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COVID-19: Yale Says It Will Hold Almost All Courses Online This Fall

Yale University is figuring out its plan to reopen in the fall.
Yale University is figuring out its plan to reopen in the fall. Photo Credit: Provided

Yale University is set to welcome students back to campus in the fall, though there will be extensive, protocols in place and the majority of courses held online due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

When Yale reopens in the fall, it will do so without sophomores living on campus, and when students return for the spring semester, it will be without freshmen living on campus to slow the spread of the virus.

In a letter to the community, Yale’s president and provost announced the contingency plan for students and staff, which includes testing and temperature checks as per state and federal guidelines.

It is expected that nearly all Yale undergraduate courses will be taught remotely to allow undergraduate students to enroll. Graduate and professional schools are expected to utilize a different hybrid model of in-person and remote education.

“All of us are sacrificing as part of a community dedicated to reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19,” Yale officials said. “Although the rates of COVID-19 hospitalization and death have declined in Connecticut, this pandemic is not over.

“The public health crisis continues to demand self-discipline, personal responsibility, prioritizing the common good over individual preferences, a spirit of cooperation, and resilience.”

Any in-person education will involve students and staff wearing face coverings, as well as social distancing measures for all courses.


“For most lectures and seminars — as well as other small-format courses such as writing classes and introductory language classes — the bulk of instruction will be conducted remotely,” University officials said. “There will be both synchronous and asynchronous components.

“Wherever feasible, such courses will have associated in-person supplements,” they added. “For a small number of classes, such as those involving laboratory or studio work that cannot be conducted remotely, instruction will take place in person, in socially distanced settings.”

Officials said that in making decisions, university leaders drew on the counsel of six planning committees — for public health; for emergency policy; one each for continuity of academic, research, and creative and artistic practice; and for operations.

A Town Hall meeting hosted for the community by Yale President Peter Salovey regarding the reopening of campus is expected to be held later this month.


“The pandemic is a dynamic situation — developments in the prevalence of the virus, the availability of treatment, or guidance from government officials may require changes in announced policies,” he said. “Yale’s Public Health Committee will continue to track infection and hospitalization rates and monitor developments in public health policies and recommended practices.

All students coming to campus will be required to quarantine for at least 14 days, and visitors are expected to be limited.

Salovey added: “this turbulent period in our nation and around the world demonstrates that there are more questions than answers in solving pressing challenges, in mitigating conflict, and in creating a world where all can thrive.

“We must approach our work—to create and share the knowledge that benefits humanity and to prepare leaders of insight and integrity—with a renewed sense of purpose,” he said. “There is a lot for us to do, and together, we will bring light and truth to a country and a world that need both.”

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