Health & Safety Guidelines

Updated August 9, 2020

Each member of the community plays a critical role in preventing the spread of COVID-19. 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 below may be updated regularly.

Mandatory training for everyone returning to campus in summer and fall 2020

All faculty, staff, and students returning to campus will be required to complete online informational programs.

  • Faculty, staff, and trainees who will be conducting research in university facilities must take Reactivation Training for Researchers.
  • Faculty, staff, and trainees who do not conduct research must complete COVID-19: Return to Yale Campus Training.
  • All undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students will be required to complete training before returning to campus for fall 2020. The deans will send training requirements to students before the start of the fall semester.

All students returning to campus must review, sign, and follow the Yale Community Compact.

Faculty and staff should review the university’s expectations for their role in promoting the health and safety of the campus community.

Viral testing for undergraduate students in fall 2020

The testing policies described here are based on information about the spread of COVID-19, emerging public health and scientific findings, and guidance from government officials. 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 will be enrolled in residence in the fall semester, 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.
  • Yale Health will e-mail instructions for obtaining the viral (PCR) test during the first week of August.  This test will be paid for by the university as instructed in this e-mail.
  • 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 fall semester; this test will be administered by the university.
  • All undergraduate students will be 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 CT Travel Advisory;
    • Students Iiving off-campus and arriving from states included in the  State of CT Travel Advisory must quarantine for 14 days in their apartment or home location.  Keep in mind that the states on the CT Travel Advisory list are updated regularly.

Ongoing screening

  • All undergraduate students who are enrolled in residence , whether living  on campus or in off-campus housing, must be tested on a twice weekly schedule throughout the semester.
  • Students will receive an email in August with a full description of the testing program and detailed instructions on how to obtain testing.

Students who test positive through the university testing program will be referred for contact tracing  and will be required to isolate in designated on-campus rooms or in their off-campus residences until released by Yale Health. Medical monitoring and advice will be provided by Yale Health during isolation.

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 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.

Viral testing for graduate and professional students in fall 2020

The testing policies described here are based on information about the spread of COVID-19, emerging public health and scientific findings, and guidance from government officials. 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 fall semester. Students will receive an email from their academic programs with a timeline and instructions on how to schedule their tests.
  • Students who have remained in the CT area and were tested before July 13, 2020 in accordance with the university research reopening, must have a repeat test within 14 days of the start of the fall 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 CT Travel Advisory must quarantine for a total of 14-days upon arrival, regardless of test results. Keep in mind that the states on the CT Travel Advisory list are updated regularly.  Failure to abide by this quarantine could result in a $1000 fine from the State.

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; these students will receive an email in August with a full description of the testing program and instructions on how to schedule testing.  
  • 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, especially if they have concerns about exposure.
  • 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.

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 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.

Viral testing for faculty, staff, and post-doctoral trainees in summer and fall 2020

To help prevent the transmission of asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 on campus, the university created the Yale COVID-19 Screening Program. All faculty, staff, and post-doctoral trainees who will be on campus for the coming academic year will be offered free viral testing through the Yale COVID-19 Screening Program.

The following policy applies to faculty, staff, and post-doctoral trainees returning to campus for fall 2020. Note that requirements may change based upon public health conditions and guidance.

  • All faculty, as well as student-facing staff and post-doctoral trainees, who will be on campus during the fall 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 for COVID-19 weekly. These individuals will receive a separate communication.
  • 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.
  • Faculty, staff, and post-doctoral trainees who test positive will be asked to self-isolate at home for at least 10 days and until a health care provider informs them it is safe to return to campus.

Testing through the Yale COVID-19 Screening Program is available only to Yale faculty, staff, post-doctoral trainees, and students. Immediate family members seeking testing should contact their own health care providers.

Contact tracing in summer and fall 2020

To optimize the safety of the campus environment, Yale has implemented a campus-based contact tracing program.

  • Following notification of a positive result by Yale Health staff, the individual will be contacted by a member of the Yale contact tracing team for a contact tracing interview.
  • Close and low risk contacts will be notified by the Yale contact tracing team.
  • Close contacts will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days if living off campus. Those living on campus will be quarantined in designated housing.
  • Supervisors or deans will also be notified in order to provide support and to ensure a review of environmental safety precautions in the workplace or college.
  • Your name will not be shared with contacts.

Masks, social distancing, and other required preventive measures in summer and fall 2020

Wearing a mask or face covering and social distancing are among the most effective ways to prevent transmission of COVID-19. The university will supply masks and other necessary supplies to all students, trainees, faculty, and staff.

  • All individuals on campus must maintain at least 6 feet of space from others when in public spaces.
  • All individuals on campus must wear masks or face-coverings when in public spaces.
  • Masks or face-coverings and social distancing are not required when people are in their own residential college suite or apartment or alone in an office.
  • Masks or face-coverings are not necessary when people are eating or exercising outdoors while maintaining at least 6 feet of space from others.

The following health precautions must also be followed:

  • Avoid contact with people who are ill.
  • Refrain from touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. (See CDC handwashing video.) Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home if you are ill—do not go to work or classes.
  • If you need medical attention, stay home and call your provider before going to a health care facility.

Monitor your health daily for COVID-19 symptoms in summer and fall 2020

All faculty, students, and staff on campus must monitor their health daily for symptoms of COVID-19. Symptom checking may be performed in several ways; your manager or dean will tell you about expectations. Learn more about this requirement on the Daily Health Check webpage.

If you have symptoms, contact your health care provider or the Campus COVID Resource Line (203-432-6604).

People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever greater than 99.9F or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list may not be all-inclusive and may be updated according to CDC guidance. Please consult your health care provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

What to do if you become ill at any time

If you experience fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, stay home and contact a healthcare provider for guidance—do not go to a health care facility before you have called your health care provider or a hospital emergency room for instructions. 

  • If you are a Yale student or Yale Health member, you should contact Internal Medicine (203-432-0038), Student Health (203-432-0312), or Pediatrics (203-432-0206). For nights and weekends, please call Yale Health Acute Care (203-432-0123).
  • If you are an Aetna member or have other healthcare coverage, please contact your physician.
  • All members of the Yale community may also contact the Campus COVID Resource Line (203-432-6604).
  • Avoid contact with others to limit spread. 
  • Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue or sleeve, not your hands. Wash your hands with soap and water after coughing, sneezing, and blowing your nose. (See CDC handwashing video.) Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable.
  • Wear a face mask or face covering to minimize the risk of spread of infection.
  • If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 at any time, please call the Campus COVID Resource Line (203-432-6604), so we can initiate contact tracing and other infection control measures.