Princeton University is delaying undergraduate students’ return to campus by one week after winter break.
However, the university is still committed to the Jan. 24 date to start the spring semester.
Undergraduate students originally were supposed to arrive on campus on Jan. 7, but that date was pushed back to Jan. 14, as the university continues to navigate the pandemic and rise in COVID-19 cases across the country.
“Because the pandemic continues and the highly transmissible Omicron variant presents yet another challenge to public health, the university has decided to organize a gradual return for undergraduate students,” Dean Jill Dolan and Vice President W. Rochelle Calhoun wrote in a letter published Dec. 27.
Dolan and Calhoun added that updated modeling suggested that staggering undergraduates’ return over 10 days from Jan. 14–23 will help flatten the curve of the campus positivity rate.
“Which will allow the University to better respond to the increase in positive cases we anticipate when students come back to campus,” they wrote.
Students have until Jan. 3 to register for a return date from Jan. 14-23 and once the spring semester begins they must receive a negative test before attending their first class.
The delay and the staggering of the undergraduate student arrivals to campus are not the only changes the university is implementing.
Beginning Jan. 8, all undergraduate students will not be allowed to travel outside of Mercer County or Plainsboro Township (Middlesex County) for personal reasons. Travel outside of Mercer County and Plainsboro will be allowed only in extraordinary circumstances and will be revisited by the university by Feb. 15.
In mid-December, Princeton University made the decision to require booster shots by Jan. 31 for all eligible students, staff, researchers and faculty. Those who are not eligible by the Jan. 31 deadline will have 30 days from the date they can receive a booster to upload the data into the university’s VacStatus or in MyUHS.
Restrictions on indoor gatherings on and off campus will continue until mid-February, according to the university. Those gatherings cannot include food or the removing of masks.
Princeton University is not the only Ivy League university making changes and adjustments for the spring semester. Yale University recently announced the decision to delay the start of their spring semester by one week for undergraduate students and the Graduate School of Arts due to an increase in COVID-19 cases.
Also, the University of Pennsylvania will have remote undergraduate classes for the first two weeks of the semester, before they transition to in-person classes come Jan. 24. The university also delayed undergraduate student move in to campus housing by one week.