Special Alert from the University COVID-19 Coordinator

November 6, 2020

Dear Members of the Yale Community,

I am writing to make you aware that, through our COVID-19 testing program, we recently identified twenty positive cases among on-campus students in the Davenport, Hopper, and Saybrook residential colleges. From information gathered through contact tracing, it appears that these cases may be related to each other and, like many of those in the broader New Haven and Connecticut communities, are associated with social gatherings and dining in restaurants.

While our contact tracing and outbreak investigation teams work to learn more about these cases and to identify any additional contacts, we have raised our COVID-19 alert status from yellow to orange and have put additional precautions in place to prevent further transmission of COVID-19 on our campus.  

More specifically:

  • Effective today until Thursday morning, November 12, students residing in Davenport, Hopper, and Saybrook Colleges have been required to quarantine in their suites; additional details will be provided to the students and staff in these colleges by Dean Chun and the heads of the colleges;
  • Students living off-campus who have affiliations with Davenport, Hopper, and Saybrook Colleges may visit those colleges only for routine, scheduled COVID-19 testing;
  • All residential college students are strongly encouraged to limit activities off-campus;
  • All students on and off campus should refrain from dining in restaurants; however, food delivery is an acceptable alternative;
  • All students are strongly encouraged to limit visitors to their suites or residences and to require masks for all present if visitors are invited;
  • Varsity athletics will revert to phase zero (no in-person activities) through Sunday, November 8, when restrictions will be reevaluated; intramurals will be paused for the same period;
  • Anyone who is asked to participate in a contact tracing interview should provide as much relevant information as possible during the interview;
  • Anyone who has concerns about exposure to COVID-19, whether or not they have been asked to participate in contact tracing, should call Student Medicine (203-432-0312), Employee Health (203-432-7978), or the Campus COVID Resource Line (203-432-6604) for advice.

I realize that news of positive cases may cause anxiety, especially as we watch the local and national trends.  However, please keep in mind that Yale has a robust contact tracing process, and that those who have been identified as close contacts of an infected individual will be notified and provided with advice and care.  The Campus COVID Resource Line is an excellent resource for anyone who has questions or concerns.

I will provide the community with updates on this situation as more information becomes available and as we assess whether any other restrictions associated with orange level may be necessary. In the meantime, it is more important than ever that each member of our community—whether faculty, student, or staff member—continues to safeguard their health and that of loved ones, friends, and the community by adhering faithfully to the measures outlined on our COVID-19 site and in the  communications from Provost Strobel and me earlier today.  

Once again, I want to thank you for your diligence and partnership in keeping our campus community and our New Haven community as safe as possible in these challenging times.

Sincerely,

Stephanie S. Spangler, M.D.
Vice Provost for Health Affairs and Academic Integrity
Clinical Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences
University COVID-19 Coordinator