COVID-19 FAQ's

What is the current status of coronavirus at Yale University?

There are currently no identified cases in the Yale community or in Connecticut.

Health authorities throughout the world are focused on this illness and Yale Health has highly professional, trained medical staff members who are closely following developments, working closely with other University offices to make well informed decisions, and are committed to protecting the health of the Yale community.

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses such as the common cold, and more severe illnesses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Coronaviruses commonly circulate in animals and sometimes also infect humans. This novel coronavirus (2019n-CoV) is a strain thought to originate in animals that was not previously found in humans. The CDC (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and WHO (World Health Organization) are closely monitoring the cases of this infection for this reason.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Most cases are mild with respiratory complaints such as fever, cough with shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. More severe cases of the infection can lead to pneumonia and there have been some deaths. Those with chronic medical conditions appear to be at high risk for serious complications.

How is the infection spread?

The infection appears to spread by respiratory droplets, such as when a person coughs or sneezes.

What is being done to protect the health of the Yale community?

How can I prevent getting COVID-19?

There is still much that is unknown about this virus. However, the prevention steps recommended during cold and flu season are helpful in reducing the risk for infections:

  • Wash your hands often using soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you’ve touched someone who is sick.  If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (like Purell®).
  • Avoid close contact with people who are experiencing symptoms.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • If you have cold and cough symptoms, make sure to cover your coughs and sneezes by using the bend of your arm (elbow) or use disposable tissues and immediately throw them in the trash.
  • Stay home if you are ill and contact your healthcare provider.
  • Receive a flu shot to prevent influenza if you have not already done so.

What if I have recently traveled to China or have been in contact with someone who may have been ill with COVID-19?

Are there travel restrictions to China?

The State Department has issued Level 4: Do Not Travel for China. Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. Commercial carriers have reduced or suspended routes to and from China.

Yale strongly recommends that faculty, students, and staff reschedule or cancel all university and personal travel to China between now and April. This includes academic programs, extracurricular programs, executive education programs, and all other Yale-affiliated travel.

Visit the Yale Office of International Affairs for travel related questions.

Are there travel warnings due to COVID-19 in other places?

CDC has issued a Level 1 Watch for Hong Kong and Japan. At this time, CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to Hong Kong or Japan however the ongoing outbreak has spread to these areas. Visit the CDC’s Travel Health Notices for more information.

What if I am traveling overseas and have a medical emergency?

Yale internaltional travlers who are overseas with a medical emergency should contact ISOS through the ISOS assistance app or by calling 1-215-942-8478. ISOS is a resource for members of the Yale community that provides emergency medical, security, and travel assistance.

Who can I talk to if this situation makes me feel stressed and overwhelmed? 

More Information

CDC: 2019 Novel Coronavirus
WHO: Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)