As students return to New Haven before classes, administrators on Wednesday announced the first reported case of COVID-19 among Yale College students on campus.
In an email to students, Dean of Yale College Marvin Chun wrote that the undergraduate was asymptomatic and had already been transferred to isolation housing somewhere on campus. According to Chun, contact tracers notified everyone who had come into contact with the infected student.
“Protocols in place for bringing students back to campus are working as they should,” Chun wrote. “Nevertheless, this is a moment to stress the importance for everyone in the community to comply with testing and quarantine requirements; follow the practices of physical distancing, frequent hand washing, and wearing face coverings; and abide by the terms of the community compact.”
Chun added that he will not send out updates with every new positive test, but Yale’s cumulative statistics are available online. According to the website, Yale administered 13,623 tests between March 10 and Aug. 22, and reported 242 total cases for a 1.8 percent positivity rate within that period.
Several colleges across the nation have already failed to prevent outbreaks. At the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, classes moved online after 130 students tested positive in the first week of the academic year, while at the University of Alabama, the same length of time saw an explosion of more than 500 cases.
Yale’s administrators have emailed students on several occasions to implore them to respect public health guidelines.
“We’ve seen universities across the country have to reverse course for a simple, preventable reason: students partied, and people got sick,” University President Peter Salovey wrote to students on Aug. 21. “By not having parties (and by wearing our masks and social distancing), we are doing our part to keep others healthy. It’s a great way to show respect to those who make Yale, Yale—both across campus and across town.”
Since the pandemic began, Connecticut has reported 52,350 cases of COVID-19.
Valerie Pavilonis | firstname.lastname@example.org