PRINCETON, N.J. (CBS/AP) - Princeton University said Monday it is restricting large gatherings and urging students to remain home after spring break and take classes online in the wake of the spread of the coronavirus. President Christopher Eisgruber wrote in a letter to the university community that the measures are necessary even though the school currently has no confirmed cases.
"While much remains unknown about COVID-19's epidemiology and impact, our medical advisers tell us that we should proceed on the assumption that the virus will spread more broadly and eventually reach our campus," Eisgruber said. "They also tell us that the best time to put in place policies to slow the spread of the virus is now, before we begin to see cases on our campus, rather than later. Acting now will also give students who wish to do so the option to stay home after Spring Break and meet academic requirements remotely."
All lectures and seminars will switch to online beginning March 23. The restrictions will remain in place until April 5, when university officials will conduct a review. The university also is restricting school-sponsored travel.
The restrictions will be disruptive, Eisgruber wrote, but officials "strongly believe that actions taken now will have the greatest chance of decreasing risk, and that the potential consequences of not acting could far outweigh these short-term disruptions."
New Jersey announced two new confirmed cases of the virus over the weekend, bringing the total number in the state to six.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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