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When and how will full on-campus operations resume?

Tufts has not set a specific deadline for returning to full on-campus operations. Instead, the university intends to take a phased approach, which can generally be described as follows:

  • Phase 0 – Stay-at-Home Advisory (essential employees only)
  • Phase 1 – Limited Access (essential employees plus limited staff to support certain labs and clinics)
  • Phase 2 – Preparation for Hybrid Reopening* (Phase 1 staff plus necessary support staff)
  • Phase 3 – Hybrid Reopening* (Phase 2 staff plus additional support staff)
  • Phase 4 – New Normal (all staff)

*Hybrid Reopening may include a combination of online and in-person academic and extracurricular activities.

Tufts plans to phase in the return of staff over time in a coordinated process to prioritize appropriate social distancing, availability of PPE (personal protective equipment), hygiene protocols, symptom screening, testing capabilities for COVID-19, and contact tracing.

All members of the Tufts community will be given advance notice of when they will be expected to return to work on campus.

No one should report to work on campus unless and until they have been explicitly cleared to do so by their school or department leadership.

Tufts will expand on-site staffing based on an assessment of mission-critical operations, ability to control and manage specific work environments, and necessity of accessing on-site resources. Return-to-campus decisions, once approved, will be issued by your respective dean, vice president, or division leader.


Last update: Tuesday, Jun 2, 2020 - 10:46am

How can departments modify work arrangements to support social distancing?

Once staff members have been instructed to return to campus, departments may consider a number of different alternative work arrangements in support of necessary social distancing requirements. These arrangements include continued telecommuting and modified work hours, schedules, or shift staffing options as follows:

Remote Work: Those who can work remotely to fulfill some or all their work responsibilities may continue to do so to reduce the number of individuals on campus and the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus. These arrangements, which should be approved by the immediate supervisor, may be made based on a full- or partial-day/week schedule as appropriate with a focus on supporting the business operations of the unit.

Alternating Days: Departments may have the flexibility to offer partial staffing on alternating days, such as Tuesday through Saturday instead of Monday through Friday. Such schedules may help maintain social distancing, especially in areas with large common workspaces.

Assessing On-Site Half-Shifts: Employees may be scheduled to work 50% of their time on-site and 50% of their time at home in such a way that allows for additional social distancing and optimizes use of office space for necessary on-site work. Supervisors and employees can explore these options together in consultation with Human Resources.

Staggered Shifts: The beginning and end of the workday typically bring many people together at common entry/exit points of buildings. Staggering reporting and departure times by at least 30 minutes will reduce traffic in common areas to meet social distancing requirements.

Compressed Work Weeks: In some cases, where work is measured primarily in deliverable outcomes rather than hours worked, a department may choose to offer compressed work weeks such as three-day work weeks with four days off or four-day work weeks with three days off, where practical. Because these arrangements can impact payroll processing, consult with Human Resources for guidance.

All of these options can provide flexibility and opportunities for collaboration and creativity; other options may also exist. But they will require advance planning and clear communication. These arrangements should be approved by the immediate supervisor in consultation with the HR Business Partner to ensure successful implementation and clear expectations. Contact your HR Business Partner for assistance in determining which arrangements will work best for you and your team.

Last update: Tuesday, Jun 2, 2020 - 10:46am
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How will Tufts ensure safe re-access to buildings?

To best manage building capacity for effective social distancing, entry to all Tufts-owned and leased buildings will be regulated and monitored. Your Tufts card/badge will be required for entry to most buildings, even during normal business hours, and you may not hold doors or prop open exterior doors for any other person.

Many Tufts buildings have been powered down to conserve energy and comply with the stay-at-home advisory. Before reopening buildings for staff, departments should coordinate with Facilities to identify usable building access points and coordinate arrival and departure times of staff to reduce congestion during typical “rush hours” of the business day.

Staff arrival and departures should be scheduled in 30-minute increments to reduce personal interactions at building access points, hallways, stairs/elevators, time clocks and other places where employees naturally congregate.

Once you have been instructed to return to the workplace, you should report to work or depart work through your designated building access point and at your designated time to limit the number of people entering and exiting at any one time.

Pursuant to the governor’s guidance for Reopening Massachusetts, dated May 18, 2020, office space occupancy must be limited to 25% of the maximum occupancy allowed in the certificate of occupancy or similar building permit, where available. If your office space is not subject to a maximum occupancy limit, then your return to the workplace occupancy rate must be limited to 25% of the typical occupancy as of March 1, 2020.

Last update: Tuesday, Jun 2, 2020 - 10:46am
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How can staff and faculty maintain social distance when they return to an office?

If you work in an open environment, be sure to maintain at least six feet of distance from co-workers. If possible, have at least one empty workspace separating you from another co-worker. You should always wear a face mask or face covering while in a shared workspace/room. Departments must assess open work environments and meeting rooms to institute measures to physically separate and increase distance between employees, other coworkers, and third parties, such as:

Place visual cues such as floor decals, colored tape, or signs to indicate where people should stand while waiting in line.

Place one-way directional signage in large open workspaces with multiple thruways to increase distance between employees moving through the space.

If you work in an office, no more than one person should be in the same room unless the required six feet of distancing can be consistently maintained. If more than one person is in a room, masks/face coverings should always be worn.

Temporary structures to better define private workspaces may be necessary. Consult with your department head for guidance.

Masks/face coverings should be worn by any staff in a reception/receiving area. Masks/face coverings should be used when inside any Tufts facility where others are present and likely to be in close proximity, including walking in narrow hallways where others travel and in break rooms, conference rooms, and other meeting locations.

Last update: Tuesday, Jun 2, 2020 - 10:46am
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Will I be required to come back to work if Governor Baker lifts the restrictions on May 18? 

All staffing decisions will be communicated through your respective dean, vice president or vice provost.

The potential lifting of restrictions by Governor Baker as of May 18 does NOT mean that employees will be expected to return to campus on May 18. The dates when employees will need to return to campus will be determined as part of the overall COVID-19 planning process and will likely be phased in, based on an employee’s function.

Last update: Thursday, May 21, 2020 - 11:07am
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Are the dining halls open?

All Tufts Dining locations are closed on the Medford, Somerville, and SMFA campuses this summer except for Dewick2GO, a new concept located in the Dewick-MacPhie Dining Center.

Dewick2GO, located in Dewick-MacPhie Dining Center on the Medford Somerville campus, is the only campus location open this summer and is serving takeout food prepared to order 7 days a week.  Dewick2GO is a new concept designed to meet the summertime needs of the limited campus population, following current physical distancing and other public health guidelines. Dewick2GO accepts meal plans, JumboCash, cash and credit cards.

Breakfast is served Monday-Friday (9 a.m – 10 a.m.). Brunch (10 a.m. – 3 p.m.) and Dinner (4 p.m. – 7 p.m.) are served every day. Mealtimes no longer must be reserved. Quick service coffee, bagels, and the popular hot egg breakfast sandwiches are available. Familiar favorites including burgers, wraps, panini, and smoothies will be joined by new daily menu items. There are many a la carte items to choose from as well.

At Dewick2GO, we strive to have something for everyone. Look for our freshly made salads and hot daily entrée specials (during Brunch and Dinner) prepared with local produce and seasonal ingredients. Daily specials will be tweeted from @TuftsDining on Twitter. View the NEW menus and daily specials on our menus section of the Tufts Dining website, and find out what locations are open and hours on the Tufts Dining homepage.

Boston Health Sciences and Grafton campus cafes are open with limited service.

Food for Thought Café on the Health Sciences campus in Boston remains open Monday – Friday, 7a.m. – 3p.m.

Elms Café on the Cummings School campus in Grafton is open Monday – Friday from 11a.m. – 1p.m.

Please remember current Massachusetts residents are officially ordered to wear face coverings outside their homes as part of the ongoing effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last update: Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 7:50am

How will this impact Fall 2020 semester planning for undergrads?

A decision about whether to hold classes on campus or online this fall has not yet been made. As soon as one has been made, Tufts leadership will communicate to students and their families, so they can plan accordingly. As you know, we are monitoring the situation carefully and the health and safety of our students is our top priority.

All 2020-2021 academic dates and deadlines on the Academic Calendar will continue as scheduled. 

  • Fall 2020 course registration will begin April 6. Undergraduate students should consult their Advisors during the Advising Period (March 25 - April 3) via email, phone, or video conference to plan their fall schedules and release registration holds. Graduate students should consult with their departments regarding advising and course registration for Fall 2020.
  • The registration period for Fall 2020 will remain open into late August. (Previously, registration closed on April 17 and re-opened in June.)
  • The deadlines for taking a medical leave of absence also remain unaffected.

The Office of Undergraduate Education will remain open throughout Spring 2020 with normal hours. Undergraduate students may make appointments with their Advising Dean, Senior Academic Advisor, and/or Academic Resource Advisor, as well as department Advisors, Pre-Health Advisors, and Scholar Development staff. Appointments are continuing via phone or video conference. 

Graduate students should consult with their program faculty and department administrators.

Last update: Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 2:50pm

What should I do if I was a close contact of a potential or COVID-19 positive individual?

If you have been in close contact with someone who has been identified as having a potential or positive COVID-19 diagnosis, please email immediately.

Please provide the following information in your e-mail to if it is available to you:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Affiliation (student, faculty, staff)
  • Dept./School
  • Symptoms (if any) and any known contact with someone who has either tested positive for COVID-19 or is exhibiting symptoms
  • Date of onset of first symptoms
  • If you’ve been tested (yes/no)
  • Results of the test, if any
  • Date of email

It would be helpful to understand how you received that information and any details that would help us follow up.

  • If you believe you have been exposed and are a student at Tufts, please contact our Health Service at 617-627-3350 and we can offer guidance.
  • If you are a staff or faculty member, please contact your physician for guidance and alert your supervisor.
  • See the CDC's recommendations for self-isolation.

If you test negative for COVID-19, but live in a household with someone who tests positive, it would be recommended that you quarantine for 14 days following your last close contact with the person who is positive. If household members are not able to avoid close contact with one another, the exposed person will need to quarantine for 14 days after the sick person is cleared by their health care professional.

Last update: Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 12:24pm

Should I wear a cloth mask when I go outside for essential activities?

Tufts endorses the guidelines set by the State of Massachusetts that people should shelter at home except for essential activities, such as buying groceries, or unless they are essential workers.

When going outside the home for essential activities, we also endorse following the CDC's recent recommendations that individuals should wear a cloth face coverings. For more on the CDC recommendations, please visit this page.

The City of Somerville has issued an emergency order mandating face coverings in public; violators will be subject to a fine of $300. The order will remain in effect until notice is given that it is no longer necessary, or the Board of Health declares that a Public Health Emergency no longer exists. A similar order exists in the City of Medford, but violators are not subject to a fine. Tufts University police officers will take notice of anyone not following these orders on campus.

Last update: Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 12:11pm

I am an essential worker. Should I wear a cloth mask when I come to work at Tufts?

In line with new advice from the federal government, all of our essential employees should wear a cloth face mask or face covering whenever they are “on duty” and near other people. While we leave it up to you to decide, public health authorities do recommend adopting this practice during non-work hours as well, such as when you are in a store or other places where you may be in close contact with others.      

This face mask recommendation does represent a change in what governmental officials have been urging up to now. The reason for this change is new evidence that people might be able to spread COVID-19 even before they show any symptoms. It is believed that simple cloth masks that cover the mouth and nose should be added to existing hand-washing and distancing protocols as a ‘community mitigation tool” to help limit the spread of the virus.

A mask does not have to be store bought and simple cloth masks made from home can be effective in preventing the virus from getting into the air or onto a surface from which it can be picked up by another person. The articles listed below are a sample of the ones that can be found describing how you can make an effective mask:

While supplies are limited, if you do not own a suitable mask, or cannot fashion one from home, please speak with your supervisor who may be able to supply or assist you in getting one you can use.

Wearing a mask, especially at work, is something new for all of us and it is important that it be done safely. To learn how to wear and remove a surgical mask correctly, we recommend the following helpful:

In wearing any mask, please be especially careful that it does not:

  • Obstruct your vision or “steam up” your glasses/or protective eyeware.
  • Get caught up in machines, ovens, power tools or other equipment.

You should also remember to:

  • Wear it completely over your nose and mouth and adjust it as necessary throughout the day.
  • Not put it down or leave it where it can potentially become contaminated.
  • Wash your hands and face after removing the mask and before touching your face.
  • Launder your mask frequently.

If you have questions about how to best wear your mask while working, please speak with your manager or supervisor.

The City of Somerville has issued an emergency order mandating face coverings in public; violators will be subject to a fine of $300. The order will remain in effect until notice is given that it is no longer necessary, or the Board of Health declares that a Public Health Emergency no longer exists. A similar order exists in the City of Medford, but violators are not subject to a fine. Tufts University police officers will take notice of anyone not following these orders on campus.

Last update: Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 12:10pm
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Is the Mayer Campus Center open?

The Mayer Campus Center is closed until further notice. Dewick Dining is offering "Dewick to Go" seven days a week. The Office for Campus Life staff can be contacted at or 617-627-3212.

Last update: Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 10:53am

Is the Tufts Bookstore open?

The Tufts Bookstore is temporarily closed in response to the COVID-19 situation. The bookstore's website offer free ground shipping on all orders.

Last update: Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 10:53am