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Alert Level Yellow

October 15, 2020

A Message from Dean Cooley

Copied to: DGSs, Department Chairs, Registrars
In this message: Return to yellow alert level and how that affects graduate students.

Dear graduate students,

By now you will have received a message from Stephanie Spangler, our University COVID-19 Coordinator, about the change in COVID-19 alert level announced today. Rather than a cause for alarm, this is intended as a preventative measure to address the rising infection numbers in the state of Connecticut and any clusters arising on campus.

This decision was made with an abundance of caution to preserve the health of the community and stem the potential for outbreaks.

Details about alert levels and their related measures can be found on the Yale COVID-19 website. You will see that “incidence of the virus remains low, but indicators show increased or potential for increase in transmission.”

What to expect

For graduate students, little will change in your day-to-day activities, but it is more important than ever to continue taking precautions. Here are some reminders:

  • You are still expected to practice the usual health and safety protocols – physical distancing, mask wearing, daily health checks, and handwashing.
  • Events and gatherings should still occur online as much as possible via Zoom or another electronic method. Please see these guidelines regarding meetings of all sorts, and download an application for event approval if you would like to plan a gathering of more than 10 individuals.
  • Visitors are not allowed on campus. A visitor is anyone who is not a Yale student, or member of faculty or staff authorized for on-campus activity in Fall 2020.
  • Travel is strongly discouraged, but if you do decide to leave the New Haven area for any length of time, we ask you to follow the COVID-19 quarantine and testing guidelines. This means that if you visit a state on the Connecticut travel advisory list or travel to another country, upon return you will have to quarantine for two weeks or until you have two negative tests (usually within the span of a week).

Some of you may nonetheless have plans to travel for Thanksgiving or the winter holidays. Please review the CDC Holiday Celebrations guidelines to protect yourselves and your loved ones. GSAS students do not need to notify health and safety leaders for travel from November 20, 2020 through January 25, 2021.

  • Please remember that voluntary asymptomatic testing is available everyone in the Yale community, even if you are not subject to a testing requirement.

If you have questions about pandemic safety measures or issues of compliance, please check the University’s COVID-19 hub  and/or contact Dean Lisa Brandes at  The GSAS Safety Team also has a site on YaleConnect where you can view the latest safety-related information.

Although you may be experiencing pandemic fatigue, this is the time to redouble efforts to keep our community healthy. Thank you for your patience and perseverance in adapting to this evolving situation.

As always, take good care of yourselves and each other.

Stay well –
Lynn Cooley

Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
C.N.H. Long Professor of Genetics
Professor of Cell Biology and of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology