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September 2, 2020

Dear Students,

This message is intended for students who will be attending Tufts in-person this fall.

Many of our out-of-region students have already arrived, and we are looking forward to welcoming our in-region students next week.

We appreciate how much our students want to work together to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and allow us to continue on-campus learning by wearing masks as instructed, practicing physical distancing, and using good handwashing techniques.

We also want to remind everyone that students who disclose that they are in isolation with COVID-19 or have had COVID-19 in the past should not be stigmatized or made to feel uncomfortable. We ask students to respect the privacy of others, and to refrain from disclosing the health status of other members of the community.

We are writing today to give you some important additional information.

Arrival testing and quarantine

Once you arrive on campus and take your initial test you will be given instructions on what you are required to do next. All students will quarantine in their rooms (whether on- or off-campus) until they receive their initial test results.

Students cannot submit negative test results received before returning to Tufts in lieu of participating in the arrival testing and quarantine. Students who have had a positive SARS-CoV-2 test or been diagnosed with COVID-19 within 90 days of their arrival should contact the Health Service for advice about when to start the testing program.

Tufts Dining is providing food to all students (on-campus and off-campus) during their initial arrival quarantine regardless of whether they have a meal plan.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you will be informed by phone and be asked to isolate in our modular housing units (or “mods”). You will also be asked about your direct contacts in a process called contact tracing. You will remain in quarantine for a minimum of 10 days (perhaps longer if you develop symptoms) and until you are cleared to return to your residence hall by Tufts Health Services.

Out-of-region students whose initial arrival test is negative must remain in quarantine until they receive two additional negative test results. These tests will be scheduled through the CampusKey app.

During arrival quarantine, out-of-region students may leave their room only to get food twice a day, to take their additional routine COVID-19 tests, or to seek medical care.

In-region students whose initial arrival test is negative are no longer required to quarantine and can begin their regular schedules.

Please note that arrival quarantine (described above) is distinct from contact quarantine (which is required if you have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19). The guidelines for these two different types of quarantine differ and we encourage you to read our guidelines on contact quarantine and isolation.

Tufts testing metrics and public disclosure

As promised, Tufts is sharing the results of its testing programs with the community and with the general public on this dashboard that is updated daily. Any students with positive tests are now in isolation.

The playing of wind instruments or singing is prohibited

Unfortunately, there is significant evidence that playing wind instruments or singing releases aerosol, and there is growing evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted through these aerosols, which can linger in the air for hours. This makes singing or playing wind instruments dangerous as these activities increase the risk of transmission to others.

Asking you to not practice your craft and develop your talent this fall because of the pandemic is extremely difficult for us to do. We do not take making this request lightly. However, to enable us to provide an opportunity to be together on campus this fall, adherence to the policy of not singing or playing wind instruments—even in your own room—is critical to our success. If this impacts your academic courses, please contact your academic advisor for additional support.

This includes any student organization auditions, rehearsals, or performances that may have been originally planned for virtual settings where members planned to perform from their personal residences. Please contact the Office for Campus Life for additional support for managing your student organizations.

Reminders about health protocols

We want to remind all students about the importance of strictly following all of the health protocols. Wear a face covering at all times unless you are in your own room. Practice physical distancing. (Physical distancing is especially important during your arrival quarantine.) Wash your hands. Do not attend social gatherings of more than 10 people. Take your routine COVID-19 tests on schedule.

All of these best practices will give us the best chance to sustain an in-campus experience.

We understand the tremendous disruption the pandemic is causing to everyday passions, including athletics, performing arts, music, and so much more. However, for the health and wellbeing of our community and for the residents of our host communities, we need everyone’s cooperation and adherence.

Sincerely,

Michelle Bowdler, Executive Director, Health & Wellness
Marie Caggiano, M.D., Medical Director, Health Service
Camille Lizarríbar, Dean of Student Affairs and Chief Student Affairs Officer