Yale Facilities implements building safety measures for the August return to work

July 21, 2021

In preparation for the university’s transition to full pre-COVID-19 occupancy at all Yale buildings, beginning August 1, 2021, the Office of Facilities has implemented measures to help ensure a safe onsite return.

In coordination with the recent shift to campus health and safety protocols for July, as outlined in a joint message from the Provost and Senior Vice President for Operations, the way in which Yale students, faculty, staff, and postdoctoral/postgraduate trainees navigate spaces on campus is dependent on their vaccination status with the university. 

Following this incremental policy change while also preparing for the August 1 occupancy transition, furniture that has been removed is being returned, signage is being updated, and space closures are reopening to meet the target date. Refer to Yale Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) for exceptions

While receiving a vaccination and submitting vaccination documentation to the university by Sunday, August 1, is paramount in combating the spread of COVID-19, the Facilities reentry plan considers all Yale spaces and all properties leased by the university. 

Increased air ventilation and filtration 

In increasing the safe use of spaces across Yale facilities, several heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) operating parameters and system modifications have been enacted. These applications are consistent with the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards. This includes increases in air ventilation and filtration through improvements to current systems, maximizing the use of exhaust fans and operable windows, and the addition of new equipment that enhances air purification where required. 

Cleaning and disinfecting of university buildings and spaces

According to the CDC, the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection via the fomite transmission route is low, and less than one in 10,000, which means that each contact with a contaminated surface has less than a one in 10,000 chance of causing an infection. The principal mode by which people are infected with SARS-CoV-2 is through exposure to respiratory droplets carrying the infectious virus.

Based on this evidence, the Office of Facilities in collaboration with EHS have realigned the level of cleaning and disinfection of university buildings. This strategy recommends that high-traffic shared spaces such as public restrooms and residential college and graduate student housing shared restrooms are cleaned and disinfected by Facilities Services once per day.

Other shared spaces, including residential college community spaces, classrooms, nonpublic restrooms, conference rooms, lecture halls, seminar rooms, elevators, hallways, and stairways are still being cleaned daily, but not disinfected, with disinfecting wipes provided by Facilities Services for occupants’ use. 

Workspaces such as laboratories, studios, offices, and departmental conference rooms, as well as residential college special activity spaces, return to pre-COVID-19 levels of service with disinfecting wipe acquisition and use being the occupant’s responsibility. Personal protective equipment purchases may be made through Yale Printing & Publishing Services

For compliance and questions 

To achieve your department’s compliance with the most current university standards, or if you have questions beyond the FAQs that are more specific to your building, please reach out to your Facilities Superintendent

Visit the Workplace Guidance web page for additional resources compiled to support the return to on-campus work.