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Yale to require masks for students, staff while indoors

The requirement applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — As COVID-19 infections rise across Connecticut, prompting health officials to recommend people return to mask-wearing indoors, Yale University is going beyond a recommendation. The college will require masks for all individuals sharing space indoors. 

In a letter addressed to the Yale community, the university's COVID-19 Coordinator said, "The CDC’s tracking system classified New Haven County as experiencing a “substantial” rate of transmission due to an increase in the number of infections over the last week. In accordance with this classification... the university has reinstated its requirement that vaccinated as well as unvaccinated individuals wear masks in indoor campus spaces except when alone, such as in a private office or seated in a partitioned cubicle."

The letter goes on to mention that COVID-19 vaccines remain highly effective in preventing COVID-19 infection, and in preventing severe disease and death from variants—including the Delta variant. It also notes that unvaccinated individuals remain many times more likely to become infected or to suffer severe health outcomes. 

"It was our adherence to masking, distancing, and regular asymptomatic testing of certain on-campus populations that allowed us to conduct our academic programs last fall—before vaccines were available—with low rates of infections and very few outbreaks," said Stephanie S. Spangler, M.D. 

Yale is providing both washable and disposable masks to students on-campus. The university is also requiring students to be vaccinated, unless they apply for a waiver.