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December 16, 2021

Dear Students,

Out of an abundance of caution and in recognition of the rising number of COVID-19 cases that we are seeing locally and nationally, we are asking students who live on campus or whose off-campus housing is not their permanent residence, to head to their winter break destinations as early as possible. For this reason, we have decided that effective at 9 p.m. on Friday, December 17, all remaining final exams will be held virtually.

Many of our peer institutions have already concluded their fall semesters and therefore do not need to consider these actions. However, our academic calendar does not conclude until December 23. Medical guidance suggests that students should disperse as soon as possible.

If you live in campus housing or if your off-campus housing is not your permanent residence, we are asking you to return home as soon as possible. Our goal is to lower our campus density, mitigate transmission of the virus, and enable everyone to get home safely for the winter break.

Our COVID-19 protocols have worked extremely well this fall and we want to end on a high note. We understand it may be difficult for you to change flights or make other arrangements. If you are unable to change your travel plans, you may remain on campus. However, please note that all in-person activities (with a very few exceptions noted below) will be suspended as of tomorrow evening.

Important Information About Our Revised Operating Plans

Here is what you need to know:

  • After Friday, December 17, all remaining final exams, review sessions, or any class-related in person gatherings will be held virtually at their current scheduled times. Please make your travel arrangements accordingly.
  • Student workers, including Residential Assistants, are encouraged to leave campus and return home as soon as possible. If you are in a paid position and already had scheduled and confirmed hours between now and December 23, you will be compensated for those hours.
  • Stay in COVID-19 testing until you leave campus. As has already been communicated, international students must receive a negative PCR test 48 hours before leaving campus.
  • We will be switching from pooled testing to individual PCR tests starting this evening.
  • Masks must be worn at all times including in your suites, break rooms, residential halls, and off-campus apartments. Disposable, 3-ply masks are more effective than cloth masks and should be replaced if they are wet or dirty.
  • The campus dining centers will be switching to grab and go only as soon as possible.
  • All campus buildings and facilities, including the Mayer Campus Center and Tisch Library, will close at 10 p.m. each day, starting tomorrow.
  • Laboratories and studios will remain open, including SMFA studios. SMFA studios will close by 10 p.m. However, please avoid gathering in these spaces.
  • On-campus study spaces will no longer be available for reservation as of the end of day tomorrow. If you remain to study, please study in your own room and do not gather in groups.
  • Goddard Chapel will close tomorrow and services will be held online.
  • The Fitness Center will close for the remainder of the semester at the end of the day tomorrow.
  • In-person student organization events, social gatherings, and other in person events must either move to a remote format or be canceled.

Spring Semester

We are anticipating being fully in person for the spring semester and look forward to welcoming you back to campus in January. We will share information about returning to campus with you in early January. We will be requiring faculty, staff, and students to receive COVID-19 booster shots if they are eligible and encourage you to get one over the winter break. More details about this requirement will be shared with you tomorrow.

Thank you for your understanding and continued observance of our COVID-19 protocols. We are all in this together and together we will keep our friends, loved ones, and communities safe.

We wish you a successful conclusion to this semester and a happy, safe, and restorative winter break.

James M. Glaser
Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences
Professor of Political Science

Kyongbum Lee
Dean Ad Interim of the School of Engineering
Karol Family Professor

Robert G. Cook
Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Science
Professor of Psychology

Karen A. Panetta
Dean of Graduate Education, School of Engineering
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Nancy Bauer
Dean of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University
Professor of Philosophy

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

Michael R. Jordan, MD, MPH
University Infection Control Health Director, Associate Professor of Medicine