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What should I do if I was a close contact of a potential or COVID-19 positive individual?

If you have been in close contact with someone who has been identified as having a potential or positive COVID-19 diagnosis, please email covid19@tufts.edu immediately.

Please provide the following information in your e-mail to covid19@tufts.edu if it is available to you:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Affiliation (student, faculty, staff)
  • Dept./School
  • Symptoms (if any) and any known contact with someone who has either tested positive for COVID-19 or is exhibiting symptoms
  • Date of onset of first symptoms
  • If you’ve been tested (yes/no)
  • Results of the test, if any
  • Date of email

It would be helpful to understand how you received that information and any details that would help us follow up.

  • If you believe you have been exposed and are a student at Tufts, please contact our Health Service at 617-627-3350 and we can offer guidance.
  • If you are a staff or faculty member, please contact your physician for guidance and alert your supervisor.
  • See the CDC's recommendations for self-isolation.

If you test negative for COVID-19, but live in a household with someone who tests positive, it would be recommended that you quarantine for 14 days following your last close contact with the person who is positive. If household members are not able to avoid close contact with one another, the exposed person will need to quarantine for 14 days after the sick person is cleared by their health care professional.

Last update: Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 12:24pm

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

Tufts endorses the guidelines set by the State of Massachusetts that people should shelter at home except for essential activities, such as buying groceries, or unless they are essential workers.

When going outside the home for essential activities, we also endorse following the CDC's recent recommendations that individuals should wear a cloth face coverings. For more on the CDC recommendations, please visit this page.

The City of Somerville has issued an emergency order mandating face coverings in public; violators will be subject to a fine of $300. The order will remain in effect until notice is given that it is no longer necessary, or the Board of Health declares that a Public Health Emergency no longer exists. A similar order exists in the City of Medford, but violators are not subject to a fine. Tufts University police officers will take notice of anyone not following these orders on campus.

Last update: Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 12:11pm

Is the gym open?

All indoor athletics facilities will be closed as of March 12. 

To discourage organized games and contact sports that could hasten the spread of COVID-19, the university’s athletic fields, including the Ellis Oval, will be closed effective April 3. In accordance with City of Somerville guidelines, the playground on Powder House Boulevard has been closed as well. The vast majority of our Medford/Somerville campus, including the academic quad, the President’s Lawn, the Triangle Park (corner of Powder House Boulevard and College Avenue) and Fletcher Field (corner of Professor’s Row and Curtis Street), will remain open for walks and passive use.

Last update: Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 10:52am

Will Commencement and Senior Week still go on as planned?

For the latest update on commencement, please read the message from President Monaco sent on March 30, 2020.

The Tufts University Social Collective (TUSC) has made the decision to cancel all in-person Senior Week events. TUSC is a student organization and came to this decision independently of the university administration. TUSC is working towards finding alternative ways to celebrate the senior class at anticipated alumni events in 2021. Read the full announcement made to the Class of 2020 here.

Last update: Thursday, Apr 30, 2020 - 4:39pm

What does it mean to “self-quarantine”?

If you are asked to self-quarantine after being in contact with someone who has a coronavirus infection, you should stay home – in your room, your apartment, or your house. Do not go to work, classes, athletic events, or other social gatherings until 14 days after the date of your contact. Follow these guidelines for self-quarantine:

  • Report any symptoms of COVID-19 – fever and cough or shortness of breath– immediately to Health Service (if you are a student).  The phone number is 617-627-3350.  If we are closed, you will be connected with our nurse advice line. (Staff should contact their personal health care provider and notify their supervisor.)
  • Stay in your room, apartment or house. Do not go to work, classes, athletic events, or other social or religious gatherings until 14 days after your departure from the country in question.
  • Limit contact with other people as much as possible. This includes isolating yourself as much as possible from anyone living in your residence by staying in your own room with the door closed.  If you have to leave your room, wear a surgical mask if one has been provided to you.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your upper arm or a tissue. Never cough in the direction of someone else.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand rubs after coughing or sneezing or throwing a used tissue in the garbage.
  • Avoid sharing household items. Do not share drinking glasses, towels, eating utensils, bedding, or any other items until you are no longer asked to self-quarantine.
Last update: Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - 10:21am

What should I do if I’ve been exposed to someone who had direct contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19?

Contacts of contacts do not need to be quarantined or tested if they are asymptomatic. The CDC recommends self-observation for symptoms such as fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure, though most people experience them within 5-7 days. For the latest guidance on what to do if you develop symptoms, visit the CDC’s website.

Make sure you are remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible. Make sure you are sanitizing any shared surfaces, e.g., doorknobs, faucet handles, etc.

Here are some other helpful tips:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your cough. Keep germs from spreading by coughing into your sleeve, not your hand.
  • Avoid sharing drinks, food, and/or cigarettes or vaping products.
  • If you share a room or apartment with someone who is sick, try to stay at least 6 feet away to prevent exposure through coughing.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Keep your personal space as clean as you can.

For overall health information about the Novel Coronavirus, please visit the CDC’s website to review their latest FAQs.

If you are experiencing symptoms, please contact your primary healthcare provider or Tufts Health Service nurse’s station at 617-627-5154.

Last update: Friday, May 1, 2020 - 2:55pm

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

Faculty and staff at Tufts who test positive will be interviewed by their local Department of Public Health (DPH) to determine who they might have come in contact with. The DPH will then notify those who may have been exposed. Students who are still living on campus should notify Health Service at 617-627-3350 if they have tested positive, and Health Service will then notify those who have been exposed. They will then be interviewed to determine who they might have had contact with on the university campus. Students on campus should also notify their local public health department. Students no longer on campus should notify their local or state public health department and do not need to notify Health Service.

Last update: Friday, May 1, 2020 - 2:52pm

Will you be notifying the community every time someone tests positive?

With the rapid rise in positive COVID-19 cases, we won’t be sending out a broad notification every time there is a positive result within the university community. We will be working closely with medical and public health authorities on all necessary contact tracing and alerts.

Last update: Friday, May 1, 2020 - 2:52pm

What restrictions exist around athletics and athletic fields?

To discourage organized games and contact sports that could hasten the spread of COVID-19, the university’s athletic fields, including the Ellis Oval, will be closed effective April 3. In accordance with City of Somerville guidelines, the playground on Powder House Boulevard has been closed as well. The vast majority of our Medford/Somerville campus, including the academic quad, the President’s Lawn, the Triangle Park (corner of Powder House Boulevard and College Avenue) and Fletcher Field (corner of Professor’s Row and Curtis Street), will remain open for walks and passive use.

While winter season athletic teams were allowed to complete their seasons, spectators were prohibited from attending any events held at Tufts, including the NCAA tournament games being held at Cousens Gymnasium this weekend. Whenever possible, these events will be streamed online.

Following a decision of the NESCAC presidents, the NESCAC league and championship play were canceled. Further, Tufts, like many of our NESCAC colleagues, will not have any spring sports for the remainder of the semester. We realize this will be upsetting to our athletes and their supporters. We recognize the dedication and hard work of our student athletes, and we look forward to resumption of NESCAC competition in the future.

Last update: Thursday, Apr 30, 2020 - 4:52pm

Are the art galleries open?

Tufts University Art Galleries are closed to the public and Tufts Community until further notice. For updated information, please refer to the gallery’s website and official announcements from the University. While there is no replacement for seeing artwork in person, please download the TUAG mobile app here for a virtual tour that includes images and gallery texts of current exhibitions.

Last update: Tuesday, Jun 2, 2020 - 12:25pm

What safety precautions is the university taking to protect students and staff who are still on campus?

Tufts segmented its campus to create separate zones for different populations, protecting the health and well-being of students, faculty, and staff while providing space for housing and treatment needs. The university has increased the number of daily disinfections of high touch points, including in dining areas, and equipped all facilities work vehicles with necessary supplies to allow for additional disinfections throughout the day. Social distancing is observed in dining facilities to ensure students and staff maintain appropriate spacing. Dining facilities undergo a deeper cleaning between brunch and dinner.

Tufts University first responders and other staff are equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) to use when in contact with any individual believed to be COVID-19 positive or is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or in areas inhabited by COVID-19 positive individuals. All Tufts staff who are required to be on campus due to their job responsibilities have been advised to limit entry into campus housing, and are constantly reminded to maintain appropriate social distance. Essential departments are adjusting shifts and other protocols to ensure the safety of all on-campus staff. The university also has offered the use of on campus showers and laundry facilities to staff so they can launder their work clothes on-site and avoid bringing them home.

Patients who are housed in Tufts’ residence halls will be under the care of their healthcare provider, will have access only to the residence hall to which they are assigned, and will receive food and other essentials directly from their healthcare provider. Also, the healthcare providers will arrange for cleaning, maintenance and upkeep, and their security personnel will monitor access to the buildings. The university, healthcare providers and city will follow all applicable federal, state, city and medical regulations, including cleaning and disinfection protocols, to ensure the health and safety of all students, faculty, staff, and neighbors.

Because access to resident halls will be limited to those assigned to them and because patients, medical personnel and first providers will not have access to other buildings on campus, students, employees and nearby neighbors are at no increased risk of exposure as a result of the university’s arrangements with its community partners.

Last update: Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 2:57pm

What are the expectations of couples or roommates who are self-quarantining?

If both partners are healthy and self-quarantining, there’s no need to eat or sleep in separate rooms. The CDC recommends self-observation for symptoms such as fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure, though most people experience them within 5-7 days.

If one of you becomes sick, the CDC recommends designating a “sick room” in your home and isolating the sick person in that room as much as possible. This person also should use a separate bathroom, if possible. Visit the CDC’s What to Do If You Are Sick website for the latest guidelines.

If you test negative for COVID-19, but live in a household with someone who tests positive, it would be recommended that you quarantine for 14 days following your last close contact with the person who is positive. If household members are not able to avoid close contact with one another, the exposed person will need to quarantine for 14 days after the sick person is cleared by their health care professional.

Last update: Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 2:44pm