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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 over the course of a 24-hour period, of a positive COVID-19 person/case, starting two days before the onset of illness 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: Thursday, Oct 29, 2020 - 11:54am

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

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