Research Plan: EHS Guidelines

Note: The below research plan guidelines are excerpted fron the Plan For Phased Resumption of On-Campus Research.

Table of Contents:

5. Guidelines For Safe Research During COVID-19 Pandemic
5.1 General Guidelines
5.2 COVID-19 Case Management

5.3 Social Distancing
5.4 Face Coverings
5.5 Laboratory Coats
5.6 Cleaning, Decontamination and Disinfection
5.7 Handling Laboratory Hazardous Waste
5.8 Required Training
5.9 Preparing the Laboratory and Office Workspaces 
5.10 Managing Shared Facilities and Equipment
5.11 General Work Rules
5.12 Requests For Reasonable Accomodations
5.13 Emergency Contacts
5.14 Related Resources

6. Building Guidance
6.1 Exterior Doors
6.2 Restrooms
6.3 Elevators

6.4 Hallways and Stairwells
6.5 Atrium/Common Spaces
6.6 Conference Rooms
6.7 Hoteling/Open Work Stations
6.8 Break Rooms
6.9 Coffee Makers, Water Coolers, Refrigerators
6.10 Meetings
6.11 Vehicles
6.12 TigerTransit and Public Transportation
6.13 Parking
6.14 Time Clocks
6.15 Meals
6.16 Mail and Packages
6.17 Quiet Rooms




5.1 General Guidelines

  • Per the University policy on Face Coverings, all faculty, staff, researchers, and students must wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth whenever in buildings or on property occupied by Princeton University, with only those exceptions as permitted by the policy.
  • All researchers who are on campus eight or more hours per week or who live in campus housing must participate in the asymptomatic testing program
  • Every researcher (faculty, graduate student, postdoctoral researcher) must self-evaluate and report symptoms every day prior to coming to campus using the self-screening app in TigerSafe. See TigerSafe for information on how to download and use the app.
  • Entering any University building with a TigerCard, represents an attestation that the individual is symptom-free.
  • DO NOT come to campus if you are sick or experiencing any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19.
  • If you have been tested, confirmed to have COVID-19, or have been quarantined as a close contact of someone who is confirmed ill with COVID-19, you must email University Health Services at
  • If you begin experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 while at work, distance yourself from co-workers, notify your supervisor, and go home as soon as possible.
  • Carry your TigerCard at all times. Exterior doors to the science and engineering buildings are configured to allow card access 24 hours a day.
  • Frequently clean hands with soap and water. If you do not have immediate access to soap and water, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. All laboratories are required to have handwashing supplies available, including soap and disposable paper towels.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth or any part of your face.
  • Practice good cough and sneeze etiquette. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow.
  • Routinely disinfect high touch points, facilities, work areas, personal electronics, and shared equipment and spaces using a disinfecting solution or wipes. Refer to the Environmental Protection Agency's Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2.

5.1.1 Personal Responsibilities for Preparing to Resume Research

  • Check in with your PI, lab manager, or supervisor to determine whether you are permitted to conduct research on campus, which experiments or activities you may conduct, when to report to the laboratory or research office space, and what your responsibilities are.
  • Review the Research Lab Operations Plan or Research Non-lab Operations Plan for your group.
  • Before going to campus for the first time, or following travel to a state or territory on the NJ Travel Advisory list, you must complete a risk assessment to determine how soon you are permitted to resume on-campus, in-person activities. Complete the COVID-19 Risk Assessment form, which will be reviewed by University Health Services, within 3 to 7 days prior to your expected return to campus, and wait for a response before coming to campus in any capacity. Risk assessments are not reviewed during non-business hours or on weekends, so please plan ahead.
    • University Health Services will determine whether your responses merit the need to quarantine, based on your travel history and potential exposure to a person with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19.
    • Individuals classified as low risk will be allowed to come to campus immediately.
    • Individuals classified as high risk will need to self-quarantine for up to fourteen days.
  • All faculty, researchers, and staff are required to complete a Daily Symptom Check before coming to work on campus and may not come to campus if advised to stay home. 
  • You must complete required COVID-19 safety training: Safe Practices for the Resumption of Research is required for all who work in a laboratory setting; Safe Practices for Resumption of On-Campus Operations is required for all who work in a non-laboratory setting.
  • Obtain a face covering.

5.2 COVID-19 Case Management

University Health Services (UHS) provides public health guidance and expectations for the University community. When appropriate, UHS informs individuals of the need for quarantine or isolation based on COVID-19 testing results, and acting on behalf of Princeton’s Department of Health, conducts contact tracing to determine close contacts from the campus community. 

  • All Princeton University employees and students who have been tested for COVID-19 outside of the University (regardless of the reason [e.g., prior to a medical procedure]), should notify UHS via email: If appropriate, this notification may begin the contact tracing process. 
  • Community members tested through the asymptomatic testing program and students with symptoms tested at McCosh do not need to send a notification as this notification happens through internal processes at UHS. Contact tracing will follow asymptomatic testing only if the result is a positive test.
  • People who are not identified as close contacts by UHS staff do not need to self-quarantine.
    • Due to privacy laws, the University is not permitted to disclose the name of the person reporting that they were tested.
    • Public health officials do not consider being in the same room (more than six feet away) or briefly passing, sharing an elevator, or working near an individual who may be contagious to be a high enough risk to require self-quarantine. We do recommend, however, even if you are not identified as a close contact, that you remain vigilant about wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distance from others, and engaging in frequent handwashing.
  • University Health Services and EHS will work together to determine whether the space that a person testing positive has occupied requires specialized cleaning and will arrange for that cleaning.

5.3 Social Distancing

NOTE: The requirements listed in this section apply only to those members of the campus community who have not had their vaccine status verified by University Health Services via VacStatus.

5.3.1 Planning

  • Department chairs and institute directors, working closely with academic managers and, where applicable, building managers (e.g., Engineering Quadrangle) must submit to the Office of the Dean for Research a plan for resumption of research activities (Research Infrastructure Plan). This plan must include identification of critical dependencies (e.g., utilities, loading docks, procurement), a plan for re-opening core facilities, a plan for enforcing social distancing, and best practices for cleaning common areas, PPE use, and circulation patterns in common areas. Research Infrastructure Plans must be approved by the Office of the Dean for Research.
  • Principal Investigators and facility directors must develop a Research Lab Operations Plan or Research Non-lab Operations Plan that adheres to the guidance provided in this Phased Resumption Plan. Plans must address how the lab group will conduct research activities in a manner that allows social distancing and strictly maintains 125 square-feet per researcher at all times in laboratories.
  • The use of non-laboratory space (e.g. offices, cubicles, conference rooms) is limited and must be approved to ensure that strict social distancing and density requirements are adhered to at all times. The maximum density in office space is 100 square feet per person; for multi-person offices and cubicles with no partitions, a minimum of eight feet must be maintained between chairs. 
  • Plans are reviewed and approved by department chairs or institute directors, and then submitted to the Office of the Dean for Research for final approval. Research shall not begin until approval has been granted.
  • Coordinate with all personnel accessing campus spaces to minimize time on campus and time spent physically working with others.
  • Stagger or alternate research shifts to manage the number of researchers in a space.
  • Coordinate use of core facilities.
  • EHS can assist with developing your research plans.

5.3.2 Laboratory and Work Configuration

  • For labs with more than one entrance: Consider designating one entrance for ingress and one entrance for egress and establishing traffic flow patterns to minimize close proximity to others during entry and exit from the laboratory.
  • Maintain a distance of at least six feet from others. Plan lab occupancy levels to satisfy the requirement of at least 125 square-feet per researcher at all times.
  • DO NOT install curtains or physical barriers. If you believe such measures are needed for social distancing, consult EHS. Installing curtains and barriers might impair ventilation flow or create a fire hazard.
  • Remove chairs or label them to prevent use and to ensure separation between researchers when they are at the workbench (see below).

Lab Bench Separation

  • If researchers work on back-to-back benches (backs facing each other), their physical distancing can be less than the required six feet. In such cases, closing down alternate workspace on each bench to create a staggered workspace across all the lab benches in an alternating pattern may be necessary.
  • Post at the entrances to research areas the maximum number of researchers permitted in the area based on the social distancing and density assessment. Appendix 1 includes templates for this purpose.
  • See Appendix 1 for examples of how to configure your laboratory in a manner that promotes social distancing.

5.3.3 Non-laboratory Research and Workspace Configuration

  • When considering a maximum density for offices or desk spaces, use a minimum measure of 100 square feet per person as a guide.
  • For desk spaces with no partitions (walls extending at least five feet from the ground), a minimum of eight feet must be maintained between chairs.
  • Departments and research groups should review their layouts and consider options that will reduce density and the potential for close contact. Consider utilizing unused spaces such as conference rooms and meeting rooms to distribute workstations more widely.
  • Use signs, tape marks, or other visual cues to indicate which spaces may be utilized. 
  • The Workplace Strategies Guide provides examples and considerations for modifying work spaces and common areas to promote social distancing.

5.3.4 Work that cannot be conducted while social distancing

In general, maintaining social distancing at all times is required for all allowed work. If specific research activities cannot be conducted while maintaining a distance of six feet from others, consult with EHS at In some cases, EHS may be able to develop alternate plans or determine the appropriate personal protective equipment necessary for the operation.

NOTE: The requirements listed in the section above apply only to those members of the campus community who have not had their vaccine status verified by University Health Services via VacStatus.

5.4 Face Coverings

5.4.1 General Guidance

The University requires all students, faculty and staff to wear face coverings at all times when on campus, except when alone in a room or vehicle.

Wearing a face covering does not replace the need for social distancing or other measures to prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Reusable and disposable face coverings are intended to decrease the potential for the wearer to spread the virus that causes COVID-19. Face coverings do not necessarily provide protection to the wearer.

Face coverings may not be used in place of face shields or other face protection needed for protection from chemical or physical hazards.

5.4.2 Choosing the Right Face Coverings

  • N95 respirators and surgical masks must be reserved for healthcare workers, first responders and those performing higher risk tasks that require close contact. See Guidance on the Use of Face Coverings for a complete explanation of face coverings, surgical masks and N95 respirators.
  • Students, faculty and staff should wear disposable face coverings when working with hazardous chemicals, biohazards or radioactive materials. Disposable face coverings that have been used in the lab should be discarded – they should not be worn in public areas on campus or at home.
  • Students, faculty and staff may not wear reusable (e.g., cloth) face coverings when working with hazardous chemicals, biohazards or reactive materials.
  • Reusable coverings made or provided by staff and students may be worn when on campus and outside of the laboratory. They should be machine-washed with warm or hot water and laundry detergent by the user on a daily basis. The coverings can be washed with other laundry items.
  • Laboratories that have specific operations where disposable face coverings may be inappropriate (such as work with high risk of fire or contamination) are encouraged to contact EHS to identify viable alternates to disposable face coverings and develop appropriate management strategies.
  • In instances where viable alternatives cannot be found or procured, laboratories will need to develop strategies for enhanced distancing to allow workers to conduct limited, specific operations without using a face covering.

5.4.3 Face Coverings in Non-laboratory Spaces

  • Per the University policy on Face Coverings, all faculty, researchers, staff and students must wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth whenever in buildings or on property occupied by Princeton University. This includes, but is not limited to, all shared offices, common spaces and conference rooms.
  • Wearing a face covering supplements, but does not replace, social distancing. All faculty, staff, students and visitors should continue to maintain at least six feet of separation, as possible.
  • Individuals are not required to wear a face covering when alone in a room, or as otherwise permitted as an exception to the policy.

5.4.4 Face Coverings in all Research Laboratories (including Biological Safety Level 1)

  • Wear your reusable face covering until you enter the laboratory. Upon entering the laboratory, remove your reusable face covering and don a disposable face covering.
  • Prior to conducting work in laboratory areas where hazardous materials are handled, remove your reusable face covering and put on the required minimum laboratory PPE attire: lab coat, gloves and eye protection (safety glasses, goggles, or a face shield) as well as a disposable face covering.
  • Upon returning to work areas where hazardous materials are not handled or exiting the laboratory, remove the required laboratory attire, and once again put on the cloth or personal face covering.

5.4.5 Face Coverings in Laboratories at Biological Safety Level 2 or BSL 2 with enhancements

  • Follow the above guidelines for working in all research laboratories.
  • Prior to conducting work at BSL 2 and above, change into dedicated surgical or other mask for patient specimen processing, if recommended by the conditions of your IBC approval.
  • Wear required minimum laboratory PPE: lab coat, gloves and eye protection.

5.4.6 Entering a Vivarium

  • Keep your face covering on when traveling to the vivarium. Change into an LAR-provided disposable mask. Store your face covering as described in the Care of Masks section (5.4.6).
  • Wear required vivarium attire, which must include a disposable face covering.

5.4.7 Care of Masks
Disposable Face Coverings

  • Use disposable coverings until they become damaged, contaminated or wet. Disposable coverings used in a lab setting should be disposed of in the regular trash receptacle at the end of each day.

Reusable Face Coverings

  • Reusable coverings worn in public areas of campus can be worn until they become damaged, soiled, or wet.
  • Reusable face coverings should be taken home and laundered each night.
  • Reusable coverings should be machine-washed with warm or hot water and laundry detergent by the user. The coverings can be washed with other laundry items.

Putting on (Donning) and Taking off (Doffing) your Face Covering

  • Always clean hands with soap and water prior to putting on, adjusting, or removing your face covering. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol may be used as a substitute where handwashing facilities are not readily accessible.
  • When removing the face-covering, follow the doffing procedure specific to your face covering. This will include using the ear loops, straps, or equivalent to take off face covering beginning from the back of your head and moving toward and away from your face. Do not touch the front of the covering.

5.5 Laboratory Coats

  • If working with human specimens or biological materials that require BSL 2 containment, wear the covering specified in your IBC approval, which may include using disposable lab coats or isolation gowns.
  • Do not share lab coats.
  • Cloth laboratory coats must be regularly laundered to minimize the risk of an exposure from contamination on the coat and to help mitigate the risk of the coat becoming a viral reservoir.
    • Due to the risk of the coat being contaminated with hazardous materials, the laboratory coat must be cleaned by a professional or dedicated laundering service at least weekly.
    • Laboratory coats may not be taken home for laundering or cleaned with a public laundering service or facility.
    • Contact your departmental administrator for additional information regarding the process for laundering laboratory coats.
  • If cloth lab coats are worn by a researcher who is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, the coat should be turned inside out, placed inside a sealed bag, and held for 7 days prior to laundering. The bag containing the potentially contaminated laboratory coat should be labeled “COVID-19 quarantined laboratory coat” and the date when the coat can be removed for laundering.

5.6 Cleaning, Decontamination and Disinfection

All lab surfaces and equipment must be disinfected at least daily. This includes all surfaces within the biosafety cabinet, chemical fume hood, equipment, bench tops and other work surfaces, transport and transfer containers. 

Faculty, researchers, staff and students are responsible for cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces within their work areas, such as computer keyboards, phones and desktops

Building Services custodians will continue to clean bathrooms, hallways, common areas, etc. They will not clean your laboratory or office space unless there is a specific need and under controlled conditions. Contact EHS for more details.

5.6.1 Maintaining Laboratory Hygiene

Laboratory members are responsible for developing plans to promote good laboratory hygiene by regularly disinfecting common laboratory areas and touch points (e.g., doorknobs, sink handles, freezer doors, telephones) within the laboratory space.

Alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or sodium hypochlorite (household bleach) solutions can be effective when used as follows:

  • 62%-80% ethanol or isopropanol (70% recommended)
  • >0.5%-8% hydrogen peroxide
  • 0.1% - 0.525% sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and cold water solution (made fresh daily)

Sodium Hypochlorite Concentration

Diluted 9:1*

Diluted 49:1*

% ppm % ppm % ppm
8.25 82,500 0.825 8,250 0.165 1,650
6.15 61,500 0.615 6,150 0.123 1,230
5.25 52,500 0.525 5,250 0.105 1,050

*Parts/Volume of water: Parts/Volume of bleach used to create final dilution.

If you wish to use other disinfectants, please select from the EPA’s Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 list. Care must be taken to follow the manufacturer’s disinfection directions, which may include pathogen-specific inactivation instructions.

Never use solutions containing formaldehyde or glutaraldehyde to disinfect laboratory surfaces. Both of these chemicals can cause severe acute and chronic health effects.

5.6.2 Best Practices for Disinfection

  • Ensure that the area is cleaned prior to initiating the disinfection process where applicable. Excess gross contamination significantly decreases the activity of the disinfectant.
  • The concentration of the disinfectant is critical to the efficacy of the disinfectant for inactivating the pathogen. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for dilution if purchasing a commercial disinfectant.
  • No disinfectant works immediately. Disinfectants must be left on the surfaces or items to be decontaminated for a specified contact time, which may vary depending on the pathogen to be inactivated. Contact times of 1, 3, 5 or 10 minutes or even longer may be needed to ensure that any pathogen present has been inactivated. Apply disinfectant until surfaces are glistening wet and allow surface to air dry. If your disinfectant has a higher evaporation rate (e.g., alcohols), and a longer contact time is needed, you may need more than one application; however, the surface being disinfected should remain wet for the duration of the required contact time.
  • Ensure that all surfaces are completely covered with the disinfectant. Merely spraying the disinfectant on a surface, especially if only applied quickly or lightly, can leave spaces in between the disinfectant drops.

5.6.3 Additional Chemical-specific Considerations for Using Disinfectants

  • Most (if not all) chemical disinfectants designed for surface decontamination contain components that can be harmful if ingested, inhaled, or if skin/eye exposures occur.
  • Appropriate personal protective equipment, including eye and hand protection, must be used when applying chemical disinfectants.

Note: Be aware of any dermal or respiratory irritation that occurs after using disinfectants or after working on surfaces that have been disinfected. If dermal or respiratory irritation is encountered:

  • Exit the area, get to fresh air.
  • Try to flush the irritated area (for dermal irritation).
  • Seek additional medical assistance as needed.
  • Suspend the use of the suspected disinfectant and contact EHS for additional assistance.

5.7 Handling Laboratory Hazardous Waste

5.7.1 Regulated Medical Waste Disposal

  • Follow the University’s regulated medical waste procedures, found here.
  • Building Services custodians will remove properly packed and labeled boxes of regulated medical waste on a weekly basis.

5.7.2 Chemical Waste Disposal

  • Follow the University’s guidelines on collecting and labeling laboratory chemical waste, found here.
  • Laboratory chemical wastes will be collected directly from the laboratory based upon information provided on the Waste Pickup Request.
  • During the suspension of regular laboratory operations, the frequency of waste pickups has been reduced from a weekly to bi-weekly schedule. After submitting the request, you will be notified of the anticipated pickup date and time.

5.8 Required Training

Before being allowed back in the laboratory or office, all faculty, researchers and staff need to complete required COVID-19 safety training, available in the ​​Employee Learning Center. Choose from one of the two available trainings: 

  • Safe Practices for Resumption of On-Campus Operations: required for all students, faculty and staff not working in a laboratory setting
  • Safe Practices for Resumption of Research: required for all students, faculty and staff conducting research.

Principal Investigators or their designees should also ensure that all researchers are up to date on their safety training requirements, including Laboratory Safety Training, Biosafety Training, Laser Safety Training, Radiation Safety Training, etc. Contact if you have questions about training or to schedule virtual training sessions.

5.9 Preparing the Laboratory and Office Workspaces

Before restarting work, check the physical condition, supply levels and readiness of the facilities. Ensure that equipment, such as biosafety cabinets, autoclaves, etc. are up to date on inspections and maintenance. Make arrangements for services as needed.

  • See Information for University Contractors and Vendors before making arrangements for contractors or vendors to come onto campus.
  • Inspect equipment and facilities for damage, leaks, etc.
  • Check expiration dates on chemicals and supplies.
  • Confirm availability of support services, such as gas delivery, dry ice, etc.
  • Post signage that clearly indicates the maximum occupancy for the space, and reconfigure workstations if necessary.
  • Adapt work schedules to ensure social distancing. 
  • Provide sanitizing supplies and instructions for researchers to wipe down their work surfaces and other frequently touched surfaces regularly. 
  • Review the Guidance on Ventilation Systems

5.9.1 Obtaining Supplies

For the most current information, please go to the EHS page on Ordering Personal Protective Equipment and Supplies.

Until September, EHS will provide the following COVID-19 related supplies:

  • Disposable face coverings
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • N95 respirators (as approved by EHS)
  • Disposable surgical or isolation gowns (as approved by EHS)

The laboratory and associated department are responsible for providing the supplies listed below. If you experience problems ordering or sourcing these materials, email

  • Hand-washing soap
  • Disposable paper towels
  • Laboratory coats
  • Gloves
  • Disinfectant for all lab surfaces
  • All other personal protective equipment needed to safely perform your research

Plan carefully when ordering supplies. Supply chains for a number of vendors have been strained during COVID-19 outbreaks. Certain research materials may have significant delays due to high demand or shuttered production facilities.

During the suspension of normal laboratory operations, a number of buildings and their loading docks have shifted to limited schedules.

  • Contact your departmental administrators for additional information regarding any restrictions or limited hours staff may be available to receive incoming shipments.
  • Inbound research materials may not be shipped to private/personal addresses and then brought to campus. Contact EHS at if you need assistance.

Confirm with your home department the availability of other support functions both internal to your research department/institute (e.g., core imaging and analysis facilities, glass washing) as well as other campus support functions. 

5.10 Managing Shared Facilities and Equipment

Many laboratory workers share laboratory equipment with others in their lab group and, in some cases, with individuals outside of their lab group. 

  • Carefully schedule use of shared facilities or equipment to maintain social distancing for those who have not had their vaccination status verified.
  • Wear gloves when touching or manipulating equipment.
  • When work is complete, wipe down high-touch surfaces with disinfectant wipes or solution if it will not damage the equipment or surfaces.
  • Plan and communicate roles and responsibilities for cleaning/disinfecting.

5.10.1 Environmental Rooms

Environmental rooms, including cold rooms, warm rooms, etc., often have no or little ventilation. Please see recommendations for the amount of time between room users, after disinfecting surfaces:

Guide to sharing environmental rooms.PDF iconenvironmental_rooms.pdf (click on pdf to see full document)

5.11 General Work Rules

5.11.1 Meetings and Gatherings

In-person meetings may be held in accordance with current University policy.

5.11.2 Meals and Breaks

  • Eating and drinking in the laboratory is still prohibited.
  • PIs should determine how and when researchers will take breaks for meals, beverages, etc. Consider using common spaces and meeting rooms, which are compatible with the approved department plan for such spaces, and outdoor seating while maintaining social distancing.

5.11.3 Unsafe Behaviors or Conditions

If you find that people are not practicing social distancing, hygiene, or safety practices, or if you recognize unsafe conditions:

  • In a congenial and caring manner, advise the individual(s) how they can improve the behavior or condition.
  • If you are uncomfortable alerting the person or group, or if behaviors or conditions do not improve, speak with a Principal Investigator, advisor, department manager, director of graduate studies, or another person in authority.
  • If neither of the above is successful, or if you wish to remain anonymous, you can report confidentially via the EthicsPoint hotline.

5.11.4 Use of Office

Office use is permitted for single-occupancy spaces and for multiple occupancies when the space occupants have had their vaccination status verified. For graduate students, post-doctoral researchers and staff, the use of office and cubicle work spaces is permitted for those with verified vaccine status and those  approved as part of an Academic Research Infrastructure Plan (ARIP), Research Lab Operations Plan (RLOP), or Research Non-lab Operations Plan (RNOP). For those cases where occupants are not vaccine verified, the space must be arranged to maintain social distancing and proper room occupancy levels, see Section 5.3.1.

5.12 Requests for Reasonable Accommodations

If an individual requests an accommodation due to a disability, the individual should notify EHS upon completion of Safe Practices for Resumption of Research training in the Employee Learning Center. EHS will work with the appropriate University office to discuss the request with the individual and ascertain if there is a reasonable accommodation that can be provided to address the individual’s needs. Given the current situation, the University will consider reasonable accommodations for individuals whose disabilities put them at a greater risk from COVID-19 (or severe symptoms from COVID-19) and who request an accommodation to eliminate possible exposure to the virus. As always, reasonable accommodation decisions are fact-specific and vary based on the relevant circumstances.

5.13 Emergency Contacts

In case of emergency, dial 911. Department of Public Safety officers are available to respond.

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Support: EHS staff are available, on campus, during normal business hours Monday through Friday. Email requests for services to or call 609-258-5294.

5.14 Related Resources

Guidance on the Use of Face Coverings

Biosafety Precautions for Working with Human Clinical Specimens that May Contain SARS-CoV-2

OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (PDF)

OSHA COVID-19 Website

CDC Interim Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines for Handling and Processing Specimens Associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)


WHO Laboratory biosafety guidance related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

CDC Guidance for Schools, Workplaces & Community Locations

Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) (PDF)

Back-to-work criteria for health care workers



Additional guidance is available in the Princeton Playbook, particularly the section on Working Safely on Campus.

6.1 Exterior Doors

All exterior doors will remain locked at all times. Be prepared to use your TigerCard or key every time you enter a building. 

  • Wear your TigerCard on a lanyard, either around your neck on a break-away lanyard or on a belt clip.
  • Update your TigerCard access by using a keyless lock hot spot. Place your card against the hot spot until the indicator light changes from blue to green.
  • Your card will allow access to your office/lab buildings at all times, and to most academic buildings from 7:00 AM to midnight daily.
  • If you are unsure which buildings your card will access or to request access permissions, contact your Building Access Coordinator (BAC) or your Department Access Facilitator (DAF).

6.2 Restrooms

To maintain physical distancing in restrooms, you may find that some fixtures (e.g., every other sink or urinal) may be taped or blocked off. 

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use paper towels to dry your hands and to shut off faucets.
  • Avoid using hand dryers.
  • Use a paper towel to manipulate the door, if necessary.
  • If there is a line, keep it outside of the rest room, maintaining six feet separation.

6.3 Elevators

Limit elevator use and try to use the stairs as much as possible. If you must use the elevator, limit to one person per elevator car, if possible. If more than one person must use the elevator at the same time, stand in opposite corners and face away from each other.

  • Avoid touching elevator buttons directly. Use a pen or other object or consider wearing gloves. If you do touch the buttons, wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Maintain social distancing when waiting for the elevator.

6.4 Hallways and Stairwells

Keep in mind that momentarily passing by another person does not significantly increase your risk and is not considered “close contact.”

  • Use hand rails. Wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Do not linger in hallways and stairwells.
  • If you notice that hallway or stairwell use is crowded, contact the Facilities Modification Team through Facilities Customer Service or 609-258-8000 for a review of the area to determine whether directional signage is needed.

6.5 Atrium/Common Spaces

Atriums and common spaces may now be used at the discretion of the overseeing department/entity. Before moving or removing furniture or fixtures, contact the Facilities Modification Team (FMT) through Facilities Customer Service or 609-258-8000. 

  • Consider repurposing these spaces for lab workers to take breaks or meals or to expand desk areas.
  • Maintain social distancing as outlined in Secton 5.3 for those who have not had their vaccine status verified. 
  • Any in-person meeting or gathering of more than 25 people must follow the request and approval process outlined in the Gatherings, Events, and Meetings Policy.

6.6 Conference Rooms

Conference rooms may again be used, per regular building occupancy levels, for meetings for those individuals who have verified their vaccine status. Consider using conference rooms to expand work/desk space.

  • Maintain at least 100 square feet per person. 
  • Remove, tape off, or mark chairs that should not be used, in order to maintain at least six feet between people.

6.7 Hoteling/Open Work Stations

Take advantage of all unused space to spread out work stations. Employees must recognize that they may be asked to work at work stations other than their traditional workspace in order to spread out.

6.8 Break Rooms

At the discretion of the responsible department/entity, chairs and furniture may be returned to break rooms to more fully utilize spaces by those with verified vaccine status. Whenever possible, staff should be offered alternative locations (such as outdoors in nice weather) to take breaks and lunches.

6.9 Coffee Makers, Water Coolers, Refrigerators

Common shared equipment, such as coffee makers, water dispensing stations and refrigerators, should be disinfected frequently. 

  • Use disinfectant wipes between uses.
  • Building Services custodians do not clean equipment or appliances.
  • Do not use drinking fountains. DO use bottle-filling stations.
  • Do not bring your own coffee makers, small refrigerators, or other appliances for personal use. Such use may present a fire hazard and may be in violation of fire code.

6.10 Meetings

NOTE: The requirements listed in the following section apply only to those members of the campus community who have not had their vaccine status verified by University Health Services via VacStatus.

Meetings should be held remotely using collaboration tools such as Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, telephone, Jabber, Slack, etc.  

  • In-person meetings should only occur if strictly necessary, and only if occupants of the room can maintain at least six feet of separation. Any strictly necessary in-person meetings must be as brief as possible.
  • Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add visual cue marks in meeting rooms to support social distancing practices between attendees to strictly necessary in-person meetings.
  • Even while working on campus, you are encouraged to communicate with your colleagues and supervisors as needed by email, instant message, telephone or other available technology rather than face-to-face.
  • Any in-person meeting or gathering of more than 5 people must follow the request and approval process outlined in the Gatherings, Events, and Meetings Policy.

NOTE: The requirements listed in the section above apply only to those members of the campus community who have not had their vaccine status verified by University Health Services via VacStatus.

6.11 Vehicles

No more than one person should be riding in a University vehicle at any one time. Carry disinfectant wipes and a trash bag in each vehicle and disinfect frequently touched surfaces of the vehicle, such as the steering wheel, gearshift, signaling levers and door handles, at the start and end of each shift or before a new driver uses the vehicle. 

6.12 TigerTransit and Public Transportation

Face coverings are required for riding on TigerTransit and public transportation. Avoid touching surfaces on public transportation and seat yourself at least six feet away from other passengers. For employees who need to take public transportation, departments should work with Human Resources to consider whether an alternate schedule may be accommodated to avoid high ridership time periods.

6.13 Parking

If you rely on TigerTransit to take you from your campus residence or parking lots to your building, you have a valid parking permit, AND if there are numbered parking lots closer (except lots 8, 9, and 18) with empty spaces that you would prefer to use, please contact Transportation and Parking Services at for authorization to park in a closer area. You may park in any lot between 5:00 pm and 6:00 am.

6.14 Time Clocks

Departments should review time clock areas for traffic patterns and consider floor markings for guiding employees when standing in line. Departments should also consider staggered start times to reduce traffic flow at peak clock in and out times.

6.15 Meals

Since face coverings must be removed to consume meals, individuals need to take particular care when eating meals on campus. Eating meals is permitted in

  • Outdoor spaces with at least 6 feet separation between people.
  • Private offices and cubicles (with walls or partitions that are at least 4 feet tall that provide separation from others.
  • Break rooms or meeting rooms that provide a minimum of 100 square feet per person, at least 6 feet of separation between individuals, used only when occupied by individuals who are eating meals.

Snacks and food intended for sharing must be individually packaged. 

6.16 Mail and Packages

Mail and packages are being delivered to campus, although some changes in delivery methods may be employed. 

  • Check with Mail Services to learn how your mail and packages are being delivered:
    • Pick-up at Frist.
    • Delivery to your building on a limited schedule.
    • Delivery to your building daily.
  • For departments with loading docks or centralized Receiving, check on the current schedule.
  • No disinfection or quarantine of mail or packages is required.
  • For frequent mail handling, wear gloves and wash hands with soap and water after handling mail and packages.

6.17 Quiet Rooms

Wipe down high-touch surfaces with disinfectant after each use of the quiet room.