COVID-19 – Updated Health and Travel Guidance

March 12, 2020

Dear Members of the Yale Community,

We write to inform you of important updates to travel and health guidance. The spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues across the U.S. and the world, and our response must remain fluid. In these challenging times, we are especially grateful to members of the Yale community for contributing to the health and safety of those within and outside of our campus. Please continue to safeguard one another’s health by following the updated guidance in this email, which can be found on Yale’s COVID-19 website along with other important information and news.

In this message, you will find updated actions for preventing and slowing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Self-monitor daily, and stay home if you are unwell
  • Move meetings and gatherings online or change venue size to allow social distancing, and pay extra attention to sanitizing meeting rooms and surfaces
  • Follow new travel restrictions and register your travel (domestic and international)
  • Discourage visitors from coming to campus

Self-monitor daily, and stay 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 two times a day and monitor for fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher).
  • Watch for cough or trouble breathing.

Take these steps, if you get sick with fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough frequently, or have trouble breathing:

  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Seek medical care. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
  • Tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • If you need to seek medical care for other reasons, call ahead to your doctor and tell them about your recent travel to an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

Move meetings and gatherings online or change venue size to allow social distancing, and pay extra attention to sanitizing meeting rooms and surfaces

For Yale-hosted meetings or events of 100 people or more, follow these guidelines. For Yale-hosted meetings and gatherings of smaller size, follow these instructions:

  • Consider whether it is necessary to have the meeting in person. If possible, move your event to Zoom or other online apps.
  • If you must meet in person, ensure your venue allows participants to maintain six feet of separation from one another and make sure there is easy access to sinks with soap.
  • Pay extra attention to sanitizing meeting rooms and surfaces touched by others.

Follow new travel restrictions and register your travel (domestic and international)

To slow the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following health precautions for those who have been traveling.

  • For those in the Yale community who are returning from international locations with Level 3 Travel Health notices and other areas with widespread, ongoing community spread of COVID-19, please self-isolate and self-monitor for 14 days from the time you left that country or region. Please complete the COVID-19 travel registration form regardless of whether you are a Yale Health or Aetna enrollee.
  • Travelers returning from anywhere else—international or domestic—should monitor their health daily, as we are asking all members of the community to do.

Other countries and regions may be added to the CDC’s Level 3 Travel Warnings, and widespread transmission may be reported in other areas of the U.S. Travelers who have been in those areas would be asked to follow the above guidance upon returning to campus.

Discourage 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 CDC as “Level 3 – Avoid Nonessential Travel” (currently mainland China, Iran, South Korea, and most of Europe) 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 least April 15.

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 coronavirusflu 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.

All our lives have been disrupted, but we are heartened by the kindness, patience, and resilience we have seen in our community. The actions we are taking are promoting the health of our community and protecting those who are most vulnerable to complications of COVID-19 infection. We are confident that all members of the Yale community will continue to work together to respond to this pandemic and keep one another safe.


Dr. Paul Genecin
Director, Yale Health

Donald L. Filer
Associate Vice President for Global Strategy