messages from the dean

Protocols for positive COVID-19 cases

October 19, 2020


Dear YSM Students, Faculty, and Staff,

As we navigate our way through this pandemic and the anxieties it has introduced, I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to the entire YSM community for all you are doing to keep one another healthy and safe. As you know, careful adherence to the safety protocols we have in place remains the best way to reduce the risk of becoming infected and/or transmitting an infection.

The university has protocols in place to care for anyone who might test positive for COVID-19 and to manage the risk to the wider community. The anonymity of anyone who tests positive will be protected. The university and YSM response to a positive test will be as follows:

  • Results are sent to individuals through MyChart; a dedicated “resulting team” at Yale Health, on duty from 8 a.m.–10 p.m., is notified of positive results at the same time. A member of the team reaches out to the individual for conversation about symptoms, care, and isolation in a timely manner. Individuals who receive positive results through MyChart after 10 p.m. should call the Campus COVID Resource Line at 203-432-6604 for medical advice and isolate in their rooms until contacted by Yale Health the following morning.
  • Notification of positive cases will be sent to the Dean, the YSM Health and Safety Leader, appropriate staff supervisors, and the isolation and contact tracing teams. Environmental Health and Safety will also be notified.
  • On-campus students who test positive will be required to isolate in designated on-campus rooms (meals and laundry service will be provided); off-campus students will be given the option of isolating in the on-campus isolation space or in their off-campus residences. Staff and faculty should isolate in their residences.
  • Medical monitoring and advice will be provided to students by Yale Health during isolation; the student will receive a daily clinical check-in, including mental health. Care will be escalated to Yale Health or Mental Health and Counseling clinicians as necessary. The student may leave isolation when authorized by Yale Health. Faculty, staff, and post-doctoral trainees who test positive will be asked to consult with their health care providers and isolate at home for at least 10 days and until a health care provider or Yale Health informs them it is safe to return to campus.
  • Yale contact tracer will call the individual to identify close contacts. To prevent the spread of infection, it is essential to respond to the contact tracer promptly and honestly; information shared with the contact tracer will not be used for disciplinary purposes against anyone. Your privacy will be protected; the Yale Contact Tracing Team will not reveal your identity to any contacts.
  • Campus-based contacts of the patient who are identified by the patient will be notified of possible exposure. Close contacts (someone who has been within 6 feet of an infected individual for more than 15 minutes) are offered testing and are asked to quarantine in their residence for 14 days and to monitor for symptoms. Lower risk contacts are offered testing and asked to monitor for symptoms.
  • Any facilities or equipment potentially contaminated by COVID-19 will be cleaned and disinfected.
  • The School of Music will make academic accommodations and provide social support for any student in isolation or quarantine.
  • YSM students in isolation for infection or in self-quarantine at the request of the contact tracing team will be paid for any work they would have normally done during that period. Student workers will also be paid if the building where they work is closed by the university as a public health measure.

    We are not able to pay student workers for the work they would have done while they are in self-quarantine due to travel or arrival requirements or while they are restricted from campus due to violation of health and safety protocols.
  • Yale Health Acute Care is open 24/7 for urgent medical concerns


Thank you for continuing to ensure the well-being of the YSM community by always wearing a mask, observing physical-distancing guidelines, and washing your hands. We strongly encourage everyone to participate in the university’s voluntary weekly testing program. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the YSM Health and Safety leaders at Your understanding and cooperation is deeply appreciated.


Warm regards, 

Robert Blocker
Henry and Lucy Moses Dean of Music