COVID-19 Safety Guidance and Care at Johns Hopkins Medicine

Masking Strongly Recommended but Not Required

(Posted Feb.23, 2024)

Due to the downward trend in respiratory viruses in Maryland, we are now below the threshold set by the Maryland Department of Health to require masking in all health care settings. Considering the latest data, effective immediately, masking is no longer required but remains strongly recommended in Johns Hopkins Medicine clinical locations in Maryland.

Departments or areas caring for vulnerable populations, such as oncology, may choose to continue their masking requirement throughout the remainder of the respiratory virus season.

In Johns Hopkins Medicine locations outside of Maryland, masking is strongly recommended but not required.

We will continue to monitor respiratory infection rates, and may need to reimplement the masking requirement if infection rates rise again.

Additional resources: How to Properly Wear a Face Mask | Face Mask FAQs 

Isolation Requirements for COVID-19

The recently updated CDC isolation guidelines do not apply to health-care settings. For Johns Hopkins Medicine patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and need to be seen in-person for an appointment, please:

  • Wait 10 days (20 days if immunocompromised) or more after symptoms have started.


  • Wait 10 days (20 days if immunocompromised) or more after the date of the first positive COVID-19 test to be seen in-person. 

Select clinics have special air handling that allows COVID-19 positive patients to be seen prior to the end of the isolation period. Patients requiring care while still within the COVID-19 isolation timeframe should consult with their provider to discuss options.


Effective April 24, 2023, 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.


Read about the updated COVID-19 vaccine for the 2023-2024 fall/winter season.