Tuesday, March 10, 2020

A Message From Dean Heather Gerken About COVID-19

**This information continues to be updated. For the latest COVID-19 updates, please visit law.yale.edu/covid-19**

To the Members of the Law School Community:

I know this has been a very difficult and uncertain time for all of you.  The Law School has been working around the clock to ensure the health and safety of our community, and we have been collaborating with the University and its public health experts as the situation unfolds.  

As we just learned, the University has decided to move all classes online until April 5 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. In light of this decision, the Law School is extending its spring recess by one week until March 20 to align with the undergraduate spring recess. Our academic calendar has been updated to reflect this change.

Consistent with the University’s guidelines, all Law School class sessions will move online and take place remotely in real time starting on March 23rd. They will be automatically recorded and made available to enrolled students who cannot join a class at its scheduled time for health or logistical reasons. We will provide further information regarding online instruction as soon as we are able to do so. 

The Sterling Law Building and the Law Library will remain open solely to members of the University community. Baker Hall will also remain open to residents and staff. The University has encouraged all graduate and professional students to remain off-campus and participate in online instructionWe recognize that some members of our community cannot easily make this change.  For that reason, we will keep Baker Hall open for those students who do not have a suitable alternative. We are working closely with Graduate Housing to ensure that every student remains safe and healthy during their residency. Residents with questions about access to graduate housing should contact osa.law@yale.edu.

In keeping with our effort to keep all the members of our community safe and healthy, the Law School is canceling all in-person events, even those confined to members of our community, until April 5. We are also canceling conferences until the end of the academic year. We would strongly advise you to consider rescheduling any other events slated for later in the term, as it is possible we may need to cancel these as well. The situation is changing quickly, and we expect additional guidance from the University in the coming days.  

While there are no known cases of COVID-19 at the University at this time, out of an abundance of caution we are taking these steps to protect our community. It is important to stay connected for further updates about this rapidly evolving situation by checking your email and visiting Yale’s COVID-19 website. In the meantime, we have compiled a list of important reminders and procedures to follow at the end of this email. 

Please know that we are with you during this difficult period. The situation is changing quickly, and we are paying close attention to the public health experts advising the University.  We know there will be many additional questions as we work through this developing situation. We will provide additional information tailored to faculty, students, and staff as soon as we receive further guidance from the University. It is my top priority to ensure the health and safety of our community. Thank you for your patience and flexibility during this unprecedented and challenging time. 

Heather K. Gerken

PREVENTION: Please continue to take personal precautions and practice good hygiene. Our custodial team has stepped up disinfection protocols in frequently used areas and on commonly touched surfaces in all facilities in partnership with Environmental Health & Safety. Additional staff is being trained and deployed to assist with these efforts. 

TRAVEL: The University is prohibiting all international travel and is strongly encouraging us to postpone all school-sponsored domestic travel. For those currently traveling on spring break, please heed all travel and safety advisories regarding self-quarantine and registration required by the CDC. Given that the situation is changing frequently, please regularly consult the travel and health section of the University’s webpage. Register ALL travel—including within the United States—and download the International SOS (ISOS) app. Stay alert to changes and developments and be ready to change your plans if conditions change. 

HEALTH: If you should feel ill while traveling abroad, call ISOS (215-942-8478) for advice before going to a health care facility. ISOS medical staff can provide advice on how to get treatment but will not be able to get you out of a country if any government restrictions have been put in place.  For those on campus, if you experience fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, stay home and contact a healthcare provider for guidance—do not go to a healthcare facility before you have called your doctor or a hospital emergency room for instructions. If you are a Yale student or Yale Health member, you should contact Internal Medicine (203-432-0038), Student Health (203-432-0312), or Pediatrics (203-432-0206) from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For urgent attention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, please call Yale Health Acute Care (203-432-0123).