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November 25, 2020

Dear Students, 

Many of you who have been studying in person this semester will soon be traveling home, and I want to provide you with some timely travel advice. 

First, I want to remind you to adhere to our Thanksgiving travel policy, which states that if you leave our immediate area during the break—even to travel within Massachusetts to attend a family dinner—you must finish the semester remotely, away from the Medford/Somerville area. Do not return to Tufts in person until January onboarding if you have traveled during the Thanksgiving break.

I know this is a sacrifice we all feel deeply, but the plain fact is that gathering with family or friends over the holiday raises the risk that you will contract and transmit the COVID-19 virus. Each of us came to Tufts because we want to contribute positively to our communities, and one of the ways we are called to do this now is to forgo travel and gatherings, and by remaining away from our area if we leave. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommends that you celebrate Thanksgiving virtually this year. The CDC has also developed guidelines should you decide to travel and/or attend a family gathering. We recommend that you review their Thanksgiving advice.

If you have already left Tufts for the remainder of the semester or will do so soon, complete the Fall 2020 Campus Departure Form now. This form determines whether you are expected to appear for COVID tests; failure to appear for COVID tests without filling the departure form is a violation of the testing protocol. Students who are not getting tested as required will be sent home to finish their semester remotely. Access the departure form by clicking the “Housing Portal” under “About Me” in SIS.

I encourage you to consider and make your travel arrangements and plan for contingencies as soon as possible. With the number of cases of COVID-19 rising across the United States, travel may become increasingly challenging in the coming weeks. It is possible if the nationwide surge continues to rise after Thanksgiving that air travel could be further restricted as a way to reduce spread. The number of days left in the semester is dwindling. Options include: going home after classes end and studying for finals there; taking your last week of classes remotely from home.

Before and during travel, please do the following:

  • Please remember that you need to have two negative tests before traveling, the last one within 72 hours of travel. You must wait to have the negative result before traveling, not a pending one. Prior to your travel, you should also minimize your social interactions to reduce risk.
  • Avoid travel if you are sick or if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Do not travel with someone who is sick. 
  • Wear masks and maintain physical distance during travel. The CDC strongly recommends everyone wear a mask on public transportation. This includes passengers on airplanes, trains, ships, subways, taxis, and ride shares, and at transportation hubs such as airports and stations. You can find more information about face coverings here
  • Know and be prepared for any travel COVID testing or quarantine requirements for your destination state, territory, or country.
  • Be aware of the COVID-19 situation in the place you are traveling to, including the presence of any high-risk individuals, and have a travel plan. Advice to reduce your exposure during travel and the possibility of exposure to others can be found on the CDC's website.
  • For travel to destinations requiring a negative COVID-19 test:
    • Students who are traveling to a location that requires proof of a negative COVID-19 test may use their Broad Institute PCR test.
    • Test results are sent to your Tufts email address. Check to see if it was moved to your junk or spam folder. The sender would be

Whether you are remaining in person or have decided to complete the semester remotely, I hope that you will take time during the coming Thanksgiving break to relax, recharge, and reflect on the many people and gifts for which we can be grateful.

With all best wishes,

Camille Lizarríbar, JD, PhD
Dean of Student Affairs and Chief Student Affairs Officer for AS&E