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December 11, 2020

Dear Students,

We are writing to invite you to schedule your spring semester onboarding. This message is being sent to all undergraduate students and to graduate students with on campus housing assignments who plan to be at Tufts in person during the spring semester.

What is onboarding?

Onboarding is a series of steps that all in-person students must complete to be present on campus at any time during the spring term. Onboarding includes a COVID test and arrival quarantine, distribution of PPE for the semester, reviewing testing frequency, activating your student ID for the semester, and other steps.

  • Onboarding is required for all students, graduate and undergraduate, who are participating in the spring term in person.
  • Onboarding is required for everyone regardless of where you spent winter break: whether you left the area or remained locally and whether you participated in the fall term in person or remotely.
  • Students participating in the spring term remotely will not participate in onboarding.

Scheduling onboarding for the spring semester

The first step in onboarding takes about 15 minutes to complete. An appointment for onboarding is required. The number of available appointments each day is capped to ensure that onboarding is done in a way that allows for physical distancing and reduces crowds and wait times.

Onboarding appointments are available starting on Tuesday, January 19 and continuing through Friday, January 29. This schedule will allow you to complete onboarding before the first day of classes, which is Monday, February 1.

Your arrival to the Medford/Somerville or Fenway areas after winter break must be on the date of your onboarding appointment. Current modeling suggests that the number of daily new cases in Massachusetts and throughout the country will be high during January. Accordingly, it is important to the health of our campus and of our local community that everyone closely follows the onboarding schedule and refrains from returning to our local area before the day of your onboarding, whether you live on or off campus. Routine COVID tests, meal delivery to support arrival quarantine, and other university supports will be unavailable until your scheduled onboarding. If you have been granted an exception to be on campus for winter break housing, you will receive additional information about testing.

Arrival quarantine

Onboarding for the spring semester will require you to participate in our COVID-19 testing program and complete an arrival quarantine. You will remain in arrival quarantine until you have received two negative test results or have completed a longer isolation period because of a positive test result. 

Currently, we anticipate the average arrival quarantine will last between 5 and 6 days, but this may change pending on the course of the pandemic and orders or guidance from the Massachusetts Governor’s office.

Flu vaccine requirement to complete onboarding

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has announced that all full-time undergraduate and graduate students attending any college or university in-person within the Commonwealth are required to get an influenza vaccination annually. If you have not already submitted proof of flu vaccination to the Health Service, please do so today via the Patient PortalYou will be unable to complete your onboarding process if you have not received the flu vaccine and provided Tufts with documentation prior to your onboarding day. Flu vaccines are still available at local pharmacies and we recommend you get yours as soon as possible. If you are home over break and have not gotten your flu shot, your local physician’s office may also be able to accommodate you. 

Out of region vs. in region

Out of region students will schedule onboarding appointments earlier than in-region students. We encourage out-of-region students to review the Massachusetts requirements for travelers.

You are considered:

  • Out-of-region if you are arriving from any U.S. state outside of New England (see below) and any international location; or
  • In-region if you are arriving from any New England state: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont.

Medford/Somerville campus arrivals

  • Out-of-region students should select an onboarding date between Tuesday, January 19 and Saturday, January 23.
  • In-region students should select an onboarding date between Monday, January 25 and Friday, January 29.
  • Appointments are available from 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. each day. If you are arriving after 6 p.m., please register for a testing time early the following morning and reference your after-hours arrival.
  • Medford Campus onboarding will begin at the Gantcher Center.

Fenway campus arrivals

  • Out of region students should select an arrival date of Thursday, January 21.
  • In region students should select an arrival date of either Monday, January 25 or Thursday, January 28.
  • 230 Fenway appointments are available Mondays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5:45 p.m., beginning on Thursday, January 21.
  • SMFA students may choose to begin their onboarding process at the Gantcher Center. This is recommended if you live on or near the Medford campus. You may also opt to sign up for special onboarding hours offered at 230 Fenway if you live near the Fenway campus.

How to select your onboarding date

Select your arrival date as follows:

  • Log into SIS
  • Click the “About Me” menu
  • Click “Housing” in the bottom left corner of the screen
  • If you are prompted to sign in, use your Tufts-Student SSO credentials
  • Click “Forms” on the top menu bar
  • Select either the Medford campus or SMFA Fenway campus form. Note that SMFA Fenway campus will have limited onboarding availability.

Covid public health policies for the spring term

All students who participate in the spring 2021 term in person are required to follow all policies contained in the Fall 2020 Campus Guide for AS&E Students. These policies will remain in effect during the spring semester. We encourage you to carefully review this guide before making your decision to be in person or remote. 

We look forward to welcoming you for the spring semester.

With all best wishes,

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

Joshua Hartman
Director, Office of Residential Life and Learning