IMPORTANT: Increase in Student Covid Testing Frequency
November 16, 2020
As you know from several recent communications, we are seeing an increase in the number of COVID positive cases on the Medford/Somerville campus and an increase in the number of close contacts for each positive case. We are writing to inform you of additional measures we are taking to help control the spread of COVID-19.
Effective tomorrow, we will be increasing the frequency of testing for all students on the Medford/Somerville and SMFA campuses. Those who are currently being tested twice a week will be tested every other day. Those who are currently being tested once per week will now be tested twice a week. Compliance will be monitored and those found not in compliance will be referred to the Dean of Student Affairs Office for disciplinary review.
It is important to note that we have seen no evidence of spread in classrooms, and our contact tracing has indicated that we have not had any clusters on campus. Rather, the number of cases on our Medford/Somerville campus is rising along with increasing numbers of cases across the state, though our positive rate remains significantly lower. The increase in testing frequency that we are announcing today will allow us to catch cases even earlier and further protect our communities.
In addition to this increase in testing frequency on the Medford/Somerville and SMFA campuses, we want to reiterate the guidelines we provided yesterday.
The only times you are expected to leave your residence hall or off-campus apartment are to:
- attend class, study in the library or designated study space, or perform work in a laboratory or art studio;
- pick up food;
- go outside for physically distanced exercise;
- seek medical care;
- obtain your COVID test; and
- go to or from employment.
Do not leave your residence hall or apartment to attend social events, gatherings, or parties.
We appreciate your commitment to this new testing schedule and the additional guidance about appropriate times to leave your residence. As we have said previously, adhering closely to these new guidelines affords us the greatest chance to maintain our current campus life. Should the number of COVID-19 cases or the number of students in quarantine due to close contact continue to increase substantially, we will have to consider additional restrictions in order to protect the health and safety of our community.
James M. Glaser
Dean, School of Arts and Sciences
Dean, School of Engineering
Dean, School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts
Michael R. Jordan, MD, MPH
University Infection Control Health Director