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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:

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

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

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

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

What steps is the university taking any steps to increase or change cleaning protocols?

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The university has proactively instituted enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures in response to emerging viral pathogens; these include the application of EPA-approved disinfectants on communal, high-use surfaces. We stand ready to alter these practices as CDC guidance and/or the situation at Tufts changes. In the event that deeper environmental cleaning becomes necessary, the university is working with an outside vendor to ensure that this can be done swiftly and thoroughly.

Dispensers throughout campus are being restocked with CDC-recommended hand sanitizer, and we will install additional dispensers as needed. We continue to monitor our inventory of hand soap, disinfectant, sanitizer and paper products to ensure uninterrupted availability of these products throughout campuses.

Last update: Monday, Oct 25, 2021 - 3:05pm

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

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We do not send out a notification every time there is a positive result within the university community. We will be working closely with our COVID-19 testing and contact tracing providers as well as medical and public health authorities on all necessary contact tracing and alerts.

Last update: Monday, Oct 25, 2021 - 1:18pm

What is the policy for visitors on campus?

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For information on testing and vaccination requirements for visitors to Tufts campuses, visit

Last update: Monday, Oct 25, 2021 - 1:23pm

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.

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Tufts requires that all individuals wear masks indoors, including in offices, conference rooms, classrooms, laboratories, studios, libraries, dining halls, and residences. Masks do not need to be worn indoors when alone or when eating; however, social distancing is strongly encouraged while eating or drinking. For more information on face mask requirements, visit

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.

Last update: Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021 - 3:31pm

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

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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.

Last update: Monday, Aug 17, 2020 - 10:08am

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