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questions and answers are available

Is it possible for the testing process to produce an incorrect negative result in some people who have COVID-19?

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It is possible for the test to produce an incorrect negative result in some people who have COVID-19. Students who test negative but have symptoms of COVID-19 or concerns about exposure to COVID-19 should contact Health Service, and employees should contact their healthcare provider, to determine if they should be retested or take other actions. More information about testing is available in the Testing at Tufts resource.

Last update: Monday, Oct 25, 2021 - 11:17am

What should I do if I receive a positive test result from a physician or entity outside of a Tufts testing facility?

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If you receive a positive test result from your primary care physician or another entity outside of a Tufts testing site, please provide official documentation of your positive test result for our health providers. Please ensure the uploaded documentation specifies your name, date of birth, what type of test was performed, test result, and test date.

If you were coming to campus regularly at the time of your positive test or onset of symptoms, please contact the Jumbo Health Center at jumbohealthcenter@marathon-health.com or 617-627-0467 so that a clinician can evaluate your individual circumstances and notify anyone at Tufts with whom you have had close contact; you may leave a voicemail with your name and contact number if it is off-hours.

Note: The university is not currently processing tests from external sources (i.e., organizations other than those with which the university has contracted).

Last update: Monday, Oct 25, 2021 - 11:07am

If I’ve received the vaccine for COVID-19, do I need to continue with routine surveillance testing?

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Even if you have received the vaccine, you will be expected to follow all current University public health safety protocols—including continuing to wear masks indoors, physically distance in certain public settings, wear appropriate PPE (goggle, N95s, etc.) in patient care settings, and practice proper hand hygiene. In addition, you will continue in the mandatory routine weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing after you are vaccinated. Even those who are vaccinated can become infected and transmit the virus, though the likelihood is significantly reduced. In addition, the duration of immunity remains unknown in all populations.

Last update: Monday, Oct 25, 2021 - 11:04am

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: Monday, Oct 25, 2021 - 10:59am

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: Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021 - 10:21pm

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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The purpose of contact tracing is to identify and notify in a timely manner close contacts of people who test positive for COVID-19 and to educate those contacts on quarantine instructions, symptom monitoring, and steps to take if they become symptomatic. When an individual who is participating in the university’s testing program receives a positive test result, that result initiates the university’s contact tracing process.

Tufts has contracted with Jumbo Health Center to serve as the university’s notification team for contact tracing. When the university receives a report of a positive test for an employee or student, Tufts will notify Jumbo Health Center, which will then contact the individual to confirm the diagnosis, ask the date of the onset of symptoms, and help the individual gather a list of all close contacts starting 48 hours prior to either the onset of symptoms through illness or the positive test, whichever is earlier. Tufts’ contact tracers or a public agency contact tracer will then reach out to all individuals who have been exposed to a known-positive individual with instructions.

During contact tracing, the individual that tested positive will remain anonymous. Close contacts will be notified and given next step instructions, but will not be given any identifying information, such as the positive individual’s name. More information about exposure and close contacts is available in the Testing at Tufts resource: https://coronavirus.tufts.edu/contact-tracing-quarantine.

Last update: Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021 - 10:17pm

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 15 minutes or more while indoors over a 24-hour period, starting two days before the onset of illness and while the case is symptomatic;
• Being within six feet of a positive COVID-19 person/case for 15 minutes or more while indoors during the 48 hours before their test was taken or anytime in the 10 days after the test;
• Providing care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19;
• Having direct physical contact with (touched, hugged, or kissed) a positive COVID-19 person;
• Sharing food, or eating or drinking utensils with a positive COVID-19 person;
• Being sneezed or coughed on by a positive COVID-19 person, transmitting respiratory droplets to them.

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: https://coronavirus.tufts.edu/contact-tracing-quarantine.

Last update: Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021 - 3:58pm

How is “close contact” defined?

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Congruent with updated state and CDC definition of a close contact of a COVID-19 case, a close contact is defined as someone who:

• Is within six feet of a positive COVID-19 person/case for 15 minutes or more while indoors over the course of a 24-hour period, starting two days before the onset of illness and while the case is symptomatic; or
• Is within six feet of a positive COVID-19 person/case for 15 minutes or more while indoors during the 48 hours before their test was taken or anytime in the 10 days after the test; 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 food, or 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.

In all cases, the decision to quarantine is a clinical decision made by a Tufts clinician in collaboration with the university’s contract tracing team and the local boards of health. Any student, faculty, or staff member instructed to quarantine is expected to fully cooperate with the contact tracing process and strictly adhere to all instructions.

Last update: Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021 - 3:56pm

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

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Fully vaccinated individuals (defined as 14+ days after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or 14+ days after a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) are not required to wear masks or physically distance outside. However, individuals who feel more comfortable wearing a mask outdoors for whatever reason, are encouraged to do so. Non-vaccinated individuals are advised to continue wearing face masks and physically distance until such time as they are fully vaccinated.

Tufts requires that all individuals, whether vaccinated or not, continue to wear masks indoors, except when alone or when eating. We hope that the indoor mask requirement may be eased at a later date. This decision will be based on the levels of vaccination coverage within the Tufts community (students, faculty, and staff), our neighboring communities, and the state, as well as reductions in COVID-19 cases. Even after routine mask wearing indoors is dropped, there may be certain circumstances (e.g., very large indoor gatherings) where their use may be encouraged or people may feel more comfortable wearing them.

Per the state’s guidance, face coverings are required for all individuals on public and private transportation (including rideshares, livery, taxis, ferries, MBTA, Commuter Rail and transportation stations), in healthcare facilities, congregate care settings, and health and rehabilitative day services.

Last update: Tuesday, Jun 1, 2021 - 8:46am

Should I wear a mask when I come to work at Tufts?

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Fully vaccinated individuals (defined as 14+ days after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or 14+ days after a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) are not required to wear masks or physically distance outside. However, individuals who feel more comfortable wearing a mask outdoors for whatever reason, are encouraged to do so. Non-vaccinated individuals are advised to continue wearing face masks and physically distance until such time as they are fully vaccinated.

Tufts requires that all individuals, whether vaccinated or not, continue to wear masks indoors, except when alone or when eating. We hope that the indoor mask requirement may be eased at a later date. This decision will be based on the levels of vaccination coverage within the Tufts community (students, faculty, and staff), our neighboring communities, and the state, as well as reductions in COVID-19 cases. Even after routine mask wearing indoors is dropped, there may be certain circumstances (e.g., very large indoor gatherings) where their use may be encouraged or people may feel more comfortable wearing them.

Per the state’s guidance, face coverings are required for all individuals on public and private transportation (including rideshares, livery, taxis, ferries, MBTA, Commuter Rail and transportation stations), in healthcare facilities, congregate care settings, and health and rehabilitative day services.

Last update: Tuesday, Jun 1, 2021 - 8:46am

How should I report misconduct?

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If you want to report a situation involving a possible violation of university rules, you may notify your RA (if you live on-campus) or the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs for your school. You may also submit an anonymous report online through EthicsPoint or email the Office of Community Standards CommunityStandards@tufts.edu.

Last update: Friday, May 28, 2021 - 12:58pm

Are there procedures I need to follow whenever I come on-campus?

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Yes, prior to arriving on campus each workday, faculty and staff, including postdoctoral scholars and doctoral students, must complete a Daily Health Screening Survey to attest that they are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or have recently come into contact with someone who is confirmed to have COVID-19. Upon completing the survey, individuals will immediately receive an email confirming whether they can come to campus. Those approved to come to campus may be required to show the email to a school administrator, supervisor or building security guard upon arrival. The survey can be accessed via:

Last update: Tuesday, Aug 18, 2020 - 4:07pm

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.