University of New Haven requiring COVID-19 vaccines for students, faculty

Photo of Ben Lambert

WEST HAVEN — The University of New Haven is requiring “all members” of the school community to get vaccinated against COVID-19 before taking part in the fall 2021 semester, according to the university.

“In order to best protect the health and well-being of our University community, and in accordance with the latest public health guidance, we are requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for all members of our University community,” officials said on the UNH website.

Yale University faculty, staff and postdoctoral and postgraduate trainees also will be required to be vaccinated, the school’s president and provost said in a message to the university community in May.

The Yale decision decision followed a requirement issued in April that all students receive the COVID-19 vaccine by Aug. 1. Some others schools around the state, including Wesleyan University in Middletown, are requiring students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine

UNH officials noted that, “over the last several months as the availability of vaccinations has become widespread, we have seen a dramatic reduction in infection rates.

“In Connecticut, specifically, where 70 percent of adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the daily positivity rate is less than one percent,” the UNH officials said,

“Fully vaccinated members of our University community will be able to immerse themselves in work and learning environments featuring pre-pandemic norms for class formats, student life, and other staples of the Charger experience,” officials said.

Among other reversions to pre-pandemic norms, classrooms and dining halls will be allowed at full capacity, the size of gatherings will not be limited, vaccinated students will be able to visit residence halls freely, masks will not be required, and school community members will not have to be tested for COVID-19, Summer McGee, dean of the school of health sciences, and Ronald Quagliani, associate vice president for public safety and administrative services, said in an accompanying letter to the school community.

Those interested can apply for an exemption from the policy based on medical or religious grounds, as well as on “strongly held personal beliefs,” McGee and Quagliani said.

The UNH officials said unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff who are granted a vaccine exemption must wear a face covering on campus and complete weekly COVID-19 testing.

“In addition they would, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, be required to isolate if they test positive for COVID-19 or to quarantine if they are ever determined to be a contact of an individual who tests positive for COVID-19,” McGee and Quagliani said.

The officials said, “On-campus COVID-19 testing will be available for students who are granted a vaccine exemption. The cost for this weekly COVID-19 testing may be the responsibility of the unvaccinated students.”

Guests will be permitted to visit campus, but will either have to wear a face covering or prove their vaccination status, McGee and Quagliani said.

A forum discussion for students and families on the issue will be held Thursday, June 17, at 6 p.m. and broadcast on

The fall term is scheduled to begin August 23, with new students beginning to move into campus a week prior, according to the school’s calendar.

As the number of patients dropped into the teens at Yale New Haven Health’s five hospitals — and held at 50 statewide Tuesday — officials are talking with other hospitals in Connecticut about mandating that their employees get vaccinated, CEO Marna Borgstrom said