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June 10: Community COVID-19 newsletter

To the Princeton University community,

Over the past two weeks, the state of New Jersey has made a number of announcements relaxing certain restrictions related to COVID-19. The University, however, continues to operate under a series of executive orders designed to minimize the number of employees working on campus and restricting many of our in-person activities in order to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19. We anticipate that these orders will be updated by the state in the coming weeks, and we will communicate directly to those impacted in our community as we adjust any University policies accordingly. All University policies regarding remote work and our limited on-campus operations currently remain in place. 

As previously announced, Princeton will decide in early July whether the undergraduate teaching program will be online or residential in the fall term. We are committed to offering the best possible undergraduate education consistent with the health and well-being of our community.

We will continue to share COVID-related updates through this newsletter as well as on our coronavirus website and University homepage.

Please read below for further information, with a focus on how voices from across the University community are addressing the moment we are facing as a nation, including a recap of this past Monday’s virtual conversation on race in the era of COVID-19.

And we hope you are staying healthy and safe, wherever this finds you.

Racism and Xenophobia in the COVID-19 Era

As COVID-19 has swept across the United States, it has unmasked and amplified existing racial inequities. The virtual panel “Race in the COVID Era: What America’s History of Racism and Xenophobia Means for Today” on June 8 discussed strategies to address marginalization and empower impacted communities. You can re-watch this important conversation on the University’s Facebook page.

The webinar was sponsored by the Associate Provost for International Affairs and Operations and the Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity, and featured the following panelists:

  • Andy Kim, Congressman from New Jersey’s 3rd District
  • Beth Lew-Williams, Associate Professor of History
  • Keith Wailoo, Chair of the Department of History and the Henry Putnam University Professor of History and Public Affairs
  • Helen Zia, Class of 1973, activist and author
  • Aly Kassam-Remtulla, Associate Provost for International Affairs

Facebook Live Q&A with Dr. Céline Gounder ‘97

Dr. Céline Gounder, a Class of 1997 graduate and an attending physician at New York's Bellevue Hospital, will discuss her experiences serving on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic on Friday, June 12, at 11 a.m. ET on the Princeton University Facebook page.

Dr. Gounder has a specialty in infectious disease and a second career as a medical journalist. Her interview on the University’s “We Roar” podcast will premiere on Facebook, followed by a live Q&A. You can RSVP to watch on Princeton’s Facebook page, and post your question for Dr. Gounder in the comments for the chance to be answered on Friday.

‘We Roar’ Podcast: What Lies Behind the Inequities of COVID-19

Professor Keith Wailoo is also featured in the latest “We Roar” podcast. Wailoo discusses how race, class, urban congestion and a failed public health system have contributed to the extraordinary gulf in coronavirus fatality rates, where African Americans are dying at 2.4 times the rate of white Americans nationwide. He also addresses the protests sweeping the nation.

“Epidemics have always been incredible revealers of underlying disparities, of the underlying character of a society,” Wailoo says in the podcast. “It doesn’t take very much thinking to see the way in which this particular organism makes certain kinds of vulnerabilities exposed and takes advantage of them. And when you have those vulnerabilities overlapped, it’s particularly deadly.”

Wailoo is the former vice dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, the vice chair of the Center for Health Care Strategies, president of the American Association for the History of Medicine and a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

‘We Roar’ Podcast: TIME Editor-in-Chief Considers How COVID-19 Has Impacted Journalism

Also featured on the “We Roar” podcast is an interview with 1988 Princeton graduate Edward Felsenthal, TIME editor-in-chief and CEO.

From large news brands to community newspapers, journalism everywhere is under pressure as it reports on one of the most important stories of our lifetime — a global pandemic and economic crisis that also threatens the health and wellbeing of journalism itself. Felsenthal offers his take on what news media must do to continue its essential work.

New episodes of “We Roar” also include:

  • A discussion on the future of higher education in light of COVID-19 with Kate Foster *93, president of The College of New Jersey.
  • An examination of “good hope” in turbulent times with Princeton philosopher Andrew Chignell, the Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Religion and the University Center for Human Values.

Public Health Update

All students, faculty, staff, postdocs and researchers should contact University Health Services if they are tested for coronavirus, in any jurisdiction. Please email as soon as you are tested; do not wait for results to notify UHS.

The University will continue to provide regular updates on the number of tests and cases involving community members which UHS is aware of. These numbers, especially those involving students who no longer reside on campus, are based on self-reporting. The most recent update can be found at

University Health Services continues to support the University community through its on-campus and virtual services. Information on UHS hours, medical and psychological services, and virtual consultations is available on the UHS website.




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