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Vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will isolate at home or in the mods (Somerville/Medford/SMFA students only) 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 local board of health or health-care provider has advised that it is safe to leave isolation.

Persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 who never develop COVID-19 symptoms will be advised to discontinue isolation 10 days after the date of their first positive RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 RNA.

Individuals who test positive are removed from surveillance testing for 90 days following a positive test, based on current medical guidance. The COVID-19 tests are highly sensitive and are likely to return positive results long after you are no longer able to transmit infection to others and even well after you have recovered. At the end of 90 days, you will receive an email inviting you back into the testing protocol.

Anyone testing positive for COVID-19 either through Tufts University surveillance or externally is expected to participate fully in the contact tracing process and identification of close contacts. During contact tracing, your identity will remain anonymous.

If you are working remotely, you are not likely to be part of contact tracing from Tufts. Tufts will only be contact tracing for positive cases that are exposed by Tufts testing program, or for individuals who have outside tests and those working on campus who receive positive test results from another source. However, a member of your Local Board of Health may be in contact with you to initiate state contact tracing.


Information about Isolation for Undergraduate Students (Medford/Somerville/SMFA)

If/when students test positive for COVID-19 as a result of either their arrival test or their surveillance/routine tests during the semester, if they live on campus, they will be moved to on-campus modular residential units (the mods) for isolation and health monitoring. For those living off-campus with a positive test, we will strongly encourage them to use the modular housing on campus so they may be monitored medically. For those students attending the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts and living off campus in Boston, Brewster Ambulance Services will provide transport from Boston to the mods on the Medford/Somerville campus.

For more information on isolation for Tufts undergraduate students, visit:


What Happens With My Positive Test Information?

Contact tracers will not reveal the identity of the person who tested positive when informing others that they need to go into quarantine.

Testing information must legally be shared with public health authorities.

Information about the rates of infection will be shared with the community on a publicly available dashboard on the COVID-19 website. This dashboard contains no identifying or individual information.

For all groups listed below, testing information will be stored securely in the Broad Institute’s lab information system. It will also be stored in Tufts’ HIPAA-compliant secured data warehouse for the purposes of monitoring COVID-19 on campus and supporting contact-tracing efforts; this information will not be retained after the pandemic.

Faculty and Staff (All Campuses): Your information is stored securely in Jumbo Health Center’s Electronic Health Record system. (Jumbo Health Center is providing the medical order for surveillance testing.)

Medford/Somerville and SMFA campus students: Your information is stored securely in the Tufts’ Health Service's Electronic Health Record system.

Boston Health Sciences campus: Your testing information will not be stored in any additional locations. Boston students: please note that you may also be pre-registered as a patient with Tufts Medical Center in case you need follow-up care.

Grafton campus: Your testing information will be temporarily stored in the Occupational and Environment Health Network HIPAA-compliant database only for the purposes of test reporting and will not be retained after the pandemic.