Research Reactivation-Phases 1-2-3

The following information is provided for all lab members including PIs. Information specific to PIs and faculty is available at

Phase 3

Effective February 15, 2021, Yale University entered Phase 3 of its Research Reactivation Phases.

Phase 3-Less Restricted Operations: Allows certain undergraduate students and semester-long visitors back to campus (please see the Special Alert message from Yale’s COVID-19 coordinator.). Although some expansion of on campus activities are permitted in Phase 3, Yale’s guidance on physical distancing, dedensification and other public safety measures remain in effect. These restrictions will continue to limit activities that require close physical proximity, such as group meetings or person-to-person training that would otherwise violate physical distancing restrictions.

Overall Phase 3 Restrictions:

Overall permissions and restrictions for Phase 3 are the same as those for Phase 2. If you are already authorized to return to campus for Phase 1 or Phase 2, your authorization automatically carries forward into Phase 3, with the same laboratory safety plans and restrictions, including:

Phase 3 of Yale’s research reactivation allows additional on-campus activities relative to Phase 2, including:

  • Research by undergraduates enrolled in residence beginning on September 14th and new graduate students beginning August 24th is permitted on-campus, so long as it is consistent with laboratory safety plans and individual school policies, including COVID-19 screening. (See also Yale College Policy.)
  • Semester-long academic visitors to campus are permitted. However, visitors for seminars, colloquia, and other short-term visits are prohibited. Visitors must conform to all Yale COVID-19 safety measures.
  • University-sponsored gatherings should follow university guidelines.

Phase 2

Effective July 20, Yale University entered Phase 2 of its Research Reactivation Phases.

Phase 2 - Restricted Access, All Forms of Research Permitted. All forms of research activity can be done on campus, even if they could be performed off-campus, so long as physical distancing and other measures for limiting virus spread are adhered to. For example, access to offices and other campus facilities for activity that could be performed from home is permitted, but with appropriate safety meaures, including limits related to physical distancing and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as prohibitions on in-person gatherings enforced.

Overall Phase 2 Restrictions:

  • All forms of research are allowed on campus or in the field as long as physical distancing and other phase-specific limits are maintained. Faculty, trainees, and staff should continue to perform their work off campus where possible.
  • Access to physical library collections is increased, with safety measures in place, but collection scanning and book pick-up service preferred.
  • In-person group meetings or small gatherings restricted, but may be permissible if they conform to guidelines set by Yale and local, state, and federal government agencies. Limitations on the gathering size may change as conditions dictate.
  • Outside visitors for seminars and colloquia prohibited. Visitors who come to campus to take up residence in New Haven for an extended period of time may be allowed, based on public health guidance, but are subject to review.
  • Large seminars/colloquia prohibited (use virtual seminars as the preferred alternative). Limitations on the gathering size may change as conditions dictate.
  • Common area (lunch rooms, meeting rooms, lounge) restrictions and precautions relaxed relative to Phase 1, but should adhere to posted guidance.

Phase 1

Effective June 1, Yale University entered Phase 1 of its Research Reactivation Phases.

Phase 1 – Highly Restricted and Research Access Limited. If campus access is absolutely essential for the research activity to be carried out, it can be done on campus, with strict health precautions.  If the work can be done remotely (e.g. from home), it must continue to be performed remotely. Time on campus is limited to the minimum necessary to perform the research. Strict physical distancing, face masks, symptom monitoring and other strong safety measures for limiting virus spread are in place.

Overall Phase 1 Restrictions:

  • If research can be done remotely, it must continue to be done remotely.
  • Research that requires access to campus or local field sites because it is the only place that work can be done is possible.
  • Gradual resumption of access to physical library collections, beginning with collection scanning and a book pick-up service.
  • Outside visitors for seminars, colloquia and other short term visits are prohibited.
  • No group meetings, seminars, colloquia.
  • Do not congregate in common areas (lunch rooms, meeting rooms, lounges), and disinfect surfaces after every use.

Before Returning to Your Lab-Phases 1-2-3

First Steps When Returning to Your Lab

  • Obtain facemasks required for everyone in lab. Facemasks are available in stockrooms.
  • Obtain cloth face coverings for use in public or in any space that is reasonably expected to be shared, including by employees while in the workplace.
  • Complete the Laboratory Ramp Up Checklist.
  • Run all water taps (faucet and drinking water) for 20 minutes.

Phases 1-2-3 Expectations for Lab Operations

PI Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of PIs and other laboratory supervisors to enforce physical and temporal distancing measures, PPE requirements, and other safety measures, as required  by the university.

The PI must maintain a contact tracing log, which can be done via the Digital Check-in App. See

Expectations of all Lab members

Faculty, staff, trainees, and students who are concerned that safety measures are not being followed may bring a complaint in one of two ways: First, those who feel comfortable doing so may speak with their PI, another supervisor, their Department Chair, Faculty Director, Dean’s Designee, or an officer in the Office for Postdoctoral Affairs. Second, they may make anonymous or identified reports through the University Hotline.  

Faculty, staff, trainees, and students who are concerned that state-mandated safety requirements are not being followed may call the state hotline at 211. Supervisors may not retaliate against individuals for raising concerns about COVID-related safety and health conditions.

Working Alone in Labs

Avoid working alone on campus—when you cannot be seen or heard by another person. Consider the consequences of an emergency, incident, injury, etc., especially if workplace hazards exist. You may wish to establish a check-in procedure or a means to account for people (e.g., periodic text messages) while they are working alone. See Yale University Guidelines for Working Alone in a Laboratory.