Safe Practices

Checklist for when you will still need a mask, and the Nassau tigers reminding us to be compassionate.

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

Masks for Isolation/Quarantine

June 6, 2022 update: Procedures around providing KN95 masks to those coming out of isolation have changed. See below for information. 

For Students:

Students isolating on campus will receive a packet of KN95 masks in their isolation kits with their first meal. If you don’t have them, students who will be on campus on days 6-10 after testing positive for COVID-19 may obtain KN-95 Masks at the following locations:

  • UG Residential College Offices
  • Grad College Porter’s Lounge
  • Lakeside Apartments Main Office
  • Graduate School Office, Clio Hall (M-Th)
  • EHS Office, 262 Alexander Street (Grey and black bin outside. Lock combination provided in release letter.)

For Employees:

You should first request KN95s from your department. If you cannot get KN95 masks from your department, you can pick up a packet at the EHS office at 262 Alexander Street. There is a grey and black bin outside. Please only take one packet for use on days 6-10 post isolation.

General Guidance

As of March 14, 2022, face coverings are optional in most University spaces, with the following exceptions:

  • Where required by state or local agencies, currently in the McCosh Health Center, and all athletic training rooms (Dillon Gym, Caldwell Field House, Baker Rink)
  • As instructed by Global and Community Health following a recent positive test for COVID-19 or when identified as a close contact
  • When faculty or staff as conveners of a class, lab, gathering, or meeting require participants to wear a mask

Continue to carry a mask with you at all times in the event you are in one of the above situations.

Additional information is available in the updated Guidance on Face Coverings and in the March 2 COVID newsletter and memo to the University community

Chart of mask protection hierarchy,  3-layer cloth masks, disposable mask, cloth over disposable and KN95, KF94 and N95

Relative Protectiveness of Masks

Environmental Health and Safety has updated their mask guidance to align with recommendations from the CDC about the relative protectiveness of different types of masks, including well-constructed cloth masks, layered cloth and disposable masks, or KN95 or KF94 masks.

Departments are expected to provide personal protective equipment and supplies for their faculty and staff in accordance with EHS recommendations. Prioritization should go to the support of in-person teaching. Departments may order KN95 masks through EHS at cost, which is .53 per mask, using the COVID-19 PPE and Supply Request Form. KN95 masks are found under the category “Eye and Face.”

Please see the University Guidance on Face Coverings and Guidance on Choosing and Wearing a Mask for additional information. EHS has also published a Hierarchy of Protectiveness of Masks graphic, as well as Face Covering FAQs

KN95 Mask Distribution for Students

KN95s are available to students at various locations. Up to 10 per person. Students cannot pick up masks for another person. Must show valid student ID.
Residential College offices: 11 am to 4 pm
Graduate College Porter’s Lodge: 11 am to 4 pm
Lakeside Apartment Main Office: business hours

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.
  • Maintaining a list of attendees for 2 weeks after the event.
  • Developing a plan for building access when hosting events.
  • Providing a means for event attendees and guest speakers who are not current faculty, staff or students to either:
    • Attest to being up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccination, be prepared to show proof of vaccination, and follow the policy for masks in effect at the time of their visit OR  
    • Do not attest to vaccination and attest to having a negative test for COVID-19 via PCR within 72 hours before the start of the scheduled visit or via rapid antigen test within 8 hours before the start of the scheduled visit and be prepared to show proof of the negative test OR 
    • Do not attest to vaccination and agree to wear a mask at all times when indoors. These individuals cannot remove their masks inside of University buildings, including to eat or drink.  

Gatherings organizers have the discretion to require attestation of vaccination without exception, or other mitigation strategies, even if not required by University policy.

University-sponsored gatherings, conferences and events are expected to follow the Gatherings and Events Guidelines and should be scheduled through the EMS web app 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 appropriate faculty, staff and students by card access only, with limited exceptions. 

All visitors to indoor spaces on campus are required to attest to vaccination status. As of May 16, 2022, in some circumstances, visitors who are not up-to-date with COVID vaccines are now permitted if they either attest to (and are prepared to show proof of) having a negative test for COVID-19 OR agree to wear a mask at all times when indoors. Learn more in the Supplemental Guidance for Visitors.

Undergraduate and graduate students who reside in residential dormitories may sponsor visitors, including overnight guests who are up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccination. Sponsoring students must complete the Student Guest form, including verifying vaccination via attestation.

Faculty and staff who wish to sponsor a visitor to work or conduct research in a laboratory, academic or administrative space, must request approval from their department head. Use the 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.