FAQs - Testing
Tufts has implemented a comprehensive coronavirus (COVID-19) testing program across all four of our campuses for the fall semester. Effective testing will allow us to slow the spread of the diseases on our campuses by allowing us to identify those who have COVID-19, arrange for their isolation from others, assist them in receiving the care they need, and begin the contact tracing process. It will also provide the university with information about any spread of the disease on our campuses to help inform decisions about campus operations. Our comprehensive testing program is part of a broader effort to protect the safety of members of the university and our host communities.
Please find here some of the most frequently asked questions—and answers—about the university’s testing program.
How will I learn about my testing results?
If your test produces a negative result, you will receive an e-mail with a link directing you to a confidential health portal established by the Broad Institute, where you may obtain your test results. After your first negative test, you will receive an email inviting you to create an account to log in and view results. If a student or employee’s COVID-19 test is positive, the individual will be contacted by phone by a healthcare clinician/provider and given instructions for appropriate next steps and care, and will be able to begin isolation, which also initiates the contact tracing process. More information about notification of test results is available in the Testing at Tufts resource.
What is the cost of onboarding/arrival or surveillance/routine testing?
The university will cover the cost of onboarding and surveillance/routine testing.
What should I do if I develop symptoms in between scheduled tests?
This information varies by campus. Please visit the Testing at Tufts resource for information about symptomatic testing.
Where will my onboarding/arrival testing be conducted? What about the location for my ongoing surveillance/routine testing?
This information varies by campus. Please visit the Testing at Tufts resource for the specifics about the locations of onboarding/arrival testing and surveillance/routine testing.
What happens if I choose not to be tested?
Because surveillance/routine testing is designed to protect the entire community, participation is required. More specific information—by category of community member—is available as part of the Testing at Tufts resource.
How is risk of exposure being minimized for the people providing COVID-19 tests?
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.
What if I don’t feel well enough to go to get my test?
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.
How will the test be administered to me?
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.
What organization is analyzing our tests? How long after my test will I receive results?
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.
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?
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.