Testing Requirements

Updated January 13, 2023

This page outlines current testing requirements and guidance for the Yale community as well as specific additional guidelines for students.

All Members of the Yale Community

Routine Asymptomatic Testing Requirements

  • Routine, asymptomatic COVID-19 testing requirements have been suspended for most faculty, staff, postdoctoral and postgraduate trainees, and students.
  • A small number of schools and units, in accordance with approved health and safety plans, have retained targeted and limited asymptomatic testing programs to support unique activities; those schools and units will contact their community members directly to inform them of any related requirements.
  • Any required PCR testing must be performed through the Yale COVID-19 Testing Program’s Color process (the Testing Program).
  • Routine asymptomatic testing requirements are subject to change based on prevailing public health conditions and guidance.

Post-exposure Asymptomatic Testing

  • Faculty, staff, or students who have been exposed to COVID-19 or who have been identified as close contacts of individuals with COVID-19 should test on the day of exposure or notification and again 5 days after the exposure or notification. A PCR test is preferred in this circumstance.

Reporting Test Results

Faculty, staff, and students should continue to report positive results from a PCR test or rapid antigen test (RA test) performed outside the Testing Program to the university.

Symptomatic Testing

  • Any faculty, staff, or students who develop symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 should mask and test as soon as possible, preferably with a rapid antigen test (RA test) if available. If the result of the RA test is negative, or a RA test is unavailable, individuals should test with a PCR test through the Testing Program and remain masked until the results return, or repeat a RA test in 24-48 hours. A single negative RA test does not rule out infection.
  • Symptomatic individuals should not go to work or class until testing negative on a PCR test or having 2 sequential negative RA tests 24-48 hours apart.
  • If above testing for COVID-19 is negative and significant symptoms persist, individuals should consult with their health care provider and stay out of work or class until they no longer have a fever and are feeling better.
  • Testing as soon as possible when symptoms arise is extremely important to ensure timely access to effective COVID-19 treatments for those who are eligible.

Voluntary Testing

  • Yale faculty, staff, and students are advised to get a COVID-19 test if they are symptomatic, think they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, have been identified as a close contact, or have a positive roommate. The Testing Program is also available for all faculty, staff, and students who wish to test, even if they are not required to do so.
  • Since most faculty, staff, and students do not participate in routine asymptomatic testing, it is also recommended that individuals consider getting a COVID-19 test in the following situations:
    • Before or after travel, as recommended in the Travel Policy.
    • A PCR test within 1 day prior to (or RA test the day of) attending a large, crowded indoor event of more than two hours that includes eating, drinking, physical activity, singing, or other aerosolizing activities where most of the participants are unmasked.
    • A PCR test within 1 day prior to (or RA test the day of) participating in an off-campus indoor community activity that includes individuals whose vaccination status is unknown (e.g., local tutoring and volunteering).
    • A PCR test 2-3 days after attending an event or activity if the risk factors above have been present.
    • A RA test for visitors, students, faculty, and staff travelers who have newly arrived on campus to attend an event. Returning students, faculty and staff should preferentially access on-campus PCR testing if results can be obtained prior to the event (24-36 hours turnaround).

Undergraduate, Graduate, and Professional Students

In addition to the requirements listed above, the following apply to all students.

Pre-arrival testing: All students traveling to campus are strongly encouraged to take a rapid antigen test (RA test) on the day of travel. Any student who tests positive must report their result to the university and should not travel to campus until they have completed their required isolation. Students do not need to report negative test results.

  • Gateway/arrival testing: The university strongly recommends that everyone retuning to campus following winter recess take a PCR test using Color within 48 hours of arrival unless they have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days.
  • External test results: Students should report positive results from PCR or RA tests performed outside the Testing Program to the university.
  • Routine asymptomatic testing: Routine, ongoing asymptomatic testing will not be required for most students. Certain schools, including Yale School of Music and the David Geffen School of Drama, will retain routine testing requirements to support their curricular activities. Those schools will contact their students directly to inform them of their requirements. Any required PCR testing must be performed through the Testing Program. Testing policies are subject to change based on prevailing public health conditions and guidance.