Health Guidelines

Updated September 7, 2020

Each member of the community plays a critical role in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping Yale healthy.

All students, faculty, and staff must commit to following health and safety guidelines and setting an example for their peers. Because state and public health officials may need to adjust their policies based on the status of COVID-19 spread in our region, the guidelines here may be updated regularly.


Requirements for Everyone


Testing Requirements by Community

To help prevent the transmission of asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 on campus, the university created the Yale COVID-19 Screening Program for all students, faculty, staff, and trainees who have returned to campus. For testing requirements for different groups, please carefully review these policies:

Undergraduate Students

Testing includes both pre-arrival and at-arrival testing, as well as ongoing screening of asymptomatic individuals during the semester.

The frequency of required testing in this program reflects an analysis of testing protocols that would be most likely to limit the spread of the infection. The program uses an observed, self-administered swab in the front of the nostrils to collect a specimen, which is sent for viral (PCR) testing, the current preferred method for detecting viral infection.

Prior to arrival to campus (New Haven)

  • All undergraduate students who are enrolled in residence, whether they plan to live on campus or in off-campus housing, are required to have a viral (PCR) test before arriving on campus. Students already in New Haven must also complete this testing requirement. Pre-arrival testing is not available for students arriving from international locations; these students will be tested upon arrival to campus.
  • If a student’s pre-arrival test is positive, the student should seek medical advice and isolate in their “home” location for at least 10 days and at least 24 hours following resolution of a fever, if present. Students with a positive test should not travel to New Haven but should begin their studies remotely. 

Upon arrival to campus (New Haven)

  • All undergraduate students who are enrolled in residence, whether living on campus or in off-campus housing, must have a viral (PCR) test on arrival at the beginning of the semester; this test is administered by the university through the Yale COVID-19 Screening Program.
  • All undergraduate students are required to quarantine in their rooms, suites, or residences until they receive a negative arrival test (~24-36 hours). Additionally:
    • After receiving a negative arrival test, students living on-campus may leave their rooms or suites but will continue to quarantine for a total of 14 days in their residential college, unless they have delayed arrival until after the end of the two-week campus quarantine period and they are arriving from a state that is not included in the State of Connecticut Travel Advisory.
    • Students Iiving off-campus and arriving from states included in the State of Connecticut Travel Advisory must quarantine for 14 days in their apartment or home location, and must complete a Connecticut Travel Health Form. Failure to abide by this quarantine could result in a $1,000 fine from the state. Keep in mind that the Connecticut Travel Advisory list is updated regularly.

Ongoing screening

This testing program is intended to detect infection in asymptomatic individuals and does not replace Yale’s testing and care protocols for individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19. The university will continue to provide testing and care for symptomatic individuals through Yale Health

Compliance with testing, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine is a component of the Yale Community Compact, which reflects our strong and shared commitment to promote the health and safety of all community members. All members of our university community must also abide by other public health and safety measures designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 viral transmission on our campus and in the surrounding New Haven community. These include wearing a face covering, physical distancing, and regular hand washing. Testing is not a substitute for these behavioral measures in containing the spread of the virus.

Graduate and Professional Students

Testing includes both pre-arrival and at-arrival testing, as well as ongoing screening of asymptomatic individuals during the semester.

The frequency of required testing in this program reflects an analysis of testing protocols that would be most likely to limit the rapid spread of the infection. The program uses an observed, self-administered swab in the front of the nostrils to collect a specimen, which is sent for viral (PCR) testing, the current preferred method for detecting viral infection.

Prior to arrival to campus (New Haven)

  • The university’s pre-arrival testing requirements, which follow, apply to all graduate and professional students. 
  • All graduate and professional students are strongly encouraged, but not required, to have a viral (PCR) test before arriving on campus.
  • The university will reimburse the cost of the pre-arrival viral (PCR) test up to $120; to obtain reimbursement, students should bring receipts to the business manager for their school.
  • If the pre-arrival test is positive, the student should seek medical advice and isolate in their “home” location for at least 10 days and at least 24 hours following resolution of a fever, if present. Students with a positive test should not travel to New Haven but should begin their studies remotely. 

Upon arrival to campus (New Haven)

  • All students arriving on campus or already on campus must have a viral (PCR) test through the Yale COVID-19 Screening Program prior to the start of the semester.
  • All students must quarantine in their residences until a negative arrival test result is received.
  • Additionally, students arriving from one of the states included in the State of Connecticut Travel Advisory must quarantine for a total of 14 days upon arrival, regardless of test results, and must complete a Connecticut Travel Health Form. Failure to abide by this quarantine could result in a $1,000 fine from the state. Keep in mind that the Connecticut Travel Advisory list is updated regularly.

Ongoing screening

  • Students in high-density dormitory housing (Helen Hadley Hall and Harkness Hall) are required to be tested twice per week throughout the semester.  
  • Students who do not live in high-density dormitory housing are not required to be retested but may obtain additional testing on a voluntary basis through the university testing program, up to one time per week.
  • Students who have questions about the advisability and frequency of additional asymptomatic testing may call the COVID Campus Resource Line, which is staffed by health care professionals, at 203-432-6604.
  • Students who test positive through the university testing program will be referred for contact tracing and will be required to isolate in their residences until released by Yale Health. Medical monitoring and advice will be provided by Yale Health during isolation. See guidance for what to do while isolating:

This testing program is intended to detect infection in asymptomatic individuals and does not replace Yale’s testing and care protocols for individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19. The university will continue to provide testing and care for symptomatic individuals through Yale Health. Additionally, while the required testing in the screening program is designed to protect the community from an outbreak, voluntary testing will also be available to asymptomatic individuals who have concerns that they may have been exposed to the virus.

Compliance with testing, contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine is a component of the Yale Community Compact, which reflects our strong and shared commitment to promote the health and safety of all community members. All members of our university community must also abide by other public health and safety measures designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 viral transmission on our campus and in the surrounding New Haven community. These include wearing a face covering, social distancing, and regular hand washing. Testing is not a substitute for these behavioral measures in containing the spread of the virus.

Faculty, Staff, and Trainees

The following policy applies to faculty, staff, and post-doctoral trainees who have returned to campus for the semester.

  • All faculty, as well as student-facing staff and post-doctoral trainees, who are on campus during the semester will have the option to be tested for COVID-19 at the start of the semester. Testing is encouraged but not required.
  • Staff and post-doctoral trainees who do not interact with students are encouraged, but are not required, to be tested for COVID-19 at the start of the semester through the program.
  • Due to their Yale duties, a limited number of faculty and staff will be required to be tested weekly. These individuals received a separate communication about this requirement.
  • Those planning to work remotely do not require testing.
  • Other asymptomatic individuals who feel they may be at risk for COVID-19 may seek additional testing through the program during the semester as needed, up to once weekly.
  • Faculty, staff, and post-doctoral trainees who test positive will be asked to isolate at home for at least 10 days and until a health care provider informs them it is safe to return to campus. See guidance for what to do while isolating:

Family Members of Yale Students, Faculty, Staff, and Trainees

  • Family members who live in residential colleges are eligible to be tested through the Yale COVID-19 Screening Program.
  • Family members who do not live in residential colleges and who are enrolled as members of Yale Health may request viral testing at Yale Health. Yale family members, partners, children or unrelated housemates who are not members of Yale Health can access testing sites in New Haven and throughout Connecticut, or they may contact their healthcare provider.