COVID-19 Update – Self-monitoring and limiting size of events

March 17, 2020

Dear Members of the Yale Community,

I write with updated guidance on COVID-19 self-monitoring and limiting the size of Yale-hosted gatherings.

Updated recommendations for self-monitoring

Published reports about the range of symptoms in early COVID-19 infection allow us to update our recommendations about self-monitoring for symptoms of the disease.

Take these steps to monitor your health:

  • Take your temperature with a thermometer twice a day—once in the morning and once in the evening—to monitor for low-grade temperature elevation (>99.9°F, >37.7°C).
    • Note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to list a temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) as a criterion for suspected COVID-19 infection, but low-grade fevers are frequent in the early stages of illness.  
  • Watch for the following symptoms to increase detection of possible COVID-19 infection:
    • Cough OR
    • Trouble breathing OR
    • Fatigue or malaise OR
    • Muscle aches (myalgia)

If you have any of these symptoms, you should stay home and avoid interactions with others. Consult Yale Health’s website for recommendations about managing your symptoms and deciding whether to contact your healthcare provider.

The following symptoms DECREASE the likelihood you have a COVID-19 infection and are therefore reassuring:

  • Ear pain
  • Sinus pain
  • Nasal congestion

If you have questions or concerns about any symptoms, you should contact your healthcare provider.

Limiting the size of Yale-hosted meetings and events

To further reduce opportunities for people to be in close proximity with one another and in accordance with the latest CDC recommendations, the university is asking faculty, staff, and students to cancel, postpone, or adjust any Yale-hosted meeting or gathering that will have 10 participants or more. This new guidance replaces the information the university sent on March 7. Adjustments to events should include technology to allow remote participation. Zoom technology is available to all Yale community members and can be used to move an event, or portions of it, online.

Unless the benefits clearly outweigh the rising risk of disease transmission, we recommend adjusting all meetings, even if it will involve less than 10 people. If a meeting is essential, we recommend the smallest possible group. The CDC reports that the virus can spread between people who are within six feet of one another. Consider if the venue allows people adequate space to spread out. Adjust meeting rooms and formats as needed. Please remind meeting participants to take personal precautions and practice good hygiene, and clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces in all frequently used public areas.

As you postpone, cancel, or adjust an event, please communicate quickly and clearly with participants.

Visit Yale’s COVID-19 website for more information about the university’s response and links to important campus resources.

Please continue to take care of yourself and one another. Your actions directly have an impact on our ability to end this pandemic.

Sincerely,

Dr. Paul Genecin
Director, Yale Health