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I have breathing issues and wearing a mask is too difficult.

There are few physical or mental health reasons why someone cannot wear a mask or other type of face covering in the workplace. 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 whenever possible to increase the feasibility of wearing a cloth face covering or to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading if it is not possible to wear one. Please contact the Tufts OEO Accommodation Specialist, Johny Lainé at 617.627.3298 if you have questions or wish to request an accommodation.

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.

If you are able to wear a mask or face covering in the workplace you must do so unless you have an approved accommodation. 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 whenever possible to increase the feasibility of wearing a cloth face covering or to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading if it is not possible to wear one. Please contact the Tufts OEO Accommodation Specialist, Johny Lainé at 617.627.3298 if you have questions or wish to request an accommodation.

Tufts University recognizes that wearing masks or cloth face coverings may not be safe or possible in all workplace situations for some people. In some situations, 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.  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.

Do I have to wear my mask all the time when I am at work? My religious beliefs prohibit me from wearing a mask.

If you are able to wear a mask or face covering in the workplace, you must do so unless you have an approved accommodation. There are a few religious reasons why someone may not be able to wear a mask or other type of face covering in the workplace at Tufts. If you believe you need a religious accommodation related to wearing a mask or face covering, there are alternatives, adaptions and accommodations available to you.  Please call the Tufts OEO Accommodation Specialist, Johny Lainé at 617.627.3298.

Tufts University recognizes that wearing masks or cloth face coverings may not be safe or possible in all workplace situations for some people. 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.

I’m searching for off-campus housing but there aren’t many posts available right now. When will more listings be available? What happens if I cannot find a place off campus?

While Tufts works hard to support our off-campus students in their search for housing and navigating the off campus living experience, we cannot control when landlords and owners post open leases and available units. Traditionally, we see a large number of apartments being posted in the spring. However, given the current uncertainty on so many community levels related to COVID-19, some landlords may not have prioritized posting their available spaces. We encourage students to continue to check our off campus resources and also seek other resources including apartments.com and other rental sites. We will continue to offer support to students as they navigate their search, and can certainly add students to our housing waitlist if they are unable to find off campus housing.

Last update: Tuesday, Jun 16, 2020 - 12:31pm

Are the art galleries open?

Tufts University Art Galleries are closed to the public and the 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.

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.

How is “close contact” defined?

The CDC defines close contact as: 

  1. being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case without a mask for more than 15 minutes; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case; or 
  2. having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on).

What is the difference between self-quarantine, self-isolation, and self-monitoring? 

Isolation is the term used to separate people who are sick from people who are healthy. Quarantine means to separate and restrict the movement of healthy people who may have been exposed to an illness to see if they become sick. Monitoring means to monitor themselves for fever by taking their temperatures twice a day and remain alert for cough or difficulty breathing. (If they feel feverish or develop measured fever, cough, or difficulty breathing during the self-monitoring period, they should self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a healthcare provider or their local health department to determine whether medical evaluation is needed.) (References: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC)

Is the university taking any steps to increase or change cleaning protocols in light of COVID-19?

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.

For buildings being used for community partnerships, the university’s agreement with health care providers and the city are written to enable the university to reclaim use of the residence halls when university operations return to normal and students return to campus to resume in-person classes. The health care providers and city will be responsible for cleaning and disinfection following CDC and DPH standards, and the university will closely monitor this work to ensure that all proper cleaning and disinfection steps are taken.

Additional information about lab and clinic safety will be shared when available.

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.