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Isolation housing hits capacity as students return to campus

<h6>Denise Applewhite / <a href="https://www.princeton.edu/news/2021/01/22/university-focuses-health-and-safety-undergraduates-return-campus" target="_self">Office of Communications</a></h6>
Denise Applewhite / Office of Communications

As the spring 2022 semester begins, COVID-19 cases among faculty and staff decreased by more than 50 percent in the past week. The University COVID-19 Dashboard shows total cases decreasing from 146 cases in the week ending Jan. 14 to 62 cases in the week ending Jan. 21. With undergraduate students returning to campus this past week, isolation housing is now at capacity, with 241 students in isolation in total.

According to a recent memo to both undergraduate and graduate students from Dr. Irini Daskalaki, the Global and Community Health Physician Coordinator at University Health Services (UHS), “some students who test positive for COVID-19 will be instructed to isolate in their dormitory or apartment” as of Jan. 23.


Cases among graduate students remained mostly stable in the last week, decreasing from 25 cases in the week ending on Jan. 14 to 23 cases in the week ending on Jan. 21. Cases among undergraduates increased from 54 to 77 during this same time.

According to the dashboard, the change in positivity rate for the asymptomatic testing protocol is universally down across all three groups — with a decline of 1.19 percent among undergraduates, a 0.17 percent decline among graduate students, and a 2.29 percent decline among faculty, staff, and others.

Cases in New Jersey as a whole have seen a trend of decrease in cases in recent weeks, with the state reporting only 9,195 new confirmed positive COVID-19 cases on Jan. 23. This comes in stark contrast to the previous 23,275 new confirmed positive cases the New Jersey state dashboard recorded on Jan. 12.

On-campus, grab-and-go dining will remain the sole option until the end of January, including through at least the first week of classes. Masks continue to be required indoors, with the University distributing KN95 masks through residential colleges and at Frist Campus Center.

More information about COVID-19 on campus can be found here.

Anika Buch is an Associate News Editor at the Princewho typically covers STEM communities and research on campus. She can be reached at ambuch@princeton.edu.