Routine Surveillance Testing Program
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.
Exemptions from routine surveillance testing will be determined by the dean or executive associate dean (EAD) of the relevant school in collaboration with the OVPR and university infection control health director (UICHD).
At this time, Tufts is not providing testing to the families of faculty, staff or students.
Testing Frequency: Faculty, Staff, and Students
All faculty, staff, and students who come to any Tufts University campus, regardless of frequency, are required to participate in routine surveillance testing. If an individual’s testing cadence changes, they will be alerted via email.
- Undergraduate students living on campus, coming to campus regularly, accessing Tufts facilities, or attending in-person classes: 2x /week (e.g., every Monday and Thursday)
- Professional and graduate students living on campus, coming to campus regularly, accessing Tufts facilities, or attending in-person classes: 1x /week (e.g., every Monday)
- Faculty, staff, researchers, research assistants, affiliates, and post-docs who are accessing Tufts facilities less than once a week: required to test on the day of visit
The testing program is critical to the safety of everyone in the Tufts community. For undergraduate and graduate students, their school’s student affairs staff will ensure student accountability if there is a pattern of missed tests. For faculty and staff, their respective deans, division heads, EADs, or business officers will work with individuals who are having difficulty making their scheduled testing times.
Testing Frequency: Vendors/Affiliates
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. Vendors and affiliates will generally be identified by the units to whom they provide service and must be enrolled in testing by those units. All testing is at the discretion of the University Infection Control Health Director.
|Vendors/Affiliates||Testing Requirement||Testing Frequency|
|On campus daily or multiple times per week with regular contact greater than 15 minutes with Tufts faculty/staff/students||Required||1x per week
(some vendors or affiliates may be asked to test at higher frequency by the university)
On campus periodically with close contact (hands on training, close supervision or evaluation, working in small enclosed spaces) for periods greater than 15 minutes with Tufts faculty/staff/students
|Required||Consult with the Occupational Health office about the need for testing|
2nd and 3rd shift with only incidental contact with Tufts faculty/staff/students
|Not Required||Not Required|
Construction site workers with only incidental contact with Tufts faculty/staff/students
|Not Required||Not Required|
Vendors providing delivery/drop off
|Not Required||Not Required|
Students, faculty, and staff with underlying conditions will be tested at the same frequency as all others in their category. The public health COVID-19 surveillance testing approach used by Tufts is designed to identify asymptomatic (and pre-symptomatic) cases and their contacts, and support appropriate isolation and quarantine measures. Increased frequency of testing of individuals with underlying conditions does not provide increased protection to these individuals. The most important measures to mitigate risk include hand hygiene, use of masks, and physical distancing. Individuals with underlying conditions are urged to speak with their primary care physician to better assess their personal risk for severe illness from COVID-19 and should consider working (or studying) remotely and or making other accommodation.
Who Will Not Be Tested?
- Faculty, staff, and students who are fully remote
- Students on leave
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.
What happens if I choose not to be tested?
Because routine surveillance testing is designed less to protect the individual and more the entire community, it is mandatory for students who attend courses in person or come to campus, regardless of whether they live on or off campus.
Because routine surveillance testing is designed to protect the entire community as well as the individual, it is mandatory for faculty who have in-person contact with students to have the appropriate level of testing. Faculty who do not wish to be tested should consult with their department chairs about the possible availability of online teaching opportunities. In addition to not teaching in-person, faculty who are not in the testing program should not plan to be on campus more than once a week during the fall semester and should have no more than incidental contact with students.
Like any protocol that ensures the safety of the staff, faculty, students and other members of the Tufts community, staff who are identified for testing must comply with and participate in university testing, at the times for which they are scheduled and at the locations to which they are assigned. Staff who do not comply with testing protocols or who refuse to participate in safety protocols related to daily health check-ins via the app and adherence to safety rules, daily protocols, and contact tracing will be subject to corrective action up to and including suspension and discharge.