Will faculty and staff who work on campus be able to get tested at Tufts if they are symptomatic?
I am a faculty member. If I poll my students and the majority of students want to keep masks on, can we make it a class mandate?
This is something that the class will express itself by voluntary actions and by wanting be respectful of their classmates and the faculty member. If mask wearing on campus is not being mandated, it can’t be enforced as a requirement and disciplinary action can’t be taken, even if the majority of students votes to wear masks in the classroom.
How should we properly log or document care of a child? For example, if a child has to stay home because they have been exposed to COVID and cannot attend school.
There are a couple of ways to do this. The first is to talk with a representative on the Leaves team by emailing Leaves@Tufts.edu, if your leave involves the care of a family member. You may also use vacation or personal time to cover the days you are out of the office.
To go back to work, are staff who had tested positive for COVID-19 required to confirm their status with an antigen test at home or come to campus to be tested?
We are requiring that undergraduates confirm their status with a negative antigen test out of an abundance of caution. Per CDC guidance, individuals do not need to test to be released from isolation. Therefore, it is not required that faculty and staff have a negative antigen test before returning to work or the classroom. If they are feeling better with a decrease in symptoms, they may return to campus on day six (after testing positive) provided they wear a mask at all times and be careful around others.
How do I order PPE (personal protective equipment) for my staff or department?
Tufts Purchasing department has set up procedures to centrally stock a number of PPE items needed to keep the university safe and healthy, including masks (disposable and N95, which are just for clinical and labs), disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer/liquid gel, gloves, and cleaning supplies.
Please contact your department administrator who should have access to a form to request these items. If they do not have access to the form or you have a special request, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of my direct reports recently tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do?
Managers and supervisors should follow the existing sick time and/or extended sick leave policies for employees who test positive for COVID-19. Please remind your employee to let us know they tested positive at go.tufts.edu/COVIDpositive. You may gently encourage your employee to tell their coworkers, but you cannot require it. Do not reach out to your employee’s close contacts on their behalf. Informing close contacts is the sole responsibility of the person who tested positive, as it discloses private health information. Many “close contacts” identified by those who are not healthcare professionals do not actually meet the definition of a close contact. All close contacts should follow CDC guidelines. Close contacts who are vaccinated and boosted should watch for symptoms but continue attending school or work as normal.
I recently tested positive for COVID-19. Whom do I need to inform?
If you test positive for COVID-19 at a facility outside of Tufts University (e.g., a home rapid test) please let us know at go.tufts.edu/COVIDpositive and follow the university’s isolation guidelines. Additionally, we highly recommend that you check the CDC’s definition of a close contact and inform them. All close contacts should follow CDC guidelines. Close contacts who are vaccinated and boosted should watch for symptoms but continue attending school or work as normal.
If an employee is considered essential on-campus staff and has someone at home with COVID-19, should they report to work nonetheless?
Per CDC guidance, fully boosted and vaccinated individuals should monitor for symptoms but may report to work. If you have further questions, please follow CDC guidelines.
My health-care provider has advised me to self-quarantine. What should I do?
Self-quarantine is recommended for individuals who may have been directly exposed to COVID-19 but are not experiencing symptoms. Follow the guidance of your health-care provider, and notify your supervisor that you cannot physically come to work.
If your work can be performed at home, you will be expected to work as directed and approved by your supervisor as long as you are asymptomatic during the self-quarantine, and you will receive your regular pay. Nonexempt staff must be sure to record and report their hours worked and should not work unauthorized overtime.
If you are unable to do your work from home, speak to your supervisor about alternative work options so that you can continue work at home. If no work is possible, you will receive your base pay for the self-quarantine period (two weeks). During the self-quarantine period please keep in touch with your supervisor regarding on-line training, professional development or other duties that you may be able to perform from home.
Do I have to bring a physician’s note clearing me to return if I have COVID-19?
Medical clearance is necessary to return to work if you have had confirmed COVID-19. According to the CDC, “the decision to discontinue home isolation precautions should be made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with health-care providers and state and local health departments.” If your department has additional return-to-work requirements, please adhere to those as well.
What healthcare options are available for staff or faculty?
In the event that you need medical care, we recommend that staff reach out to the Jumbo Health Center or their primary care provider or seek care through a local emergency room/urgent care provider. In addition, you may take advantage of the TeleHealth benefit available to staff members who are enrolled in university health plans.
Additionally, the Tufts Employee Assistance Program is a great resource for mental health support, counseling, logistical support, or any similar need that may arise during this period. This service is free for all staff members and can be a great asset during emergencies.