Welcome

Updated April 3, 2020

Yale is taking actions to prevent and slow the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Current scientific and medical evidence suggests that preemptive public health measures are more effective than those that are reactive. By being proactive as a community, we can safeguard our own health and the well-being of those with whom we interact. See new guidance below.

Cases of COVID-19 at Yale

Members of the Yale community have tested positive for COVID-19. Please respect their privacy and allow them to rest and recover. Now more than ever, we need to treat one another with care, understanding, and respect.

University Guidance on This Page

Important Information on This Page

Resources for Yale Faculty, Staff, and Students

Information for academic continuity, the workplace, and professional schools and institutes


University Guidance

Following federal domestic and international travel guidance

The following is an update and elaboration on previously announced travel policies. Please note that this guidance pertains to faculty, staff, and graduate and professional students.

University-sponsored travel, including summer travel (Travel is considered university-sponsored if it draws on a university-administered funding source.)

  • All university-sponsored international and domestic travel is now prohibited.
  • If possible, find ways to conduct the work online.
  • These restrictions will remain in place until further notice. 

Personal travel, including summer travel

  • For personal travel, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential travel to any destination.  We urge you to carefully reconsider your travel choices and avoid traveling if possible. See guidance from the CDC.
  • The CDC does not generally issue advisories or restrictions for travel within the U.S. However, cases of COVID-19 have been reported in all states, and some areas are experiencing community spread of the disease. Crowded travel settings, like airports, may increase chances of getting COVID-19, if there are other travelers with coronavirus infection. The CDC website contains a list of things you should consider when deciding whether it is safe for you to travel.
  • If you are considering personal travel outside of the U.S., consider the following guidance from the U.S. Department of State and CDC. 

Department of State guidance

Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel

The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.  U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel. Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice. Airlines have cancelled many international flights and several cruise operators have suspended operations or cancelled trips. If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe. Read more at the Department of State website.

CDC guidance

We strongly encourage you to review the table below, which summarizes CDC travel notices and Yale Health guidance. This table will be updated regularly.

CDC Travel Notice Countries and Regions (as designated by CDC) Yale Health Guidance*
Warning – Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel –  Widespread ongoing transmission with restrictions on entry to the United States
  • China (this does not include Hong Kong, Macau, or Taiwan)
  • Iran
  • Most European Countries
  • United Kingdom and Ireland
Warning – Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel – Widespread ongoing transmission without restrictions on entry to the United States
  • All global destinations
*If you experience fever, cough, or difficulty breathing and you have had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient and/or traveled from a location with a Level 3 travel notice within 14 days of the onset of illness, stay home and contact a healthcare provider for guidance—do not go to a healthcare facility before you have called your doctor or a hospital emergency room for instructions. If you are a Yale student or Yale Health member, you should contact Internal Medicine (203-432-0038), Student Health (203-432-0312), or Pediatrics (203-432-0206) from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For urgent attention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, please call Yale Health Acute Care (203-432-0123). If you are an Aetna member, please contact your primary care provider.

Discouraging visitors from coming to campus

All visitors to campus are subject to the same guidelines as the campus community. If you are hosting visitors, please remind them to review carefully and follow travel and health guidance and to take precautions for their well-being and safety.

Visitors who have been in an area designated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as “Level 3 – Avoid Nonessential Travel” within the past 14 days are not allowed to visit campus. 

To protect everyone’s health, we discourage you from hosting visitors on campus. We need to be particularly mindful of those who may be more susceptible to COVID-19, such as older adults and those with chronic medical conditions.

  • We ask you to cancel, postpone, or make virtual all meetings with visitors who are older or have chronic medical conditions.
  • Please cancel or postpone all K–12 programs and visits to be held at Yale from now through at the soonest June 28.

If you must host international visitors on campus, please do the following:

  • Share this information with your visitor(s) for awareness.
  • For groups that include international visitors, obtain travel and arrival details, including arrival dates, a full travel itinerary, and travel history for your guest’s or group’s visit.
  • Ensure you and your visitor(s) have exchanged local contact information and other important details prior to arrival.
  • Establish a communication plan with your visitor(s) for arrival, accounting for any immigration issues, health screening, health issues, or travel delays.
  • If a visitor informs you they are feeling sick, contact Yale Health (203-432-6604).

Visitors should follow these instructions before they leave for their trip:

  • Provide your campus host with a complete and full travel itinerary and history including arrival dates and locations within the U.S. and internationally.
  • Review CDC information and advice on coronavirus, flu season, and prevention.
  • Allow extra time when passing through airports, taking into account temperature and health screenings that many international airports have implemented since the COVID-19 outbreak began.
  • Do not travel if you are sick; travelers who are sick face the risk of being quarantined and tested.
  • Monitor the latest information on the virus, as well as quarantine and isolation procedures being implemented at airports of your destination and the point of origin.
  • If you become sick during your visit, immediately self-isolate, contact your campus host, and call a health care facility before you go to a clinic. Alert your health care provider of your symptoms and recent travel history.

Visitors to campus in summer 
The uncertainty surrounding when we will be able to resume normal operations dictates that all visits to Yale should be postponed at least until June 28.

Canceling in-person summer programs

All in-person, campus-based programming through June 27 is cancelled. A decision on holding in-person programs from June 28 to early August will be made once more information on the pandemic becomes available and public health experts advise university leadership. Programs scheduled for the entire summer are encouraged to operate remotely or online, in case cancellations must continue beyond June 27.

Students should consult their individual schools and programs to explore options for alternate summer study, research, and work. Some, such as Yale Summer Session, already offer an array of online choices.

Self-monitoring daily, and staying home if you are unwell

Taking precautions is key to everyone’s health. Every member of the Yale community should self-monitor daily.

Take these steps to monitor your health:

Reducing the number of people working on campus; Governor Lamont’s March 20 Executive Order; parking

On March 20, Governor Lamont signed an executive order requiring all workplaces, with the exception of those delivering specific functions, to become virtual by 8 p.m. today.

Although the order excludes specific activities and services, including online education, providing essential health care, some research, public safety, and taking care of student residential populations, we are strongly urging most faculty and staff to work remotely.

Further reductions in on-campus workforce. In the strongest possible terms, we are urging most faculty and staff to work from home. This will facilitate and support public health officials’ advice to maximize social distancing at this crucial time. Our goal is to protect each of us, our colleagues, and the general population. This is a significant health care challenge, and the best way to avoid getting or spreading the virus is to minimize social interaction and avoid community spaces. With very few exceptions, everyone at Yale should work from home.  

  • Staff. We will ask a smaller number of staff to continue to work on campus. If you are one of these individuals, your supervisor will notify you. Do not report to work tomorrow without first confirming with your supervisor that you need to be on campus.
  • Faculty. We strongly encourage faculty, postdocs, and graduate students to teach and conduct research remotely. Faculty, postdocs, and graduate students who have received an exception from their dean or the vice provost for research to continue critical research on campus should follow the guidance provided by the Office of the Provost, YSM, and FAS.

Parking. The university will not charge parking fees for April and will continue to provide free parking to any employee who is asked to work on campus. There is no need to email the parking office to request a rebate.

Work-Life resources. This is a stressful time for all of us. We understand that some of you are facing additional challenges, such as caring for children or other family members. Wellness information and resources for parents can be found on the COVID-19 WorkLife Resources webpage.

Donating personal protective equipment to the Yale New Haven Health System and other healthcare organizations

Please coordinate your donations by following the instructions below and informing EHS (ehs@yale.edu) of the availability of your supplies.

To donate laboratory supplies, we ask that you secure the clearly identified/labeled items in your locked laboratory using the process outlined below. EHS will make arrangements to access the laboratories to pick-up the supplies in order of needs-based priority. 

  • IMPORTANT – Items donated will not be replaced nor will unused items (if any) be returned to donating laboratories.  (This will not be possible logistically.  Thank you for your understanding.)
  • Notify EHS with the list of your available items including the number of packages of each item, using the webform available at https://ehs.yale.edu/covid-19-ppe-donations.
    • Please clearly mark and set the materials aside in your laboratory and complete the notification to EHS.
    • If necessary, designate one laboratory member to be responsible for this activity in a single return visit to your laboratory. There is no need to wait for confirmation from EHS to set the material aside.
  • Provide the name of the PI, the laboratory location (building/room #), email contact, and a phone contact for any pick-up questions.
  • Indicate where your items will be located in your laboratory and how they are identified.  (They should be segregated from other supplies and clearly identified for donation.)

Maintaining continuity of research and teaching

While the health of Yale’s faculty, staff, and students is our top priority, the university also remains committed to its mission of research and education. Faculty members and graduate and professional students are asked to carry out their teaching responsibilities online. The university will maintain central services to support teaching and critical research.

Please see the update on continuity of critical research.

Self-monitoring daily, and staying home if you are unwell

Taking precautions is key to everyone’s health. Every member of the Yale community should self-monitor daily.

Take these steps to monitor your health:

  • Take your temperature with a thermometer twice a day—once in the morning and once in the evening—to monitor for low-grade temperature elevation (>99.9°F, >37.7°C).
    • Note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to list a temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) as a criterion for suspected COVID-19 infection, but low-grade fevers are frequent in the early stages of illness.  
  • Watch for the following symptoms to increase detection of possible COVID-19 infection:
    • Cough OR
    • Trouble breathing OR
    • Fatigue or malaise OR
    • Muscle aches (myalgia)

If you have any of these symptoms, you should stay home and avoid interactions with others. Consult Yale Health’s website for recommendations about managing your symptoms and deciding whether to contact your healthcare provider.

The following symptoms DECREASE the likelihood you have a COVID-19 infection and are therefore reassuring:

  • Ear pain
  • Sinus pain
  • Nasal congestion

If you have questions or concerns about any symptoms, you should contact your healthcare provider. 

Limiting the size of Yale-hosted meetings and events

To further reduce opportunities for people to be in close proximity with one another and in accordance with the latest CDC recommendations, the university is asking faculty, staff, and students to cancel, postpone, or adjust any Yale-hosted meeting or gathering that will have 10 participants or more. This new guidance replaces the information the university sent on March 7. Adjustments to events should include technology to allow remote participation. Zoom technology is available to all Yale community members and can be used to move an event, or portions of it, online.

Unless the benefits clearly outweigh the rising risk of disease transmission, we recommend adjusting all meetings, even if it will involve less than 10 people. If a meeting is essential, we recommend the smallest possible group. The CDC reports that the virus can spread between people who are within six feet of one another. Consider if the venue allows people adequate space to spread out. Adjust meeting rooms and formats as needed. Please remind meeting participants to take personal precautions and practice good hygiene, and clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces in all frequently used public areas.

As you postpone, cancel, or adjust an event, please communicate quickly and clearly with participants.

Teaching classes online through the end of spring semester

When spring recess ends and through the end of the spring semester, classes (including final examinations) will be held using Zoom, Canvas, or other online tools. We know classes take many forms across the university, so this shift to online teaching and learning raises many questions. Deans have been communicating with their faculty and students to provide further details.

All faculty members and graduate student teaching assistants received information from the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning describing how to convert their courses to online instruction and to obtain assistance with the transition. Please reach out to the Poorvu center as soon as possible if you need support (askpoorvucenter@yale.edu).

Asking students to remain off campus when possible through the end of spring semester

We are instructing Yale College students to remain at home after spring recess and through the full spring semester. For undergraduates who are on campus now, please make every effort to return home as soon as possible. We understand this poses potential challenges and hardships. Still, this is the most prudent course for community and individual safety. There are only limited exceptions, such as for students whose home country is under a Level-3 CDC travel advisory and for emancipated students. The Yale College Dean’s Office has provided separate instructions for these students, who also will take their classes online. All students will have the support of the university in meeting their academic requirements remotely.  For more information, see the Yale College COVID-19 FAQs.

Graduate and professional students are encouraged to remain off-campus and participate in online instruction, unless being on campus is necessitated by the nature of their research or academic programs. More information is available from the deans of each school.

A special request to Yale College students: please refrain from coming back to campus right now to retrieve your belongings. Dean Marvin Chun and his staff will be in touch with you soon about making necessary arrangements.

The university will remain open and continue to provide custodial and limited dining services.

Important Information

Precautions for your well-being and safety

  • If you have not done so already, get a flu shot. This will help reduce the burden on the health system and help others. Members of the Yale community can obtain the influenza vaccine free of charge at the Yale Health Center at 55 Lock Street daily from Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Avoid contact with people who are ill.
  • Refrain from touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. (See CDC handwashing video.) Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home if you are ill—do not go to work or classes.
  • Facemasks are recommended for people with symptoms of respiratory infection to minimize the risk of spread of infection.
  • If you need medical attention, call your provider before going to a healthcare facility.

University planning and response

Leaders and staff from Yale Health and across the university are working in teams to update Yale’s existing pandemic response plans to be consistent with what is known about the nature of the COVID-19 virus and its spread. This work is advised by experts from the Yale faculty and is carried out in coordination with local, state, and federal agencies as well as Yale-New Haven Hospital. We are planning for a range of possible scenarios in the near term as well as longer-term impacts on core university programs and functions. Our planning priorities are: (1) the health and safety of Yale students, staff, and faculty; and (2) the continuity of the university’s core mission of research and education. Working groups are planning for contingencies in many areas. Here are some examples:

  • Support and response for spring and summer recess travel;
  • The continuation of classes and assessments during disruptions caused by periods of self-isolation, quarantine, university closure, and travel disruption;
  • Surges in demand for health care at Yale Health and in the region;
  • Alternate work arrangements for staff to reduce contact if needed;
  • Continuity for IT, research, facilities support, dining, police and safety, and other essential services during a period of workforce reduction due to illness.

Facts about COVID-19 infection

The risk of COVID-19 infection is dependent on exposure, but details about the new virus are still emerging. The most important route of transmission is likely close contact (six feet or less) with sick patients who spread respiratory droplets when they cough or sneeze. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It may be possible for someone to be infected by touching an object or surface contaminated by COVID-19 virus and then touching their own mouth, nose, or potentially their eyes. The risk of spread from asymptomatic people and from touching surfaces is much lower than droplet spread from sick patients. The reported incubation period (time from exposure to the onset of symptoms) ranges from two to 14 days. 

Severity of COVID-19 infection ranges from mild to severe, but the majority of cases in China have not required hospitalization. Critical illness has developed in 15 percent of Wuhan patients and up to 3 percent are dying of the disease. Fever of >100.4° F (>38° C), cough, and shortness of breath are the most frequently reported symptoms. COVID-19 symptoms overlap with those of influenza and other respiratory infections. Therefore, the CDC has published guidelines to identify patients at risk of COVID-19 and determine when testing is necessary. 

What to do if you become ill

If you experience fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, stay home and contact a healthcare provider for guidance—do not go to a healthcare facility before you have called your doctor or a hospital emergency room for instructions. 

  • If you are a Yale student or Yale Health member, you should contact Internal Medicine (203-432-0038), Student Health (203-432-0312), or Pediatrics (203-432-0206) from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For urgent attention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, please call Yale Health Acute Care (203-432-0123).
  • If you are an Aetna member or have other healthcare coverage, please contact your physician. 
  • Avoid contact with others to limit spread. 
  • Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue or sleeve, not your hands. Wash your hands with soap and water after coughing, sneezing, and blowing your nose. (See CDC handwashing video.) Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable.
  • Facemasks are recommended for people with symptoms of respiratory infection to minimize the risk of spread of infection. 

Maintaining an inclusive environment

Yale University is committed to maintaining an environment of respect and freedom from discrimination and to supporting all members of our community affected by this global health threat. Bias, discrimination, and harassment are inimical to our values and violate Yale policies. For more information, please go to https://yalehealth.yale.edu/nondiscrimination-notice