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If a student at Tufts tests positive for COVID-19, how do I know that I will be safe? Will I be notified?

Any Tufts student who tests positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus responsible for COVID-19) will be asked to identify their close contacts. Contact tracing will be carried out in cooperation with local public health departments. Individuals who may have been exposed to someone who has the virus will be notified and provided information and resources for self-quarantining. There will not be a campus-wide notification every time there is a positive test result for a member of our community (which includes students, faculty, and staff).

Last update: Friday, Aug 7, 2020 - 11:02am

What are the fall plans for graduate programs at the School of Engineering?

All graduate students in the School of Engineering are welcome to come to campus in person. If for some reason that is not possible for you, we can provide options, such as taking classes virtually.  Find more information in the Fall 2020 Campus Guide for AS&E students

Last update: Friday, Aug 7, 2020 - 10:58am

Do I have to wear my mask all the time when I am at work?

Tufts' COVID-19 policy requires everyone to wear a mask or face covering in the workplace with few exceptions outlined under the university's accommodation policy.

We encourage you to work with the Tufts Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) if you have questions or concerns about wearing a mask or cloth face covering in your Tufts workplace. In many situations, OEO has already found acceptable and safe adaptations, alternatives and accommodations for those individuals who are unable to wear a mask or cloth face covering because of a physical or mental impairment or sincerely held religious belief. OEO will engage in an interactive dialogue with you in order to increase your feasibility of wearing a mask or cloth face covering safely in your workplace with the goal of reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19 across Tufts University.

What is the status of campus research? Will I be able to participate in research activities in the fall?  

Following state and university guidance, research is going through a phased ramp up. Phase 2 of research ramp up (minimal on-campus research operations) began on June 8. On August 1, Phase 2 of research ramp up was expanded to include face-to-face human subjects research where there is a lower risk of COVID-19 exposure upon approval from the investigator's respective Research/School Dean or Designate. Please click here for more information.

Last update: Friday, Aug 7, 2020 - 11:09am

Will Engineering students, faculty, and staff have access to engineering-related software and digital tools found in campus computer labs? 

TTS Virtual Lab (VDI) delivers remote desktops and applications, designed around specific needs of the Tufts community, as well as access to specialized software, licensed by Tufts for use outside of the computer labs. Specialized resources for School of Engineering students, faculty, and researchers are available in the Virtual Engineering Computing Lab (VECL)

Last update: Friday, Aug 7, 2020 - 12:13pm

Will the format of the fall semester impact the School of Engineering's ABET accreditation? 

ABET understands the need for programs to temporarily modify program delivery and grading methods in order to safeguard their communities during the current health crisis caused by COVID-19. 

Last update: Friday, Aug 7, 2020 - 12:11pm

Do I have to wear my mask all the time when I am at work? My religious beliefs prohibit me from wearing a mask.

If you are able to wear a mask or face covering in the workplace, you must do so unless you have an approved accommodation. There are a few religious reasons why someone may not be able to wear a mask or other type of face covering in the workplace at Tufts. If you believe you need a religious accommodation related to wearing a mask or face covering, there are alternatives, adaptions and accommodations available to you.  Please call the Tufts OEO Accommodation Specialist, Johny Lainé at 617.627.3298.

Tufts University recognizes that wearing masks or cloth face coverings may not be safe or possible in all workplace situations for some people. We encourage you to work with the Tufts Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) if you have questions or concerns about wearing a mask or cloth face covering in your Tufts workplace. In many situations, OEO has already found acceptable and safe adaptations, alternatives and accommodations for those individuals who are unable to wear a mask or cloth face covering because of a physical or mental impairment or sincerely held religious belief. OEO will engage in an interactive dialogue with you in order to increase your feasibility of wearing a mask or cloth face covering safely in your workplace with the goal of reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19 across Tufts University.

Do I have to wear my mask all the time when I am at work? I have a physical or medical reason that prohibits me from wearing a mask.

If you are able to wear a mask or face covering in the workplace you must do so unless you have an approved accommodation. When wearing a mask or cloth face covering may exacerbate a physical or mental health condition, lead to a medical emergency or introduce significant safety concerns, adaptions and alternatives will be considered whenever possible to increase the feasibility of wearing a cloth face covering or to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading if it is not possible to wear one. Please contact the Tufts OEO Accommodation Specialist, Johny Lainé at 617.627.3298 if you have questions or wish to request an accommodation.

Tufts University recognizes that wearing masks or cloth face coverings may not be safe or possible in all workplace situations for some people. In some situations, wearing a mask or cloth face covering may exacerbate a physical or mental health condition, lead to a medical emergency or introduce significant safety concerns.  We encourage you to work with the Tufts Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) if you have questions or concerns about wearing a mask or cloth face covering in your Tufts workplace. In many situations, OEO has already found acceptable and safe adaptations, alternatives and accommodations for those individuals who are unable to wear a mask or cloth face covering because of a physical or mental impairment or sincerely held religious belief. OEO will engage in an interactive dialogue with you in order to increase your feasibility of wearing a mask or cloth face covering safely in your workplace with the goal of reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19 across Tufts University.

I have breathing issues and wearing a mask is too difficult.

There are few physical or mental health reasons why someone cannot wear a mask or other type of face covering in the workplace. Wearing a mask or cloth face covering may exacerbate a physical or mental health condition, lead to a medical emergency or introduce significant safety concerns. Adaptions and alternatives will be considered whenever possible to increase the feasibility of wearing a cloth face covering or to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading if it is not possible to wear one. Please contact the Tufts OEO Accommodation Specialist, Johny Lainé at 617.627.3298 if you have questions or wish to request an accommodation.

I rely on lip reading and my colleagues don’t realize I do this in the workplace. Can I ask everyone I work with not to wear a mask when speaking to me?

Please contact the Tufts OEO Accommodation Specialist, Johny Lainé, who will be able to assist you and your work group with this situation. There are few physical or mental health reasons why someone cannot wear a mask or other type of face covering in the workplace. When wearing a mask or cloth face covering may exacerbate a physical or mental health condition, lead to a medical emergency or introduce significant safety concerns, adaptions and alternatives will be considered. Transparent masks may be an acceptable adaption in this situation with the support of the Tufts OEO Accommodation Specialist, Johny Lainé at 617.627.3298.

I wear glasses and sometimes my mask fogs up my glasses and I can’t see.

Please contact the Tufts OEO Accommodation Specialist Johny Lainé at 617.627.3298, who will be able to assist you with this situation. Typically, masks or face coverings that come up underneath glasses will alleviate this issue. There are few physical or mental health reasons why someone cannot wear a mask or other type of face covering in the workplace. When wearing a mask or cloth face covering may exacerbate a physical or mental health condition, lead to a medical emergency or introduce significant safety concerns, adaptions and alternatives will be considered.

Is the gym open now? What university amenities will be available to me?  

Currently, all indoor athletics facilities are currently closed. After consulting with the cities of Medford and Somerville, Ellis Oval outdoor track (College Avenue), the Voute tennis courts (Professor’s Row) and Triangle Park (corner of Powder House Boulevard and College Avenue) are now open. Physical distancing and other local guidelines still apply. The vast majority of our Medford/Somerville campus is also open for walks and passive use.

This fall campus facilities including the gym, library, and Mayer Campus Center will be open and available for students who choose to return to campus this fall. Only on-campus enrolled students have access to these facilities. Students attending virtually should not plan to utilize any on-campus resources or physical spaces including the physical library, classrooms, studios, the Campus Center, gym, and residential spaces, among others. Accordingly, the IDs of students attending virtually will not work for these locations and remote students will be required to remain away from campus for the semester, even if public health conditions improve during the semester.   

Please note that capacities, specific services, and hours will be limited based on public health guidance and other needs. Students will be required to follow the physical distancing and other guidelines determined for each location.  

The university anticipates that the Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness Center on the Medford/Somerville campus will be open for use by students, faculty, and staff this fall. However, new protocols are being developed to prioritize the health and safety of everyone using or working in the facility, including physical distancing, spacing out of fitness equipment, and regular cleaning and disinfecting of equipment and surfaces. The implementation of these protocols is likely to cause significant changes to the normal use of the facility. For example, some equipment and areas of the fitness center may not be available for use, face masks will be required, the number of concurrent users of the fitness center (and the duration of each visit) will be limited, and advance reservations will be required to access the facility. 

Note that residential guest and visitor policies have changed to align with health recommendations. Based on this, only residents of a specific building will be able to access that building, so residence hall lounge spaces will not be accessible to non-residents.  

Last update: Friday, Aug 7, 2020 - 11:49am

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.