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May 8, 2020

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

From the first moments of the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the Tufts community from far and wide have gone out of their way help those in need—and help each other. Watch this video to see how Tufts is reclaiming the number 19—it shows 19 ways that students, faculty, staff, and alumni are supporting the effort to deal with the pandemic.

Tufts alumni are stepping up in a big way. In the first installment of a new Tufts Now series “Dispatches from the Pandemic,” a county health officer in Washington state, a supply firm CEO, a dentist, and others share how they’re leading communities through the crisis.

Another example is a gift that could have life-saving ramifications, when Ben Harburg, A06, and his wife donated 350,000 procedure masks to Tufts Medical Center. Harburg, who is a managing partner at a global investment firm based in Beijing, purchased and shipped the masks from China.

Another alumna, Jessica Dym Bartlett, J92, AG93, AG12, an expert on children, trauma, and education, shared her advice with the Tufts community about how parents can reassure kids during the pandemic.

Though I recognize that portions of the digest below will only pertain to certain groups within the community, I urge you to read the entire message.

An Important Message for Employees

Please note that the potential lifting of restrictions by Governor Baker as of May 18 does NOT mean that employees will be expected to return to campus on May 18. The dates when employees will need to return to campus will be determined as part of the overall COVID-19 planning process and will likely be phased in, based on an employee’s function.

Guidance and Services from Tufts Human Resources

As the pandemic continues, its impacts continue to be felt in unpredictable and far-reaching ways. For the faculty and staff community, Tufts Human Resources remains a valuable resource for guidance and services for supporting you during this challenging time.

If you could benefit from any aspect of our Employee Assistance Program—including resources related to mental health and well-being, physical health, finances, childcare, or eldercare—please learn more about these benefits on Access Tufts. And remember that all employees can check their sick time balances through the eServe website. Additionally, other information that may be helpful is available on the FAQ for staff employees. The Human Resources team is available to support you and your loved ones at this difficult time.

Tisch College Summer COVID Response Program

Tisch College of Civic Life has announced a new program to support students who wish to aid in the COVID-19 response this summer. The Tisch Student COVID Response (TSCR) Summer Program will provide stipends for students to innovate, self-design, or work with an existing project that addresses the impacts of COVID-19. Students may address needs in their hometown community or address a broader need whether domestic or global. All work must be done remotely, and projects must directly address an issue related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grants will be awarded from any amount needed up to $3,000 to support payments and/or the purchase of materials, supplies, and any other resources required for the successful implementation of the projects. Projects can start as soon as May 12 or anytime throughout the summer. Students can work independently, as a group, and/or with a partner organization. All currently enrolled Tufts students are eligible. More information is available here.

Pets as Possible Participants in the CoVERS Study

The CoVERS (Coronavirus Epidemiological Research & Surveillance) Study at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine is screening pets and farm animals for SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 to learn more about infection and transmission. If you have at least one mammalian pet or farm animal and would be interested in joining the study, please visit the CoVERS website to learn more. (Please note that if interest is very high, participation may be subject to a waiting list.)

Frequently Asked Questions

The university’s FAQ pages around COVID-19 are being updated regularly. Please visit the site if you have questions.

Your Health

If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to the coronavirus, please contact your doctor for guidance. If you have had a positive COVID-19 test, please immediately notify so we can communicate with others who may have been exposed. If you have other questions or concerns, please contact the crisis communications center, which covers all campuses, at

A reminder for anyone who needs to be on campus: Following CDC recommendations, face masks are required for those on all campuses at Tufts.

Please keep in mind that university and school-based decisions are being made on an ongoing basis with great care and consideration for public health and academic continuity. The university has never taken such extraordinary actions in its history. We continue to ask for your patience, and I sincerely thank you for your cooperation, understanding, commitment, and flexibility as we move forward together.

Mike Howard

Executive Vice President