Princeton bars students from leaving host county amid COVID

Princeton University in New Jersey will forbid students from leaving the school’s host county once the new semester starts due to rising COVID-19 concerns.

Barring “extraordinary circumstances,” students can’t venture beyond Mercer County and Plainsboro Township beginning on Jan. 8 through at least Feb. 15.

The restriction does not apply to sports teams.

Citing a surge in COVID-19 cases, the school delayed the return of students to the Ivy League school by a week.

The college will also stagger the return of students over several days.

“Updated modeling suggests that staggering undergraduates’ return over ten days from January 14 – 23 will help flatten the curve of the campus positivity rate,” the school said in a statement.

All Princeton students are required to be vaccinated, but the school is also mandating that they still remain in their rooms as much as possible until they get a fresh negative COVID-19 test.

All Princeton students, except in special cases, will be banned from leaving the host county as COVID cases rise. This does not apply to sports teams.
LightRocket via Getty Images

Other new restrictions include limiting undergraduate gatherings to 20 people or less and barring food at university events to avoid the need for mask removal.

“Although all of us are exhausted and frustrated by the ongoing COVID pandemic, we must continue to do everything we can to protect the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff. Thanks for doing your part,” officials wrote to students.

Student Myles McKnight told Fox Wednesday that he’s frustrated by the constricting of campus life.

Students
Princeton students are already required to be vaccinated. Undergraduate gatherings are limited to 20 people.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

“Students aren’t able to leave for personal reasons the immediate counties surrounding Princeton University,” he said. “But, of course, if the basketball team wants to travel to Indianapolis or anywhere else to play, that’s perfectly fine … So it is somewhat confusing, inconsistent, and I think frustrating for sure.”