Events & Gatherings

Updated June 9, 2021

As part of a community dedicated to reducing the transmission of COVID-19, we must continue to substantially limit many in-person activities.

Gathering in groups significantly increases the risk of transmission and so we are continuing the requirements put in place for the fall semester for the holding of events until it is clear that the public health environment will allow for greater flexibility.

Requirements for University-sponsored Events

As of March 19, Connecticut established new private, social, and recreational gathering sizes for commercial venues and private residences. Yale’s guidelines will continue to be more restrictive than those adopted by the state of Connecticut because many members of our Yale community live in congregate housing and because we feel a unique obligation to the members of our broader New Haven community to do all that we can to address the current health environment1.

The following continue to be the requirements for university-sponsored and other events on or off campus for the spring 2021 semester. University-sponsored events include all gatherings that involve the use of university funds or spaces. Events subject to these requirements include all academic and social gatherings or meetings for students, faculty and staff of any size other than those occurring as a regular part of a course or class on the scheduled academic calendar; and all business or social gatherings in administrative units. Faculty and staff planning off campus events involving students, staff or faculty that are not university-sponsored are strongly encouraged to follow these guidelines as well. Students planning on or off campus events must follow these requirements.

  1. If the event can be held virtually, it must be held virtually, unless there is an especially compelling reason to do otherwise. Zoom and other applications have many features that allow for on-line experiences, including side/breakout rooms, etc. to enable events of all sizes.
  2. The university will allow gatherings of ten (10) or fewer individuals indoors and gatherings of twenty (20) or fewer individuals outdoors without the advance approval of the relevant Dean, Head of College or Vice President, provided the conditions in this guidance for events requiring approval are observed (see items 4-7).  All private social events in residences must be limited to 10 persons and follow the guidance in item 4, other than the size of the gathering.
  3. If the event is larger than these gathering limits and there is an especially compelling reason why it cannot be held virtually, the event sponsor must apply to the school or department Health and Safety Leader using the application for approval form. The Health and Safety Leader will review the application and refer it to the relevant Dean, Head of College or Vice President for approval in advance of the event.
  4. Events must:
    • for university-sponsored events, be open only to members of the Yale community authorized to be on campus;
    • be of limited duration and by invitation only;
    • not involve high-aerosolization activities (singing, woodwinds/brass, vigorous exercise);
    • require face coverings to be worn at all times during the event, and therefore food and beverages should not be consumed indoors;
    • food and beverages at outdoor events should be limited to pre-packaged food or individual servings;
    • not under any circumstances exceed 25 participants indoors and 50 participants outdoors; and
    • meet all university occupancy limits for spaces.
  5. In addition, event sponsors must
    • hold any approved on-campus event only in spaces that have been approved by Facilities and EHS;
    • only employ the use of tents for approved outdoor events that have been reviewed and approved by Facilities and EHS;
    • assure there is appropriate signage, provide hand sanitizer, and arrange for pre and post-event disinfection of the space and equipment as well as disinfection during the event for any equipment used by more than one person;
    • assure that all participants can maintain 6 feet physical distancing, as established by the placement of seating or floor markers; and
    • keep a record of everyone who participates in the event in order to facilitate contact tracing if necessary.

Adhering to these requirements in holding events is an essential component our health and safety program. These requirements may be amended as the public health environment changes. Learn more about safe campus practices.

1 On March 8, the CDC issued interim public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people. These recommendations do not apply to university sponsored gatherings as they are intended to address private social interactions.