Giving thanks and looking forward to the Thanksgiving break

A Message from the COVID-19 Coordinator


  • Recognizing the hard work of many during the pandemic
  • Reminders before the break: testing, travel, and gatherings
  • Update on COVID-19 vaccine boosters

Dear Members of the Yale Community,

I frequently end these messages with a note of thanks. However, this week, as we approach a time of thanksgiving and reflection, I will begin my message by expressing my gratitude. Bringing our community together during the pandemic has required extraordinary and sustained commitment, creativity, and collaboration, as well as enormous effort and patience from so many. It is a great pleasure to see that some of our colleagues were recognized on Tuesday with the Linda K. Lorimer award. Many others have contributed equally to the work at hand, and many of you have done your part by faithfully practicing health and safety measures that often required you to limit or modify your usual campus activities. For all of your contributions and your unflagging dedication to the safety of our community, you have my deepest thanks and admiration.

A few reminders before Thanksgiving break

As we prepare for a welcome break and, in some cases, travel and gatherings with family and friends, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Testing: Earlier this week, Dr. Madeline Wilson provided the community with important information about COVID-19 testing requirements and test availability during the Thanksgiving break. If you plan or are required to test, please note that testing site hours will be reduced during the week of November 22.
  • Travel: In anticipation of the holiday season, Environmental Health and Safety has published updated safer travel practices. If you plan to travel, be sure to review these practices as well as the university’s travel policy, which describes testing and quarantine requirements for travelers and provides links to helpful resources.
  • Gatherings: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has posted recommendations for safer ways to celebrate. Additionally, please remember that the university’s policy regarding events, gatherings, and meetings remains in effect during the break.
  • Advice and Assistance: The Campus COVID Resource Line (203-432-6604, toll-free at 866-924-9253, 7 days a week, 8:30 am–5:00 pm) remains available throughout the break to answer your COVID-related questions and help you access resources regardless of whether you are traveling or on campus.

Vaccine Updates

  • Boosters for most: Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the expanded use of boosters of Pfizer-BioNTech (Pfizer) and Moderna vaccines to include all adults 18 years of age and older. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has endorsed the FDA action, and the CDC Director will make final recommendations regarding expanded eligibility. On Wednesday, in anticipation of the CDC and FDA decisions and following recent actions by other states, Governor Lamont advised Connecticut residents: “If you’re over 18, go get yourself a booster shot right now if you haven’t had one already… I think that’s the right thing to do.”

    Earlier this week, the CDC updated its guidance on boosters for people who were vaccinated outside the United States to allow certain individuals who received vaccines authorized under the World Health Organization Emergency Use Listing to receive booster shots of the Pfizer vaccine.

  • Vaccinations: Vaccinations (adult primary series, boosters, and pediatric vaccines) continue to be available through the Yale COVID-19 Vaccine Program clinic, Yale New Haven Health and other sites throughout the state.

I am pleased to end this message as I began—with my thanks for all you do to keep our community as safe and healthy as possible. I wish each and every one of you a restful, enjoyable, and safe Thanksgiving break.

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