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Innovation at Yale

By drawing on the expertise of scientists and engineers across the university, Yale is working to address the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Faculty are working in close collaboration to devise new approaches that harness Yale’s expertise in areas that range from 3D printing to data science and analytics.

Nearly all Connecticut schools closed after the onset of COVID-19 in the spring of 2020. But starting this past fall, state policy makers and school officials have been increasingly focused on getting as many students physically back into the classroom as possible, citing benefits to student education, mental health, and socialization.

Keeping students in schools safely depends upon the levels of transmission found within individual schools and in the broader community. In Connecticut, individual school districts have made autonomous decisions about their learning models, often changing weekly to an in-person, hybrid or remote model in response to local conditions. State officials have characterized in-school outbreaks as rare, despite the numbers and patterns of reported cases.

The independence of Connecticut public school districts has also produced inequitable access to the facilities and services needed to safely return to school during a pandemic.

In the United States (US), correctional facilities have been at the center of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prisons and jails are notoriously difficult environments in which to control the spread of infectious diseases due to the lack of sanitary conditions, overcrowding, and the inability to physical distance. Outbreaks within the correctional system have substantial public health repercussions, affecting not only those incarcerated but also those who work in facilities and, by extension, the communities in which jails and prisons sit.

By sequencing the genomes of many cases of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, we can learn about how, where, and when it is transmitted.