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COVID-19: Coronavirus Information

Latest Update

Website updated: June 2 (3 p.m.)

As of Tuesday, June 2, Princeton’s University Health Services (UHS) reports they are aware of the cases detailed below. Please remember, if students, faculty, or staff are tested for coronavirus, in any jurisdiction, they must contact UHS at communityhealth@princeton.edu. No one should wait for results; they should reach out to UHS directly as soon as they are tested.

The University will continue to provide regular updates on the number of tests and cases involving community members which UHS is aware of. These numbers, especially those involving students who no longer reside on campus, are based on self-reporting.

Students

149 students have been tested for COVID-19. Of those, 28 students tested were on campus and 121 were elsewhere.

On-campus students:

3 students tested positive. Of those:

  • 1 met the criteria for discontinuation of isolation and is off campus.
  • 2 discontinued isolation according to clinical criteria and returned to regular on campus housing.

25 students tested negative and discontinued isolation per the clinical criteria.

One (1) student is quarantining on campus as of June 1.

Off-campus students:

47 students tested positive and are receiving appropriate treatment.

72 students tested negative.

2 test results are pending.

Employees

114 employees have been tested for COVID-19. Of those: 39 have tested positive. Of which:

  • 31 have recovered and discontinued isolation.
  • 8 are in their respective homes in self-isolation and receiving appropriate treatment.

70 have tested negative.

4 tests are pending results.

1 has resulted inconclusive. The employee will not be retested, has recovered and returned to work.

This case update is as of June 2 at 9 a.m. The University will continue to report regularly to the community on these developments.

We ask every member of the Princeton University community, whether on campus or elsewhere, to continue doing all they can to help slow the spread of this pandemic, including careful hand-washing, social distancing, and staying home as much as possible. Please remember, if you are tested for coronavirus, no matter where you are tested, you should immediately notify UHS by emailing communityhealth@princeton.edu.

May 29 (5:30 p.m.) update:

On May 29, Princeton University Library (PUL) announced two priority services in its phased resumption of on-site services — available starting on June 8 only to Princeton University faculty, researchers, postdocs and graduate students:

Princeton University Library's Return Task Force has finalized plans for the phased resumption of on-site library services beginning with two priority services which will provide access to library materials for Princeton University faculty, researchers, postdocs and graduate students. The two priority services are book pick-up and in-house digitization and will begin the week of June 8 with Firestone Library providing the first available pick-up location in a designated area. Branches will follow during that week. 

Library locations will not be open to the public or patrons. Patrons will not be allowed beyond the designated pick-up areas. Social distancing and wearing a face covering/mask will be required for picking up books. Library staff will also be following social distancing and other protocol requirements as outlined by the CDC, State and University. Beginning June 8, book pick-up requests can be made via a link on the online catalog pages. This phased resumption of specific services is in line with current state guidance. The BorrowDirect service continues to be suspended at this time.

These steps are part of the process President Eisgruber detailed in his message to the community of May 4 regarding Princeton’s research and teaching enterprise in light of COVID-19.

If you have any questions, please email refdesk@princeton.edu.

Read the full announcement on the PUL website.

May 28 (10 a.m.) update:

The University distributed its weekly Community COVID-19 Newsletter on May 28. This week’s newsletter included the following information:

  • The Graduate School will host a virtual Hooding ceremony on Friday, May 29, at 4 p.m. ET. 
  • The University will honor the Class of 2020 during a virtual Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 31, at 1 p.m. ET. The ceremony will be streamed on the Commencement page, the University homepage, the Media Central Live page as well as on Princeton’s Facebook and Twitter. Please use #Princeton20 on social media for all Commencement-related content.
  • The latest example of how Princeton researchers are contributing to our understanding of the health effects of COVID-19.
  • New episodes of the ‘We Roar’ podcast featuring Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson *03 and Rabbi Ira Dounn from Princeton’s Center for Jewish Life.  
  • A spotlight on Humanities Council lecturer Noah Buchholz, who serves as one of the Certified Deaf Interpreters for New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s daily press conferences.
  • An upcoming webinar discussing race in the COVID-19 era with New Jersey Congressman Andy Kim, Princeton faculty, staff and alumni.

May 27 (11 a.m.)  update: 

As of Wednesday, May 27, Princeton’s University Health Services (UHS) reports they are aware of the cases detailed below. Please remember, if students, faculty, or staff are tested for coronavirus, in any jurisdiction, they must contact UHS at communityhealth@princeton.edu. No one should wait for results; they should reach out to UHS directly as soon as they are tested.

The University will continue to provide regular updates on the number of tests and cases involving community members which UHS is aware of. These numbers, especially those involving students who no longer reside on campus, are based on self-reporting.

Students

144 students have been tested for COVID-19. Of those, 28 students tested were on campus and 116 were elsewhere.

On-campus students:

3 students tested positive. Of those:

  • 1 met the criteria for discontinuation of isolation and is off campus.
  • 2 discontinued isolation according to clinical criteria and returned to regular on campus housing.

24 students tested negative and discontinued isolation per the clinical criteria.

1 student awaiting test results remain in isolation

 One student is isolating and three students are quarantining on campus as of May 26.

Off-campus students

47 students tested positive and are receiving appropriate treatment.

67 students tested negative.

2 test results are pending.

Employees

107 employees have been tested for COVID-19.

39 have tested positive. Of which:

  • 30 have recovered and discontinued isolation.
  • 9 are in their respective homes in self-isolation and receiving appropriate treatment.

62 have tested negative.

5 tests are pending results.

1 has resulted inconclusive. The employee will not be retested, has recovered and returned to work.

This case update is as of May 27 at 9 a.m. The University will continue to report regularly to the community on these developments.

We ask every member of the Princeton University community, whether on campus or elsewhere, to continue doing all they can to help slow the spread of this pandemic, including careful hand-washing, social distancing, and staying home as much as possible. Please remember, if you are tested for coronavirus, no matter where you are tested, you should immediately notify UHS by emailing communityhealth@princeton.edu.

Other Relevant Information:

May 5 (9 a.m.):

Dean of the Graduate School Sarah-Jane Leslie has issued the following communication to the Graduate School community providing specifics on how the University is supporting graduate students during COVID-19. Dean Leslie's email on May 4 was sent to current graduate students and graduate alumni. The Graduate School also sends weekly emails specifically for graduate students regarding University resources and policies related to coronavirus. 

May 4 (12:35 p.m.):

On May 4, President Christopher L. Eisgruber sent a message to the Princeton community about the state of the University and planning for the academic year ahead. In his email, President Eisgruber said Princeton will decide in early July whether the undergraduate teaching program will be online or residential in the fall term. The University is exploring ways to safely and responsibly reopen Princeton’s laboratories, libraries and other facilities when state law permits.

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Acts of bias, discrimination, and harassment run counter to our University values and Princeton’s policies, including Respect for Others and our nondiscrimination policies, as well as our Statement on Diversity and Community.

Princeton University is committed to maintaining an educational, working and living environment that is free of all forms of discrimination and where every member can thrive. It is essential that each of us uphold and demonstrate these core values of dignity and respect. We encourage you to communicate these values to your staff and colleagues.

Public Health Guidance

We encourage all members of the University community to employ the following social distancing techniques:

  • Keep at least six feet between yourself and another person in all public places and inside all buildings.
  • Avoid close contact with others.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue
Avoid close contact, limit in-person meetings, keep 6 feet between you and others

Prevention measures are similar to those utilized against the common cold and flu. Those measures include frequent hand washing and avoiding touching one's face with unwashed hands. 

The University is conducting more frequent cleaning in common areas and on commonly touched surfaces, including in dining and housing spaces.

Avoid touching your face
Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds

 

Governor Phil Murphy issued an Executive Order on April 10 requiring everyone in New Jersey to wear a face covering when entering any retail establishment or restaurant for take-out orders and when riding public transportation. The University's Office of Environmental Health and Safety has a face mask primer for more information.

On April 2, the CDC updated its guidance to recommend the use of cloth face coverings “in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies). The guidance also clarifies that this recommendation is to use cloth face coverings, not surgical masks or N95 masks, as those are critical supplies that must be reserved for healthcare workers and medical first responders. 

Stay at home when you are sick except to seek medical attention
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces

Below are links to University Health Services handouts that explain social distancing, isolation and quarantine, as well as recognizing COVID-19 symptoms, and what to do if you think you might have the disease.


If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and please call in advance.

  • Undergraduate and graduate students on campus – call University Health Services at 609-258-3141.
  • Students off campus - contact your primary care provider or local urgent care center. If you are tested for coronavirus, you must notify UHS by emailing  communityhealth@princeton.edu so UHS can begin contact tracing. 
  • Employees – contact your primary care provider or local urgent care center. If you are tested for coronavirus, you must notify UHS by emailing  communityhealth@princeton.edu so UHS can begin contact tracing. 

The following is specific guidance from University Health Services on what to do if you have tested positive for COVID-19, come into contact with someone else who has tested positive, or have symptoms of COVID-19 for:

Any questions should be emailed to UHS at communityhealth@princeton.edu.

Volunteer Opportunities

The University has convened the COVID-19 Response Special Activities and Resources Group (SARG) in response to the significant public health needs from the COVID-19 pandemic. SARG will evaluate, support and assist with non-research volunteer projects primarily focused on production, manufacturing and donation. These volunteer projects are open to faculty and staff members who may volunteer to participate during University work hours (with supervisor approval).

The focus of the COVID-19 Response Special Activities and Resources Group is to allocate university resources and coordinate several special activities that can have immediate application and impact. Examples may include:

  • the collection and donation of cloth face coverings;
  • the inventorying and repurposing of equipment and materials that can potentially be used to design and produce protective equipment and other healthcare needs;
  • the production of medical devices or parts using 3D printers and other manufacturing equipment;  
  • blood drives to assist with critical levels of the nation's blood supply. 

Members of the community are encouraged to submit ideas for new/ongoing projects as well as volunteer.

Campus Events

All campus events are canceled following Governor Murphy's state-wide "stay at home" order issued on March 21.

Princeton remains operational with essential staff who perform critical services on campus, while other staff and faculty work remotely. 

Summer 2020 Programs

On April 16, Dean of the College Jill Dolan and Vice President for Campus Life Rochelle Calhoun sent an email update about end-of-the-semester and summer programs, including the cancelation of all on-campus summer programs through August 15.

Virtual Events

Academic and campus life departments, centers, and programs are offering a variety of virtual and online lectures, music, religious services and other programming. The lists below are a brief sampling? 

For departments and other University groups hosting virtual events, the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity has developed a series of brief webinars and related resources to help recognize various forms of online abuse, highlight proactive steps to help prevent an online attack, present best practices for responding to online abuse, and provide guidance for reporting incidents of online abuse. The webinars (which are approximately three minutes each) and resource materials are located here: https://inclusive.princeton.edu/addressing-concerns/bias-discrimination-harassment/online-harassment-resources. This tip sheet summarizes the most important information.

The following events are for the University community only:

The John H. Pace ’39 Center for Civic Engagement has curated a number of tips, resources, information and ideas to virtually respond and engage.

Led by Campus Life units and facilitated by the Office of Wintersession and Campus Engagement (OWCE), this page contains resources for Princeton undergraduate and graduate students to reduce social isolation and encourage connections while on-campus opportunities are suspended due to COVID-19 precautions.

For personal and professional development, the GradFUTURES website now includes an easily accessible listing of dozens of online programs and resources

The following events are free and open to the public:

Princeton University Concerts (PUC) offers an evolving list of free streaming resources, and invites the public to join its virtual concert hall on Spotify as part of its new Collaborative Listening Project. PUC hopes both initiatives might help fill your social distancing with music!

The Office of Religious Life offers a daily 10-minute guided meditation with Dean Matt Weiner at 4 p.m., Monday-Friday, via Zoom.

The Center for Jewish Life/Hillel is hosting virtual events and programs; online registration is required. 

The Lewis Center for the Arts is now offering a number of virtual events and activities including online dance classes, a series of conversations with theater makers, and guest artist talks open to the University community, with more opportunities being planned. Stay up to date by signing up to receive a weekly email of coming events.

Princeton University Chapel’s Sunday services will be videotaped and may be viewed online at Sunday Chapel Service. The services will remain archived, so everyone may return to them whenever they might find that to be helpful.

Princeton University Art Museum is pleased to offer online lectures  and highlights of current exhibitions.

Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) is pleased to offer online events. Check PEI’s event calendar for details.

Yiyun Li, professor of creative writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts, invites readers to participate in her virtual book club Tolstoy Together. Inspired by the solidity and structure that “War and Peace” provides in these unsettling times, the novel offers “a moment each day when we can gather together as a community.”

The Humanities Council is pleased to offer a range of thought-provoking talks, lectures and online events. Check the event calendar for details.

The departments and centers of the School of Engineering and Applied Science continue to offer online events. See the listings here and sign up for the school’s weekly events newsletter.

Classes and Research

Classes

The spring 2020 semester has now concluded. There are no University classes during the summer.

To facilitate social distancing, the University had moved to virtual instruction on March 23 through the end of the spring 2020 semester. 

Research

The latest University guidance regarding academic research, including lab research on campus, is detailed in frequently asked questions on the Princeton Research website

The Office of Research and Project Administration (ORPA) has also compiled a list of frequently asked questions related to sponsored research.

Travel

April 16 update:

On April 16, Aly Kassam-Remtulla, associate provost for international affairs and operations, issued the following extension of the University’s current prohibition against international travel and strong recommendation against domestic travel, including University-sponsored travel and personal travel (domestic and international). This information supersedes earlier guidance about travel.

Given the uncertainty about when travel will again be safe and when countries will begin lifting current travel restrictions, we share the following guidance for all populations affiliated with Princeton University including undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and staff. This guidance is in place until further notice.

Academic and administrative units that have questions about domestic or international travel may seek guidance from the Global Safety and Security unit at globalsafety@princeton.edu.

University-sponsored international travel

International travel continues to be suspended and this will only be reviewed when the current US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and US Department of State (DOS) travel restrictions have been relaxed.  For travel to be considered, a location will have to be CDC Level 0 or 1 AND DOS Level 1, 2, or 3.  At this time, no locations meet those criteria and we will provide additional guidance to the campus when that occurs.  Until further notice, no international travel should be planned or scheduled.

University-sponsored domestic travel

COVID-19 has spread throughout the United States and we do not have systematic advice from government authorities about the safety of domestic travel.  We therefore maintain a strong recommendation against non-essential domestic travel.

We urge those who engage in such travel to exercise caution and good judgement.  Travelers should heed the advice of authorities in the states they are departing from and to which they are traveling.  For further advice, please consult the CDC’s advice for domestic travel.

Many states have a “shelter in place” order so we expect domestic travel in the near-term to be limited.  In addition, several states now require quarantines for those arriving from cities and states affected by large-scale outbreaks.  We encourage those considering domestic travel to develop medical and logistical contingency plans in case restrictions change, including in the state to which they plan to return.

As was the case prior to COVID-19, undergraduate students must register all domestic travel (beyond the New York to Philadelphia corridor) in Concur Request.

Personal travel (international or domestic)

We continue to strongly urge against international and domestic personal travel (vacations, visiting friends/family) and note our limited ability to support such travelers. If you choose to engage in international personal travel, you should register for alerts from International SOS(membership number 11BSGC000022), enroll in the DOS Smart Traveler’s Enrollment Program (STEP) (or similar programs offered by other governments for their citizens/nationals), purchase travel insurance (note that most policies do not cover COVID-19 related evacuation or repatriation), and closely monitor local travel advisories. 

We understand that some individuals and academic/administrative units are already planning University-sponsored international and domestic travel for the remainder of 2020 and 2021.  Given the significant uncertainty, we encourage you to delay or postpone such plans. If you must make plans, please pay close attention to cancellation and refund policies and change fees.  

CDC Travel Notices by Country with Level Definitions

DOS Travel Advisories with Level Definitions

Resources

University Resources

External Resources

University Communications

Princeton has sent out a series of announcements to update the University community regarding coronavirus. This list will be updated as further communications are sent.

Latest Updates Archive

Previous daily updates that were posted to the top of this coronavirus website have been archived online for reference.