Safe Practices

How do we stay safe at Princeton during the COVID-19 pandemic? This section gives guidance on best practices and resources to help us all protect ourselves and each other.

Face Coverings

September 10, 2021: The current policy requiring all members of the campus community, whether fully vaccinated or not, to wear face coverings indoors will continue until further notice. Although the positivity rate among the campus community has remained in the low to moderate range, the analysis team, composed of physicians, scientists, and administrators, recommended continuing to require masks indoors in University buildings given the high case rate in the surrounding area.

Exceptions to this requirement include working alone in a room or cubicle or when actively eating or drinking. The indoor face covering requirement will be evaluated weekly by a team of physicians and scientists.

Face coverings are not required outdoors, regardless of vaccination status.

Please see the University Guidance on Face Coverings and Face Coverings Use and Care for additional information. EHS has also published a Quick Guide to choosing and wearing face coverings, as well as Face Covering FAQs

Social distancing is no longer required indoors or outdoors. The occupancy limits imposed for public health purposes are no longer needed.

Teaching and Classroom Practices

Updated guidance on teaching and classroom practices related to face coverings is summarized in the Supplemental Guidance on Face Coverings.

Aerosol-Generating Performing Arts Activities

Specific guidelines are outlined on the EHS website for singing and playing wind instruments, including specialized masks and filtering bell covers.

Other Personal Protective Equipment

In nearly all situations on campus, cloth or disposable face coverings, coupled with frequent hand washing or sanitizing and social distancing, are considered effective in reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Gloves and face shields are generally not needed by individuals practicing all recommended public health precautions. Face shields may not be used in place of a face covering.

University departments and offices may order Personal Protective Equipment and supplies may be through EHS. Certain items are restricted or only available in very limited supplies.

Gatherings, Meetings and Events

University staff, students or faculty can host indoor and outdoor gatherings and events of any size on or off campus. Princeton University-sponsored events and gatherings held indoors must be set up in accordance with these updated guidelines and the University’s Visitor Policy.

Those who organize events are responsible for:

  • Ensuring that all attendees are aware of necessary public health guidance, including use of face coverings.
  • Maintaining a list of attendees for 2 weeks after the event.
  • Providing a means for event attendees and guest speakers who are not current faculty, staff or students to attest to being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Developing a plan for building access when hosting events.

University-sponsored gatherings, conferences and events are expected to follow the Gatherings and Events Guidelines and should be scheduled through the EMS web app scheduling.princeton.edu for reservable spaces.

The University staff, students and/or faculty who sponsor/host these events are responsible for communicating the parameters above to event participants.  

Guidance for visitors to campus

Academic, administrative and residential buildings will remain accessible to faculty, staff and students by card access only.

The category of “approved visitors” has been expanded to include prospective undergraduate students and their families on outdoor tours; media and film crews that have been pre-approved by the Office of Communications to enter campus buildings; prospective graduate students who have received approval from the Graduate School; and prospective faculty, postdoctoral fellows and staff who have received approval from the administrative department head of the University employee sponsoring the visitor.

Faculty and staff who wish to sponsor a visitor not included in the above should submit to their department or office head a completed Sponsored Visitor Request Form, which can be downloaded from the Resources section at top right of the Visitor Policy page of the EHS website.

For more information about visitors and for answers to other frequently asked questions, please visit Environmental Health and Safety’s website.