Vaibhav Sharma, Photo Editor

While some athletic facilities have been temporarily closed due to the rising COVID-19 case counts among undergraduate students, access to most spaces on campus has not changed for undergraduates, with the exception of campus art museums and classroom buildings.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak among the Yale men’s hockey team, the University raised its COVID-19 alert level from green to yellow last Thursday. As a result, certain athletic facilities were closed for cleaning in response to the outbreak, and the Yale University Art Gallery and Yale Center for British Art have temporarily closed to the public after reopening less than a month ago. In addition, undergraduates can no longer book classroom buildings for clubs or events, as their use is now restricted to preapproved University activities. Otherwise, building access has not changed.

“As you know, athletic facilities went to Phase 0,” Dean of Yale College Marvin Chun wrote in an email to the News. “Other buildings are not closed, but classroom buildings are now restricted to approved research activities and classes.”

Chun wrote that “under current conditions, students should not be using classroom spaces except for in person classes,” and encouraged students to use the libraries for studying, However, he did not specify whether students are actually barred from using classroom buildings or how the University will be enforcing its new policy on classroom usage.

Yale Athletics reverted to Phase 0 in response to the cluster of positive cases among the men’s hockey team. In Phase 0, no in-person physical athletic activities are allowed, but teams can meet virtually with coaches. Additionally, certain athletic facilities, including Payne Whitney Gymnasium, Ingalls Rink and Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center, were closed for cleaning until Monday.

In terms of access to other campus resources such as libraries and college common spaces, nothing has changed for undergraduates. But according to Chun, the art museums have now been closed to the public due to the change in alert level.

For the Yale Center for British Art, the reversion to yellow alert status caused the museum to close until further notice. According to the YCBA website, scan and deliver services have been paused through Nov. 4, and the Study Room and Reference Library and Photograph Archives are closed until further notice.

Kristin Dwyer, a member of the YCBA’s COVID-19 reopening team, said that while the center welcomed visitors on three consecutive weekends starting Sept. 25, the recent change in alert level caused the YCBA’s temporary closure.

Dwyer said that although the museum is temporarily closed, its collections are digitized and available online for all to enjoy, and many of its programs are now remote. For example, its virtual “at home: Artists in Conversation” series, which Dwyer said has enjoyed success, will continue.

According to an update posted on the Yale University Art Gallery website on Oct. 16, the gallery is also now closed to the public and will remain so until further notice. All timed-entry tickets for last weekend were canceled.

However, in terms of library access, Yale University Library Director of Communications and Marketing Patricia Carey told the News that the move to yellow “will not change access to any of the libraries that make up Yale University Library.” According to Carey, all library services and open hours will remain the same, including the recently expanded evening and weekend hours at Bass and Sterling libraries. The Beinecke exhibition hall remains closed until further notice, as it has been since March.

The one change the Yale University Library made was to officially close the “12 Portraits: Studies of Women at Yale” exhibit, located in the Sterling Library Memorabilia Room, on Oct 16.

According to the Yale COVID-19 Statistics dashboard, as of Oct. 21, Yale has reported 65 positive cases since Aug. 1, with 24 new cases in the past week.

Julia Bialek |

Annie Radillo |

Julia Bialek currently serves as a public editor for the Yale Daily News. Previously, she covered the student policy & affairs beat as a reporter on the university desk. Originally from Chappaqua, New York, Julia is a junior in Saybrook College studying political science and history.
Annie Radillo covers museums and visual art. She is a sophomore in Benjamin Franklin College majoring in English.