Reminder: student confidentiality and mask requirements

Friday, October 29, 2021

October 29, 2021

[Summary: This message reminds instructors that they may not request evidence of vaccination or documentation of COVID-19 test results from students. We encourage instructors to adopt reasonable absence policies that are adaptive to the public health situation. All students must be masked in all indoor classroom settings. Those who are not may be asked to leave class or may be reported to the relevant Health and Safety Leader.]

To: All FAS faculty and instructors in Yale College and the Graduate School   

Cc: FAS Dean’s Office; GSAS Dean’s Office; Yale College Dean’s Office; FAS Department Chair’s Assistants, Operations Managers, and Lead Administrators; President’s Office; Provost’s Office

Dear colleagues,

Thank you for all that you have done this semester to support our students and keep our campus community safe.  We write today with reminders of the policies on (a) requesting COVID-19 test results and vaccination status from students and (b) mask requirements.

Student vaccination status and COVID-19 test results

Earlier this semester, we wrote to advise you that you may not ask students to provide evidence of vaccination or documentation of COVID-19 test results in order to attend class. As the message sent on September 28 explains:  

A student’s vaccination status or COVID-19 test result is confidential medical information. You may not request this information from your students for any purpose, including for documenting absences or as a condition for attending class, nor may you restrict access to your class on the basis of a student’s apparent medical condition.   

Yale’s contact tracing team will alert close contacts of any students who test positive, and there is no need for instructors to monitor the COVID-19 test results of students. We encourage instructors to adopt flexible attendance policies that will not incentivize students to attend class if they are ill.  

You can find information about recent COVID-19 rates on campus at the “daily testing data” section of the Yale COVID-19 data website.  

Mask requirements

Masks are still required in indoor campus spaces university-wide, and they provide protection not only from COVID-19 but also from seasonal illnesses like colds and flu. As an instructor, you may remind your students of mask requirements, and you may refer them to the signage posted in each classroom or to the policy posted online. You may ask students to leave class if they refuse to wear a mask.  

In addition, you can contact a Health and Safety Leader for Yale College or for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, as appropriate, to report students who do not observe the university-wide mask requirements.

With gratitude and best wishes,

Tamar, Marvin, and Lynn

Tamar Szabó Gendler
Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Marvin Chun
Dean of Yale College

Lynn Cooley
Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences