Quarantine and Isolation

Quarantine and isolation help protect the public from those who may have COVID-19 by preventing further exposure.

  • Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to COVID-19 to see if they become sick.
  • Isolation separates people who have gotten a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 whether or not they are experiencing symptoms from people who do not have COVID-19.

Princeton has prepared our campus to offer adequate space for those students who need private locations for quarantine or isolation.

Arrival Quarantine for Undergraduates Spring Semester 2021

Consistent with both CDC recommendations and guidance from the New Jersey Department of Health, the University has developed the following protocol for arrival quarantine for spring semester 2021.   

The following groups of students will be required to participate in a full 7-day Arrival Quarantine before the start of the spring semester:

  • Undergraduate students newly moving on to campus for the spring semester as of Jan. 15 for RCAs, and January 16 for non-RCAs.
  • Undergraduate students who will be living off-campus, but accessing campus facilities and on-campus activities
  • Undergraduate students who have resided in Emergency Residency and who have traveled away from campus and will return after January 15.

Those students in Emergency Residency who have traveled away from campus and will return before January 15 must complete the COVID Risk Assessment Form within the 3-7 business days prior to their return to campus. UHS will review these responses and let the student know whether quarantine will be required upon return based on their travel destination or potential exposure to someone with COVID during their time away from campus. 

Those students in Emergency Residency who have not traveled will not be required to quarantine and can continue with the asymptomatic testing protocol on their regular schedule. 

Arrival Quarantine: Description of Phases

Phase 1: Strict Quarantine (up until first test results are received): 

Students moving on campus will arrive for move-in at Jadwin Gym and immediately be tested by University Health Services, using an RT-PCR saliva test. Following their test, students should report immediately to their dorms to move in and enter quarantine. 

Students living off-campus who want to be able to access campus facilities and activities during the spring term must choose a date between January 15 and January 24 to report to campus for their first test and begin their 7 day Arrival Quarantine. 

During the Strict Quarantine phase, on- and off-campus students will be required to stay in their assigned sleeping space/bedroom, except for the use of restrooms, until their first test results are received.

Every student will be required to complete the Undergraduate Arrival Quarantine Daily Symptom Check by 10am each weekday and by noon on weekends. The "UG Arrival Quarantine Symptom Check" can be accessed via the TigerSafe app

Facial coverings are not required within one’s personal sleeping space but must be worn when leaving the sleeping space to use restrooms. 

Phase 2: Modified Quarantine After Receiving First Test Result

Students who receive a positive test result will be moved into the isolation protocol. Those living on-campus will be moved into designated on-campus isolation housing. Students who live off-campus will have the option to move into on-campus isolation housing or isolate at their off-campus residence. 

Students who receive a negative first test result will remain in their single sleeping space except:

  • Single daily outdoors walk for up to an hour. For those living on-campus, that walk must be solely on-campus. For those living off-campus, you may not come on to campus for your daily walk until Arrival Quarantine concludes. 
    • Both on and off-campus students should not patronize retail establishments, restaurants, or other indoor facilities during this period. 
  • For on-campus students, picking up meals from a designated on-campus area
  • For on-campus students, picking up packages from a designated on-campus area
  • Dropping off their next saliva samples to campus drop boxes for subsequent testing. Students will receive emails indicating which days during their quarantine they are expected to submit tests. All samples should be submitted to drop boxes by 10am on the day that a sample is expected.  

Proxes/PU IDs will only allow on-campus students access to their assigned dormitory, McCosh Health Center, and dormitories where campus drop boxes are located; other campus buildings are still off-limits. Please check your email for a message from covidtests@princeton.edu on Monday, January 18 for these designated available drop boxes. 

Campus remains off-limits to off-campus students during this phase, except if McCosh Health Center is needed for provision of health care, or if dropping a saliva sample at McCosh Health Center, Jadwin Gym, the U-Store vestibule, 200 Elm Drive, or ReCAP Vestibule at 400 Forrestal Road.   

Students are required to wear a face covering and maintain a minimum of 6 feet/2 meters of physical distance from others, indoors and outdoors, during quarantine. They do not have to wear a face covering in their private sleeping space. 

Every student will be required to complete the Undergraduate Arrival Quarantine Daily Symptom Check by 10am each weekday and by noon on weekends. The "UG Arrival Quarantine Symptom Check" can be accessed via the TigerSafe app

Phase 3: End of individual quarantine

Students may end quarantine on day 8 only when they are directed by Global and Community Health at UHS if:

  • They have completed the UG Arrival Quarantine Daily Symptom Check via the TigerSafe app every day by 10am for seven days and report no COVID-associated symptoms; and
  • Their third test results submitted on day 5 or 6 are negative. 
  • If a student has been submitting daily symptom checks to the incorrect location (using the "Daily Symptom Check" instead of the "UG Arrival Quarantine Symptom Check"), they may receive an additional email from Global and Community Health asking them to attest to whether they have experienced symptoms during their Arrival Quarantine period. 

During this phase, on-campus students may access the town of Princeton and leave their dorm as they please. Off-campus students may begin walks on campus. Both groups must adhere to local public health rules and University policies. However, access to other campus buildings, other dorms, and living spaces (on campus and off) of those still in quarantine are off limits. 

Students are required to wear a face covering and maintain a minimum of 6 feet/2 meters of physical distance from others, indoors and outdoors. They do not have to wear a face covering in their private sleeping space. 

Every student will be required to complete the "Daily Symptom Check" (the UG Arrival Quarantine Symptom Check is no longer necessary) by 10am on weekdays and noon on weekends. 

Phase 4: End of Arrival Quarantine for All Undergraduates

All arrival quarantines will end by February 1, for both on and off-campus students. This means that students, off-campus or on-campus, must arrive to begin arrival quarantine by January 24 at the latest.  

Students gain access to all campus facilities approved for students for the semester. 

Students are required to wear a face covering and maintain a minimum of 6 feet/2 meters of physical distance from others indoors and outdoors. They do not have to wear a face covering in their private sleeping space. 

Once Arrival Quarantine is concluded, every student will be required to complete the "Daily Symptom Check" (the UG Arrival Quarantine Symptom Check is no longer necessary) by 10am on weekdays and 12pm on weekends via the TigerSafe app. 

If you have questions about the Arrival Quarantine Protocol, please email covidtests@princeton.edu. 

Process for Graduate Student Arrival 

If you have any questions about arrival protocols, please email covidtests@princeton.edu. 

Quarantine Protocols During the Semester

If a student or staff member is required by University Health Services to enter quarantine during the course of the semester for any reason, there are strict guidelines that must be adhered to. Please see the fact sheets (in the Related Documents section at the bottom of the page) which vary depending on your status. Quarantines that are required due to exposure to a potentially infected or infected person or are due to travel outside of New Jersey are a default 10 days. A reminder: violations of quarantine or isolation are very serious threats to public health and may trigger disciplinary consequences.  

Isolation for Students

If a student is sick with COVID-19 symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19, University Health Services will work with that person to isolate and monitor their health until they are cleared to resume normal daily activities. Students on campus may need to isolate in designated rooms on campus. Meals and support services will be provided during isolation.

For more information on how students in isolation can continue to take part in academics, see the FAQ on the Spring 2021 website.

Please see the Related Documents section at the bottom of this page for the fact sheet for students isolating on or near campus. 

Isolation for Employees

Employees who are mildly ill with COVID-19 can isolate at home during their illness.

Please see the fact sheet below about expectations for isolation for employees.