Updated policies and guidance for COVID-19

March 9, 2020 2:08 p.m.

In response to the continued spread of COVID-19, we are enacting new policies and practices based on the concept of social distancing. Earlier today, President Eisgruber issued a message to the community with updates on our continued efforts to ensure the health and safety of the community. The goal is to decrease the number of situations that require community members to gather in large groups and to minimize the time spent in close proximity with each other. 

In addition to the policies and guidance below, please note that further guidance for specific programs and areas is being developed and will be distributed throughout the week. Information will be regularly updated on the University's Coronavirus Information website

The following policies will be in place through Sunday, April 5, at which point we will reassess them. Any changes in these policies will be communicated to students, faculty and staff in a timely manner.

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 including the library, dining halls, Frist, Prospect House, etc.
  • Avoid close contact, including handshakes and hugging.
  • Limit in-person meetings.

ACADEMIC CLASSES

To facilitate social distancing, all lectures, seminars, and precepts will move to virtual instruction beginning Monday, March 23. Academic classes and mid-term exams will continue the week of March 9 as planned, following social distancing protocols.

  • Faculty have received guidance and recommendations on on-line delivery methods for their courses. The McGraw Center will provide support to faculty, as detailed on its website, including instructional strategies, available tools, and recommended best practices.
  • Given the likelihood of significant disruptions to life on campus students are strongly encouraged to stay home after Spring Break and meet academic requirements remotely until at least April 5.  Students who remain on campus should also expect to receive instruction remotely and be prepared for the fact that on-campus social activities and interactions will be severely limited. 

ON CAMPUS MEETINGS AND EVENTS

In-person meetings are strongly discouraged. Meeting organizers should use remote technology whenever possible, including substituting conference calls and phone conversations for in-person meetings. Meetings that must take place should use social distancing best practices.

On campus events are strongly discouraged and should be postponed as possible. Hosted events that involve more than 100 people or use more than one-third of their venue’s capacity must be postponed or canceled. This includes events sponsored by the University, schools, departments or units, as well as student-sponsored events. Event organizers should use remote technology whenever possible. 

Certain events, such as athletic contests and performances, may be modified to decrease the need for a crowd or audience. Details on these modifications are under development and will be shared once finalized. 

All events must be registered by completing a Conference and Events Services form to ensure that University officials are aware of the event and can review and make recommendations, as necessary. The University will continue to support, where possible and subject to appropriate restrictions, research, educational, and campus life activities that require physical presence.

TRAVEL

All University-sponsored international travel is prohibited, and all personal international travel is strongly discouraged. Non-essential University-sponsored domestic travel should be postponed or canceled. These restrictions will not apply to University-sponsored travel required to return to campus by community members who are currently studying or working remotely. These travel restrictions are in place until at least April 5.

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.  

For anyone returning to Princeton, please carefully review the advice at coronavirus.princeton.edu.

University response to COVID-19