Princeton switches all final exams to remote format as COVID cases rise on campus –


As the number of positive COVID cases on campus rose this week, Princeton University officials announced that all final exams for this semester will be held remotely.

The announcement was made Tuesday night by Dean Jill Dolan and Vice President for Campus Life Rochelle Calhoun in an effort to allow students to leave campus at their earliest convenience.

“Given that we’ve seen an uptick in cases among undergraduates during the last 24 hours — including suspected cases of the highly contagious omicron variant — we hope to avoid letting the final exam schedule interfere with students’ travel home for winter break,” Dolan and Calhoun said. “We certainly don’t want you remaining on campus in required isolation through the holidays.”

The announcement did not specifically say how many new positive cases there were on campus.

The state requires anyone who tests positive for COVID to isolate for 10 days, even if they are asymptomatic, Dolan and Calhoun said.

The remote final exam format will begin Thursday. In addition, all indoor gatherings with food and any gatherings where face coverings can’t be worn will be cancelled and postponed Thursday as well, school officials said.

The postponements/cancellations will be in effect through Jan. 7, but gathering guidance will also be revisited before that date, the university said.

Dolan and Calhoun added that a booster vaccination mandate will also be in effect next year for all students, faculty and staff.

“We’ll require all who are eligible to receive a booster by January 31, 2022,” the pair said. “We’ll share details about the requirement this week.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued expanded eligibility guidance on boosters that said many people 18 and older were eligible for one.

Everyone 18 and older in New Jersey who has received their second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines six months ago or longer can get a booster shot. Anyone 18 and older who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is also eligible for a booster two months after their single shot.

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Chris Sheldon may be reached at