More on masks and gatherings and bolstering evidence for boosters

A Message from the COVID-19 Coordinator


  • Where to find details about the new mask and gatherings policies
  • The importance of COVID-19 boosters
  • Reminders on when to test

This week, the New Haven County COVID-19 Community Level as determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) remains “low.” While this news is favorable, we know that conditions can change rapidly, and our public health advisors continue their close surveillance of the pandemic. 

With many members of our campus community on spring break, I write with a few brief reminders and updates about current COVID-19 information.

Where can I find information on the new mask requirements and gatherings policy?

As previously announced, new mask requirements and guidance and a revised events, gatherings and meetings policy went into effect on March 21 and are now posted on the Yale COVID-19 website.

Why is it best to get boosted?

In its weekly review, the CDC highlighted two new studies that once again show the efficacy of vaccine boosters in preventing hospitalization and severe disease from COVID-19 variants, including Omicron.

As a reminder, the university requires all students, faculty, staff, and postdoctoral trainees to receive a booster as soon as they are eligible, unless they have approved exemptions. Make sure to submit or confirm your information about your COVID-19 vaccinations, including boosters. Follow these tips for assistance in submitting or confirming your information. If you need to schedule a booster, you can do so through the Yale COVID-19 Vaccine Program or at one of many sites throughout Connecticut.  

What about additional boosters?

Right now, according to the CDC, being up to date with COVID-19 vaccines means receiving a primary vaccination series and a booster dose when eligible. More information about staying up to date can be found on the CDC’s COVID-19 website. The CDC also provides additional vaccination information for those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised.

While the CDC currently recommends a single booster for most individuals, some experts are considering the need for an additional booster. Moderna and Pfizer have now applied for Emergency Use Authorization of a fourth dose of their COVID-19 vaccines, either for adults over 65 years old (in the case of Pfizer) or all adults (in the case of Moderna). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will likely review relevant scientific evidence and consider these applications in early April.

Cold, allergies, or COVID? Get tested to be sure.

As we enter the spring season and many people begin to wear masks less frequently, allergies and common colds are likely to increase. Since the hallmarks of both conditions can be very similar to those of COVID-19, it is important to get tested if you experience even mild symptoms.

All faculty, staff, and students may self-schedule a symptomatic COVID-19 test. As I described in last week’s message, you should contact your healthcare provider if you test positive to see if you are eligible for COVID-19 treatment.

Test after travel, too?

Members of our community who may be traveling back to campus from other areas of the country or the world should check the Yale Travel Policy for guidance on returning to campus. Anyone who is not fully vaccinated is required to test after domestic and international travel. Returning students, regardless of vaccination status, must follow testing requirements communicated by their schools prior to spring break. All other members of the community who are fully vaccinated are strongly encouraged to test after domestic travel and are required to test when returning from international travel.  

Whether or not you have traveled, I hope you have had time to enjoy the longer days and appreciate the arrival of spring. As always, I thank you for your partnership as we navigate the ever-changing pandemic conditions.

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