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questions and answers are available

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.)
  • AND Your health-care provider has advised that it is safe to leave isolation.
Last update: Monday, Oct 25, 2021 - 1:38pm

Will I be tested for COVID-19? How often will I be tested?

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All the information about which groups are to be tested and how often is available as part of the Testing at Tufts resource.

Last update: Monday, Oct 25, 2021 - 1:16pm

Is everyone who is part of the Tufts community part of the surveillance/routine testing protocol?

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All faculty, staff, and students who come to any Tufts University campus, regardless of frequency, are required to participate in routine surveillance testing.

Vendors and affiliates who come to Tufts facilities may be required to test based on the frequency of their presence in Tufts facilities and interaction with Tufts faculty, staff, and students.

At this time, Tufts is not providing testing to the families of faculty, staff or students.
Who Will Not Be Tested?
• Faculty, staff, and students who are fully remote
• Students on leave
• Alumni
If you only work from home, you will not be a part of the regular surveillance/routine testing program. However, if you visit a Tufts campus, you are required to test on the day of your visit.
Individuals who are not required to be tested on a routine basis should consult with their healthcare provider if they wish to be tested.
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.
For more information about routine surveillance testing, visit https://coronavirus.tufts.edu/routine-surveillance-testing.

Last update: Monday, Oct 25, 2021 - 1:15pm

I have a medical condition that may predispose me to a worse outcome from COVID-19 compared to others without this condition. How does this change the frequency of my testing?

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Students, faculty and staff with underlying conditions will be tested at the same frequency as all others in their category. There shall be no increased frequency of testing of individuals with underlying conditions. More information about testing frequencies and the relevant public health approach is available as part of the Testing at Tufts resource.

Last update: Monday, Oct 25, 2021 - 1:11pm

What organization is analyzing our tests? How long after my test will I receive results?

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The Broad Institute is providing surveillance/routine testing for all campuses. Test results should be available within approximately 24 hours of receipt of the test at the Broad Institute. Read more about the testing protocol in the Testing at Tufts resource.

Last update: Monday, Oct 25, 2021 - 1:10pm

How will the test be administered to me?

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When you are to be tested, you will come into an on-campus testing site and tap/swipe your ID card to automatically print a label for the tube that will contain your cotton swab. You will be able to swab your own nose. When you are done, you drop your swab into the tube, affix the cap securely to the tube, and hand the tube to the healthcare professional for placement in the box for the next shipment to the Broad Institute. More information about all aspects of testing (including a video) are available in the Testing at Tufts resource.

Last update: Monday, Oct 25, 2021 - 1:08pm

What if I don’t feel well enough to go to get my test?

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This information varies by campus. Please visit the Testing at Tufts resource to learn more about your options, particularly when you are exhibiting symptoms related to COVID-19.

Last update: Monday, Oct 25, 2021 - 1:07pm

How is risk of exposure being minimized for the people providing COVID-19 tests?

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This information varies by campus. Please visit the Testing at Tufts resource to learn more about the ways in which the individuals providing the clinical support for our testing program are being properly equipped and protected.

Last update: Monday, Oct 25, 2021 - 1:06pm

What happens if I choose not to be tested?

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Regular COVID-19 surveillance across the Tufts community is necessary in order to identify individuals who are asymptomatic (infected but not exhibiting symptoms), so isolation and contact tracing protocols can be initiated.

All faculty, staff, and students who come to any Tufts University campus, regardless of frequency, are required to participate in routine surveillance testing. For more information, visit https://coronavirus.tufts.edu/routine-surveillance-testing.

Last update: Monday, Oct 25, 2021 - 1:05pm

What should I do if I develop symptoms in between scheduled tests?

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This information varies by campus. Please visit the Testing at Tufts resource for information on what to do if you feel ill

Last update: Monday, Oct 25, 2021 - 1:03pm

How will I learn about my testing results?

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Test results are usually returned within 24 hours.

If your pooled test produces a negative result, you will receive an email and a text letting you know that your results are available in the confidential Tufts testing portal, where you may log in to obtain your test results, which will say “NO FOLLOW-UP TESTING NEEDED”.

After your first pooled negative test, you will receive an email inviting you to create an account to log in and view results. This email will be sent to your Tufts email address. If you don’t see it, check to see if it was sent to your junk or spam folder.

If your individual COVID-19 test produces a negative result, you will receive an email letting you know that your results are available in the confidential Tufts testing portal, where you may log in to obtain your test results.

If a pooled test is indeterminate, every individual in the pool will receive a text notification, email, and a phone call (when needed) to let them know that they need to return to the testing center as soon as possible for an individual retest.

If an individual COVID-19 test is positive, a healthcare clinician/provider will call and give you instructions for appropriate next steps and care, including beginning isolation and initiating the contact tracing process, described in more detail on the isolation and contact tracing pages.

Last update: Monday, Oct 25, 2021 - 11:19am

Is it possible for the testing process to produce an incorrect negative result in some people who have COVID-19?

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It is possible for the test to produce an incorrect negative result in some people who have COVID-19. Students who test negative but have symptoms of COVID-19 or concerns about exposure to COVID-19 should contact Health Service, and employees should contact their healthcare provider, to determine if they should be retested or take other actions. More information about testing is available in the Testing at Tufts resource.

Last update: Monday, Oct 25, 2021 - 11:17am

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.