January 14, 2021

To all students enrolled in residence in the spring,

I hope that you have been able to get some rest during the winter recess. Although there are still two more weeks left in it, I know that you are eager to know more about returning to New Haven and starting the semester. I am writing with information and instructions you can use as a student enrolled in residence, whether you will be living on campus or off; you can jump to the section below that applies to you. (If you are enrolled remotely, this message is for your information only; you do not need to take any action.)

Remember that you can always find an archive of messages, the most current updates, and additional details on Yale College's FAQ page. This resource will be especially useful if you are enrolling in residence for the first time this year, but you will find helpful reminders there even if you enrolled in residence last semester.

Please also keep in mind that the dates and timelines below are based on guidance from state and university public health officials and could change; if they do, I will write again with updated information.

I am grateful to you all for your patience and understanding as the university plans for your arrival. The communal effort to open campus is extraordinary, and it includes not only the faculty and staff but you as well, with the support of your parents and guardians. I look forward to starting the semester together with you.


Melanie Boyd
Dean of Student Affairs
Senior Associate Dean in Yale College
she | her | hers

NOTE for the following and other resources: If you do not have access to the COVID training in Canvas, cannot schedule testing, or are unable to order the pre-arrival test kit because your learning location has not been updated, please sign into SIS and update your learning location as soon as possible. You should allow 24-36 hours for the change to take effect.

If you will be living on campus

This is a good time to review my message to you of December 8, when I provided a general overview of the start of the term; the information that follows adds to that message, and in particular explains how this semester’s arrival quarantine differs from last semester’s.

Actions you need to take now

Reserve your move-in time

If you haven't already scheduled your move-in time on January 28 or 29, or requested permission to move in on January 30, please do so now; reservations are necessary in order to prevent crowding in the public areas of campus residences. You can reserve, review, change, or cancel your move-in time on the housing portal.

Schedule your initial viral tests

Once you have scheduled your move-in time, your next step is to schedule your arrival testing for when you first arrive, before you move in or pick up your keys.

If you are coming to campus for the first time this year, here are the instructions (unchanged for students who were here last semester) for scheduling your testing:

Register for MyChart, the patient portal for Yale’s electronic health records, if you haven’t previously. If you do not have a MyChart account, Yale Health will soon provide you with a registration code and a link for creating an account.

I also recommend that you download MyChart’s mobile app, available here for iOS and here for Android. While you will not make your appointment directly through MyChart, you need this account to proceed to the next step.

Once you have a MyChart account, go to covidtesting.yale.edu to schedule a testing appointment at the start of your move-in time; taking your viral test is the first thing you must do when you move in, so schedule your test at the time when you will be arriving.

If you need to reschedule your test, you can: start by canceling your existing appointment through MyChart, then use the covidtesting.yale.edu link to schedule a new one.

For more information about the testing process and requirements, including tips for a successful test, please visit the COVID-19 Screening Program for Undergraduates webpage.

Once the semester begins, on February 1, all students will shift to an assigned twice-weekly testing schedule. You will receive your assignment and instructions for making those appointments later this month.

Arrange for pre-arrival testing

By now, you should have received a message from Dr. Christine Chen, with instructions for arranging home-based pre-arrival testing. Please be sure to read her message and take the recommended steps by January 17. Some of you, you will see from Dr. Chen’s message, will not need to arrange for pre-arrival testing; you will instead arrange for testing when you arrive.

And if you are approved to live on campus but did not receive the message from Dr. Chen, please write to member.services@yale.edu and you will be added to the roster.

Quarantine information

An arrival quarantine, rolled out in phases and with changes from last semester, will last from the day you arrive on campus until March 1.

The arrival quarantine is required of all students living in campus residences. Unlike the fall, there is no option to arrive after the quarantine period ends, not even for students traveling from nearby or who have remained on campus since last semester. There is also no exemption based on prior viral test results, positive or negative, nor is there an exception based on vaccination status.

Phase one: 24 to 36 hours

In the first phase, you will need to stay in your suite until you receive a negative result of the test you take on arrival, usually 24 to 36 hours. Grab-and-go meals, which you will pick up and eat in your suite during this initial period, will be provided when you pick up your key.

Phase two: receipt of negative test result until 6:59 a.m. on February 15

In the second phase, which starts after you receive a negative result from the test you take on arrival and continues until 6:59 a.m. on February 15, you will be able to leave your suite, but will need to stay within your residential college, or other campus residence, and the corresponding courtyard. Permission to leave will be granted only for testing, medical reasons, or for emergencies.

Phase three: 7:00 a.m. on February 15 until 7:00 a.m. on March 1

In the third phase, which starts at 7:00 a.m. on February 15 and ends at 7:00 a.m. on March 1, you will be able to leave your residential college or other campus residence but will need to remain on campus. This third phase, new for this semester’s arrival quarantine, brings Yale College into compliance with state guidelines and serves as an additional precaution to reduce the risk of viral spread.

During this final phase, please remain on campus, minimizing your interactions with the City of New Haven and the surrounding community. This means avoiding restaurants, coffee shops, stores, or any other spaces that are not campus buildings. (Purchasing items for delivery is fine as long as the transaction is socially distant and contactless.) It also means avoiding walks or runs into the city or local green spaces. If you are performing community service, please do that virtually. Get your meals from your dining hall and, as much as you can, stay within campus buildings and campus spaces.

At 7:00 a.m. on March 1, you will be able to leave campus and interact with the New Haven community, provided you follow the guidelines in the community compact.

If you are a junior or senior and will be living off campus

Although you will be living independently, you will be expected to abide by many of the same quarantine and testing requirements that apply to students living on campus because you will be interacting with the residential community and will soon have access to campus. (First-year students and sophomores have access to campus only if they are living on campus.)

Please start by reviewing the January 7 message about returning to New Haven if you are living off campus, and follow university travel policies for testing and quarantine at the time of your arrival.

Schedule your viral testing

You will need to have taken at least one viral test by the end of January, and you will also need to test twice weekly throughout the term. Please schedule twice-weekly tests as soon as you arrive through the Yale COVID-19 Screening Program, available at covidtesting.yale.edu. This link will offer you appointments at central campus locations because the college test sites are still closed; starting February 1, your test site will change to the one designated for your residential college.

Understand how the on-campus arrival quarantine affects you

From January 28 until February 15, all students living on campus will be restricted to their residential colleges for the first phases of their arrival quarantine. As off-campus juniors and seniors, you will not have access to campus then, including to campus locations outside the residential colleges, apart from testing appointments scheduled at one of those locations.

Then, from February 15 until March 1, students living on campus will be restricted to campus for the final stage of their arrival quarantine. Although the restrictions for students living on campus are not required of you, please consider following them from the date you arrive until March 1, insofar as you are able to, avoiding restaurants, coffee shops, stores, and purchasing items for delivery, with socially distant and contactless delivery.

During this third and final period of the on-campus arrival quarantine, you will have access to campus buildings, but you may enter the residential colleges only for your scheduled viral testing.