November 20, 2020
Attn: Faculty, trainees and staff registered in EHS Integrator and graduate students
Summary: COVID-19 Safety Measures for the Research Community
As we approach the end of the semester and the holiday season, I write to thank you for your continued adherence to Yale’s safety precautions. I am incredibly encouraged by and grateful for your observance of Yale’s health guidelines, despite the obvious impact on your personal and professional lives. Thank you for your vigilance to date, it is truly impressive!
Although there have been a few COVID-19 clusters on campus this fall, we have observed low rates of viral transmission within our research community. This provides some reassurance that the mitigation measures we have in place are effective. Accordingly, Yale research reactivation plans remain largely unchanged (see Phase 2 &3 Research Reactivation) without significant new restrictions or roll-backs.
With the notable uptick in virus prevalence in New Haven and around the country, however, it is now more important than ever for us to stay on the alert. We have seen that wearing masks, observing physical distancing and good personal hygiene reduce risks of virus transmission. We encourage you to continue to adhere to these precautions as outlined in Yale’s COVID-19 health guidelines and strict safety precautions in the research environment. We also recommend and remind you of the following important measures to reduce the risk of transmission:
- Many of the recent cases of virus transmission in the Yale community have arisen from communal eating and other social group gatherings; avoid dining in restaurants and instead use delivery and pickup services. In particular, while on the Yale campus avoid eating with others and follow EHS guidelines on use of break rooms and lunch rooms.
- Consider virtual gatherings whenever possible (see also Yale University guidelines and COVID-19 Occupancy Limits).
- Wear eye protection such as safety glasses typically required in laboratory settings; they have been shown to mitigate risk of transmission.
- If you or a family member develop symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home. If you are unsure whether you have been exposed to the virus or are infected, consult the Campus COVID Resource Line (203-432-6604) for advice.
- Take advantage of Yale’s voluntary COVID-19 testing available up to twice a week for all its faculty, staff and trainees.
- Travel carries significant increased risk. If you must travel, please observe Yale’s travel guidelines and the University’s travel restrictions, noting the requirements for quarantine and virus testing upon leaving and returning to Connecticut and Yale’s campus.
- Undergraduates are restricted from performing research on-campus over the winter break (see Intercession guidelines). Travel for off-campus research and fieldwork over the winter break, including by undergraduates, should follow the guidelines set by the Off-Campus Research and Fieldwork Committee.
I am heartened by the news that effective vaccines for COVID-19 have recently been developed. Planning for the distribution of these vaccines is already under way at Yale. While these coming months will surely be challenging and disruptive, I am confident that your continued adherence to Yale’s health guidelines will minimize the duration and impact of the pandemic on Yale and our surrounding community. I wish you all a safe and healthy holiday season!
Michael C. Crair, Ph.D.
William Ziegler III Professor of Neuroscience
Vice Provost for Research
Whom to Contact with Questions:
Questions about Yale and COVID-19: See https://covid19.yale.edu/.
Questions about library services: See https://web.library.yale.edu/covid-19-update-library-reopening-faq or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions about human resources issues: See https://your.yale.edu/work-yale/support/employee-services or contact the Employee Service Center at email@example.com or 203-432-5552.
Questions about academic calendars or other concerns about a specific school or program: The school’s dean’s office or dean of students.