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questions and answers are available

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: Tuesday, Jun 8, 2021 - 1:05pm

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. 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, Jun 8, 2021 - 1:04pm

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

I am a student and plan to travel for research, study or work related to or supported by Tufts. Can I travel?

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All domestic and personal international travel is allowed without restrictions. All Tufts-related international travel must follow the current review process, including approval by the dean or division VP’s office and review by the ITRC for students and by the Integrative Safety Committee (ISC) for research-related travel. All international travelers (personal and Tufts-related) must follow the return quarantine protocols according to their vaccination status. All travelers should be familiar with and follow local guidance at their destination. Even if fully vaccinated, travelers should follow safe travel guidelines to protect themselves and others. For more guidance on travel, visit Testing at Tufts.

Last update: Tuesday, Jun 1, 2021 - 8:45am

Who has been selected to participate in routine (i.e., surveillance) testing on campus?

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Deans’ offices and division leadership teams have identified which faculty and staff should be integrated into regular testing based on their individual responsibilities (including teaching, research, and student support work) in line with their units’ planning for the return to campus. Testing schedules, i.e., weekly or twice a week, are determined by the nature and frequency of their interaction with residential students and the general public in the course of their responsibilities at Tufts. Only faculty and staff who have been identified by their school or division leadership as needing to participate in surveillance testing will be able to register to use the CampusKey app to schedule their weekly. If you have questions about why you were or were not added to the testing program, please contact your supervisor, or your department, division or school leadership.

All students studying on campus will be tested once a week.

To learn more about testing at Tufts, visit https://coronavirus.tufts.edu/testing-at-tufts.

Last update: Friday, May 28, 2021 - 1:02pm

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

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

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 positive test results from your primary care physician or another entity outside of Tufts, 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.

Individuals who test positive are removed from surveillance testing for 90 days following a positive test. At the end of 90 days, you will receive an email inviting you back into the testing protocol.

If you were coming to campus regularly at the time of your positive test or onset of symptoms, 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. Your personal information will remain anonymous. 

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

Last update: Thursday, Jan 7, 2021 - 10:27am

How do I schedule my routine COVID-19 tests?

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Tufts has developed the CampusKey test scheduling app to make it easier for students, faculty and staff to schedule their regular weekly or twice weekly tests. The app also enables the university to schedule the 18,800 required tests per week while balancing traffic flow and minimizing queuing at the testing centers.

Students who have completed their arrival testing and have been cleared from quarantine will receive an email inviting them to download and start using the app. Faculty and staff who have been identified by their school or division as needing to participate in routine/surveillance testing will receive an email letting them know about the frequency of their testing and providing instructions on how to download and use the app. Students should not download and use the app to schedule your tests until they have been cleared from arrival quarantine and are invited to do so.

Learn more about the CampusKey app here: https://access.tufts.edu/campuskey.

If you have trouble installing or using the app, please send an email describing the issue to CampusKey@tufts.edu. Due to the volume of testing, scheduling updates may not be done by email.

Last update: Tuesday, Sep 22, 2020 - 11:02am

What should I do if I develop symptoms for COVID-19 before I come to campus?

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If you develop symptoms before your scheduled arrival on campus, you should promptly be evaluated by a medical provider to arrange testing, and you must inform us immediately if your test is positive by reaching out to the Health Service (617-627-3350). We will work with you on a plan to come to campus after you have been cleared by your medical provider. 

Individuals previously diagnosed with COVID-19 infection confirmed by molecular diagnostic testing (PCR) may continue to have detection of viral RNA for several weeks. Students who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 or been diagnosed with COVID-19 within 6 weeks prior to their arrival on campus should contact the Health Service. We will ask to review your laboratory report and medical documentation supporting the fact that a healthcare professional cleared you from isolation. We will advise you on when you should re-enter the testing program based on the date of the diagnosis. 

Last update: Wednesday, Sep 2, 2020 - 9:50am

If I test positive for COVID-19, how long must I remain in isolation?

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Any person with a positive test for COVID-19 OR symptoms of COVID-19, including early or mild symptoms, must remain in isolation (i.e., stay away from others) until:

  • At least 10 days (minimum) have passed from the date of the positive test
    AND
  • No fever (i.e., no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers) for at least 24 hours
    AND
  • Any symptoms (e.g., shortness of breath) have improved
    AND
  • At least 10 days have passed since symptom onset (Note: This means that people with symptoms may be required to quarantine for longer than the minimum 10 days if they have no symptoms on the date of testing but develop symptoms after.)
  • Your health-care provider has advised that it is safe to leave isolation.
Last update: Thursday, Aug 20, 2020 - 10:37am

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 COVID19@tufts.edu.