PRINCETON, NJ: All classes at Princeton University are being moved online and all students are being asked to leave campus by March 19 due to the new coronavirus concerns.
This announcement comes after two University staff members were possibly exposed to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) at an off-campus party at a private home in town where two party-goers had tested positive for the virus.
“We realize this is not how you want to conduct your Princeton semester. We know you’re heartbroken at the prospect of leaving your friends, professors, and other campus colleagues. And we know this is not how you expected to study and participate in campus life at Princeton. We’re so very sorry the coronavirus has proliferated and changed everyone’s lives so dramatically, for now. But our number one goal during this crisis is to ensure the health and safety of our students and community,” the University wrote to students on Wednesday night.
“University settings like Princeton present unique challenges during a pandemic, because of the density of students living and studying in close quarters. Large, highly concentrated numbers of students living on campus will increase the chance of rapid transmission of the coronavirus. Furthermore, our capacity to quarantine those who are sick and those who have been exposed is extremely limited,” the University stated.
Only students who meet one or more of the following criteria will be allowed to stay on campus:
- A senior who must conduct lab or other Princeton-based research on campus that’s required for your senior thesis;
- A student who faces housing insecurity (homelessness or a precarious living situation);
- A student who faces financial insecurity;
- A student previously certified “independent for the purposes of financial aid”;
- An athlete still in competition and required to be on campus;
- Currently residing in “family housing.”
- An international student may fall into any of the categories above. Other criteria for international students include those:
- Who have immigration, travel, and/or visa restrictions;
- Whose home is in a country currently designed at a Warning Levels 2 & 3 and USDOS Levels 3 & 4 for COVID-19;
- Whose home is in an area with extremely limited internet connectivity.
For the University’s full letter and guidelines click here.
Developments in the new coronavirus outbreak continue to unfold rapidly in New Jersey now that the number of cases has risen to 23, and one person has died.
Three more people at the Princeton party have also tested positive for the coronavirus.