response, improve care, and save lives.
  • School of Medicine Research Restart Policies: Timely information for the JHU SOM research community on all aspects of re-entering our research laboratories/programs in a safe and productive manner during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Information for all University graduate students may be found here. Additional SOM-specific information is below.

Guidance from Johns Hopkins Medicine Regarding Illness or Coronavirus Exposure
As cases of the new coronavirus continue to be diagnosed in our communities, you may have concerns that you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or that you have been in contact with someone carrying the virus.

In the video below, Lisa Maragakis, senior director of health care epidemiology and infection prevention, answers frequently asked questions about the proper steps all Johns Hopkins Medicine staff and faculty members, trainees and students should take if they have a fever or respiratory symptoms, or if they are worried they have been exposed to someone with the new coronavirus.

 

You can also follow these guidelines on when to call Occupational Health Services and refer to this list of Johns Hopkins Occupational Health contacts.

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COVID-19 Testing and Care

Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Call Center (JHCCC)
There is now a single COVID health resource for Hopkins affiliates. JHU students, faculty, and staff who feel ill or are concerned about exposure to the coronavirus should call the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Call Center at 833-546-7546, seven days a week, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. This center serves all members of the Johns Hopkins community, including students who were previously instructed to call their respective student health centers.

The JHCCC is staffed by Johns Hopkins nurses and physicians. When you call, a representative will instruct you about next steps depending on your circumstances. They will arrange for testing if needed and assist in transmitting information to the appropriate university health care provider for follow-up care. They will also manage the process to identify and assist individuals who may have had contact with someone who tests positive.

People with COVID-19 have reported a wide variety of symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Common symptoms include cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Other symptoms may include fever, chills (sometimes accompanied by repeated shaking), muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and loss of taste or smell. If you think that you may be experiencing a COVID symptom:

  1. Stay home and do not go to campus. 
  2. Contact the JHCCC at 833-546-7546
  3. If you feel pressure to be on campus, please remember that all SOM graduate students have 15 days (3 weeks) of sick leave each year. 
  4. If you have concerns related to being on campus, please contact your PI, graduate program director, or Peter Espenshade for guidance. More information about accommodations and adjustments for COVID risk is below. 

Reasonable Accommodation through Student Disability Services (SDS)
Graduate students with disabilities may request reasonable accommodations to their educational environment to support their education and training. Information on Graduate Student Disability Services may be found here or by contacting Kristina Nance, the SOM Graduate Student Disability Services Coordinator (knance2@jhmi.edu). 

Based upon CDC guidance, some people may be at higher-risk of experiencing negative COVID-19 outcomes due to their individual circumstances. Students who fall within the CDC’s definition of a “vulnerable person” (documented in the Return to Campus Guide) or with a documented disability may request reasonable accommodations to their educational environment. For the duration of the pandemic, Student Disability Services will review accommodation requests from vulnerable persons in the same manner it reviews disability accommodations.

Information on the accommodations process can be found here.  Students can submit an online SDS Registration Form to begin the accommodations process or contact Kristina Nance (GradDisabilityOffice@jhmi.edu).

As always, anyone who needs a religious accommodation, pregnancy or nursing parent adjustment, can also pursue those by contacting Kristina Nance (GradDisabilityOffice@jhmi.edu). In addition, students who would not themselves qualify as a vulnerable person or someone with a disability but who have concerns for others who may be at risk in their home, are experiencing other personal impacts (financial, day-care, etc.) due to COVID-19 or become ill with COVID-19 should also work with contact Kristina Nance (GradDisabilityOffice@jhmi.edu) to identify any required adjustments. 

Reporting Safety Compliance Issues 
Volunteers are patrolling building hallways to assist with safety compliance, but the onus of enforcement lies with each of us.

We encourage early reporting of non-compliance concerns relating to the wearing of masks, following social distancing, and obeying posted guidelines throughout the SOM using one of the resources below: 

These reports can be anonymous if desired, and they are extremely important for encouraging compliance and identifying trouble spots throughout the SOM. 

Parking Access for Students, Postdocs and Staff
During Phase 1 re-entry at the SOM, free parking is available on the East Baltimore Campus between 3:00 PM and 10:00 AM, Monday through Friday, for students, postdocs and staff with a valid East Baltimore JHU ID badge. To obtain parking access during these times, you can either visit the Parking/ID office (located in Harvey 108) or call (410) 955-5333. The Parking Office is open Monday-Friday between 8:00am – 4:00 pm. No payment is required, and you do not have to be currently registered for parking.  If you have previously registered for parking with the SOM parking office, you are automatically registered for this free parking access.

TimelyMD
The university has extended its partnership with TimelyMD to make mental telehealth counseling free and available to all Johns Hopkins learners through mid-January 2021. This service, originally launched in April and contracted through July 10, has been a useful and popular resource, and we wanted to ensure comprehensive access to mental healthcare throughout the summer.  

  • Both TalkNow, a 24/7 on-demand mental telehealth line staffed by mental health professionals is available to you, and free scheduled counseling are available through this.  Click this link, create an account with your .edu email address, enter the Service Key JHU2020, and you are ready to get started. 
  • If students have already engaged with a TimelyMD provider, they will continue to have access to them through September 10. 

SilverCloud
Launched at Hopkins in February 2020, SilverCloud is an online, confidential mental health resource that is free and available to all full-time Johns Hopkins students. SilverCloud offers 24/7 access to interactive learning modules that teach cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques.
 
SilverCloud has just released three new learning modules:

  • Space from COVID19
  • Space from Insomnia
  • Sleep Issues

Additional health and well-being services and programs can always be accessed through the JHU Wellness Website

Medical evaluation and testing for COVID-19 is available through University Health Services. The Student Health Plan provides full coverage for COVID-19 testing. Medical coverage for COVID-19 is the same as it would be for any other illness. If you have symptoms and need evaluation for COVID-19, please contact University Health Services at 410-955-3250. For additional information, please visit the UHS website.

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Health & Wellbeing

Hopkins Health and Safety information regarding COVID-19

Physical Wellbeing Resources

Fitness Blender: Hundreds of free workout videos for any fitness level.

Healthy Recipes from Johns Hopkins Medicine 

UHS Wellness and the Cooley Fitness Center are offering free weekly virtual classes though zoom. Please refer to the UHS Wellness Calendar and the Denton A. Cooley Fitness Center website for a wide variety of virtual fitness classes available to all. You can also visit the Cooley Center YouTube channel for on-demand classes. Additional virtual fitness classes are available to Hopkins students through the Ralph S. O'Connor Recreation Center. Please refer to the UHS Wellness Calendar for Zoom Meeting information.

For more information about UHS Wellness offerings, visit http://uhs.jhu.edu/wellness/programs-and-events/

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Mental Health Resources

We know that the COVID-19 situation is causing significant change and potential anxiety and distress for our community. This is an unprecedented event. School of Medicine counseling and primary care offices remain open and available to you for support. Offices are not currently able to accommodate walk-ins and ask that you please call first before coming to the office. Please see the websites below for additional information on these resources and guidance on making appointments.

The University Counseling Center is offering several online spaces to allow students to gather, share emotions and feelings, and discuss tips for coping. These virtual discussion spaces will take place through Zoom for students to talk about their adjustment and coping with recent events.  There will be space for approximately 15 participants so that everyone can feel heard and supported.

Updates to Counseling Center services can be found on our website.

Johns Hopkins Student Assistance Program
JHSAP mental health support is available 24 hours, 7 days per week by calling the JHSAP number: (443) 287-7000 or toll free (866) 764-2317.

Student Wellness at Johns Hopkins University

SilverCloud, an online, confidential mental health resource now free and available to all full-time students and trainees. SilverCloud offers 24/7 access to interactive learning modules that teach cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques. If you or someone you know is experiencing mild-to-moderate symptoms of anxiety and depression, SilverCloud can be a useful tool. To learn more about SilverCloud, watch this short introductory video. To sign up to use the platform, eligible students and trainees can visit this link.

UHS - Mental Health 
University Health Services (UHS) Mental Health provides psychiatric assessment and follow-up, medication management and individual psychotherapy for East Baltimore students and learners. To make an appointment, call 410-955-1892.

 

UHS Wellness
UHS Wellness serves students, post-doctoral fellows, house staff and other trainees within the School of Medicine, Bloomberg School of Public Health, School of Nursing, and the Berman Institute. While you are learning and training here at the Johns Hopkins East Baltimore campus, our mission is to enrich your experience, help you thrive professionally and personally, and promote an environment that supports your health and well-being. For information about UHS Wellness programs and events, visit http://uhs.jhu.edu/wellness/programs-and-events/

Destress Monday: An online initiative providing information and reminders to support a positive start to the week and reduce stress overall.

JED Foundation is a non-profit that focuses on emotional health and suicide prevention for young adults. See their page on managing mental health during COVID-19 and their recorded webinar entitled Resilience, Coping and Parenting Strategies during Uniquely Challenging Times.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255. Confidential crisis intervention and free emotional support are available during a time of emotional distress for you or a loved one. The helpline is open 24/7, and a live online chat is also available.

Mental Health America Hotline:use the link or text MHA to 74141. This nationwide organization provides information and guidance through a crisis.

Mental Health National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): 800-950-6264, info@nami.org, operates an emergency mental health hotline M-F from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. Operators can provide info about mental illness and refer callers to treatment, support groups, family support, and legal support, if needed. 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 800-662-4357, SAMHSA runs a 24-hour mental health hotline that provides education, support, and connections to treatment. It also offers an online Behavioral Health Treatment Locator to help you find suitable behavioral health treatment programs.
SAMHSA National Helpline
SAMHSA Find Treatment

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): 866-615-6464, This organization has a variety of methods for you to communicate with people about mental health issues. In addition to the phone line, there is a live online chat option. These resources are available M-F, 8:30 a.m-5 p.m. EST.

Mental Health America Hotline: Text MHA to 74141. Mental Health America is a nationwide organization that provides assistance through this text line. You will be linked to someone who can guide you through crisis or just provide information.  

Crisis Text Line: Text CONNECT to 741741. Specialized crisis counselors are just a text message away on this free confidential 24-hour support line. To further protect your privacy, these messages do not appear on a phone bill. The text line also provides services and support if you are upset, scare, hurt frustrated, or distressed.

Veterans Crisis Line: 800-273-8255, Text a message to 838255. Operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, these services aid veterans and their families who may be crisis by connecting them with VA responders.

Additional Wellness resources: 
Calm App
Relaxation Drill
Moodnotes: Mood-tracking and journaling app that help users develop healthier thinking habits.
Free Mindfulness Project
Wellness.jhu.edu
Science of Happiness podcast
Insight Timer
Headspace App
Headspace Online
Heartfulness.org
Coloring Book Apps: ColorFil, Colorfy, Recolor (available for Apple, Android, and Google phones)
Luminosity: A brain training program that uses fun games to help keep your mind sharp

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Professional Development

PDCO is enhancing their virtual career and professional development workshops and highlighting national opportunities for virtual learning. Please check for updated events here.  PDCO staff are also offering virtual one-on-one appointments to support all career and professional development needs for SOM PhD students; these appointments can be scheduled through Handshake.

Internship and Job Resources

  • The all-grads and gro-careers list-servs commonly have internships and funding opportunities sent out through it. Sign up for these list-servs at the links provided (hit subscribe).
  • The PDCO office has a page on internships reserved exclusively for graduate students: Internships - For Students | BCI (Biomedical Careers Initiative)
  • Handshake also has internship offerings (hit Jobs, then filter by internships). There is also a helpful module: 500 companies that are hiring on Handshake right now.
  • LinkedIn also has internship offerings (hit Jobs, then filter by internships).
  • The PeopleGrove alumni mentoring platform is launched and functional right now. It would help students connect with Alumni who may have opportunities to hire paid/unpaid interns. JHU Students are encouraged to get on PeopleGrove if not already as more grad alums are being added to the platform.
  • SMILE is the new campus experiential learning platform that connects current students to paid internships and employment opportunities across Johns Hopkins University. This platform includes on-campus paid internships and a variety of student jobs.
  • A comprehensive list of companies that are either still providing internships, hiring, or in a hiring freeze due to COVID-19 (in addition to the hiring websites) can be found at the following sites: https://candor.co/hiring-freezes/, https://github.com/gcreddy42/hiring2020
  • Do you love biomedical research and want to learn more about your options in government consulting? Interested in finding out more about available Science Officer positions with CDMRP (Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs)?

PDCO: Virtual Drop-In Office Hours
Wednesdays from 9:00 – 11:00 am 
Drop-in anytime and chat with Dr. Kate Bradford, Associate Director of PDCO, about any PhD and Postdoc career-related topics. Drop-in hours will be small group discussions and can cover multiple topics, including career exploration, negotiation, interviewing, networking, writing job application documents, navigating postdoc applications, and more.

To those on the job market: the University would like to hear from you! COVID-19 has obviously caused unprecedented disruptions to life, studying, work and most importantly to job seekers. We are asking you to complete a quick, 1 minute survey to tell us what impact COVID-19 is having on your job search process and if there is any immediate assistance the University can provide to help.  Take the survey here.

Connect with alumni, see job listings, and more @ GoHopOnline!
Did you know that you can connect with current students and alumni, find out the latest Hopkins news, and find jobs posted by other alumni? Just go to GoHopOnline, sync your LinkedIn or Facebook account, and voila! You're connected! Use it to look at job listings, contact alumni in your field of interest, or just keep up with what your friends and coworkers are doing!

Volunteer Opportunities
Face Shield Construction:
Johns Hopkins Health System has developed a method to construct face shields for our clinicians to use as they treat patients who present with respiratory issues. To support this effort, they are looking for volunteers to assist in the construction process. General tasks will consist of cutting with scissors and razor blades, as well as hot gluing and stapling. 

Volunteers will be asked to come onsite for a period of 4 hours per day. Prior to beginning each shift, each volunteer will be asked to attest that they are asymptomatic – that is not having symptoms of illness, such as fever or respiratory issues. The organizers have engaged Dr. Lisa Maragakis to ensure a safe work environment: workspace will permit 6 feet between each station, a full-time cleaning staff will continuously sanitize the working environment, and alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol will be readily available throughout the area.

To register to volunteer, please use this link.

Red Cross Blood Donations
The American Red Cross needs healthy blood donors more than ever. Donating is a safe process, and additional precautions have been implemented at all blood drives to ensure the safety of both donors and staff members. Find a blood drive near you
Only if you are healthy and well!

United Way Virtual Tutoring Opportunities
Students are home from school for the foreseeable future and many parents are struggling on ways to continue their children's learning. We are looking for volunteers who can remotely connect with parents and students to help them continue their academic progress.
To register, check out this link

Once a Scientist Podcast
The host, Dr. Nick Edwards, talks with scientists from all backgrounds and discusses their career trajectories. The Johns Hopkins community is heavily represented in the show:

  • In episode 2, you can hear JHU alum Daniel Pham (SOM, PhD Neuroscience) talk about founding Project Bridge and his transition from neuroscience PhD to science policy to strategic philanthropy.
  • In episode 4, Erick Westbroek, a current JHU neurosurgery resident, discusses what it's like performing brain surgery.
  • Upcoming episodes will feature JHU alumni Wendy Xin (SOM PhD Neuroscience) and myself.

Once a Scientist can be found on all major podcast platforms, including Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, and more.

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Education & Research

Animal Research Information

Connecting during COVID-19: This document provides specific connectivity options and guidance on user challenges that have surfaced during this time. It includes information on AT&T Conferencing, Zoom and Teams. 

The Institute for Basic Biomedical Science (IBBS) is hosting a series of research seminars on COVID. The seminars have been recorded and are posted below as they become available:

  1. Basic Biology of Coronaviruses, presented by Dr. Carolyn Machamer
  2. COVID19: Current Status and Therapeutic Development, presented by Dr. Matthew Frieman 
  3. Immune Response Panel, featuring Dr. Michael Chattergoon, Dr. Justin Bailey, and Dr. Joel Blankson 
  4. Development of an Innovative Preventive Vaccine for COVID-19. presented by Dr. Tzyy-Choou Wu and Dr. Chien-Fu Hung

JHU Center for Computational Genomics: creating new courses covering topics such as "Introduction to R" and "Introduction to single cell analysis"

JHU Graduate Student Website (New): Consolidated information about university-wide and school-specific resources relevant to graduate students

JHU Learning Solutions

JHU Research Administration Coronavirus Website: Graduate student research information

NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education (OITE)

OIS Immigration-Related FAQ site

Remote Access: general advice to remotely access resources at Johns Hopkins

SOM-specific graduate student COVID-19 website: Information specific to us (SOM grad students)

Student Disability Services

Student Loan Information (coming soon)

Taking Courses Remotely: This page developed by the Center for Educational Resources provides helpful tips for preparing to take courses remotely.

Thesis Calendar: provides the details for remote thesis presentations, please consider supporting other students by joining a virtual audience.

Thesis Defense Google Form: fill out to register your own remote Thesis Defense. 

VPN connection  

Welch Library: offering classes

Writing Scientific Papers – Scitable by Nature Education - A five-part written series with learning activities: Structuring Your Scientific Paper, Drafting Your Scientific Paper, Revising Your Scientific Paper, Advice for Specific language groups, Summary here.

Zoom Web conferencing: This document shares how to sign up for a Zoom account, use Zoom, and take advantage of other helpful links. It is also posted on the IT Service/Now site at jhjhm.zoom.us.  Please be aware that because Zoom is cloud-based, some technological issues will be beyond our control.

For SOM PhD students, requests for extensions to academic deadlines and/or funding support should be made to your PhD program director after consultation with your PhD advisor.

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General Hopkins Information

Childcare for Students as Essential Personnel

  • There are three Hopkins-affiliated child care centers, Bright Horizons, Weinberg, and Homewood, that are open. Essential workers who have a letter demonstrating their essential status can receive free care during this emergency period.  Click here for more information.
  • In addition, graduate students and postdocs are eligible to use Care@Work by Care.com, a backup child care referral service that provides up to 20 days per year of backup child care in their own home. Click here to access those resources.

Off-Campus Housing Information

School of Medicine 2020 Convocation
The May 2020 university-wide Commencement exercises will be held virtually. Planning for a virtual School of Medicine Convocation is underway in close collaboration with graduate student leadership. Please refer to this email from Dr. Roy Ziegelstein

Stipends
For students that receive a stipend, payments will continue.

Student Disability Services
Disability Services continues to be open and will be serving students remotely. Please visit the Student Disability Services website for more information. Please contact GradDisabilityOffice@jhmi.edu for School of Medicine graduate program disability services needs.

Transportation
Transportation updates for the East Baltimore campus can be found here.

An interactive online whiteboard has been added to the JH Office365 enterprise license. It’s available here.

Please find information on additional School of Medicine graduate student support resources here.

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Town Hall Q&A

Town Hall - May 11, 2020

Town Hall - April 16, 2020

Below are questions that needed additional follow-up during the town hall, and the answers to those questions:

  1. What is the coverage for any illness if the student is out of state?
    • The student health plan offers national medical coverage outside the State of Maryland through the MultiPlan Network. From the plan document:
      • “If you need care outside of Maryland, you have access to a national network of over 600,000 providers and hospitals through MultiPlan’s PHCS Network. MultiPlan contracts with providers nationwide to provide you coverage for services rendered outside Maryland. Any out-of-state provider in MultiPlan’s PHCS Network is considered in-network, so your coverage will be the same as your EHP in-network benefits. To search for a provider, call the toll-free phone number on the back of your EHP member ID card or visit www.MultiPlan.com.”
  2. Is there anything specific for care related to COVID-19?
    • The Student Health Plan provides full coverage for COVID-19 testing. Medical coverage for COVID-19 is the same as it would be for any other illness.

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Other Resources

Virtual Tours of National Parks

Virtual Tours of Museums, Historic Sites, Zoos, and other Learning Activities for All Ages

Free Children’s Educational Subscriptions 

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If you have questions, please contact the Office of Graduate Biomedical Education (OGBE@jhmi.edu) or your graduate deans directly.

Peter Espenshade, PhD (peter.espenshade@jhmi.edu)
Associate Dean for Graduate Biomedical Education

Damani Piggott, MD, PhD (dpiggot1@jhmi.edu)
Assistant Dean for Graduate Biomedical Education and Graduate Student Diversity

 
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