Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory curtails operations

The Princeton Plasma Physics Lab will temporarily curtain operations in an abundance of caution because of the coronavirus pandemic, and in light of presumptive cases in the Princeton area, officials announced Friday morning.

Officials did not elaborate on the presumed positive cases. Local and state health officials have not announced as of 11:15 a.m. Friday that there are any presumed positive cases in Princeton or surrounding communities yet. The municipality of Princeton has scheduled a press conference for 4 p.m. Friday. The mayor, police chief, health officer, and superintendent of schools will attend.

The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory will send employees home to work at 5 p.m. today, Friday, March 13, until at least March 29, Laboratory Director Steve Cowley announced today. There are no presumptive cases at the laboratory.

“There is absolutely nothing more important than the health, safety, and well-being of our staff and our community,” Cowley said. “Given the current situation with the coronavirus, we are sending staff to work from home, keeping only essential staff on site, and limiting access to our laboratory.”

Cowley said the business of the laboratory and its mission in the service of the nation will continue, but only staff necessary to keep critical operations and experiments going will be allowed on-site. Many of the 500-plus staff members can work remotely, he said. All staff members will receive their full pay and benefits.