January 8, 2022

In recent days, press accounts have suggested that the guidance my office has given Yale College students regarding their return to campus later this month unnecessarily hurts New Haven businesses, or that it unfairly limits the freedom of students. I want to make clear that our guidance stems from a basic desire: to keep the shared Yale and New Haven community as healthy as possible.   

Yale College students were advised in a January 4 email from Dean Melanie Boyd that during a temporary, campus-wide quarantine, they should avoid local businesses, restaurants, and bars, including outdoor drinking or dining. All dining will be to-go during this period, whether on campus or off. Dean Boyd's message encouraged students to order from local restaurants for curbside pickup, and to take walks in town.
The temporary campus quarantine, like previous similar ones, is meant to limit the potential spread of infection during the period in which students will be returning to campus from locations around the world. Ahead of the beginning of Winter Recess in December, many students wanted to take precautionary measures before returning home in order to limit any risk of their infecting family members. The same reasoning applies here in reducing the chances of returning students inadvertently exposing the New Haven community to the virus. 

My hope is that the quarantine can be lifted on February 7 as planned, once it has served its purpose and enabled Yale’s public health advisers to evaluate the conditions after the students' return. I am very grateful to students for their cooperation: it directly benefits our shared community.

Marvin M. Chun
Dean of Yale College
Richard M. Colgate Professor of Psychology; Neuroscience; Cognitive Science