Nassau Hall with tigers in early spring

Princeton University is working to ensure compliance with Governor Murphy’s state-wide 'stay at home' order to slow spread of COVID-19

As the community continues to grapple with the challenges of coronavirus, a reminder that classes resume Monday via remote teaching and campus work continues for those required to be in-person. Support for those on campus will continue.

Earlier today, Governor Murphy issued a state-wide “stay at home” order for all New Jersey residents starting at 9 p.m., Saturday, March 21. The order indicated that all residents of New Jersey should limit non-essential activities outside the home, mandated an end to all public gatherings, detailed certain types of businesses that must cease in-person operations, and required institutions across the state to identify and support areas where employees could work remotely. The order did not require jobs that can only be done in-person at institutions like universities to cease, or put any restrictions on the ability of those who have to travel to get to work to do so.

Princeton University is working to ensure that we are in compliance with the order and doing what we can to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Further, specific guidance will be issued to faculty, staff, undergraduate students remaining on campus, and graduate students throughout the weekend detailing any operational changes necessitated by the new Executive Order. As we develop and share this guidance, we understand that you may have immediate questions about how the new executive order may impact you.    

  • For students and faculty, remote classes will still resume on Monday as planned, and the University will continue to assist and provide resources for teaching continuity.
  • For undergraduate and graduate students still on campus, the University will continue to provide you with the support you need, including dining and health services.
  • For University staff, those who can work remotely should, and those whose responsibilities require them to be on campus should continue coming into work. 
  • For all of us, whether on campus or elsewhere, we should continue doing all we can to help slow the spread of this pandemic, including careful hand-washing, social distancing, and staying home as much as possible.

We know that this will cause further disruption after a long week, but we will continue working to ensure that we are protecting your health and safety while doing everything we can to do our part for the larger community.  

If you are not feeling well, please make sure to get the care you need, and if you have been tested for COVID-19, please contact UHS at [email protected].  We will continue to update the University COVID-19 website with the latest policies and guidance and will be in touch as soon as we have more details on any new guidelines.

University updates March 21 

On March 21, Dean for Research Pablo Debenedetti issued an email to faculty and research facility directors with guidance on shutting down non-essential on-campus research following the State of New Jersey’s stay-at-home order announced today. Faculty members and facility directors who are responsible for on-campus research activities are asked to complete shut-down procedures by the close of business on Monday, March 23. Updates are also available on the website page COVID-19 Information for Researchers.

On March 21, Princeton University Library (PUL) stated that Library services continue to be available online and that Library staff members are available to work with Princeton faculty, students and staff. If you have questions or need help, contact the Ask Us service or email a staff member directly. For support with subject specific questions, contact the subject librarians. Books do not need to be returned at this time. All fines are suspended until further notice. Two additional resources are: PUL support for remote research, teaching and learning and COVID-19 PUL alerts and information.

On March 21, a new set of FAQs was issued for exempted undergraduate students who remain on campus after the March 19 deadline. The FAQs cover a range of services and support including best practices for social distancing, dining, use of common spaces, visitors, storing belongings, questions about leaving campus and more. The FAQs are available online.

This new set of FAQs was sent in a letter from Vice President of Campus Life Rochelle Calhoun to the undergraduates who remain on campus. She wrote: “Faculty are preparing to begin online instruction next week and staff in Campus Life, the residential colleges, Housing, Dining, and Public Safety are working equally hard to maintain services for those of you who remain on campus. While the campus may feel rather empty, we assure you that the staff in the colleges and Campus Life are available remotely and stand ready to assist you. Many of these offices will be reaching out in the coming days to let you know how we plan to stay connected and help support you.”

Calhoun acknowledged the sacrifices and adjustments they are undergoing during this difficult time. She wrote: “One of Princeton’s greatest assets is the grace so many people display toward one another daily as we work together to solve problems, respond to crises big and small, and embrace opportunities to improve.  We ask that you continue this gracious and patient spirit in the days ahead and know that so many staff are working hard to support you.  Some are physically here on-campus, others are working remotely; all remain deeply committed to keeping you healthy and safe.”

On March 21, Dean of the Graduate School Sarah-Jane Leslie and Vice President for Campus Life W. Rochelle Calhoun sent an email to graduate students with new guidelines, restrictions and best practices to comply with Governor Murphy’s “stay at home” executive order, which was announced today and went into effect at 9 p.m. In the email they wrote: “As a result, we are taking additional steps to support the health and well-being of our community and our neighboring communities.” Leslie and Calhoun commended the resilience and patience of the graduate student community as they adjust “to new ways of working, communicating, and supporting one another.”


University response to COVID-19