Changes to isolation and quarantine procedures
We look forward to welcoming you to campus very soon and starting the new academic year together. Last week, you received our campus arrival policies and procedures. We are writing today with updated information on our isolation and quarantine policies.
Preparing to come to Tufts
As we have shared in several of our messages to you this summer, because the vast majority of our students, faculty, and staff will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, we anticipate this semester to look and feel very different than what you experienced last year (whether that was at Tufts or elsewhere).
We have gotten a few questions about this fall’s quarantine and isolation procedures should you be exposed or test positive for COVID-19 this semester. These procedures are in line with local, state, and federal guidelines.
If you test positive while at Tufts
- If you have campus housing and test positive for COVID-19, you will isolate for 10 days in the Mods (our modular housing designed to house students who have been diagnosed with COVID-19). You will receive medical consultation and monitoring from staff at Tufts Health Service. You can request that food be delivered to you from Dining Services during your period of isolation by using the Transact Mobile App and selecting Dining2YOU. You can return to in-person campus activities after you have been medically cleared to end isolation.
- If you live off campus, you will isolate for 10 days in your home or apartment. You will need to make your own arrangements for having food or meals delivered during your period of isolation and you should not leave your apartment unless you need to seek medical care. You can return to in-person campus activities after Health Service medical staff have cleared you to end isolation.
- Whether you live on or off campus, if your family is fully vaccinated and lives within driving distance of Tufts, you also may go home to complete your 10-day isolation. (Please remember that students who test positive may not use public means of transport.) You can return to Tufts after Health Service medical staff have cleared you to end isolation.
If you are exposed to someone who has COVID-19
If you are informed by a contact tracer that you have been exposed to a person who has COVID-19 you will be advised to do the following:
- If you are fully vaccinated: You do not need to quarantine; however, you will receive specific guidance on testing because your testing frequency will increase during the 2 weeks following the exposure. You also will need to monitor your health closely and report any symptoms to Tufts Health Service.
- If you are not fully vaccinated: You will need to quarantine and separate yourself from others while you closely monitor your health. Quarantine may take place in your usual residence or you may be required to move into the Mods if you have a roommate. You may leave quarantine to pick up food. You will be advised to test more frequently after the exposure and Health Service staff will inform you when it is safe for you to leave quarantine.
Steps before you arrive
Because we are still learning to live with an ongoing public health crisis, we are appealing to your sense of civic responsibility to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 to vulnerable individuals at Tufts and in our host communities of Boston, Somerville, and Medford. New daily infections in the United States are surpassing 100,000. Even if you are fully vaccinated and are unlikely to become seriously ill, you can become positive and transmit the virus to those who are unvaccinated or are immunocompromised. We can all play our part.
Here are a few things to consider doing before coming to campus:
- Wear a mask when you are indoors in public settings.
- Avoid attending large gatherings indoors where people are not wearing masks and whose vaccination status is unknown.
- Get fully vaccinated if you can before arrival.
We hope this information is helpful and thank you in advance for your willingness to follow our safety protocols for the good of everyone in our community.
With best wishes for the remainder of your summer,
Marie Caggiano, MD, MPH
Medical Director, Health Service
Camille Lizarríbar, JD, PhD
Dean of Student Affairs and Chief Student Affairs Officer for AS&E