Health Guidelines

Updated January 20, 2021

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.


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.

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.
    • Students living off-campus and arriving from any out-of-state location must meet Yale’s travel expectations: quarantine for 10 days OR obtain a test on their first full day in Connecticut (day #1) and a second test no sooner than four days later (day #5) and quarantine in their residence until negative results are received for both tests. Note that completion of the Connecticut Travel Health Form is required.  Students living off campus who remained in New Haven over break, or who are arriving from within CT, must take an arrival test before the semester begins and quarantine in their off-campus residence until negative result is received.

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.

Pre-arrival and arrival testing for the spring semester

For those who are currently, and plan to remain in, Connecticut:

  • Voluntary asymptomatic testing through Yale’s COVID-19 Screening Program is available through December and January. You are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this testing program, especially if you are in the New Haven area.
  • A test is required for all students within one week of the start date of your academic program. You must quarantine until receiving a negative result on this arrival test. You must complete testing prior to any in-person on-campus classes or activities.

For those who will be returning to Connecticut from out of state or international locations before the start of the spring term, please review the university’s travel guidelines and the State of Connecticut Travel Advisory:

  • Testing PRIOR to travel back to Connecticut is strongly recommended. Testing should take place in a timeframe that will allow the return of test results PRIOR to travel. Do not travel if your test is positive, but isolate for 10 days prior to return to New Haven.
    • Pre-arrival testing done outside of the Yale COVID 19 Screening Program will be reimbursed at up to $120 per test. If you submit your receipt to Yale, you should complete this form and return it by mail or send it electronically to yhclaims@yale.edu to receive your reimbursement.
  • Test immediately on return to New Haven and quarantine in your home location until you have had TWO negative tests: the on-arrival test and a second test no sooner than 4 days after the first test.

Ongoing testing

  • Students in high-density dormitory housing (Helen Hadley Hall and Harkness Hall) are required to be tested twice per week throughout the semester.  
  • Residents of other on-campus graduate and professional school dormitories including Baker Hall, 254 Prospect, 276 Prospect, and 272 Elm, are required to be tested once per week.
  • Other testing requirements may be added for the spring semester; affected students will be notified by their respective deans.
  • Students who do not live in on-campus housing may obtain testing on a voluntary basis through the university testing program, up to twice weekly.
  • Students who have questions about the advisability and frequency of additional asymptomatic testing may call the COVID Campus Resource Line 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 and Staff

The following policy applies to faculty, staff, and post-doctoral trainees.

  • All faculty, as well as student-facing staff and post-doctoral trainees, who are on campus during the semester have the option to be tested for COVID-19. 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 or twice 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 twice weekly.
  • Those 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, and Staff

Family members or dependents may be eligible for testing through the Yale COVID-19 Screening Program depending on certain criteria. Learn more about testing options for family members.