Dear Members of the Yale Community,
I am writing to notify you that 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 I outlined in my message 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.
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