Two Princeton University staff members under self-quarantine for possible coronavirus exposure

Two Princeton University staff members are currently under self-quarantine as a result of possible exposure to the coronavirus at an off-campus gathering, school officials said on Tuesday morning.

The staff members are being tested and results are expected in the coming days, school officials said.

Two people from the Boston area who attended a private party in Princeton also attended the Biogen Conference in Boston, according to local health officials. Both of those people tested presumed positive for the coronavirus when they returned to the Boston area, local health officials said. State officials announced on Monday that 170 people who attended that conference have tested presumed positive for the coronavirus.

According to the Princeton Health Department, there were about 30 people at the party in Princeton, including the two Princeton University staff members and the two people from the Biogen Conference. The Princeton Health Department is actively investigating and contacting all of the Princeton residents who attended the party and working with other local health jurisdictions where the other attendees live. People who attended the party are being asked to self-quarantine until testing is completed. Local health officials said the immediate risk to the general Princeton population remains low.

The university is also working with the Princeton Health Department to identify and contact those who may have been in close contact with the staff members since their potential exposure to COVID-19.  In an email to students, faculty, and staff Tuesday, officials said the university is following best practices in order to maintain the health and safety of the community including taking enhanced cleaning and disinfecting measures.

“As the university announced Monday, we have enacted new policies and practices designed to help protect the health and well-being of all members of the University community. These policies and practices were put in place in anticipation of this eventuality. They are based on the concept of social distancing, and the goal is to decrease the number of situations that require community members to gather in large groups and to minimize the time spent in close proximity with each other,” reads the email.

“These policies and practices include encouraging social distancing and flexibility around classes and academic testing this week, a move to virtual lectures, seminars, and precepts beginning March 23, immediate limitations on on-campus events and additional restrictions on travel,” reads the email. “All members of the campus community should continue to follow best practices to avoid illness, including frequent hand washing and avoiding touching one’s face with unwashed hands.  If you are not feeling well, do not attend classes or work.  Stay home, get rest, and get any medical attention you need.”

Recommended social distancing techniques include keeping at least six feet between yourself and others in public places, avoiding close contact, avoiding handshakes and hugging, and limiting in-person meetings.