Princeton Playbook: Working Safely on Campus

Faculty, staff, and students who are authorized to return to campus should stay home if experiencing symptoms

A.    Social Distancing

As of July 4, 2021, social distancing is no longer required indoors or outdoors. The occupancy limits imposed for public health purposes are no longer needed. Please see the Guidance on Reversing Facilities Modifications for more information on returning spaces to their pre-pandemic arrangement. 

B. Face Coverings

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 on TigerTransit, 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 March 2 Covid Newsletter and memo to the University community

C. Visitors

With some exceptions, visitors must be approved to be on campus. See the Visitor Policy for more information.

  • Academic, administrative and residential buildings will remain accessible to appropriate faculty, staff and students by card access only. 
  • As of June 17, 2021, the category of “approved visitors” was expanded to include:
    • prospective undergraduate student outdoor tours media and film crews that have been pre-approved by the Office of Communications to enter campus building
    • prospective graduate students who have received approval from the Graduate School;
    • prospective faculty, postdoctoral fellows and staff who have received approval from the administrative department head of the University employee sponsoring the visitor
  • Beginning August 1, 2021, individuals participating in University-sponsored conferences,  public performances, varsity and athletics events, and religious services.

If you wish to sponsor a visitor to work or conduct research in a laboratory, academic or administrative space, you must request approval from your department head.  Use the Sponsored Visitor Request Form.

D. Cleaning and Disinfecting

Building Services custodians will continue, on a daily basis, to clean and disinfect classrooms, lobbies, restrooms, and high-contact surfaces such as light switches, handrails, elevator buttons, and doorknobs.

Faculty, staff, and students are responsible for cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces within their work areas, such as computer keyboards, phones, and desktops. In the case of shared spaces, users must take responsibility for wiping down surfaces and equipment, including tabletops, refrigerator and microwave door handles, coffee makers, and photocopier touch panels. Departments and offices should ensure that an adequate supply of disinfecting wipes are available for this purpose. Use cleaning materials that are included in the EPA approved list of disinfectants for COVID-19 ( ) Please request supplies using the EHS COVID-19 PPE & Supply Form (insert link).

Hand Sanitizer

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are located near building entrances. Consideration should be given to placing additional, smaller bottles of hand sanitizer (which can be ordered through EHS) in work areas. If a hand sanitizer dispenser is empty or missing, contact the Facilities Service Center at 609-258-8000.

Small bottles of hand sanitizer should be placed in areas where common equipment is used or kitchenettes, unless a hand washing sink is available.

Individuals are encouraged to carry personal containers of hand sanitizer for use as needed.

E. Ventilation

Facilities will continue to perform preventive maintenance updates (PMs) on our building ventilation systems and operate the equipment to ensure optimal performance.

Fresh Air Supply

If you work or study in a building with a mechanical ventilation system, you will receive the maximum amount of outside air that can be provided by the system. The amount of outside air supplied will be balanced with maintaining reasonable temperature and humidity levels to ensure occupant comfort and decrease the potential for microbial growth, including mold.  

Preventive Maintenance and Operation

Ventilation systems that serve laboratory spaces are operational 24 hours/7 days a week. Systems serving office and academic spaces are operational while the building is occupied and two hours pre and post-occupancy. All ventilation systems are serviced semi-annually.


Each air handling unit is equipped with the most efficient filter that can be accommodated by the equipment.  Filters are inspected and changed a minimum of twice a year.  

Special Cleaning and Disinfection Systems

Based on a review of available studies and the type of activities conducted on campus, there is inconclusive scientific evidence to support major modifications to existing ventilation systems such as installation of ultraviolet light (UV) or portable filtration units. 

F.    Gloves

In most cases, gloves need not be worn by those who are practicing proper hand hygiene (washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when handwashing is not feasible). However, consideration should be given to wearing gloves when operating shared equipment, frequently interacting with high-touch surfaces, and in other situations where repeated hand cleaning is impractical.

G. Gatherings, Events, and Meetings

As of July 4, 2021, indoor and outdoor gatherings of any size hosted by University staff, students or faculty, on or off campus will no longer require review and approval from the Gatherings Review Team.

Beginning August 1, 2021, religious services, varsity and recreational athletic events, arts performances, and lectures are permitted to be open to the general public, with no vaccination requirement and departments may host conferences with visitors.

University-sponsored gatherings, conferences and events are expected to follow the Gatherings and Events Guidelines (add link) and should be scheduled through the EMS web app (link is external)for reservable spaces.

H.    Guidance for Specific Areas

The campus presents a number of location and activity-specific health and safety challenges arising from the coronavirus that should be approached with care.

Coffee Makers, Water Coolers, and Refrigerators

High-touch areas of shared appliances such as coffee makers, water coolers, and refrigerators should be disinfected frequently, using disinfecting wipes between uses. Building Services custodians are not responsible for cleaning these devices. Do not bring personal appliances, such as small refrigerators, to work as these may violate the fire code.


As of July 4, there are no limitations to elevator use.

Exterior Doors

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

Do not mark doors to buildings as enter or exit-only without discussion with the University Fire Marshal. 

Questions concerning TigerCard access, including permissions, should be directed to one’s Building Access Coordinator (BAC) or Department Access Facilitator (DAF).

Hallways and Stairwells

Momentarily passing another person does not significantly increase one’s risk of contracting COVID-19.

Mail and Packages

No disinfection or quarantine of mail or packages is required.


Questions or concerns should be directed to Transportation and Parking Services at

Quiet Rooms

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


As of July 4, 2021, restrooms may be fully occupied.

TigerTransit and Public Transportation

Face coverings are required when using TigerTransit and public transportation.


As of July 4, 2021, vehicles may be fully occupied.

Carry disinfecting wipes and a trash bag in each vehicle and disinfect frequently touched surfaces 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.

J.    Signage

Most signage related to COVID-19 public health requirements may be removed or replaced. Please refer back to this page for upcoming guidance. For guidance on which signs to maintain, see Returning University Spaces to Original Layout.