COVID Newsletter | March 15

March 15, 2022

Following the changes to the University’s asymptomatic testing program, which went into effect Monday, March 7, and the new face coverings policy, which went into effect yesterday, we are sharing a few updates to the University’s COVID Dashboard

These changes are informed by the latest CDC guidelines that recommend strategies based on COVID-19 Community Levels. Given the new guidance from the CDC, Mercer County’s “Low” level of transmission as measured by the CDC, and the University’s objective to restore a richer in-person experience, protocols have been updated to achieve that objective and empower individuals to make their own decisions related to wearing a mask and how often to test. 

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Masks optional. Compassion required.

As Provost Deborah Prentice & Executive Vice President Treby Williams mentioned in their message to the campus community, the University’s high vaccination and booster rates make it possible for us to move from mandatory masking to optional masking in most situations. 

It’s up to us to foster a non-judgmental campus environment in which people’s individual choice to wear a mask or not is honored.

 

A tiger never forgets: phone, keys, wallet, mask While the mask mandate is lifted in most university spaces, you'll still need one in certain settings.
You'll still need your mask: where required by state or local agencies, including tigertransit and McCosh Health Center; as instructed by UHS folliwng a recent positive test for COVID-1i or when identified as a close contact; when faculty and staff as conveners of a class, lab, gatherin, or meeting require participants to wear a mask.

Updates to the COVID Dashboard

Vaccinations and boosters have proven to be tremendously effective at limiting serious disease and preventing hospitalizations and death from COVID-19 infection. The Princeton University community has a remarkably high vaccination rate of approximately 98% — an accomplishment of which we should all be proud. As a result, nearly all cases on campus have been mild. 

That’s why positivity rates are no longer the primary metric the University will be monitoring. Rather, the University is carefully monitoring community trends for severe disease, absenteeism risks for business and academic continuity, and the capacity of our local and regional health system. 

The COVID Dashboard was recently updated to align with these new metrics as we move beyond an emergency pandemic response. As a result, the Campus Risk Status was replaced with the Campus Mitigation Level and a suite of new weekly data was added that better aligns with the data being collected each week.

 

Other additions to the Dashboard include:

  • Booster Vaccine Rate:  % of eligible individuals by population (undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty and staff)

  • Total Positive Cases:  # (combination of symptomatic and asymptomatic)

  • Positivity Rate:  #% (positivity rate of tests conducted at the University testing lab, including asymptomatic testing)

  • Mercer County Hospitalization: a rating of Low / Medium / High

  • CDC Community Level: a rating of Low / Medium / High 

  • Campus Case Severity: a rating of Mild / Moderate / Severe

  • Essential Services Status: a rating of Good / Fair / Challenged 

  • Isolation Capacity: a rating of Good / Fair / Challenged

  • Testing Capacity: a rating of Good / Fair / Challenged 

For more information about these additions, visit the Dashboard.

 

Vaccine Clinics

The University has scheduled vaccination and booster clinics through the end of April. The clinics will offer Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and are open on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, March 16 from 1-4 pm at Jadwin Gym

  • Wednesday, April 6 from 1-4 pm at Frist Multipurpose Room B

  • Wednesday, April 20 from 1-4 pm at Frist Multipurpose Room B

 

See the state's Vaccine Appointment Finder or vaccines.gov to schedule an appointment. Appointments are given priority, but walk-ins are welcome and will be accommodated.

If you have questions, send an email to covidvaccines@princeton.edu or call the University's COVID Connector telephone support line. Customer service agents are available at 609-258-7000 during University business hours from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.