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After 'Street Week,' campus COVID-19 cases continue downward trend

<h5>Student checking in at Jadwin Gymnasium and receiving COVID-19 testing kit.</h5>
<h6>Courtesy of Denise Applewhite / Office of Communications.</h6>
Student checking in at Jadwin Gymnasium and receiving COVID-19 testing kit.
Courtesy of Denise Applewhite / Office of Communications.

Following the second week of the spring semester, COVID-19 cases among the University community have continued on the downward trend seen since the first week of classes. The University COVID-19 dashboard indicates that the total number of undergraduate COVID-19 cases was at 23 last week, the lowest number of total undergraduate cases as of 2022 and a sharp drop from the 123 positive undergraduate cases during the week ending on Jan. 28.

Likewise, cases among graduate students and faculty, staff, and others participating in the asymptomatic testing protocol have also witnessed declines relative to the week prior, with 0.23 percent and 0.55 percent positivity rates, respectively. In contrast, for the week ending on Jan. 28, positivity rates were at 0.49 percent and 0.92 percent, for graduate students and faculty, staff, and others, respectively.

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Currently, the dashboard reports a campus positivity rate of 0.36 percent. However, the University’s campus risk status remains “high,” defined by the University as a campus positivity rate over 0.5 percent, according to the dashboard. The new positivity rate represents a considerable decrease from the past four weeks, which were 5.65 percent, 2.91 percent, 1.58 percent, and 1.05 percent, respectively, since the beginning of the year. 

Last week, the isolation housing capacity was at 66.36 percent, a significant decrease from capacities recorded during preceding weeks but excluding the week ending on Jan. 28. No isolation housing data was available for the week ending Jan. 28. Isolation housing notably hit and exceeded capacity during the week ending on Jan. 21.

In line with these COVID-19 case trends, the University lifted restrictions that limited student gatherings to 20 people in undergraduate dorm rooms, suites, and off-campus residences. As of Feb. 1, “University staff, students or faculty can host indoor and outdoor gatherings and events of any size on or off campus” in accordance with the University’s COVID-19 protocols, according to the University’s COVID-19 Safe Practices website.

Last week was also Street Week, where many of the eating clubs hosted both in-person and virtual events for students considering bickering or signing in. According to Interclub Council (ICC) President Schuyler Kean ’22, “large, indoor social events [in eating clubs] are still postponed until further notice,” with the exception of outdoor activities and “Welcome to the Club” dinners that are allowed to occur if they satisfy the University’s COVID-19 policies.

Amy Ciceu is a senior writer who often covers research and COVID-19-related developments. She also serves as a Newsletter Editor. She can be reached at aciceu@princeton.edu.

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