messages from the dean

COVID-19 required pre-arrival and on-arrival testing

August 10, 2020


Dear YSM students,

The university’s testing requirements, which follow, apply to all enrolled Yale School of Music students who will participate in any in-person component of the fall semester. This includes the use of practice rooms, faculty studios, in-person seminars, and activities during the performance block.

These policies are based on information about the spread of COVID-19, emerging public health and scientific findings, and guidance from government officials. Testing includes both pre-arrival and on-arrival testing, as well as ongoing screening of asymptomatic individuals during the semester.


  • Residents of high-density graduate dormitories (Helen Hadley and Harkness) are required to have a viral (PCR) test no more than 14 days prior to arriving in New Haven.
  • Students who will reside off-campus are strongly encouraged to make every effort to receive a viral (PCR) test no more than 14 days prior to their arrival in New Haven.
  • If the pre-arrival test is positive, the student should seek medical advice and isolate in their “home” location for at least 10 days and at least 24 hours following resolution of fever, if present. Students with a positive test should not travel to New Haven but should begin their studies remotely.
  • The cost of testing will be reimbursed up to $120. Please save your receipts and provide them to the business office for reimbursement. If you have already arrived in Connecticut, you should schedule a test through the Yale COVID-19 Screening Program and quarantine in your room until a negative result is obtained.


To participate in any YSM in-person activities while at Yale, you are required to schedule an on-arrival COVID-19 test. 

  • If you plan to participate in-person in the academic block beginning on Sept. 8, please schedule your on-arrival test between now and the start of the semester through the Yale COVID-19 Screening Program. Testing appointments are currently available now through August 21, Monday- Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. If you are already on-campus or in the New Haven area, you are encouraged to schedule now. Additional times will be made available later. If planning to arrive to campus by Sept. 30 for the performance block beginning on Oct. 14, please schedule your test for that time.
  • All students (whether residing on-campus or off-campus) must quarantine in their residences until a negative arrival test result is received. However, students arriving internationally or from a state covered by the State of CT Travel Advisory are required to quarantine for a total of 14-days upon arrival, regardless of test results. In addition, anyone entering from one of the identified states must fill out a travel health form upon arrival. Travelers can fill out the form online at The states on the CT Travel Advisory list are updated regularly. Failure to abide by this quarantine could result in a $1,000 fine from the state of Connecticut.

    Individuals with positive test results will be contacted by Yale Health and required to self-isolate.

    It is also recommended that you sign up for a MyChart account for online access to all of your medical information including lab and radiologic results. We also recommend downloading the app (App Store and Google Play).


Because of the intensity and physical proximity inherent to music-making, we recommend that all YSM students engage in regular screening throughout the semester.

  • Residents of Helen Hadley and Harkness Halls will be required to engage in twice-weekly testing.
  • Students residing off-campus are strongly encouraged to obtain testing on a voluntary basis once a week. Testing can be scheduled through the Yale COVID-19 Screening Program.

Testing is important, but prevention of COVID-19 transmission depends on all members of the campus committing to following health and safety guidelines and setting an example for their peers through the wearing of face coverings and practice of social distancing.


If you have questions, please contact the COVID Campus Resource Line, which is staffed by health care professionals, at 203-432-6604.

We will continue to provide you with the most up-to-date information as it becomes available. Please continue to check the YSM COVID-19 webpage regularly as information will also be made available there.

Thank you for your attention to this very important step to joining us in person on campus.


With deep appreciation,

Robert Blocker
Henry and Lucy Moses Dean of Music