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Based on CDC and Mass Department of Public Health guidance, individuals will isolate for a minimum of five (5) days upon a positive test.

It is important to separate yourself and remain in isolation to mitigate the risk of exposing others to the virus. You can still transmit the virus to others even if you do not have any symptoms. Don’t have people over and don’t leave your home or bedroom. If you must enter a shared living space, such as the bathroom or kitchen, wear a mask and keep a physical distance from others. Avoid public transit and don't ride in a car with others unless it is necessary to receive health care.

Length of Isolation

Faculty, Staff, and Students (except on the Medford/Somerville & SMFA campuses)

On the evening of your last day of isolation, you will be contacted via email asking you to attest that you are cleared to leave isolation. Please do not leave isolation before you have received this email and taken the required action.

Students on the Medford/Somerville & SMFA Campuses

Vaccinated and unvaccinated graduate and undergraduate students on the Medford/Somerville and SMFA campuses who test positive for COVID-19 will isolate for at least 5 days at home (if you live off-campus) or in the mods or in a designated hotel room near campus. 

Students with campus housing who test positive and who can return to their permanent home address without the use of a plane, train, bus, or other form of public transportation will be required to do so to complete their isolation at home.

If the Mods and other alternative housing options become full, students with campus housing who cannot return to their permanent address will isolate in their residence hall rooms. 

Students living on campus in a double or triple and who test positive will be given priority to isolate in the Mods or our other alternative housing should there be spaces available on the day of their positive test result. However, if no rooms are available, they will isolate in their residence hall room for the duration of their isolation period.

Brewster Ambulance Services will provide transport for students who are isolating either on another campus, i.e., SMFA students isolating in a mod on the Medford/Somerville campus, or in a hotel room off-campus.

  • All Medford/Somerville and SMFA students in isolation will receive a rapid antigen test on day 5.
  • If the result is negative, you will be informed via email that you may be eligible to leave isolation on day 6. Please follow the directions sent in the email before you leave isolation.
  • If the rapid antigen test is positive, you will be retested on day 7, and if negative, you will be released on the same day.
  • If the rapid antigen test taken on day 7 is positive, you will not receive another test and will be released from isolation on day 11.

Rapid antigen testing for students isolating in the mods or in hotel rooms off-campus will be performed by Brewster Ambulance Service. Students isolating in an off-campus residence or in their on-campus residence hall room will test at 62R Talbot Ave.

Tufts will not be accepting self-administered antigen tests for the purpose of ending isolation. Individuals who are isolating at their family's home or other off campus residence have the option to complete 10 days of isolation and return to campus on day 11.

You must still wear a mask everywhere even at home around others —for at least five more days after being released from isolation.

For more information, see the Spring 2022 Quarantine and Isolation FAQ:

Removal from the Surveillance Testing Program

Individuals who test positive are removed from surveillance testing for 90 days following a positive test, based on current medical guidance. COVID-19 PCR 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. This does not correlate with the presence or transmissibility of live virus. At the end of 90 days, you will receive an email notifying you to re-join the surveillance testing program.

Currently In Isolation and Have Questions?

Please contact:

  • Staff/faculty: Your primary care physician or Jumbo Health Center at 617-627-0467
  • Medford and SMFA students: Health Service at 617-627-3350 
  • Boston students: CTC at 617-636-3686 
  • Grafton students: Your primary care physician or urgent care

What Happens With My Positive Test Information?

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.