Change in Campus Alert Status to Orange

Special Message: Change in Campus Alert Status to Orange

Dear Members of the Yale Community,

I am writing to make you aware of a change in the campus COVID-19 alert level and, more importantly, the actions that the university has taken and that you can take to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Over the past week we have seen a rise in cases in our campus community and continued increases in COVID-19 infections in the state and the nation. Our public health experts report that infections in our state are increasingly associated with the Omicron variant, which is more highly infectious than previously identified variants, including Delta.

While we have not experienced the rates of infections that have occurred on some other campuses, given these developments and remaining uncertainties about the Omicron variant, the university has moved to the Orange campus alert level (“moderate risk”). 

What actions has the university taken?

Over the past days the university has taken the following actions:

  • Undergraduate dining was moved from in-person to grab-and-go.
  • In-person final examinations were eliminated for students in Yale College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and some professional schools. Faculty and instructors were asked to make alternative options, such as remote examinations, available so that students could choose to leave campus and travel earlier than they may have planned.
  • The university libraries will close after the exam period ends on December 22, 2021, and will remain closed for the winter recess.
  • The Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art will not host public visiting hours throughout the recess period.
  • A number of planned gatherings have been postponed, transitioned to a virtual venue, or cancelled.
  • Managers are encouraged to consult with their respective deans or senior leaders to make provisions for those staff who are able to work remotely this week to do so.

What actions can you take?

I am briefly listing below measures you can take to reduce your risk of infection. These were described more fully in my recent messages

  • Get vaccinated and get your booster as soon as you are eligible.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask indoors.
  • Other than going home for the holidays, limit non-essential travel.
  • Avoid restaurants, bars, and large gatherings.
  • Isolate yourself if you have any symptoms and get tested.
  • Stay informed by consulting trusted sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As I said in my message last week, it is very unfortunate that the pandemic is still with us. I hope that we will all find ways, even with heightened vigilance, to enjoy the holidays while staying as safe as possible.

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