Campus Access and Research during COVID-19

January 14, 2021

Connecticut has expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations to include individuals 75 years of age and older. This morning the state has announced that those in this eligibility category may now register for vaccination appointments.  I am writing to make sure all those 75 and older in our community are aware of ways to access vaccinations:

  • The Yale Vaccination Program, sited at the Lanman Center, maintains lists of Yale employees and Yale Health members who are eligible for vaccination and has added the 75+ category to this list:
    • the Yale Program will issue invitations to its vaccination clinic to these individuals in the very near future and as vaccine supplies provided to the Yale Program by the state permit;
    • if you are a Yale employee or member of Yale Health you do not have to actively register with the Yale Program, but should make sure you have signed up for MyChart, which is the route through which you will receive your invitation, and monitor the e-mail address you use for MyChart;
    • if you have questions about the Yale Program, you may submit them to yhvaccine@yale.edu or call the Campus COVID Resource Line (203-432-6604); more is also available on the COVID-19 website.
  • The state maintains a Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS) that provides eligible individuals with access to many other vaccination clinics across the state:
    • you may register in VAMS by filling out the registration form;
    • more information about the state program for 75+ individuals is available  at https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Vaccination—75-and-older;
    • you may register with VAMS even if you are a Yale employee or a member of Yale Health and you may receive your vaccination at any of the clinics offered by VAMS; registering with VAMS will not remove you from the Yale Program’s eligibility/invitation list;
    • you may receive invitations from VAMS and from the Yale Program but please schedule only one appointment for vaccination, i.e., either through the VAMS program or through the Yale Program; additionally, vaccination requires two doses separated by 21 or 28 days and you must get both doses of the vaccine at the same location.
  • A number of hospital systems are offering direct scheduling of appointments and some municipalities are offering assistance with registration; you may want to consult the website of your town or local hospital for more information.

The Governor is likely to announce additional changes to the state’s vaccination program after the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group meets later today.  I will provide information about any additional changes in my weekly message tomorrow, but for now I want to make sure that members of our 75+ community are aware of actions they can take today.

January 8, 2021

  • Quarantine following close-contact exposure to COVID-19 changes from 14 days to 10 days with testing; travel quarantine and testing requirements stay the same.
  • Yale Health has begun COVID-19 vaccination clinics for eligible individuals under Connecticut Phase 1a guidelines.

As many of us return from the winter break, some after taking time away from Connecticut, I would like to acquaint you with some policy changes, remind you of travel quarantine and testing requirements, and update you on the Yale COVID-19 Vaccination Program.

While the promise of vaccines is becoming a reality, infection rates for COVID-19 remain high in Connecticut, as well as the rest of the country. Of particular concern is the emergence of a new and likely more infectious strain of COVID-19, two cases of which have just been identified in our state. In this climate, it is extraordinarily important that we diligently practice all of our health and safety guidelines.

QUARANTINE REQUIREMENTS FOLLOWING CLOSE CONTACT HAVE CHANGED

Our understanding of the best ways to reduce COVID-19 transmission continues to evolve. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its recommendation for quarantine after COVID-19 exposure to include options for reducing the length of quarantine to either 10 days or 7 days with a negative test, rather than the previously recommended 14 days.

After careful consideration of the new CDC guidance and on the advice of Yale’s Public Health Advisory Committee, we have modified our quarantine protocol for close contacts of individuals who have COVID-19. Going forward, anyone identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 will be told to quarantine for 10 days—rather than the previously required 14 days—and will be advised by the contact tracing team to obtain COVID-19 testing during the quarantine period.

TRAVEL QUARANTINE REQUIREMENTS REMAIN THE SAME

Please be aware that there are no changes in the university’s quarantine and testing requirements related to travel.

For those who are returning from any out-of-state travel and who plan to be on campus, options include:

  • Quarantining for 10 days or
  • Obtaining two negative COVID-19 tests, one on day 1 in Connecticut, the second no sooner than day 5 and quarantining until both negative test results are received.

Travelers returning from states other than New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island who do not have plans to be on campus must follow the State of Connecticut travel requirements. Options include:

  • Quarantining for 10 days or
  • Obtaining a COVID-19 test with a negative result within 72 hours prior to arrival or
  • Obtaining a COVID-19 test upon arrival and quarantining until a negative result is received.

All travelers returning from states other than New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island must complete the Connecticut Travel Health Form.

THE YALE COVID-19 VACCINATION PROGRAM GOES LIVE

Over the past month COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in Connecticut and have been distributed by the state to approved vaccine distribution centers. Per the state’s guidelines, initial doses of the vaccine are being given in Phase 1a to healthcare personnel, residents of long-term care facilities, and medical first responders.

Yale Health has been approved to receive and administer vaccines at the Lanman Center. The Yale COVID-19 Vaccination Program (the Yale Program), led by Nanci Fortgang, Chief of Yale Health Clinical Operations, conducted its first vaccination clinics for Yale healthcare personnel and medical first responders last week. The Yale Program is closely coordinating its activities with Yale New Haven Hospital to ensure that all eligible Yale health care personnel receive invitations to be vaccinated either at the Lanman Center or at one of YNHH’s vaccination locations.

The State of Connecticut, in reference to CDC guidance and with the input of the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group, is actively considering which groups will be eligible for the next phase (Phase 1b) of vaccinations. Likely candidates are individuals 75 years old and older, certain frontline essential workers, and residents of congregate facilities such as prisons. The timing of Phase 1b will depend upon vaccine supply and the completion of Phase 1a vaccinations.

Many members of the Yale community have asked how they will know when they are eligible to be vaccinated. The Yale Program is closely tracking state guidance and maintaining rosters of Yale community members in order to be ready to send invitations as soon as community members become eligible under each of the upcoming phases. The most important thing you can do to be ready is to make sure you have signed up for MyChart, the way you will likely be notified when the vaccine is available for you.

As is the case with most issues related to the pandemic, we expect that information about vaccines and vaccinations will evolve over time. As I noted in my December 18, 2020 message to the community, I will communicate frequently to update you about the vaccines and Yale’s vaccination plans. Additionally, we have posted vaccine FAQs on our COVID-19 website. Finally, if you have specific questions or suggestions about the Yale Program, please share them at yhvaccine@yale.edu.

December 11, 2020

We are approaching the end of a highly unusual semester at Yale. Most of our undergraduate students have now departed their on-campus residences, and many of us are looking forward to well-deserved opportunities to recharge over the holiday recess.

Although the cadence of campus activities may be slowing, COVID-19 shows no signs of relenting, as evidenced in State of Connecticut data and Yale’s own statistics. Yesterday’s recommendation by a Federal Drug Administration advisory panel brings us closer to the reality of a vaccine. However, as I described in my message of last week, the vaccine will not be widely available for some time, and mask-wearing, social distancing, and other preventative behaviors will be a way of life for the foreseeable future.

Once again, I encourage you to continue to follow the health and safety measures that helped to protect us during the fall. I also want to assure you that, even during the winter recess, the university’s health and wellness resources, such as those described below, remain available to all staff, faculty, and students.

  • The Campus COVID Resource Line (CCRL) at 203-432-6604 (toll-free at 866-924-9253), a “one-stop” source of COVID-19 related information and advice, will be available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. every day except for Christmas Eve/Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day when the hours will be from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing remains available by appointment at the Lanman Center (72 Lake Place), Yale on York (150 York Street), and the Watson Center (60 Sachem Street); symptomatic COVID-19 testing may be scheduled through the CCRL or your primary care provider.
  • The COVID-19 resulting and contact tracing teams will remain on call to advise those who become infected with or exposed to COVID-19.
  • Flu shots are strongly recommended and may be scheduled using the Find Your Flu Shot tool.
  • Yale Health Acute Care continues to be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide advice and health care to members of the Yale community.
  • Mental and Behavioral Health Services are especially important during this stressful pandemic and holiday period:
    • Magellan Health Services provides counseling and support to staff and faculty through a free, confidential program available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may access these services by calling 1-800-327-9240 or by visiting Magellan Health (for any staff or faculty member) or Magellan Health/Yale Health (for Yale Health members).
    • Care for students is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through Yale Health’s Mental Health and Counseling service. Students seeking to speak to a clinician may:
      • call 203-432-0290
        • 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday through December 22nd;
        • 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. December 28 through 30;
      • call Acute Care at 203-432-0123 after-hours or during holiday closures (December 23-27, December 31, and January 1)
  • Being Well at Yale offers support resources including recorded meditations, a mindful movement class, and a virtual cooking demo.
  • The COVID-19 website contains comprehensive information about all of Yale’s COVID-19 related programs and will be updated throughout the winter recess.

This year has been full of unprecedented challenges. The demands and restrictions placed on us over the past months have been difficult at times, but community members have demonstrated a remarkable commitment to protecting and supporting each other. The new year will undoubtedly bring challenges of its own—challenges that we will once again face together

December 4, 2020

A Message from our COVID-19 Coordinator

As winter approaches, we face the sobering reality that COVID-19 infections are increasing across the country, including in Connecticut. Earlier this week, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cautioned that the winter months may be “the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation,” and the agency placed further restrictions in its travel guidelines.

However, even as infections rise, recent announcements about promising vaccines bring us new hope. This hope for the future makes it all the more important that, in the weeks ahead, we remain vigilant and committed to protecting ourselves and those around us, using measures we have practiced over the past months and strengthening our precautions regarding travel and gatherings.

It is also important to stay informed about what we know—and aware of what we don’t know—about COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination.

First, what we know:

  • Health and safety measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing will continue to be necessary in the foreseeable future—even when vaccination programs begin—to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Following large-scale clinical trials, vaccines from two companies, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, have demonstrated up to 95% effectiveness in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infections. Both companies have applied to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to provide vaccines to members of the general public. A vaccine from AstraZeneca has also been shown to be effective, and dozens of other vaccine candidates are in the pipeline.
  • Both of the leading vaccine candidates require that two doses be given, separated by 3-4 weeks.
  • Limited distribution of vaccines could begin as soon as mid-December:
    • Once vaccines receive FDA Emergency Use Authorizations, they will be distributed by the federal government to the states. Each state will then allocate vaccines to authorized distribution centers, such as hospitals.
    • An advisory committee of the CDC has recently issued guidelines recommending that the first FDA-authorized supplies of the vaccines should be offered to health care personnel and residents of long-term care facilities. While states are not required to follow these guidelines, they most likely will.
    • In Connecticut, a Vaccine Advisory Group, which includes representation from the university, has been convened to make recommendations to the Governor regarding COVID-19 vaccination programs in the state. In his press conference yesterday evening, Governor Lamont indicated that, in accordance with CDC guidance and the Advisory Group recommendations, the state is contemplating the following phased vaccine distribution plan:
      • In the first phase, phase 1a (December-January), vaccination will be offered to health care workers, nursing home residents, and medical first responders.
      • In phase 1b (mid-January to late May), vaccination will be offered to additional members of the critical workforce, residents in congregate settings in addition to nursing homes, individuals over 65 years old, and individuals with high-risk medical conditions.
      • In phase 2 (beginning in June), vaccination will be offered to those who were not eligible for vaccination in Phase 1.
  • We are prepared to act once the vaccines are approved. The Yale New Haven Health System has convened a multidisciplinary task force, which includes representation from Yale Medicine and Yale University, to address all aspects of COVID-19 vaccination logistics and administration in our geographic area.

What we don’t know yet:

  • How long the immunity from these vaccines may last.
  • Whether the vaccines—which have been shown to be extremely effective in preventing symptomatic illness—will prevent asymptomatic infection and transmission of COVID-19.
  • How vaccine distribution phases and priorities will be further refined at the state and local levels.
  • Exactly how long it will take to produce and distribute enough vaccine doses to immunize substantial portions of the population.

You can stay informed about vaccine developments and recommendations through a number of reliable venues, such as the Connecticut Vaccine Advisory Group site and the CDC vaccine site. Vaccine trackers are also maintained by a number of news organizations, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Even as the promise of a vaccine comes closer to reality, and even after vaccination programs have begun, we must continue to practice those behaviors that have worked to keep transmission as low as possible on our campus. During the winter holiday season, when many of us are not coming to campus, we must exert that same remarkable diligence off-campus to protect our friends, families, and home communities. I hope you will review our COVID-19 website for current information about COVID-19 policies and health and safety measures, and consult our Campus COVID Resource Line (203-432-6604; toll free at 866-924-9253) if you have concerns or questions. For those of you remaining in the New Haven area, please take advantage of our COVID-19 testing program, which is available through the December break and beyond.

Wherever we are at this time, we remain connected as a community. Together we have faced—and must continue to face—the pandemic’s challenges, working hard to protect ourselves and those near to us. Together we can now embrace the promise of a brighter future.

November 13, 2020

A Message from our COVID-19 Coordinator

Nearly three months ago, we convened on our campus with a shared goal—to pursue our academic and professional aspirations in community with fellow students, faculty and staff. We also faced a common challenge—to pursue those aspirations amidst a global pandemic. The clinical and research communities had paved the way by creating remote approaches to their work, where possible, and by developing new health and safety measures for laboratories and patient care settings. Building on their example, we learned to study and to work and to engage with each other in new ways—ways that were safer but also often more stressful. Sadly, over these months, we have seen colleagues and family and friends suffer with COVID-19, but I have no doubt that our collective ingenuity and commitment have allowed us to get to this point in the semester with many fewer infections than we might have seen if we had not worked so diligently together.

While this is a time for gratitude for what we have accomplished together, unfortunately it is also a time for heightened vigilance. The virus is raging more vigorously just as we hope to relax, to travel, to reunite with friends and family. In this message, I hope to provide you with an update on our current environment on campus and beyond, to reinforce existing health and safety measures, and to describe additional precautions the university is taking to keep us as safe as possible.

Update on the Recent Outbreak and the State of the State and Beyond

In my special alert on the evening of Friday, November 6, I made the community aware of a possible cluster of cases of COVID-19 largely affecting undergraduate students in the Davenport, Hopper, and Saybrook residential colleges. At that time, because those cases appeared to be associated, and in order to limit further transmission of the virus, the university placed all students in those colleges in quarantine in their suites and moved the campus alert level to orange. Over the past weeks, we isolated a total of 30 students associated with the cluster who tested positive for COVID-19 and identified and quarantined their close contacts. As of yesterday, thanks to the cooperation of the students in these colleges, the efforts of our health care providers, and the work of the contact tracing and outbreak investigation teams, we determined that this outbreak has been contained. Students in Davenport, Hopper, and Saybrook who are not in isolation or contact quarantine, have now been released from suite-based quarantine.

Unfortunately, viral infections continue to rise in our surrounding community, in the State of Connecticut, and in the nation. One hundred Connecticut communities, including New Haven, are now in the State’s “red alert” status, and the Connecticut Travel Advisory lists 46 states and territories among those with high rates of COVID-19 infection. Although our two campus clusters have been contained, we are beginning to see increases in the daily number of COVID-19 positive cases among members of our Yale community. Common features of many of these cases are recent histories of family and social gatherings, travel, and dining in restaurants.

At a time when many of us look forward to holiday celebrations and to renewing and strengthening family and social connections, we must be mindful of the ever-present risk of viral infection. In the remainder of this message, I want to make you aware of existing—and some new—precautions the university has put in place to make our travels and activities as safe as possible.

Reminders and New Precautions:

  • In light of worsening conditions in the community and in order to protect Thanksgiving travelers and the friends and loved ones at their destinations:
    • Effective November 13, 2020, until departure for Thanksgiving break, undergraduate students living in residential colleges are required to restrict their activities to the Yale campus; detailed instructions will be provided by Dean Chun.
    • Undergraduates living off campus may visit residential colleges only for required testing.
    • The graduate and professional schools are reviewing their fall semester health and safety plans to identify additional, advisable precautions.
    • All members of the community are discouraged from dining inside restaurants in favor of food pickup and delivery.
    • All members of the community are encouraged to get their flu shots before departure.
    • All members of the community who plan to travel are strongly encouraged to obtain a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure; undergraduate students should stay on their required testing schedules and those members of the community who are not on a required testing schedule may arrange for tests through the university’s COVID-19 screening program.
    • Anyone in COVID-19 isolation or contact quarantine must remain in their room or residence until released by Yale Health.
    • Everyone should be mindful of the risks of travel, entry requirements (such as quarantine and testing) of destination states, and the vulnerabilities of friends and family members whom they are visiting; health and safety measures should be followed at all times.
  • As we contemplate the Thanksgiving holiday, we should:
    • Strongly consider virtual activities wherever possible.
    • Limit the size and duration of gatherings; keep attendance limited to close family members; remember new state rules limit gatherings in private residences to 10.
    • Be particularly mindful of the risks of travel and the vulnerabilities of those with certain medical conditions.
    • Utilize restaurant delivery and pickup services instead of in-restaurant dining.
    • Take advantage of holiday sales by shopping on-line or through contactless purchase delivery services.
    • Follow all university health and safety measures.
    • Consult Connecticut holiday guidelines and CDC Thanksgiving guidelines for additional information.
  • Members of the Yale community returning to campus after Thanksgiving:
    • Must observe university testing and quarantine requirements for out-of-state travelers.
    • Must resume mandatory testing schedules if living in residential colleges, Old Campus residences, or Helen Hadley and Harkness dormitories.
    • Should take advantage of voluntary asymptomatic testing.
    • Must comport with any revisions in the health and safety plans of their respective schools.
    • Must follow all university health and safety measures.
    • Should continue working remotely if at all possible.
  • At all times:
    • We should remember to take care of ourselves and not hesitate to use Yale’s resources (see below) whether on- or off-campus.
    • Consult the Campus COVID Resource Line 203-432-6604 for any questions or concerns.

In closing, I want to thank all of you once again for your extraordinary efforts in keeping our campus as safe as possible. If you are leaving campus this coming week, I wish you the safest of travels and safe and happy reunions with your families and friends.

November 6, 2020

From: Scott Strobel, Provost and Stephanie Spangler, Vice Provost and COVID-19 Coordinator

Summary: In response to the rise in the spread of COVID-19, the university is modifying several existing health and safety measures. This message explains the new guidance and reinforces the need for our collective efforts in staying vigilant and acting with caution.

As you likely know, we are seeing a rise in the spread of COVID-19 in the New Haven community and across the state.  Consistent with local and national trends, we are also experiencing increased levels of infection on our campus among students, faculty and staff.  We have observed, as has the State, that the sources of viral spread in our community are quite frequently associated with social gatherings, often with extended family or friends, where facemasks are removed; with dining indoors at a restaurant; or during travel to campus from out-of-the-area locations. 

On Monday, Governor Lamont announced his decision to move the entire State of Connecticut from the Phase 3 reopening scenario back to a Phase 2.1 scenario, effective today.  Yesterday the Governor published the rules associated with Phase 2.1 and designated New Haven as ‘red’ in the State’s COVID-19 surveillance system.  ‘Red’ status is applied to those towns where these cases exceed a two-week daily average of 15 cases per 100,000 population.

The movement to Phase 2.1 imposes limits on gathering sizes in both commercial venues and private residences.  It also calls for restaurants to reduce occupancy and close at 10 p.m.  The Governor is strongly encouraging all Connecticut citizens to limit travel and remain at home whenever possible, especially between the hours of 10 PM and 5 AM.

Based upon our own experience and in alignment with the announcement of the Governor, we write to reinforce and modify our health and safety measures. Our goal is to complete the fall semester safely while preserving the academic mission of the university.

We ask every member of our community, including all students, faculty and staff, to review and adhere to the policies set out below.

Gatherings

  • Gatherings that involve serving food or drinks where masks are removed are strongly discouraged.  
  • In-person dining in restaurants should be avoided. Take out or food delivery service is recommended as a safer alternative.
  • All on-campus events, and all gatherings of more than 10 people, must be approved by the school or unit’s Health and Safety Leader (HSL), and in no case may exceed 25 people indoors or 50 people outdoors.
  • Restrictions on attending or hosting parties remain in place for students.  Additionally, the State’s new Phase 2.1 rules prohibit gatherings larger than 10 people in private residences and apply to all members of the community.

Travel

  • Travel outside of the New Haven region during this period is discouraged for all members of our community until further notice.
  • Graduate, professional, and undergraduate students may not travel outside of Connecticut for the remaining two weeks of the residential semester. If faced with an emergent need to travel, they must obtain preapproval from their school’s Health and Safety Leader.
  • Students leaving campus prior to Thanksgiving are strongly encouraged to receive a negative test result no more than 72 hours prior to their departure to protect the health of friends, loved-ones, and those in destination communities.
  • Staff and faculty who plan to travel are also encouraged to get tested and receive a negative result prior to departure.
  • Members of the campus community may schedule tests through the Yale COVID-19 Screening Program.  Undergraduates should remain on their regular testing schedules.  Please refer to the COVID-19 Coordinator’s message for more information.

Testing

  • COVID-19 testing frequency for certain high-contact staff will increase to twice a week.
  • Faculty, staff, and graduate and professional students continue to be eligible for regular testing and are strongly encouraged to participate in voluntary testing up to twice weekly.
  • Testing will continue to be available during and after Thanksgiving break for members of the Yale community who remain in New Haven.

Commuting and Visiting Faculty

  • Full-time faculty who reside outside Connecticut must not commute to campus unless there is a very compelling reason to do so.  This applies to travel from any state, not just those affected by the Connecticut travel advisory.
  • Faculty who reside outside the state and who are not full-time and teach only on an episodic basis must teach remotely.   

Remote Working

  • All staff who can work remotely must continue or resume doing so.
  • Department leaders should review the list of staff who are coming to campus and identify opportunities to reduce on-campus presence.

Athletics

  • Varsity athletics will remain in Phase I, which is limited to socially distant conditioning and strength training activities, through the remainder of the semester.  
  • Intramurals will remain limited to select activities, which have been approved by the Health and Safety Leader and in which social distancing can be maintained.

These measures may change as the situation on our campus or in our community warrants, and as government guidance demands. Should any of these policies require adjustment, we will communicate them promptly to the university community.

We are grateful for the steadfast efforts of each of you to stay safe and stay together despite the challenging times. This pandemic has required us to behave in ways that are not conducive to typical social interactions.  While the upcoming holiday season will bring some much-needed respite, we recognize that many of us will still not be able to spend the holidays with loved ones in traditional ways.  Despite the difficult nature of our current circumstances, our community has come together with extraordinary resilience this year.

There are just a few weeks left in the residential portion of this semester. Let’s continue our efforts as we complete the semester, recognizing that our collective actions will impact the health and well-being of our entire community.

October 23, 2020

The University is providing information about two actions that will promote the health of the community and also directly benefit you and your loved ones as we move into the colder months and contemplate holiday travel opportunities.

Test Before You Travel

To protect the health of friends, loved-ones, and destination communities, Yale is strongly encouraging students who are departing campus for Thanksgiving break to obtain a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours prior to leaving New Haven. We are also recommending pre-travel testing for staff and faculty. To accommodate increased demand, the university is prepared to increase available testing capacity during the week of November 16th. Undergraduates should remain on their regular testing schedules during that time. Other members of the campus community may schedule tests through the Yale COVID-19 Screening Program and should allow enough time to receive the results before they travel.

Anyone who is in COVID-19-related isolation or quarantine should not travel until cleared to do so by Yale Health or their medical provider. Students in isolation must remain in their on- or off-campus locations until their medical providers determine they may travel without impacting the safety of others. Our on-campus isolation housing will remain open during the Thanksgiving break. Students in contact quarantine should also remain in their on- or off-campus quarantine locations until their medical providers clear them to travel. Students in contact quarantine who have a compelling reason to depart before the end of their quarantine period may contact their Health and Safety Leaders for approval and for guidance on how they might travel while minimizing the risk of virus transmission to others.

Fight the Flu

Getting an annual flu vaccination is another way to protect yourself and your friends and loved ones. Although we all hope for a mild flu season, no one can predict the impact of the upcoming influenza cycle; and two contagious viruses circulating within a community could cause serious widespread illness and further disrupt our lives. Getting a flu vaccine protects against infection, lessens the severity of illness in those who do contract the virus, and prevents the spread of influenza to our wider community.

Both COVID-19 and influenza spread through droplets produced when a person coughs, sneezes, or talks, or when people touch a contaminated surface and then touch their mouth, nose, or eyes. Since both illnesses share similar symptoms, reducing the incidence of flu in the community through vaccination also helps clinicians better evaluate those with respiratory symptoms and provide appropriate treatments.

Get Your Flu Shot Today

Yale Health is offering two options for you to get a free flu shot this year: either through Yale Health flu clinics or, for those age 18 and older, at CVS pharmacies. These options are available to you whether or not you usually receive your health care through Yale Health. If you have not already received your vaccination, you can use the Find Your Flu Shot tool to select the most convenient option. The tool will allow you to schedule an appointment for a Yale flu clinic or provide the information necessary to take advantage of the CVS option.  Please keep in mind:

  • All Fall 2020 Yale students enrolled in residence committed to getting a flu vaccination as part of the Community Compact.
  • Yale flu shots are by appointment and you must come alone —unless you have scheduled a visit with the Pediatric Family Flu Clinic— maintain physical distance and wear a mask.
  • If you have an upcoming visit at Yale Health for other purposes, you may get your vaccination at that time.
  • If you are 65 or older, you have the option to receive the high-dose flu vaccine.
  • There is no live virus in the vaccine. Some people falsely fear that they may catch the flu from the vaccine, but that is not the case–the influenza vaccine cannot give you the flu.

Once again, I thank you for all that you are doing to make our campus as safe as possible and ask that you continue to practice all of our health and safety measures. I hope that the additional information in this message will help you to plan your holiday travels and protect yourselves and your loved ones from COVID and the flu.

October 16, 2020

The university has raised our COVID-19 alert status from green (lower risk) to yellow (low to moderate risk of viral transmission). This decision was made based upon further developments relating to the COVID cluster that I wrote to you about on Tuesday evening. At that time, I reported that 6 members of a varsity athletic team had tested positive for COVID-19 over the previous 24 hours. Over the past two days, we have learned of 12 additional positive cases among team members, bringing the total cases to 18.

All of these cases involve members of the men’s ice hockey team, and all of these students have been instructed to isolate. All other members of the men’s ice hockey team who are in the New Haven area, as well as the Athletics staff who have worked directly with them, have been instructed to quarantine and to participate in the university testing program, whether or not they have been identified as close contacts of infected team members. Rigorous contact tracing efforts are underway to identify any other individuals who may have been close contacts of the infected team members and to instruct them to quarantine and participate in testing.

As was outlined in the message from the University COVID-19 Coordinator on Tuesday, the university has taken additional cautionary measures:

  • All varsity athletic teams and intramural programs have ceased in-person training activities for at least the coming week; and
  • Certain athletic facilities, including Payne Whitney Gymnasium, Ingalls Rink, and the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center, have been closed for cleaning until Monday, October 19, 2020.

What should you do?

  • If you have been identified as a close contact of one of the infected individuals, it is likely that you have already been notified by the contact tracing team; however, if you have not been notified by a contact tracer and have been in close contact (within 6 feet masked or unmasked for more than 15 minutes) with any member of the men’s ice hockey team over the past 7 days, you should quarantine in your room or residence and call Student Medicine (203-432-0312), Employee Health (203-432-7978), or the COVID Campus Resource Line (203-432-6604) for further instructions;
  • Always practice our health and safety measures, including mask wearing, hand washing, physical distancing, and daily health checks;
  • Follow all event and gathering guidelines;
  • Do not invite visitors who are not members of the Yale community onto campus; and
  • If you have a testing requirement, make sure to schedule and keep your testing appointments.
  • Be aware that voluntary asymptomatic testing is available to the Yale community who do not have a testing requirement.

Our testing program has allowed us to quickly identify and isolate positive cases of COVID-19.  However, this recent cluster, coupled with news of increasing cases of COVID-19 in Connecticut, are reminders that the virus is present in our community and we must exercise vigilance and caution in all of our activities.

October 9, 2020

Last week Yale changed its COVID-19 alert level to Green, and thanks to your continued vigilance, our campus has maintained a low rate of viral infection. The virus, however, does not respect boundaries, and we must remain aware of the state of the pandemic beyond Yale’s campus. We are observing increases in the number of new cases in many states around the country. Even in Connecticut, we are now seeing a rise in hospitalizations for COVID-19 and reports of local outbreaks. Many of the positive cases we have reported in our own Yale statistics appear to originate from exposures outside of our campus bounds. These statistics and reports underscore the fact that the virus is ever-present and we must continue to take all precautions—whether we are on or off campus–to prevent outbreaks at Yale and in our larger New Haven community.

Yale-sponsored gatherings

Our academic community is built on our connections with each other, yet we know that gatherings of people increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission and have frequently been the source of outbreaks. We have therefore designed guidelines for Yale-sponsored academic and social events and gatherings with the intention of supporting connection while reducing the risk of virus transmission. Students, faculty, staff and all Yale affiliates are expected to follow these guidelines and, more specifically, should consider the following key points when planning any events, including business meetings or social gatherings.

  • Only members of the Yale community authorized to be on campus may attend Yale sponsored events.
  • Gatherings of ten (10) or fewer individuals without the advance approval of the relevant Dean, Head of College or Vice President, are permitted as long as the guidelines for events are observed.
  • For events larger than ten (10) individuals, the event sponsor must apply to the school or department Health and Safety Leader using the application for approval form.
  • University limits for gatherings remain in place at 25 participants indoors and 100 participants outdoors and events and gatherings must meet all university occupancy limits for spaces.
  • Event sponsors should keep a record of participants to simplify contact tracing should the need arise.

Informal gatherings

Evidence indicates that there is a lower risk for transmission of COVID-19 outdoors than inside. The pleasant temperatures and mild conditions of fall offer wonderful opportunities to meet up with classmates and colleagues to enjoy outside activities. Outdoor games, like tossing a Frisbee, can be played if physical distance is maintained and objects are disinfected after each use. Walks to East Rock or town with a few friends are fine if established preventive measures are followed.

Please refer to Safe Campus Practices During the COVID-19 Pandemic for additional details.

A note about free expression and peaceable assembly

As we enter the election season amidst a global pandemic, it is important to remember that the university is committed to and supportive of the free expression of ideas, civic debate, and peaceable assembly. All members of our community should be mindful of health and safety practices as they engage in these activities. Students must comply with the Yale Community Compact and all measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission not only while on campus but also when engaging in off-campus activities in our neighboring community. Please refer to Guidance Regarding Free Expression and Peaceable Assembly for Students at Yale for further information.

October 6, 2020

From President Peter Salovey and Provost Scott Strobel

Spring 2021 Academic Calendar

Today we announce the spring semester calendar for Yale College based upon the recommendations of the University Calendar Committee. Graduate and professional school students will receive their academic calendars from the deans of their schools in the coming days.

This calendar allows us to build on what we have been able to achieve so far in the fall term. Although COVID-19 is well controlled locally, cases are surging in many other parts of the country. To help maintain the health of our home city and state, we must minimize travel outside of Connecticut.

For the spring semester, we will adjust the academic calendar by delaying the start date and eliminating spring break. Most schools, including Yale College, will begin classes on February 1 and end instruction on May 7. Five break days will be distributed throughout the semester to decompress the pace of the spring. Unless undergraduates receive permission to travel, they must remain in Connecticut during their days off.

Yale College Spring 2021 Calendar
Feb 1 Term starts; classes begin
Feb 22 First break day
March 9 Second break day
March 19 Last day of first half-term courses
March 22 First day of second half-term courses
March 24 Third break day
March 26 Midterm
April 8 Fourth break day
April 23 Fifth break day
May 7 Classes end
May 8-12 Reading period
May 13-19 Final exam period
May 19 Term ends
May 20-24 Senior Week
May 24 University Commencement

 
Undergraduate students will be able to move into on-campus residences on designated days in late January. Students will be required to take a pre-arrival test and follow testing and quarantine protocols upon arrival as set by the State of Connecticut and the university. Students will then maintain a regular testing schedule throughout the semester. All undergraduate courses will be taught fully online during the arrival quarantine period. The Yale College Dean’s Office will send students details about undergraduate move-in, testing, and quarantine in the coming weeks.
 

September 30, 2020

Over the past weeks, the Yale community’s shared commitment to protecting the health and safety of our campus and our city has been clearly visible and extremely impressive. Students, faculty, and staff alike have risen to the occasion by creating safer spaces in which to learn, live, and study and by practicing behaviors that will reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 to others.

What does it mean to be Green?

You may have noticed that we recently changed the university’s alert level to Green and wondered why. We made the move from Yellow to Green because we have completed the period when many students and others were arriving to campus from numerous locations. We considered this “arrival period” a time of heightened uncertainty, especially with regard to the risk of imported viral infections and the effectiveness with which the campus community would adopt our health and safety guidelines. Because we have passed through the arrival period with a low rate of viral infection and because community members have adopted the Community Compact and Community Expectations not just in letter but in spirit, we have moved to Green.

So what does Green mean? It simply means we are out of the arrival period. It means keep up the good work and don’t let your guard down. For now, all of our health and safety measures and restrictions, such as those pertaining to the size of events and gatherings, remain in place. However, if we continue to see great results regarding viral transmission, we may relax some restrictions in the future. But don’t expect we’ll be “back to normal” soon. Nothing is normal during a pandemic, and you are all keeping us healthy through your diligence.

Did you check in today?

One way we can protect the health of the campus, and our family and friends, is to monitor our health daily for symptoms that may be associated with COVID-19. If you do have symptoms, take good care of yourself and call your primary care provider, Yale Employee Health at 203-432-7978, Student Health at 203-432-0312 or the Campus COVID Resource Line at 203-432-6604. Additionally, it is extremely important that you stay at home and avoid interactions with others until you are cleared by a health care provider to return to normal activities.

Complete your Daily Health Check

The University requires the completion of health checks for enrolled students in residence and for faculty and staff who plan to come to campus. You can fulfill your University requirement easily by submitting a Daily Health Check through the:

Compliance with safety measures, such as the daily health check, is extremely important in safeguarding the health of the Yale community. Those who fail to abide by these measures may have their campus access restricted.

If you have concerns or questions related to this or other requirements, you may contact your Health and Safety Leader or the Campus COVID Resource Line.

September 25, 2020

While travel has many benefits, during the pandemic it poses an increased risk of virus transmission and importation of COVID-19 into our campus and New Haven communities. The university has therefore restricted Yale-sponsored travel and strongly encouraged community members to limit travel for any reason. That said, there are times when travel is necessary.

Whether the travel is for an approved university purpose or for a personal need, such as a family emergency, everyone arriving at or returning to Yale’s campus must take steps to protect the health and safety of our community.

Travel Outside of Connecticut

Yale students have committed to remain in Connecticut until November 21, 2020. Enrolled undergraduate students must obtain approval to travel from the Yale College Health and Safety Leader (HSL) and must complete an authorization form and submit it to the HSL prior to approved travel. Enrolled graduate and professional students should consult with their HSLs about any travel plans and must complete a travel notification form and submit it to their HSLs prior to traveling. Faculty and staff should consult with their HSLs or supervisors before deciding to travel, and they must obtain approval from their supervisors in advance for Yale-sponsored travel; the Off Campus Research and Field Work Committee may approve travel for off-campus research or field work. Additionally, staff members must notify their supervisors of travel plans and dates of return.

Travel into Connecticut

Because travel increases the chances of travelers contracting COVID-19 and spreading it to others, the Governor of Connecticut has ordered that travelers to Connecticut from states with a high incidence of COVID-19 must quarantine for 14 days following arrival. The same holds true for travelers to Connecticut from a country with a Centers for Disease Control Level 3 Risk rating. With the exception of essential workers traveling for work purposes, this State requirement applies to all students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

Testing Out of Quarantine

To support and supplement Governor Lamont’s Executive Order 9C, effective September 23, Yale is requiring additional precautionary measures for members of our community who arrive at or return to Yale from an affected state or country. More specifically, Yale will allow “testing out” of the 14-day quarantine requirement after two tests are taken subsequent to arrival or return, and each test produces a negative result.  Accordingly, faculty, staff and students traveling from affected states or countries may:

  • Quarantine in their rooms or residences for 14 days after arrival; OR
  • Obtain a COVID-19 test through the COVID-19 Screening Program on the first day after arrival and a second test no earlier than four days later and quarantine until both tests results are received and are negative.

If individuals select the test-out option and either test is positive for COVID-19, those individuals will not be released from quarantine and must isolate in accordance with university protocols.

Please note:

  • The Yale two-test requirement applies to those individuals who are living, studying or working on campus. Staff and students who are working and studying remotely can follow Connecticut’s single-test alternative.
  • Healthcare workers, including health professional students, and Yale Health and Yale Medicine patient-facing employees, must also test twice, but will be allowed to return to clinical work after a first negative test while following all appropriate self-monitoring and PPE requirements for their healthcare roles.

Our collective efforts are keeping Yale’s incidence rates of COVID-19 low, and we must not only continue but rather redouble these efforts to prevent the spread of the virus on our campus.

September 18, 2020

Yale offers many opportunities to make connections and establish friendships, which are often life-long. Now that more activities have resumed on campus and the student arrival quarantine has come to an end, people are eager to see one another and to explore Yale’s beautiful campus. As we enjoy the fall together, keep in mind that even with the current low incidence of COVID-19 on Yale’s campus, there is always the potential for viral transmission. As a community, we must continue to work together to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Step out and mask up

There is strong evidence that universal use of cloth face coverings or masks can reduce the spread of infection by containing respiratory droplets from an infected person when they cough, sneeze or talk. While wearing a cloth face covering or mask is a powerful tool in reducing the spread of COVID-19, to be most effective, it must be coupled with other preventive measures like physical distancing, frequent handwashing, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

About face coverings

Following CDC recommendations, and Connecticut Governor Lamont’s statewide order, members of the Yale community are required to wear face coverings when in any shared space (e.g., common work areas, hallways, and restrooms) or outside area—even when maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from others. Please continue to follow the established practices below:

  • Mask up. In Connecticut, you can be fined $100 for not wearing a mask.
  • Always carry a mask, even when you don’t plan to be around others.
  • Be sure your mouth, nose, and chin are fully covered by the mask as advised by the CDC.
  • Wash cloth face coverings regularly.
  • Do not use masks with exhalation valves.
  • Do not use a face mask meant for a healthcare worker. N95 respirators must be reserved for healthcare workers and medical first responders.
  • Follow EHS guidelines for the use of appropriate face coverings in research laboratories.

While we await vaccines and treatments that will effectively address the virus, it is important to comply with these simple yet proven measures. Remember, a face mask is meant to protect others—your friends, family, and colleagues—because any of us can carry the virus and spread the disease unknowingly, even if we have no symptoms.

With our collective commitment to ongoing vigilance, we can enjoy the special connections that a vibrant community like Yale offers and create a healthy Yale experience for all.

September 11, 2020

As our campus population grows with the return of students, faculty, and staff, testing for COVID-19 is a vital component of Yale’s strategy to prevent the spread of the virus  and to promote a healthy Yale for all who teach, learn, and work at the University. Our protocols have been developed to focus our testing on those circumstances where an infection may be most likely to lead to a larger outbreak. The By the Numbers information below shares our daily test results through September 9, 2020.
While the numbers have been low thus far, we must maintain our vigilance and our collective commitment to taking the actions necessary to protect our community—being mindful that testing supplements but does not replace the need for each of us to follow all of Yale’s health and safety measures.

Advantages of COVID-19 testing

Frequent testing for COVID-19 allows the University to identify asymptomatic cases of infection, provide treatment and advice to those who test positive, and curb the further spread of the virus on campus and in the New Haven community. By notifying and isolating asymptomatic individuals who test positive, we can prevent them from unknowingly transmitting the virus to others. Since August 1, almost 25,000 tests have been performed on Yale students, faculty, and staff. To learn more about the testing program and how it works, visit the Yale COVID-19 Screening Program website.

Testing is one part of our overall strategy to reduce the likelihood of asymptomatic spread of infection in our community. As we have seen in other university settings, testing will not prevent outbreaks if other healthy community behaviors are not in place. Wearing a mask, social distancing, consistent hand hygiene, and following University guidance related to gatherings are equally critical in our prevention strategy.

Required COVID-19 testing for students

The University requires all undergraduates and graduate and professional students who live in certain dormitory style housing to be tested twice weekly. Graduate and professional students who do not reside in dormitory style housing may voluntarily undergo testing up to one time per week. All students assume a shared responsibility to keep Yale healthy by completing their daily health check and participating in COVID-19 testing.

Required and voluntary COVID-19 testing for faculty and staff

Certain staff have been identified as having a higher likelihood of exposure to the virus in their day-to-day activities. These staff are required to have testing once per week.

Yale provides free voluntary asymptomatic COVID-19 testing up to one time per week for all faculty, staff, and postdoctoral trainees who will be on campus during the fall semester. Please consult these guidelines for current updates to this policy.

Symptomatic COVID-19 testing for students, faculty and staff

Yale Health provides testing and care for symptomatic individuals. Remember, if you do become ill with COVID-19 symptoms, stay home, contact your healthcare provider or the Campus COVID Resource Line immediately and follow their guidance.

By working together, we can honor our collective responsibility to each other, build a more connected community, and make an important contribution to a more healthy Yale.
 

September 4, 2020

Contact tracing involves notifying people who have recently been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 about their  exposure and ensuring that they can take care of themselves and limit further spread of the virus. This is a critical public health activity that is essential to keeping our campus and surrounding community as safe as possible during this pandemic.
All members of Yale’s Contact Tracing Team (YCTT) are highly trained in an evidence-based protocol that is informed by CDC guidance. Cooperation with the YCTT is essential to promoting a safe environment for all of us.

What happens if I test positive for COVID-19?

Yale Health clinicians will ask you to isolate—even if you are asymptomatic—and continue to monitor your health. A member of Yale’s YCTT will call you to discuss your close contacts (people with whom you were within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) and recent activities. Your identity and medical information will be kept confidential. Because a complete and candid conversation is critical to the success of the contact tracing program, information you give to the YCTT about close contacts will not be used for other purposes, including discipline. After speaking to you, the YCCT will notify close contacts of their potential exposure and provide support and guidance.

What happens if I’m notified that I am a close contact?

If you have been notified by the YCCT that you were in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, the YCCT representative will ask you to quarantine and perform a daily health check for 14 days after the date of the exposure. Because close contacts may develop a COVID-19 infection, adhering to the quarantine is essential to preventing ongoing virus transmission. While quarantining, limit your interactions with others, maintain the proper social distance, and wear a mask whenever in the presence of others. Connecting with friends and family will be important for your wellbeing during this time and you are encouraged to do so virtually. If any symptoms of COVID-19 appear, please get in touch with your primary health care provider right away or call the Campus COVID Resource Line at 203-432-6604.

Guidance for what to do during quarantine:

- Fact Sheet for Students On Campus
- Fact Sheet for Students Off Campus
- Fact Sheet for Faculty & Staff
 

Complete your Daily Health Check Keep track of everyone with whom you’ve been in contact Help slow the spread of COVID-19
Remember, symptoms can appear 2-14 days after exposure. If you test positive for COVID-19, this information will be helpful to share with Yale’s contact tracing team.
Note where your activity with others took place.
Yale’s CTT will only contact people with whom you have been in close contact (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes).
Your identity will not be shared.

Thank you for following all our preventive measures and taking swift action whenever questions of health and safety arise. The wellbeing of each of us depends on the actions and commitment of all of us.

August 28, 2020

As move-in week for undergraduates concludes, we are seeing a small number of positive COVID-19 cases, which was not unanticipated. The By the Numbers information below shares a high-level overview of Yale data on testing and positive cases.

We need to rely on our continued vigilance and the collective actions of our community if we are to keep these numbers low.

While we are continually learning more about COVID-19, it is clear that the most common way for the virus to spread is through person-to-person interactions. One way to reduce the risk of spread is to follow our health and safety guidelines, such as mask wearing and social distancing. Another important strategy for reducing transmission of the virus is to identify those with infections and instruct them to isolate while they are infectious.  It is also important to identify close contacts of infected individuals and instruct them to quarantine during the time when they might develop the disease as a result of their close exposure.  The goal is to keep those in isolation and quarantine healthy, but separated, to prevent the spread of the virus to others.

When should I quarantine?

Quarantining prevents you from unknowingly infecting others, if you have been exposed to the virus and are at risk for developing an infection as a result of that exposure.

Arrival Quarantine: If you are arriving to campus or returning from travel from a state with a high positive test rate, you are required to remain in your residence for 14 days, following the instructions issued by the State of Connecticut. Undergraduates living on campus have additional restrictions as described in the Yale College FAQs:

Contact Quarantine: If you have been in close contact–within 6 feet of distance for more than 15 minutes–with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 you will need to quarantine in your residence for 14 days.  You may be notified of the need to quarantine through Yale’s contact tracing program.

When should I isolate?

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or been told by your health care provider that you have COVID-19, you must separate yourself from others who are not infected—even if you have no symptoms. You should get medical advice, especially if you have COVID-19 symptoms, by calling your primary care provider or one of the key resources listed below for assistance.  Yale Health will also provide clinical advice during your self-isolation and let you know when you may resume your normal activities. Additionally, you will be referred for contact tracing to identify others who may be at risk for infection.

I encourage you to review the health and safety guidelines webpage for more information regarding these topics. In addition, please reach out to any of the key resources listed below whenever a question arises.

  • Campus COVID Resource Line (CCRL)  - 203.432.6604
  • Mental Health and Counseling - 203.432.0290
  • Student Health - (203)-432-0312
  • Yale Employee Health - (203)-432-7978

August 14, 2020

In accordance with State of Connecticut Reopen rules, and, more importantly, to support best public health practices on our campus, I am providing weekly reminders on polices intended to promote campus safety. These reminders are meant to complement and reinforce the information presented in the Return to Yale Campus Training and Yale University  COVID-19 Workplace Guidance website. Today I will focus on the importance of following protocols for person-to-person transactions.

Person-to-Person Transactions

Casual face-to-face interactions, commonplace until recently, may now be a source of concern. In order to protect our community, we have established protocols for the ways that we interact and we’ve developed new practices to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Many of us engage in campus activities involving brief personal interactions that customarily have occurred at close range. Some examples of these interactions include riding in elevators, checking out books, registering, distributing materials or paperwork, and purchasing items. In order to reduce exposure and minimize the need for face-to-face interactions in the workplace, the university has worked hard to change procedures, rethink logistics, and alter layouts.  For instance, offices are:

  • Requiring everyone to wear a mask or face covering.
  • Maximizing the ability maintain the 6 feet distancing during transactions.
  • Reimagining processes to minimize the duration of individual transactions.
  • Scheduling appointments to prevent lines and crowding.
  • Using signage to indicate appropriate spacing if queues are necessary.
  • Using temporary barriers (e.g., plexiglass shields) in those rare instances when distancing is not feasible. For example, at a reception desk, check-in area, or cashier station.
  • Making hand sanitizers available and ensuring that they are used if materials are exchanged.
  • Posting maximum occupancy limits.

Observing these protocols and maintaining health and safety awareness even in brief encounters will support our collective efforts to reduce the spread of COVID‐19 and protect the health of our community.

August 7, 2020

In accordance with State of Connecticut Reopen rules, and, more importantly, to support best public health practices on our campus, I am providing weekly reminders on polices intended to promote campus safety. These reminders are meant to complement and reinforce the information presented in the Return to Yale Campus Training and Yale University  COVID-19 Workplace Guidance website. Today I will focus on important information regarding travel into Connecticut.

Connecticut’s Requirements for Travelers (including residents)

Before COVID-19, most of us gave little thought to passing beyond the borders of our state for business or pleasure and then returning home. With rates of positive COVID-19 cases on the rise across the nation, the State of Connecticut has created stringent rules for travel into our state.
 
The FAQs below will help you to find the information that you need in order to comply with the state rules and to understand how your travel may impact your work at Yale.

What are the current state requirements and where can I find them?

Current requirements include registration and self-quarantine for individuals entering Connecticut from a number of states where viral transmission is high or rising (identified states). The state website (https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/Travel) contains the most up-to-date information, including the current list of identified states, which changes at least weekly.

Do these rules apply to me if I live in Connecticut?

These rules also apply to all travelers, including Connecticut residents if they have traveled outside of Connecticut.

Are there forms that I need to complete?

Anyone entering from one of the identified states (https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/Travel) must fill out a travel health form upon arrival. Travelers can fill out the form online at ct.gov/travelform.

Are there exceptions to the policy?

There are a few exceptions to the policy that apply, for example, to travelers who will be in the state for less than 24 hours and for certain categories of workers if they have traveled for work purposes. There is an extensive list of FAQs on the state website (https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/Travel) which provides details about these exceptions.

Can travelers be tested for COVID-19 instead of self-quarantine?

In general, no. The state has provided a testing alternative that applies only to very rare circumstances. You may refer to the state website to determine if this narrow exemption would apply to you.

If travel out of state requires me to self-quarantine, will I be paid my normal salary and/or will I have to use paid time off?

You should avoid traveling to any state included in the Governor’s travel advisory as of the date of your travel. Staff members who are required to work on campus and choose to travel to a restricted state will be expected to self-quarantine consistent with the Governor’s order and will have to use their allotment of paid time off (i.e. vacation, PTO) during this period. Health care staff, staff working in essential functions, and those traveling on Yale-related business should check with their supervisors for additional information.

As members of the Yale, New Haven, and Connecticut communities, we each have a responsibility to understand and follow the rules that apply to us. By working together, we can help to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Please remember that you may call the Campus COVID‐19 Resource Line at 203‐432‐6604 (toll‐free at 866‐924‐9253) between 8 am and 5 pm, 7 days a week for personal health concerns and questions about Yale’s COVID‐19 response and policies.

July 31, 2020

Update from the University COVID-19 Coordinator

In accordance with State of Connecticut Reopen rules, and, more importantly, to support best public health practices on our campus, I am providing weekly reminders on polices intended to promote campus safety. These reminders are meant to complement and reinforce the information presented in the Return to Yale Campus Training and Yale University  COVID-19 Workplace Guidance website. Today I will focus on helping you to understand the requirements and process for performing a daily health check for symptoms prior to coming to campus.

Understanding Yale’s Daily Health Check Requirement

As a community, we must be considerate of the health and safety of our families, students, faculty, staff, and neighbors. One way that we can work together to help to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is for Yale community members to monitor for certain symptoms through a process called the Daily Health Check.  Following the process outlined below will help you to ensure that you are symptom-free prior to coming to campus and complying with Yale requirements. It will also provide guidance if you do develop symptoms.

1.  Am I required to perform the Daily Health Check to monitor for symptoms?

All faculty, students, and staff who plan to come to campus must monitor their health for symptoms of COVID-19 before arriving on campus each day.

2.  What are my options for reporting my Daily Health Check?
In General:

Please note that certain groups (e.g. Yale Medicine physicians, Local 35 staff) may be utilizing alternative protocols approved by the University. In these instances, individuals will receive instructions from their department.

3.  What symptoms should I monitor for?
  • Fever greater than 99.9o F or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
 4 .  What should I do if I have any of these symptoms?
  • Stay home and call your primary care provider (PCP). If you do not have a PCP, call Yale Employee Health (203-432-7978), Student Health (203-432-0312) or the Campus COVID Resource Line (203-432-6604).
    • Clinical staff will advise you on how to monitor and treat your symptoms, and how to protect others from exposure.
  • Call your dean, departmental designee, or supervisor to let them know you will be staying home.
  • Do not return to campus (or leave your on-campus residence) until you have clinical clearance from your PCP, Employee Health, or Student Health to do so.

Following the Daily Health Check process is a critical way for us to continue to work together to reduce the spread of COVID‐19 and for you to protect your own health.

July 24, 2020

Update from Karsten Heeger, Chair

The Physics Department has started to operate under Phase II of Yale’s campus plan for research reactivation. Phase II broadens access to campus so long as there continues to be adherence to Yale’s guidance on physical distancing, room density and other public safety measures. Working from home is still recommended and strongly encouraged.
 
Before coming to campus 
1. please complete the EHS training 
 
2. your health check 
 
While on campus 
Please follow all current guidelines for social distancing and wear face masks. Please also follow the posted signs for maximum occupancy of rooms. Social distancing is required in all common areas. 
 
Office Use
Research Scientists and Postdocs with double occupancy offices will coordinate the office use with their office neighbor using their preferred means of communication to ensure <50% occupancy in all offices.  In double occupancy offices this limits occupancy to only one person at a time. Everyone will use their own desk and, keyboard and computer. 
 
For Graduate Students and Postdocs in shared offices the occupants of the shared group office will coordinate the office use through their preferred means of communication such as Slack, Google, doc, Google calendar. PIs will be responsible for ensuring that all occupants follow the guidelines for social distancing and < 50% occupancy. 
 
PIs are responsible that their groups follow the guidance for < 50% occupancy and social distancing in their group offices. I have asked PIs to send me their plans for shared spaces. Please consult with your PI before coming to campus. 
 
For Graduate Students in years 1 and 2 in the shared SPL offices without a research group we will send out special instructions.
 
PPE Kits
For everyone returning to campus under Phase II (and who is not engaged in laboratory research) the department will make a bulk order of PPE kits. We will let you know when they are available and how to retrieve them. Research groups with laboratory activities and EHS integrator plans will receive PPE directly from EHS and their PIs.  
 
Laboratory Activities
are coordinated through the PIs and their research plans. Please discuss laboratory work with your PI before coming to campus. 
 
Questions
If you have any questions please contact the building contacts Hannah Carroll (SPL, HH, SCL), Sid Cahn (SPL, SCL), Jeff Ashenfelter (WL), Frank Lopez (WL)
 

Update from the University COVID-19 Coordinator

In accordance with State of Connecticut Reopen rules, and, more importantly, to support best public health practices on our campus, I am providing weekly reminders on polices intended to promote campus safety. These reminders are meant to complement and reinforce the information presented in the Return to Yale Campus Training and Yale University  COVID-19 Workplace Guidance website.  Today I will focus on why it is critical to wear a cloth face covering or mask in public or shared spaces.

Wear A Cloth Face Covering or Mask in Public or Shared Spaces

Wearing a cloth face covering or mask in public or shared spaces is a powerful tool to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by helping to contain the transmission of respiratory droplets from an infected person when they cough, sneeze or talk.  Even if you are asymptomatic or “pre-symptomatic” (those who eventually develop symptoms), you are less likely to transmit the virus to others by covering your mouth and nose. Cloth face coverings and masks are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used.

For these reasons and in accordance with the Governor’s order, all members of the Yale community are expected to wear a cloth face covering or mask when outdoors on campus or in shared spaces, like common work areas, hallways, and restrooms. The University will provide these supplies to all members of the Yale community.

How to Wear a Face Covering Correctly

•    Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before putting on your face covering and after removing it.
•    Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
•    Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face-tie or secure it to prevent slipping.
•    Make sure you can breathe easily.  Remove it if you have difficulty breathing and let your supervisor know.

It’s also important to remember that cloth face coverings and masks are not a substitute for other important public health measures like social distancing, frequent handwashing, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.  Respecting and supporting all of these requirements are critical ways for us to continue to work together to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Resources:
Face Coverings in Public Settings
https://ehs.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/face-masks-coverings.pdf
About Cloth Face Coverings
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html
 

July 20, 2020

Update from the University COVID-19 Coordinator

In accordance with State of Connecticut Reopen rules, and, more importantly, to support best public health practices on our campus, I am providing weekly reminders on polices intended to promote campus safety. These reminders are meant to complement and reinforce the information presented in the Return to Yale Campus Training and Yale University  COVID-19 Workplace Guidance website.  Today I will focus on social distancing guidelines.

Practice Social Distancing in Your Work Space and in Public Settings

Physical distancing, also called “social distancing,” means keeping 6 feet (2 meters) or greater distance between yourself and other people outside of your home. Limiting face-to-face contact with others is the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This reduces exposure to respiratory droplets from an infected person, including people who have COVID-19 but are asymptomatic.

Social distancing measures include:
  • Maintaining 6 feet (2 meters) or greater distance from others at work and in public spaces such as stores, parking lots and garages, elevators, stairways, and bathrooms;
  • Avoiding group gatherings and using remote technology whenever possible;
  • Observing posted occupancy limits in all spaces; and
  • Being aware that a face covering or mask is not a substitute for social distancing.  

 
 

July 14, 2020

Preparing for campus access during Phase II starting July 20

Next week the university will enter Phase II of the research reactivation on campus. For more information please see 

https://research.yale.edu/phase-2-research-reactivation

This will allow researchers including postdocs and graduate students to access campus facilities, labs, and offices for research. 

The guiding principles are

  • wear a mask
  • practice social distancing 
  • <50% density of personnel in all spaces (including labs and offices) 

To access campus you will need to 

  • have an authorization 
  • complete EHS training 
  • perform health checks and symptom monitoring before you come to campus 
  • follow rules for social distancing and PPE

To get authorization

  • If your group has a Phase I authorization for campus access you don’t need to do much. Please review your EHS Integrator plan, add any location or personnel you might want to add, and submit the revised plan.
  • If you and your group do not have authorization for campus access yet, please fill out an EHS Integrator plan for Phase II for review and approval. 

Department Plan for Group Offices and Shared Spaces 

In addition to the PI plans I will need to submit a department plan that ensures we will follow the guiding principles of social distancing and personnel density in all department spaces. One of the most challenging aspects will be coordinating the use of group offices for graduate students and postdocs and use of shared laboratories. To coordinate this I will need all of your help. Our department is spread over several buildings and every group has a different way of using their office spaces. 

To help me put together the department plan I ask that every PI whose group is expected to return to campus under Phase II send me a short plan (few sentences) for how will you and your group ensure < 50% personnel density and social distancing of > 6ft in your group offices and laboratories? If you have a shared group office with another PI please coordinate through Google doc, Slack etc. Please send me your group’s plan for the use of shared offices and labs by Thursday, July 16.

Together with the graduate program team we will develop a separate plan for the shared graduate student spaces for 1st and 2nd years in SPL.

July 9, 2020

Update from the University COVID-19 Coordinator

In accordance with State of Connecticut Reopen rules, and, more importantly, to support best public health practices on our campus, I am providing weekly reminders on polices intended to promote campus safety. These reminders are meant to complement and reinforce the information presented in the Return to Yale Campus Training and Yale University  COVID-19 Workplace Guidance website.  Today I will focus on how you can address questions and report concerns related to the implementation of COVID-19 guidance and policies.

Options for Addressing Questions and Concerns

If you have questions and/or concerns related to the implementation of COVID-19 guidance, you have multiple avenues available to you. Please know you cannot be retaliated against for raising concerns about COVID-19 related safety and health conditions.

Call the Campus COVID-19 Resource Line

For personal health concerns and questions about Yale’s COVID-19 response and policies, you may call 203-432-6604 (toll-free at 866-924-9253). Available 8 am–5 pm, 7 days a week.

Report a COVID-19 Compliance Concern to Yale

If you are comfortable doing so, you may report a concern about compliance with COVID-19 health and safety policies or regulations directly to your staff supervisor, your human resources representative, or a supervising faculty member. You may also make an anonymous or identified report through Yale’s hotline at 877-360-9253, or online at your.yale.edu/hotline. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Report a COVID-19 Concern to the State

You may also report a concern or seek additional COVID-19 information by contacting the 2-1-1 Connecticut Hotline.

Stephanie S. Spangler, M.D.
Vice Provost for Health Affairs and Academic Integrity
Clinical Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences
University COVID-19 Coordinator

July 6, 2020

Yale Childcare Information

Yale Babysitting Service – Current Yale students register as babysitters. Faculty, staff, students can post a job and/or contact sitters directly. CAS access only.  
 
Summer 2020 Interim Babysitting Website – Current Yale employees can sponsor a dependent 15 years and older to provide babysitting. Faculty, staff, students can access the site, view the babysitter profiles, and contact the “sponsor” directly to arrange care. CAS access only.
 
All Our Kin Family Child Care Provider Showcase - All Our Kin trains, supports, and sustains community child care providers to ensure that children and families have the foundation they need to succeed in school and in life. The providers in the showcase have reached the highest level of family child care providers.
 
Child Care Resources/Benefits at Yale by classification – An excellent chart that can be found on the Yale COVID-19 Child Care website. 

July 1, 2020

Fall 2020

Yale will welcome graduate and professional school students and a portion of the undergraduate population back to campus for the fall semester. Nearly all Yale College courses will be taught remotely, so that all undergraduate students can enroll. Graduate and professional schools will offer different combinations of in-person and remote teaching. We also will continue our reactivation of on-site research and many other university operations with strict health precautions in place. These decisions are possible because of the continued decline in community transmission of COVID-19 in Connecticut, the creation of a university-wide COVID-19 screening program, and the implementation of other health and safety actions.

June 29, 2020

Research Reactivation Phase 2 on July 20th

Faculty, staff, and trainees who are returning to campus only to access office spaces during Phase 2 will receive information from their schools, divisions or departments outlining the local procedures, timing, and guidelines for use of office spaces without the need for a specific research activation application. During Phase 2, faculty who conduct laboratory research, field research, and research involving in-person human subjects, who have not already done so, will need to submit a research reactivation application with a laboratory specific safety plan, as was required in Phase 1. Authorization of the safety plan is required for resumption of their laboratory, field research or human subjects research. 

All faculty, staff and trainees who return to campus for Phase 2 must abide by Yale’s public health guidelines, which include completing online COVID-19: Return to Yale Campus training and a daily health check using a web form or a downloadable mobile application. While on campus, face coverings must be worn at all times in public spaces, individuals must maintain 6-feet physical distance, and all shared spaces must be limited to no more than 50% of normal occupancy. These and other local details about Phase2 of Yale’s Research Reactivation will be shared with you by your schools, divisions or departments in the next few weeks.

/june26June 26, 2020

Take action now to avoid disruptions using Zoom after July 19

To improve the security and privacy of the Zoom platform and its meeting participants, Zoom will require that all meetings have either a Passcode or a Waiting Room enabled as of Sunday, July 19. Zoom is renaming meeting “Passwords” to “Passcodes” to better align with its role of allowing people in a meeting.

If your meeting does not have a passcode, the Waiting Room will be enabled, and you will need to admit participants to the meeting. Participants will see a screen showing they are in the waiting room and the Host will see a message showing someone is in the waiting room. Participants who sign into Zoom prior to joining the meeting will bypass the waiting room.

June 15, 2020

Machine shop access at Wright Lab during Phase I

JW Gibbs shop

The professional machine shop is operational and ready for work. If you are in need of  getting a part made or machined please contact shop supervisor Vincent Bernardo at  vincent.bernardo@yale.edu to arrange an online Zoom consultation and discuss your needs. No walk-in consultations.  

Advanced Prototyping Center (APC)

The APC is operational but only for APC personnel. No walk-ins or direct work by users. Please contact James Nikkel at james.nikkel@yale.edu if you need to get a part made using one of the machines in the APC. He will arrange for one of the APC experts to help you.

Research and Teaching Shops

The research and teaching shops will open soon under the supervision of David Johnson and Craig Miller.  You will receive a separate email confirmation once the shops are open. To use these shops please contact David Johnson <david.w.johnson@yale.edu> for the teaching shop and Craig Miller <craig.miller@yale.edu> for the research shop to schedule a time when you can come and use the machines. Please allow sufficient time and schedule your appointment at least a day in advance.
 
At the time of your appointment you will need to swipe in and out of the shop space using your Yale ID card. You will be asked to wash your hands when you enter and leave the shop space. Due to the need for cleaning, the initial working hours of both the research and teaching shops will be 9-12pm and 12.30-3pm. You are expected to wear a surgical masks in the shop and clean up your space after your work. To allow for proper social distancing and shop supervision the number of users (besides shop supervisors) in the teaching shop will be limited to 2, and to 1 in the research shop.

June 1, 2020

Notice to faculty, staff and trainees about Phase 1 Research Reactivation

Phase 1 of Yale’s measured research reactivation plan will start on Monday, June 1st. Investigators will be cleared over the course of the coming week to return to campus, if their lab and department safety plans and approvals are in order. Authorization to return to campus is being spaced out over several days to ease the strain of reactivating campus infrastructure, and allow for the delivery of laboratory (PPE) ‘Welcome Kits’.  Faculty and facility directors who submitted safety plans for approval will receive an authorization notice from EHS Integrator for the approved investigators in their labs to return to campus. Faculty are expected to forward the authorization notice and communicate with their trainees and staff to coordinate shifts and their return to campus schedules, providing flexibility given the rapidly changing conditions. Faculty should also convey their laboratory safety plans, including expectations for PPE use, dedensification, disinfecting procedures, and any other operational plans to trainees and staff. 

Please note: Faculty and facility directors who have not received an email authorization notice from EHS integrator are not yet approved to return to campus, and should wait until they have received a notice before bringing their labs back to campus. Similarly, staff and trainees who have not been notified by their supervisor to return to campus, should wait until they have received communication from their supervisor and coordinate their schedules with their supervisor before returning to campus.
 
For additional information on Phase 1 reactivation and all the reactivation steps, see the Research at Yale website.

Signage update:

In general, EHS is putting up the legally required signs, and Facilities is putting up the other in-building signs. They all share design elements. They are posting them all as PDFs at https://ehs.yale.edu/covid-19-posters. If anyone sees a need for another sign or wants the nicely printed copies, let me know.

May 29, 2020

2020-21 Academic Calendar (revised)

Fall 2020

Aug 24, 2020 - Aug 28, 2020
Move-in, if in residence

Aug 31, 2020
Classes start

Nov 21, 2020  - Nov 29, 2020
November break

Nov 30, 2020 - Dec 4, 2020
Last week of classes online

Dec 7, 2020 - Dec 10, 2020
Online reading period

Dec 11, 2020 - Dec 18, 2020
Online final exam period

Spring 2021

Forthcoming

May 28, 2020

SEAS & Science Safety Committees

SEAS Safety Committee
Fahmeed Hyder, Sohrab Ismail-Beigi, Corey O’Hern, Mark Reed, Brian Scassellati, Vince Wilczynski, Julie Zimmerman 

Science Safety Committee
Jay Ague, Ron Breaker, Casey Dunn, Don Engelman, Larry Gladney, Scott Miller, Wilhelm Schlag, Pieter von Dokkum

These committees will be reviewing Phase 1 research proposals and providing recommendations to the FAS Dean of Science. They will help ensure that we hold our research community to a consistently high standard of safety across disciplines. In addition to your department chair, these safety officers will serve as a point of contact for any concerns or suggestions for improvement you may have within your department. 

May 26, 2020

New campus COVID resource line

Here is the new Campus COVID Resource Line: 203-432-6604, toll free 866-924-9253, which is staffed by Advanced Practice Nursing Students 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is the  one stop shop if there is a COVID health concern by staff/trainees/faculty.

May 21, 2020

Resources for Phase 1 Research Reactivation

·  COVID-19: Returning to Yale

· EHS: Return to Yale

· Overview and Instructions for Faculty for Phase 1 Research Reactivation

·  Research Reactivation Phases

·  Overview for using EHS Integrator Phase 1 Reactivation and Video

·  EHS Integrator

·  Expectations of Working in Laboratories during the COVID-19 Pandemic

·  Laboratory Ramp-up Checklist

·  EHS Instructions for Return to Laboratory Research Phase 1

·  FAQs - Phase 1 Research Reactivation

·  FAQs for Library Reopening

·  YARC Guidance 

·  Lab PPE Guidance

·  Trainee Accommodations Guidance

· University Hotline  (for reporting violations)

There will be a call center opening in the coming week that will be a single number to address both possible COVID-19- symptomatic and positive individuals.  We will advise you on this procedure when it is ready.

This is the current protocol to report COVID-19 positive cases:   

  • If the person has symptoms, but has not been tested, have them contact employee health (203-432-7978). They will advise on testing and provide information on next steps.
  • If someone who is COVID-19 positive has been in your workspace or laboratory, immediately          contact your Human Resource Generalist (HRG). Your HRG will ensure that public health authorities will implement measures to trace contacts, etc. Your HRG can also answer any questions about minimizing transmission of COVID-19 to other workplace occupants. In addition, immediately contact Facilities (203-432-6888) and EHS (203-785-3550) to implement enhanced cleaning. A restricted access sign (last page of this pdf link) should be placed on the door of the area that requires cleaning. This is the same for non-lab areas.

May 18, 2020

Instructions for Faculty for Phase 1 Research Reactivation 

Provost announcement

Reactivation phases

Overview and Instructions for Faculty for Phase 1 Research Reactivation includes:

  • Helpful Information for Review Before Return to Campus
  • How to Apply for Permission to Return to Campus (including Integrator link)
    • Please note  that you must be on the Yale network to access EHS Integrator. If you are not on the Yale network or Yale Secure wi-fi, you must first begin a VPN secure connection (via Cisco Any Connect).
  • Current Status of Campus Operations
  • Contacts for help (including how to report COVID-19 positive person in your lab)

Research Registration Reactivation Demo

For questions regarding your Phase 1 research plan in Physics please consult first with the building contacts: Sid Cahn (SPL, YSB) and Jeff Ashenfelter and Frank Lopez (WL).
 
For questions regarding EHS Integrator, please email ehsintegrator@yale.edu or call 203-737-2122 with any questions.
 

May 13, 2020

Message from Karsten Heeger, Physics Department Chair

At this point in time access to these buildings is still limited to personnel who are authorized for critical maintenance activities. If you are part of this group, you have been notified and face masks have been issued to you from the university. Everyone else is expected to stay off campus. While the State of Connecticut and parts of the country are working towards a re-opening in the coming days, the current access restrictions to campus remain for now. If you have a need to retrieve items from campus please contact one of our building contacts:
 
Hannah Carroll and Sid Cahn for SPL, SCL, HH.
Jeff Ashenfelter and Frank Lopez for WL.
 
They will arrange a pick up for you or schedule a time with you to retrieve your items. Please do not simply enter the buildings. The university has observed an increase in unauthorized building access across campus. Unless we follow the current rules we run the risk of delaying the return to campus and the restart of our research activities.
 

April 29, 2020

Message from Karsten Heeger, Physics Department Chair

At this point only critical personnel authorized by the Dean’s Office for critical maintenance activities in labs are allowed to enter the buildings and work on campus. Everyone else is expected to remain off-site. If you have not received an email you are not on the list of critical personnel.
 
We do realize that the extended period of off-campus work poses significant challenges, and some of you may need to retrieve some items from your office or lab to effectively continue work from home. To allow for this possibility,  the following people are the designated point of contacts for the following Physics buildings. They will coordinate the pick up of items or find ways of getting them to you. Eventually, they will also help implement building-specific procedures for access when we start limited on-campus work. 
 

SPL, Hillhouse, SCL

Hannah Carroll
Sidney Cahn
 

Wright Lab

Jeff Ashenfelter
Frank Lopez

April 28, 2020

Message from Scott Strobel, Provost & Jack Callahan, Jr., Senior Vice President for Operations

We are writing to ask all members of the Yale community to wear masks or other face coverings in public, including when you are in shared spaces on campus.  This simple measure will help protect the health and safety of our community and slow the spread of COVID-19.