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How do I know if I have been exposed to someone in the Tufts community who tested positive for COVID-19?

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Tufts University is partnering with the Broad Institute to administer routine and exposure/symptom-based testing of students, faculty, and student-facing staff for the COVID-19 virus. When they receive a positive test result, Broad will contact the local board of health and Tufts Health Service to notify students or Marathon Health to notify faculty and staff who have tested positive. 

This will also initiate the contact tracing process with Marathon Health. Marathon Health will record the date of symptom onset and gather a list of close contacts within the Tufts community starting 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms. Marathon Health will then notify all close Tufts contacts.

More information about contact tracing is available in the Testing at Tufts resource.

Last update: Tuesday, Aug 18, 2020 - 4:09pm

Can I opt out of the contact tracing program?

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You cannot opt out of the contact tracing program. The program is essential to control the spread of the virus. You will not be identified during the process in which those individuals with whom you have had close contact are notified about their having had close contact with someone who has tested positive. Your medical information will be held in confidence in accordance with HIPAA regulations and best practices. More information about contact tracing is available in the Testing at Tufts resource.

Last update: Tuesday, Aug 18, 2020 - 10:38am

Where will my confidential information be stored?

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This information varies by campus. Please visit the Testing at Tufts resource for the specifics about where an individual’s information will be securely stored.

Last update: Tuesday, Aug 18, 2020 - 10:19am

What constitutes exposure to an infected individual?

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Current guidance for exposure includes being within six feet of a COVID-19 positive person for more than 15 minutes. Passing someone in a hallway or being in the same building with an infected individual does NOT constitute exposure. More information about exposure and close contacts is available in the Testing at Tufts resource.

Last update: Tuesday, Aug 18, 2020 - 10:01am

If my positive test result initiates contact tracing, will my identity remain confidential?

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During contact tracing, your identity will remain confidential. Those identified through contact tracing as needing to be notified will not be given your name. More information about contact tracing is available in the Testing at Tufts resource.

Last update: Tuesday, Aug 18, 2020 - 9:56am

How is “close contact” defined?

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The CDC defines close contact as someone who:

  • Is within six feet for 15 minutes or more of a positive COVID-19 person/case from 48 hours prior to the case’s symptom onset and through illness state, OR
  • Provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19, OR
  • Had direct physical contact with (touched, hugged, or kissed) a positive COVID-19 person, OR
  • Shared eating or drinking utensils with a positive COVID-19 person, OR
  • Was sneezed or coughed on by a positive COVID-19 person, transmitting respiratory droplets to them.
Last update: Friday, Aug 14, 2020 - 11:02am

I am working/studying remotely this fall. Am I likely to be part of the university’s contact tracing processes?

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If you are working remotely, you are not likely to be part of contact tracing from Tufts. Tufts will only be contact tracing for positive cases that are exposed by Tufts testing program, or for individuals who have outside tests and those working on campus who receive positive test results from another source. 

Last update: Tuesday, Aug 18, 2020 - 10:20am

These FAQs are subject to change. Please check back here for the latest guidance. If you do not  find the information you are looking for, please send an email to COVID19@tufts.edu.