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What are the AS&E travel policies for students in general and for the Thanksgiving break?

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It is becoming increasingly clear that travel off-campus, and in particular attending even small gatherings, has been a factor in many of the COVID-19 cases we have seen at Tufts so far this term. This has been true both for short trips and in-region travel and for longer trips and out-of-region travel. In light of the facts, we want to highlight our general travel policy and share specific new guidelines for Thanksgiving break.

General travel policy

All travel (both in-region and out-of-region) during the pandemic is strongly discouraged, except under exceptional circumstances. In general, exceptional circumstances are those in which your physical presence is essential (e.g., the death or life-threatening illness of a close family member). While we understand that travel for other important life events (e.g., family reunions, vacations, holidays, weddings) may be very important to you, it is not truly essential during a pandemic. All AS&E (including SMFA) undergraduate and graduate students are asked to register in advance of any such exceptional travel during the semester with the Dean of Student Affairs office.

Thanksgiving travel policy

Beginning with the Thanksgiving break, if you choose to travel, you cannot return to campus and instead must finish the semester remotely. This applies to all AS&E undergraduate and graduate students traveling in-region or out-of-region, and to those living on-campus and those living off-campus but attending courses and/or using campus facilities in-person. 

If students elect to leave campus at Thanksgiving and therefore decide to finish the semester remotely, Tufts will not reimburse or pro-rate housing or dining fees. Students who believe they have a situation that meets the exceptional circumstance definition may request approval from the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs to travel over the break and return by submitting a request. Such requests will be granted rarely and returning students will be required to meet quarantine and testing requirements upon their return.

In addition, this policy also applies to local travel such as attending off campus gatherings of any kind during the break, such as Thanksgiving dinner. The policy’s public health rationale is not how far a student will be traveling but their exposure to individuals who have not participated in our community’s routine testing and protocols. We recognize that this may be an unusual Thanksgiving for many, but limiting travel is vital to our plan to maintain the health of the community. Students and their families, friends, and loved ones are encouraged to celebrate the holiday remotely in creative and meaningful ways.

We are, as always, appealing to our students to adhere to these policies for the greater good of the community, and we appreciate the high level of compliance we have seen so far. Because of the serious health risks travelling and returning to campus during the Thanksgiving break would pose, violations of the travel policy will be addressed via the Student Conduct Resolution Procedure. 

We are making plans to offer students meaningful ways to mark this holiday that both recognize the difficulties and celebrate resilience and our sense of Tufts community. We will share these plans with you in the coming weeks.

Last update: Monday, Sep 28, 2020 - 10:06am

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

Tufts has student ambassadors who walk around the Medford/Somerville campus educating their peers and reinforcing positive behaviors that will help slow the spread of the virus, including mask wearing, physical distancing, and keeping gatherings to no more than 10 people. We know that the vast majority of Tufts students are following these guidelines for their own wellbeing as well as that of their community.

Last update: Tuesday, Sep 22, 2020 - 11:08am

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:

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

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

Is Tufts providing face masks to students? 

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All Tufts students are provided face masks or coverings should they need them, but students may also use their own. More details about how to get Tufts-issued face masks or coverings has been provided to students before their arrival on campus.

Last update: Friday, Sep 4, 2020 - 9:50am

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

What should I do if I receive positive test results from a physician outside of Tufts?

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If you receive positive test results from your primary care physician or another entity outside the university, contact the Jumbo Health Center at 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: Wednesday, Sep 2, 2020 - 9:49am

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 or twice a week tests. 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 who choose to take classes on campus this fall will be regularly screened and tested. Students who are studying remotely and living off-campus in Medford or Somerville have the option of participating in the testing program. The frequency of the routine/surveillance tests is based on where the students live (on- or off-campus) and how they are taking classes (in-person or remotely).

To learn more about testing at Tufts, visit

Last update: Tuesday, Sep 1, 2020 - 11:09am

Will there be faculty and staff-only testing times?

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On the Medford/Somerville campus, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. each weekday will be reserved primarily for testing of faculty and staff. (Beyond limited exceptions, students will not be able to schedule their tests during this time.)

Last update: Thursday, Aug 20, 2020 - 1:02pm

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
  • No fever (i.e., no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers) for at least 24 hours
  • Any symptoms (e.g., shortness of breath) have improved
  • 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

Should I wear a mask when I come to work at Tufts?

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Following CDC recommendations, face masks are required for those on all campuses at Tufts.

Face masks or face coverings must be worn by all staff working on campus when in the presence of others and in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g. common work-spaces, meeting rooms, classrooms, etc.).

For more information about the use and care of face coverings, please refer to the Return to Campus guide.

Last update: Wednesday, Aug 19, 2020 - 11:19am

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

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Face masks or face coverings must be worn by all students, faculty, staff and visitors in the presence of others when on campus, in common workspaces, meeting rooms, classrooms, dormitories, dining facilities and other shared spaces. The only exception to this is when an individual is alone in an office, in your own dormitory bedroom or greater than 6 feet from anyone else when outside.

The City of Somerville requires face masks be worn whenever anyone is in any public space—indoors or outside—regardless of the person's ability to socially distance; non-compliance is subject to a $300 fine by the city. 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.

Individuals who believe it is unsafe to wear a mask or face covering due to a medical condition or disability, or other protected reason should consult with their supervisor, HR business partner or dean's office. A good option for the hearing impaired who rely on lip reading and facial queues:

Disposable masks will be provided by Tufts in all of its buildings for use by students and employees.

Cloth face coverings may also be worn, but will not be provided by the university. Cloth face coverings should only be worn for one day at a time, and must be properly laundered before use again. The fabric design or pattern for cloth face coverings should be appropriate for the workplace and classroom. See the CDC's guidelines on the use of cloth face coverings.

Last update: Tuesday, Aug 18, 2020 - 4:22pm

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