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Dear Student,

We are looking forward to welcoming you to a new year at Tufts! Today, we are writing to provide some additional information regarding your arrival on campus.

Campus Arrival

As we prepare to welcome you to campus, we ask that you be mindful that the Delta variant is circulating widely within the United States and overseas. The recent large COVID-19 outbreak due to the Delta variant traced to Independence Day celebrations in Provincetown, Massachusetts, demonstrated that both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals who do not wear face masks while in group settings indoors can acquire and transmit SARS-Co-V-2 to others. Fortunately, fully vaccinated individuals are far less likely to develop serious illness or require hospitalization.

As a residential community that will welcome students from across the United States and from around the world, we ask that you carefully follow the COVID-19 protocols that we have put into place, including wearing face masks while indoors.

If you will be assisted with move-in by family members, they will be required to wear face masks at all times while inside our buildings. We also request that only fully vaccinated family members assist you with move-in. If anyone assisting you on the day of your arrival does not feel well, they should not come to campus. You can review the Tufts COVID-19 protocols on our website.

Masking

Wearing face masks will be required when you are indoors, on and off campus, regardless of vaccination status. This includes classrooms, laboratories, studios, libraries, dining halls (except when eating), residence halls, and off-campus apartments. Within your residence hall or off-campus apartment, face masks must be worn in communal areas such as lounges, kitchens, and hallways, but are not required in bedrooms when only you and your roommate are present. Masks are required when riding the Tufts shuttle buses or when taking any form of public transport. Masks are not required outdoors.

Key Points About Your Arrival

Here are the key points regarding your return to campus this fall:

  • If you have a campus housing assignment, you have received a message from Residential Life and Learning that provided you with your arrival date and instructions for selecting an arrival time unless you are a varsity fall sport athlete, resident assistant, or involved in some other early arrival program. If you are in one of these categories, you will receive arrival information separately. Students with campus housing assignments will not be permitted to arrive early unless approved formally by Residential Life and Learning.
  • If you live off campus, you can complete your arrival testing on any date between Monday, August 16 and Sunday, September 5. We encourage you to avoid arriving on either Thursday, September 1 or Sunday, September 5 because students with campus housing assignments will be testing on those dates. You could encounter long wait times.
  • Arrival testing will take place at the Gantcher Center (161 College Avenue, Medford) between 9 am and 5 pm on each of the dates listed above. Please consult the Tufts testing calendar for the most current schedule. No appointments are necessary if you live off campus.
  • SMFA students also have the option of testing at 230 Fenway, generally between 12 pm and 2 pm daily starting on Monday, August 16 through Sunday, September 5. Extended hours (9 am to 3 pm) will be available August 20, August 27, and August 29. Additional extended hours (9 am to 5 pm) will be available on September 1 and September 2. There will be no testing available at 230 Fenway on Saturday, August 21 and Saturday, August 22. Please consult the Tufts testing calendar for the most current schedule.
  • When you arrive, you will be required to take a BinaxNow rapid test, results of which will be known within 30 minutes, and a PCR test, which results within 24 hours. If your rapid BinaxNow test is negative, you can go about your in-person activities. If your test result is positive (BinaxNow or PCR), you will need to isolate for a period of time as directed by the Tufts Health Service, usually 10 days. You will be put in touch with a clinician from Health Services who will follow your case and provide medical advice and monitoring. For students who live on-campus, isolation will take place in the Mods.
  • Once you complete your arrival test, you will receive an SMS message and an email with information about your next scheduled test. Please mark this date on your calendar; it is very important that you test as scheduled throughout this academic year. (Note that the text message system is new since last year; we are no longer using CampusKey.)
  • Download the Tufts Mobile app now if you don’t have it already. You will be able to access information about your routine test schedule and results on the app. Note: this feature will be available later in the month.
  • Routine tests will take place at 62R Talbot Avenue (or 230 Fenway for SMFA students), as they did last year.
  • All in-person students are required to have been vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they have a medical or religious accommodation. We encourage you to get vaccinated now and upload your proof of vaccination to the Health Service’s secure Patient Portal. International students are encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 now. However, if they do not have access to the vaccine now, they may receive their COVID-19 vaccinations when they arrive in the United States. Current guidance from public health authorities requires 7 days of arrival quarantine for unvaccinated international students.
  • If you are unvaccinated upon arrival at Tufts, COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be held at the Gantcher Center (161 College Avenue, Medford) on August 22, August 29, and September 5. We will be administering the Pfizer vaccine. You do not need an appointment; just bring your Tufts ID. Second doses will be given at 51 Winthrop Street, Medford, on September 12, September 19, and September 26. If you cannot make these dates, you should arrange to get the vaccine at a pharmacy or visit https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/ to book an appointment at an outside clinic. Please know that any student studying at a university in Massachusetts is eligible to use the state’s vaccination program.
  • Any student who is not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 upon arrival to campus will be required to quarantine for 7 days and have two negative tests before leaving their rooms or off-campus apartments. You are fully vaccinated 14 days after your second dose of a two-shot vaccine or your first dose of a one-shot vaccine such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 
  • Classes begin on Wednesday, September 8.

Residence Hall Visitors

Tufts students participating in routine testing may visit Tufts students living in other residence halls in accordance with ORLL guest policy; however, occupancy limits and mask wearing policies will be in effect.

Non-Tufts visitors will not be allowed in residence halls this year. (Parents and families may assist with move-in and must wear face masks at all times.)

Final Thoughts

Thank you in advance for helping us make the return to campus as smooth and successful as possible. We very much look forward to welcoming you back.

With best wishes for your summer, 

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

Laura DaRos, MS
Associate Dean of Student Affairs for SMFA

Joshua Hartman, EdS
Senior Director, Residential Life and Learning