COVID Updates

COVID-19 Updates for YYGS Students and Families

Updated as of September 22, 2022

To best inform an applicant’s decision to apply to our residential program, YYGS has outlined the following tentative policies for 2023. Please know that these policies may change, and YYGS will ultimately defer to Yale’s most updated visitor policy by the start of the program.

If Yale’s visitor policy has stricter mandates than YYGS’s current proposed policies, YYGS will abide by Yale’s guidelines instead. For example, if a Yale student tests positive for COVID-19, there is a required isolation period of five days. It is our hope that these mandates will be relaxed by this summer, but YYGS will ultimately defer to Yale for guidance on best practices during this ever-changing environment.

Common Questions

Do I need to be vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to participate in YYGS 2023?

Yes. Students must be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you are offered admission to YYGS 2023 and you accept, then you will be required to demonstrate proof of vaccination for COVID-19 by May 5 in order to enroll in YYGS.

If I am unable to be vaccinated for COVID-19 for any reason, then can I participate in YYGS 2023? Will YYGS grant any exceptions to this COVID-19 vaccine requirement?

No. For YYGS 2023, unfortunately we are not able to accommodate students who are unable to provide proof of vaccination for COVID-19. Students must be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  We may change this policy in future years, but during our first year returning to campus, there will be no exceptions to this requirement.

If I am not vaccinated for COVID-19, but I can prove I had COVID-19 and took an antibodies test, then can I participate in YYGS 2023?

No. For YYGS 2023, we will only admit students who are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What are the travel requirements in order to attend YYGS on Yale University’s campus in New Haven, CT, USA?

Please review all of our YYGS Residential webpages, including Visa & ESTA and Arrival & Departure information. As noted on our Financial Aid webpage, while YYGS is proud to be one of the only pre-college programs that provides need-blind financial aid to domestic and international students to offset the cost of tuition for over 600 students, there are limited travel Scholarships available due to the legal and logistical limitations of working with globally diverse families. Over 95% of all YYGS participants fundraise for, pay for, and coordinate their own travel to and from the program.

Thus, all students are responsible for researching and following the requirements for travel between their country and YYGS in the United States (both to access the United States to begin the program, and in order to return to their country after the program ends). We recommend asking an adult to help you with researching this information, and using websites such as the CDC International Travel webpage.

Will I need to test for COVID-19 prior to departure and/or upon arrival in order to participate in YYGS 2023?

No, our program will not require testing for COVID-19, but you will need to follow all requirements for travel between your home community and YYGS in New Haven, CT, USA. For example, if travel requirements state that you will need to provide proof of a negative COVID test in order to board a plane to travel from your country to the USA, then you will need to follow this requirement, and you are solely responsible for arranging this testing. YYGS is unable to assist with any travel-related plans other than providing a letter in support of application for a B-2 visitor visa.

What happens if I test positive for COVID-19 prior to departure for the program?

If you test positive for COVID-19 in six or more (6+) days prior to departure to the program, we ask that you please isolate and follow the advice of your physician in order to regain your health to be able to travel to and participate in the program. If you are then healthy enough to be able to travel to the program (and able to follow travel requirements between your home community and the United States), please wear a mask both during your travel and once you arrive on campus, notify our Health Staff as you arrive and register, and then you will continue wearing a mask until you test negative on a rapid test (as provided by our staff). If you are not able to regain your health in order to be able to travel to and participate in the program, then please follow the guidance below for students who test positive in five (5) or fewer days prior to departure to the program.

If you test positive for COVID-19 in five (5) or fewer days prior to departure to the program, then you will need to reach out to our staff to review your situation and whether or not you will be able to participate in the program.

These situations will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, as they are heavily dependent on a range of individual circumstances. For example, you could be asymptomatic but you won’t be able to meet your country’s travel requirements to get to campus in time, or you could be very concerned about your health currently but you anticipate no issues with traveling to campus and you are asking if you could arrive one day late.

Our goal will always be to assist you and your family as best we can, and we appreciate your patience and understanding of the challenges in navigating these issues so close to the program’s start date. If a student needs to withdraw from YYGS due to COVID-19 concerns in this manner, then partial refunds for paid tuition will be considered as part of this case-by-case review.

What happens if I test positive for COVID-19 after arrival at YYGS 2023 (at any point during the program)?

Given the globally diverse nature of YYGS, we will focus on your health while also helping you to continue participating in the program. Again, given the range of individual circumstances, your situation will need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by our Health Staff in order to determine next steps in consultation with you.

Students always have the option to request a free rapid test for COVID-19 if they have reason to believe they were exposed and/or if they are experiencing symptoms. However, students will not be required nor asked to test for COVID-19 unless they present obvious possible symptoms at any time during the program, in which case they will be connected with our Health Staff and provided with a free rapid test.

If you do test positive for COVID-19 during the program, and if you are asymptomatic or present very mild symptoms, you will be asked to wear a mask while participating until you can test negative on a rapid test.

If you present moderate symptoms (similar to a common cold) and this only impacts 1-2 days of YYGS programming while you mask, rest, and recover, you will be encouraged to take basic steps to regain your health (rest, fluids, etc.) and then to wear a mask while participating until you can test negative on a rapid test.

If you present severe symptoms (similar to the flu or strep throat) with significant cause for concern (e.g., a high fever), after consultation with you and your family you will then be taken to Yale Health Urgent Care or to Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH) to receive treatment and determine next steps. If a student needs to withdraw from YYGS due to COVID-19 concerns in this manner, then their parent/guardian will need to coordinate their travel home (or to the custody of a trusted adult outside of YYGS) within 24-48 hours upon release from Yale Health or YNHH in order for the student to receive continued care at home, and partial refunds for any tuition paid will be considered as part of this case-by-case review.

Please note that YYGS provides Health Insurance for all participants (domestic and international).

How will the YYGS community take “preventative measures” and “assume a basic level of exposure risk” during the program?

Given our short, two-week program length, YYGS has a very strict attendance policy (whereby students cannot arrive late, leave early, nor miss time during the program) because the heart and soul of the program lies in the interactions among students, faculty, and staff across a range of cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.

Thus, every member of our YYGS community (students, families, faculty, and staff) is responsible for their own actions leading up to and during the program, and returning to an in-person program on Yale’s campus means that we each need to try to do all that we can to stay safe and healthy in order for this globally diverse community to flourish. Our globally diverse nature assumes a basic level of exposure risk simply by bringing together this many people from a range of communities all over the world.

Where possible, we strongly encourage everyone to limit possible COVID-19 exposure prior to and during the program through a combination of isolation, wearing a mask, and making healthy choices.


Note:

While YYGS is excited to host residential sessions on Yale University’s renowned campus, we recognize the varied challenges this endeavor presents for our globally diverse community. The goal for YYGS 2023 is to pilot a return to campus that emphasizes giving participants full access to and engagement with Yale’s resources, faculty, undergraduate, and graduate student communities. To maintain this access while keeping our community safe, YYGS students, families and staff members will need to take preventative measures, plan for travel requirements, and assume a basic level of exposure risk in order to participate.

For any students with concerns about these risks for any reason, we understand and encourage you to consider if YYGS is the right choice for you at this time. We want our students and their families to feel safe and comfortable with their decision to attend YYGS, given the seriousness of COVID-19.

For additional questions related to our COVID-19 policies, please contact us directly.