EHS COVID-19 FAQs

The following list of FAQs has been compiled by EHS staff. For additional information and FAQs, please see:


Will EHS be providing respirators or other personal protective equipment upon request?

No, EHS will not be providing respirators or personal protective equipment. We are working directly with impacted departments to ensure staff are adequately protected. If you require a respirable as part of your job at Yale, please contact EHS at ehs@yale.edu or 203-785-3550.

What alternative measures exist for addressing a shortage of PPE supplies?

  • Use reusable safety glasses or goggles that can be sanitized and disinfected in place of disposable items.
  • Use reusable solid chin-length face-shield to protect your eyes, nose and mouth, in place of a disposable face shield and surgical mask.
  • For labs that use respirators, consider the use of Powered-Air-Purifying Respirators or reusable half-face respirators, each with the relevant protective cartridges, in place of disposable respirators.
  • As of March 2020, disposable gloves are not yet out of stock. However, if gloves become difficult to obtain, reusable “thicker” utility gloves can be obtained for use, if they can be sanitized and disinfected before use. EHS is not recommending the use of reusable gloves at this time. Additional information will be provided by EHS on this topic in the future and EHS will assist labs on a case-by-case determination for the reuse of gloves by “hazard class” (e.g. radiation, chemical or biological).

If you have additional questions on obtaining supplies, please contact EHS at ehs@yale.edu or 203-785-3550.

Will EHS be providing hand sanitizer?

No. EHS will not be providing hand sanitizer. In place of hand sanitizer, wash your hands at a sink with soap and warm water or at a hand washing sink in the lab for at least 20 seconds, whenever possible. Hand sanitizer should only be used in places where there is no sink available.

What are proper handwashing techniques?

Please refer to the CDC video on proper handwashing techniques. Also, remember to use paper towels to shut off the faucet when finished washing your hands to avoid recontamination. Please consider printing the CDC poster, “Stop the Spread of Germs” and hanging them in the proper locations.

What is the Yale custodial team’s response to COVID-19?

  • The custodial team has ramped up disinfection protocols in frequently used areas, such as residential colleges, libraries, and locker rooms. Ramped up protocols include increased use of Protexus electrostatic sprayers, one of the most effective disinfecting tools available today. Yale Facility Services has been using the EarthSafe PURETABS—which are EPA registered and safe for occupants to enter a room immediately after application—in these sprayers for the last two years.
  • The custodial team is continuing to clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces in all facilities.

Does EHS have any recommendations for disinfecting shared equipment (computer keyboard, microscopes, centrifuges, shop tools and equipment, Yale vehicles, etc.)?

You should disinfect equipment before and after use with a CDC-recommended disinfectant against SARS-CoV-2. These include products that include 0.5 percent hydrogen peroxide, 60-70 percent alcohol, and 1-5 percent bleach diluted in water. See the EPA’s Registered Antimicrobial Products for Use Against Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the Cause of COVID-19 as well as the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Center for Biocide Chemistries (CBC) list of products that have been pre-approved by the EPA for use against emerging enveloped viral pathogen. Contact EHS at ehs@yale.edu or 203-785-3550 if you have any questions regarding the appropriate disinfectants.

Where can I purchase the appropriate disinfectants?

Speak with you manager about purchasing the appropriate disinfectants listed above. Contact EHS at ehs@yale.edu or 203-785-3550 if you have any questions regarding the appropriate disinfectants.

Will a facemask prevent me from contracting COVID-19?

Please refer to the CDC’s COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment section to see recommendations for using a facemask.

What if COVID-19 causes absenteeism in my lab?

Please refer to COVID-19 Information for Faculty and Researchers.

My biosafety cabinet is due for certification. Can I delay this until after the COVID-19 situation runs its course?

Biosafety cabinets are required to be certified on an annual basis. Our certification vendor, ENV Services, has confirmed that they are following all CDC recommendations. If you wish to delay certification, the ENV Technician will have to disable your cabinet as work cannot be performed in a non-certified unit. Yale EHS will continue to schedule certifications.

What if I am required to enter a high-risk environment such as healthcare environment caring for suspect patients as part of my job (ie. Facilities, Information Technology, deliveries, etc.)?

Contact EHS at ehs@yale.edu or 203-785-3550 for guidance and the site-specific protocol to enter these areas.

Does EHS have any precautions for departmental or group meetings?

Please refer to Group Gathering Information on Yale University’s COVID-19 Information Page. as well as the CDC’s “Don’t Spread Germs at Work” handout.  Please consider using alternative methods  such  teleconference, zoom, email, text, etc. for departmental or group meetings.

Is EHS providing training to the Yale community at-large on preventive measures regarding COVID-19/viral illness transmission?

EHS and the Yale University are following the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Please refer to the Precautions for Your Well-Being and Safety Information on Yale University’s COVID-19 Information Page or the CDC’s COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment section. EHS is not providing additional training at this time for the Yale community at-large.

Are minors still allowed on campus to participate in educational research and/or clinical activities?

No minors participating in educational research and/or clinical activities are allowed on campus through at least the end of the Spring 2020 semester. Applications for minors to participate in educational research and/or clinical activities will not be processed until further notice and all registrations that were in process have been cancelled.

If you have any questions on minors participating in educational research and/or clinical activities, please ehsintegrator@yale.edu.

Are visiting undergraduates still allowed on campus to participate in educational research and/or clinical activities?

Only visiting undergraduates who have been authorized to participate in educational research and/or clinical activities are allowed on campus at this time.  Applications for visiting undergraduates to participate in educational research and/or clinical activities will not be processed until further notice and all registrations that were in process have been cancelled.

If you have any questions on visiting undergraduates participating in educational research and/or clinical activities, please ehsintegrator@yale.edu.

Where can I find University updates regarding COVID-19?

Please refer to Yale University’s COVID-19 Information Page for updates.

What do I need to know about travelling?

Please refer to the Travel and Health Information on Yale University’s COVID-19 Information Page.

What precautions can I take to avoid getting sick?

Please refer to the Precautions for Your Well-Being and Safety Information on Yale University’s COVID-19 Information Page.

What is the University doing to prepare for COVID-19?

Please refer to the University Planning and Response Information on Yale University’s COVID-19 Information Page.

Where can I see University messages regarding COVID-19?

Please refer the University Announcements About COVID-19 Information Page.

What do I do if I become ill?

Please refer to the Yale University’s COVID-19 Information Page on proper procedures if you become ill?

Who can I contact if I have additional COVID-19-related questions for EHS?

Please contact ehs@yale.edu or 203-785-3550 and we will deliver your message to the appropriate staff member to contact you.