Yale COVID-19 Testing & Outreach Programs

Updated June 21, 2022


Changes coming this summer
To ensure that the Testing Program remains convenient and sustainable, new testing processes will be implemented this summer that will largely eliminate the need for on-campus test sites. Testing will continue to be widely available. A new testing process for:

  • Yale Health
    • Spouses and dependents will go into effect June 28 and will be communicated to that group.
    • Retirees covered by Aetna Medicare will go into effect June 28 and will be communicated to that group.
  • Yale faculty, staff and students will begin August 8. Details will be shared in upcoming communications and posted on this page.

Free testing is available to all faculty, staff, and students regardless of insurance. Family members who live in residential colleges and are members of Yale Health are also eligible. All asymptomatic and symptomatic testing is self-scheduled. For the latest testing requirements, please visit our Health Guidelines page.

Students, Faculty, and Staff
Members of the Yale community with a testing requirement, including those with an approved exemption, must be tested through the Yale COVID-19 Testing Program at one of the locations listed on this page. Outside test results will not be accepted as proof of screening.

Yale Health Dependents
You may schedule an appointment for your dependent if you are a Yale employee with Yale Health insurance and the dependent has a MyChart account (or you have a MyChart proxy for your minor child under age 18).

Accessibility

The Yale COVID-19 Testing program is committed to ensuring an accessible environment for everyone, including individuals with disabilities. All sites are wheelchair accessible and service animals are welcome. The COVID-19 tests at the sites are self-administered. If you have any questions, need additional resources, or would like to request reasonable accommodations to conduct your COVID-19 test, please contact Student Accessibility Services at sas@yale.edu or 203-432-2324 or the Office of Institutional Equity and Accessibility (faculty and staff) at equity@yale.edu or 203-432-0849 at least 48 hours before your desired test date.

Testing Locations

  • 109 Grove St. (Rosenfeld Hall)
  • 150 York St. 
  • West Campus (800 West Campus Drive, room 220) 

Preparing for Your Test

The testing process involves a self-administered swab in the front of the nose (not a deep nasal swab) in a specially designed testing booth. The testing process takes less than five minutes.

  • Blow your nose before arriving at the test site. This will reduce the likelihood of an invalid test result.
  • Read step-by-step instructions for collecting a nasal swab sample.
  • Younger children must be accompanied by a parent and possibly an additional adult to assist with obtaining the sample. Test site staff are not allowed to hold children.

About the Yale COVID-19 Testing Program

Purpose

Yale’s COVID-19 Testing Program consists of two components: testing and outreach. The main focus of asymptomatic testing is to identify individuals who may be incubating infection, isolate them promptly from the community, perform case investigation with confirmed cases of COVID-19 to identify linkages among cases that may help us limit transmission and prevent outbreaks, and notify identified close contacts to provide guidance. While testing benefits the tested individual, our main public health objective is to reduce risk to the wider campus community and to New Haven.

Who Can Be Tested

Yale COVID-19 testing services are available to:

  • Faculty, staff, and post-doctoral trainees who are active in Workday.
  • Students registered and active in Banner
  • Visiting faculty who are active in Workday and have an activated netID
  • Yale Health members (including spouses and dependents)
  • Family members of Residential College Deans, Heads of Colleges, and Residential Fellows who live in the residential colleges
  • Staff of Yale-affiliated childcare centers
  • Securitas staff assigned to Yale campus
  • Other groups as may be defined by policy

Yale COVID-19 testing services are not available to other visitors including:

  • Vendors
  • Contractors
  • Visiting students or faculty not registered in Workday or Banner
  • Other campus visitors

Visitors may be tested through New Haven area testing services or Yale New Haven Hospital test sites.

Types of Testing

  • Viral testing (PCR or polymerase chain reaction): PCR is currently the most widely available diagnostic test for COVID-19. It relies on identifying viral genetic material in secretions from the nose, throat or saliva. Yale is currently using anterior nasal self-obtained swabs for asymptomatic and symptomatic screening.
  • Antibody testing: Not recommended for diagnostic testing or for proof of immunity at this time.
  • Rapid or “point-of-care” testing: Identifies proteins on the surface of the virus. It can be conducted with an at-home kit or in a clinical setting (point of care testing). They are less accurate than a PCR test. Negative results may be false negatives (showing a negative result when infection is actually present) early in disease when the amount of circulating virus is low. Positive tests are highly reliable. A negative rapid test in the presence of symptoms should be repeated in 24-48 hours.

Scheduling Testing

All asymptomatic and symptomatic testing is self-scheduled by the individual through the Yale COVID-19 Testing Program. Based on the individual’s CAS login credentials, they will be directed to an appropriate testing site and schedule.

If scheduling a required test in connection with air travel, make sure to schedule at the earliest time allowable by your airline to ensure results will be available. Results are typically available within 24 to 36 hours. We recommend you test at least two days before your planned travel date.

An active MyChart account is required for scheduling testing, receiving results, receiving reminders, and canceling tests if needed. MyChart is the patient portal for our electronic health record, EPIC.

  • Activate your MyChart account: If you have not enrolled, contact the CCRL at 203-432-6604 to obtain a registration code.
  • Download the MyChart smartphone app: The MyChart app allows easy access from your mobile device, including check-ins for testing using a bar code. Download it to your smartphone by going to the app store or to Google Play.

Test Results

Test results are generally available 24 to 36 hours after the sample is obtained. Results are housed in Epic, Yale Health’s electronic health record. Results are released to MyChart, Epic’s patient portal, when finalized by the lab. All faculty, staff, and students tested through the Yale COVID-19 Testing Program must enroll in MyChart to receive results.

Five different results are possible:

  • Negative results: Indicate no evidence of Infection at the time of the test. You may have a very low level of virus in your system so this does not rule out that you may become positive on a subsequent test.
  • Positive results: Indicate that there was evidence of viral infection at the time the sample was taken. What to expect in the event of a positive test:
    • You will isolate at home or in designated isolation housing if an on-campus student.
    • You will receive instructions regarding next steps. Yale Health staff will call a subset of students as well.
    • 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.
    • You will be contacted by Yale’s COVID-19 Outreach Team (YCOT) through the notification process, close contacts are provided guidance on how to take care of themselves and prevent transmission to others.
    • Learn more about the YCOT process.
    • You will be released from isolation via email when appropriate
  • Inconclusive: The test looks for 2 sites on the virus; both must be positive for the test to be considered positive. When only 1 viral site is positive the test is called inconclusive and must be repeated, as it could represent an early positive test. You should repeat your test within 24 hours.
  • Invalid: The lab uses human DNA as a control to make sure the sample is adequate. If there is no human DNA in the sample, it is labeled as invalid and not processed. In most cases, this indicates a need to be firmer in how you are swabbing the sides of your nose. Schedule a repeat test.
  • TNP: This result means Test Not Processed. This can happen for a number of reasons but one of the most common reasons is too much mucous in the sample which most often happens when someone doesn’t blow their nose. Schedule a repeat test.

If you receive an inconclusive, invalid, or TNP result, you should schedule another test.

Yale COVID-19 Outreach Program & Close Contact Guidance

Yale has implemented a campus-based outreach program performing case investigation with confirmed cases of COVID-19 identifying linkages among cases that may help us limit transmission and prevent outbreaks as well as notification of identified close contacts. Learn more about the Yale COVID-19 Outreach Program & Close Contact Guidance.

Monitoring Testing at Yale

We are tracking a number of key Yale, local, and regional data streams to ensure that Yale leadership has the information they need to make critical decisions, and the Yale community has access to local trends. The Yale COVID-19 Data page is updated daily based on data from the asymptomatic testing program as well as symptomatic testing of the Yale Health insured population.

Laboratories

Yale conducted a careful search of possible lab vendors before selecting the Broad Institute.

  1. Broad Institute: The Broad Institute is providing all asymptomatic surveillance testing. Broad is supplying testing for approximately 100 higher education institutions and is prioritizing COVID-19 testing. They perform over 100,000 tests daily in their state-of-the art lab in Cambridge, MA.
    • Test: PCR (polymerase chain reaction) assay
    • Turnaround time: within 24 hours from the time of arrival in their Cambridge lab
    • Method of sampling: observed self-swabbed anterior nasal (front of the nose)
  2. Yale Pathology: Yale Pathology provides testing for symptomatic patients at our 109 Grove Street symptomatic test site.
    • Test: PCR assay
    • TAT: 12 to 24 hours
    • Method of sampling: Observed anterior nasal self-swabbing