April 15, 2021
ATTN: EHS Registered PIs, trainees, staff. Lead administrators of relevant departments. All Deans, including FAS Dean of Science, Social Science, Humanities. Provost office.
SUBJECT: Changes in COVID-19 Safety Guidance for
More than 50% of the Yale community has now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or is scheduled to do so, and we are beginning to anticipate a return to campus in August. These milestones would not be possible without your commitment throughout the pandemic to keeping yourselves and others safe and to continuing your important work. Thank you again and again for your dedication.
I write with updates on safety guidance for our research practices at Yale. Based on the latest public health conditions and consistent with CDC and State of Connecticut guidelines, we are adjusting our protocols to allow for greater productivity and efficiency in our labs while continuing to prioritize health and safety:
Occupancy in laboratories—We will no longer require limits based on 50% of normal occupancy; however, six-foot physical distancing and other safety measures must be maintained.
- Proximity training—Under specific conditions and with enhanced PPE, proximity training for laboratory researchers will be permitted; specialized proximity work will require EHS approval.
- Out-of-state subjects—For most therapeutic and non-therapeutic studies, out-of-state subjects for in-person human research will now be permitted. Reviews will continue and should be submitted to the Human Subjects Review Committee through EHS Integrator (VPN required).
- Travel Guidance—While they remain unchanged for those not yet fully vaccinated, Yale has updated its requirements for returning travelers and its general travel guidelines for those who are vaccinated. For summer 2021, all off-campus research and fieldwork should continue to comply with Yale’s phased research reactivation plan.
- Undergraduate summer research—Yale undergraduates will be permitted to perform research on campus this summer; undergraduates from other institutions will be restricted to remote research. All undergraduate students, regardless of prior authorizations, must be newly registered under Phase 3 guidelines through EHS Integrator (VPN required) for the summer.
Two other important notes:
- There is no requirement to submit revised safety plans for review; the updates outlined above should simply be incorporated into the safety measures currently being used in each lab.
- All existing and applicable safety measures remain in place for non-lab rooms, including offices and conference rooms.
We hope these adjustments will aid your research efforts, and we expect to review and update our guidelines as the public health situation dictates. In the interim, please continue to closely follow Yale’s health and safety guidelines and make sure to sign up for a vaccination appointment on the Yale COVID-19 Vaccine Program site. Those fully vaccinated outside of Yale’s vaccine program should please submit their U.S. or international vaccination record to the university.
Wishing you a safe and productive conclusion to the spring semester.
Michael C. Crair, Ph.D.
William Ziegler III Professor of Neuroscience
Vice Provost for Research