Yale updates plans for spring semester, delays start

Yale University will delay the start of its spring semester by one week and move the first two weeks of classes online for students in Yale College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), part of an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 following the winter recess, which began Wednesday afternoon. Spring break will be shortened by one week.

A recent, worldwide surge in COVID-19 cases, driven by the highly infectious omicron strain, has prompted us to raise alert levels on campus and adjust our plans to best protect our community,” President Peter Salovey and Provost Scott Strobel wrote to the Yale community Wednesday night in a message announcing the changes.

As always, our priority is the health and well-being of everyone on campus and those in our surrounding community. We are monitoring public health conditions closely.”

Salovey and Strobel said they are working with the deans of Yale’s professional schools, who will soon communicate with students about adjustments that may be necessary to courses and schedules.

Faculty, students, and staff will hear further from relevant university leaders in the next few weeks, they said.

Yale’s COVID-19 website is the university’s hub for COVID-19-related news and information.

Adjusted calendar

For undergraduate and GSAS students, the spring semester will begin Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, one week later than originally planned, according to the message. The period from Jan. 18 to 21 will be used for make-up exams, which will be administered online, it said.

Yale College and GSAS courses will be taught online from Jan. 25 through Feb. 4.

The message said undergraduates and graduate students may return to on-campus housing starting Jan. 14 and no later than Feb. 4. Students may delay their arrival, especially during the make-up exam period, if their circumstances permit.

In-person teaching and learning at Yale will resume Feb. 7.

To accommodate the one-week delay in the semester’s start, the message said, spring break for Yale College and GSAS students will be shortened by a week. It will begin the evening of March 18 and end the morning of March 28.

University staff will continue to follow the work arrangements announced Dec. 3 by Senior Vice President for Operations Jack Callahan Jr. and Vice President for Human Resources John Whelan, Salovey and Strobel said. But deans and unit leaders will, until Feb. 7, have “the discretion to offer members of their staff greater ability to work remotely, temporarily removing the requirement of having everyone report to campus at least twice per week.”

On Jan. 3, following the winter recess, research in laboratories, work in studio spaces and libraries, and other university operations will continue with appropriate safety precautions, the message said. Staff who support research facilities are expected to continue these activities when the university reopens.

Noting that the fall term “demonstrated how effective the health and safety measures we have established are at preventing the spread of COVID-19,” Salovey and Strobel urged continued adherence to health and safety measures, and detailed expectations regarding booster shots:

  • Wear a mask when indoors with others.
  • Get a booster shot: All students who are eligible must receive a booster to their vaccination by Jan. 18. Students who are not eligible to receive a booster on Jan. 18 must get a booster within seven days of becoming eligible. All other members of our community are expected to receive a booster when eligible.
  • Adhere to testing guidelines for COVID-19.
  • If you are ill, avoid contact with anyone else.
  • Wash your hands frequently.

Now, at the end of the semester and the calendar year, it is extraordinary to look back on all we have accomplished despite unprecedented challenges,” Salovey and Strobel wrote. “We built and maintained an effective health and safety infrastructure that enabled us to continue to teach the next generation of leaders and to create and share knowledge that benefits the world. Of course, the past months have been difficult for many of us, but we also displayed unmatched strength, kindness, and ingenuity. We are grateful for your tremendous efforts. Together, we will continue to navigate through this extraordinary moment in history.”

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