VPR Announcement - Updated COVID-19 Guidance for Research During July

July 2, 2021
 
Subject:  Updated COVID-19 Guidance for Research During July
To:  Research engaged faculty, students and staff; including Department Chairs and Department Lead Administrators
From:  Michael Crair, Vice Provost for Research
 
This message provides updated guidance for research activity during the month of July, effective July 6.
 
Dear Colleagues,
 
Following this week’s message from Provost Strobel and Senior Vice President Callahan, I write to inform you about how their guidance applies to our research efforts. Effective July 6, the following measures will be in place provided that public health conditions do not require the university to make further adjustments:
 
Students, faculty, staff, and postdoctoral/postgraduate trainees who are fully vaccinated and have properly submitted their vaccination documentation to the university:
  • Are no longer required to complete the Daily Health  Check
  • Are no longer required to wear face masks indoors or outdoors (except when using university transportation, when in health care facilities, or when universal masking is explicitly required)
  • Are no longer required to physically distance
Students, faculty, staff, and postdoctoral/postgraduate trainees who have not submitted their vaccination documentation to the university or who have received university-approved exemptions:
  • Are required to complete weekly asymptomatic testing
  • Are required to complete the Daily Health Check
  • Are required to wear an appropriate face mask when indoors and when outdoors and unable to maintain 6-foot distancing from others
  • Are required to maintain a minimum 6-foot distance from others
Based on this latest guidance (and other than research involving human subjects), COVID-19 lab safety plans are no longer necessary, and there are no requirements for shift work or noting people’s presence in research spaces for the purposes of contact tracing.
 
Note that some individuals who previously did not have to perform weekly COVID-19 asymptomatic testing while on campus may now be required to do so if they have not been vaccinated and properly documented it with the university or if they have university-approved exemptions. Anyone who does not comply with these testing requirements will be notified directly. Please also consult this list of resources and information for more details.
 
Communal Spaces
Under the current COVID-19 Events, Gathering, and Meetings policy, in-person lab meetings are permissible while following the above guidance. However, larger events—more than 20 people indoors, or more than 50 people outdoors—require explicit permission.
 
Core facilities and other shared spaces, such as conference rooms, kitchens, and restrooms, may be used at normal capacity subject to the above requirements for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Individually packaged foods can be provided and consumed at events and gathering, such as lab meetings, under the same circumstances.
 
Our facilities staff will continue to frequently clean communal spaces such as break rooms and conference rooms. However, surfaces in shared facilities should still be cleaned by those who use them with disinfectant wipes as an added safety measure. If you have questions about safety in a particular area, please consult your safety advisor or building facilities superintendent.
 
Human Subjects, Travel and Off Campus Field Work
Guidance for human subjects research, off-campus field work, and university-sponsored travel has gradually evolved during the pandemic, but generally remains the same.
 
Transportation and Visitors
Campus shuttles will return to operating at full capacity, but everyone—regardless of vaccination status—must wear a face mask while using them.
 
Our visitor and guest policies also generally remain the same. Current (already matriculated) Yale undergraduates are permitted on campus. High school and other undergraduate students are still not permitted on campus or in our facilities. Short-term visitors to campus must be approved through our existing COVID-19 exception request process before coming on campus or entering our facilities.
 
COVID-19 signage should be left in place, as facilities will handle sign updates or removal as appropriate.
 
As always, thank you for your careful review of and adherence to this guidance. Our continued success in our research endeavors and in managing the pandemic has largely been predicated upon your attendance to these guidelines. In our excitement to be together again, it is important to maintain our vigilance and continue to protect our own and each other’s health and safety.
 
Sincerely,
Michael Crair
Vice Provost for Research