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Tufts has implemented a comprehensive coronavirus (COVID-19) testing program across all four of our campuses. Effective testing allows us to slow the spread of the disease 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. Testing data also provide the university with information about the spread of the disease on our campuses to help inform decisions about campus operations and necessary health and safety protocols. 

Our comprehensive testing program is part of a broader effort to protect the safety of members of the university and our host communities. Education, masks, physical distancing, hand hygiene, self-reported diagnosis, active health screening, enhanced ventilation, and ongoing cleaning are all essential elements in the prevention of disease transmission.

The following sets forth the university’s current COVID-19 testing program and answers commonly asked questions on the various elements of testing, quarantine, isolation, and contact tracing. 

COVID-19 Screening

While the prevalence of COVID-19 has fallen dramatically, the virus has not been eliminated and the potential for serious illness from infection remains, especially among immunocompromised and or unvaccinated members of the community. Completion of the COVID-19 screening survey is required for all students living on or coming to campus and for all faculty and staff before arriving on campus each day. This is critically important since even those who are vaccinated can become infected and transmit the virus, though the likelihood is significantly reduced. There is no additional assessment, such as taking your temperature before entering a building once on campus.

Students, faculty, and staff should stay home when feeling sick! Individuals with flu-like symptoms or who have been in close contact with someone who is confirmed as having COVID-19 in the previous 14 days should seek medical care and receive a negative COVID-19 test before returning to work or classes.

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Onboard Testing for AS&E Students

Onboard testing for students coming to campus for the fall 2021 semester will be announced later this summer.

Surveillance/Routine Testing

Surveillance testing is NOT designed to test every individual. In accordance with the guidelines below, COVID-19 surveillance testing will be once a week (unless otherwise noted) for all students, faculty, staff, affiliates, and vendors who are on campus regularly and in contact with others, in order to identify individuals who are asymptomatic (infected but not exhibiting symptoms), so isolation and contact tracing protocols can be initiated.

Who Will Be Tested?

All faculty, staff, and students who come to any Tufts University campus, regardless of frequency, are required to participate in COVID-19 surveillance testing.

Students

Who Testing Requirement Testing Frequency
Medford/Somerville & SMFA campuses    
Undergraduate students (i.e., Arts & Sciences and Engineering, including SMFA) living either on-campus or off-campus Required 1x/week
Graduate/professional school students living in Tufts-owned housing or playing on varsity teams  Required 1x/week
All other graduate school students  Required 1x/week
Boston Health Sciences campus    
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Students  Required 1x/week
Dental School students*/residents

*First- and second-year students to be screened twice weekly during COVID-19 surge given high density in school
Required 1x or 2x/week depending on rotation*

Medical School students on the Boston and Maine campuses

3rd and 4th -year students on away rotations should follow protocols at their site and may not be routinely screened.

Physician Assistant (PA) students

Required 1x/week
Friedman School students Required 1x/week
Grafton campus    
Veterinary students, residents and PhD students Required 1x/week

Faculty, Staff, and Researchers

Those being tested have been identified by their school or administrative unit leadership as individuals whose positions put them at greater risk of exposure. Testing schedules for surveillance/routine testing will be determined by the nature and frequency of their interaction with residential students, patients and the general public in the course of their responsibilities at Tufts. Deans’ offices and division leadership teams have worked to determine which faculty and staff should be integrated into regular testing based on their individual responsibilities (including teaching, research, and student support work) in line with their units’ planning for the return to campus. The chart below provides more detail on who is required to participate in Tufts testing program and how often.

Faculty and staff working on campus who are not part of the surveillance/routine testing program are deemed at very low risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 on campus if they follow guidelines for social distancing (i.e., maintaining at least six feet from others), wearing a face covering or mask, and frequent hand washing. In order to reduce density on campus, employees who can perform their job functions remotely will continue to remain off-campus through at least the end of the calendar year. If you only work from home or are not in one of the testing categories described in the chart below, you will not be a part of the surveillance/routine testing program.

Faculty and staff who are not required to be tested per the guidelines below 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.

At this time, Tufts is not providing testing to the families of faculty, staff or students.

Employees are not required to have received a negative COVID-19 test before their return to campus.

Faculty, Staff, and Researchers (including student researchers and post-docs)
Who Testing Requirement Testing Frequency
Medford/Somerville & SMFA campuses    

All Tufts faculty, staff, researchers, research assistants, and post-docs who are accessing Tufts facilities and affiliates who are physically present in Tufts research facilities at least once a week

Required 1x/week 
All Tufts faculty, staff, researchers, research assistants, and post-docs who are accessing Tufts facilities and affiliates who are physically present in Tufts research facilities less than once a week Required Required to test on the day of visit

Residential life, dining, and custodial staff working in dormitories and dining facilities

  Required 1x/week
Boston Health Sciences campus    
All Tufts faculty, staff, researchers, research assistants, and post-docs who are accessing Tufts facilities and affiliates who are physically present in Tufts research facilities at least once a week Required 1x/week
All Tufts faculty, staff, researchers, research assistants, and post-docs who are accessing Tufts facilities and affiliates who are physically present in Tufts research facilities less than once a week Required Required to test on the day of visit
Grafton campus    
All Tufts faculty, staff, researchers, research assistants, and post-docs who are accessing Tufts facilities and affiliates who are physically present in Tufts research facilities at least once a week Required 1x/week 
All Tufts faculty, staff, researchers, research assistants, and post-docs who are accessing Tufts facilities and affiliates who are physically present in Tufts research facilities less than once a week Required Required to test on the day of visit
All campuses    
Employees working remotely who come to campus less than 5 times per semester for contactless pickup, i.e., will not be in close proximity to others Not required Not required

Faculty and staff with underlying health conditions (conditions including but not limited to obesity, heart disease, sickle cell disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, COPD, weakened immune system from solid organ transplant). Please see an additional note immediately below about underlying conditions.

As required in the categories as listed in this table; otherwise the individual should consult their primary care physician. N/A

Requests for testing (e.g., individuals who believe they have been exposed)

Faculty and staff should consult their primary care physician. N/A
Visitors    
All visitors to any Tufts campus who need to enter a Tufts University building must complete the Daily Health Status Survey on the day of their campus visit    

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 greater than 15 minutes of contact with Tufts faculty/staff/students

Required Test on day of coming to campus 

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

Exemptions from surveillance testing will be determined by the Dean or Executive Associate Dean of the relevant School in collaboration with the OVPR and University Infection Control Health Director.

An additional note on researchers: In most circumstances research can and should be conducted with appropriate social distancing. Research not able to be performed at a physical distance (people closer than 6 feet for 15 or more minutes) requires approval by the Tufts Integrated Safety Committee (ISC), the Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR) and the university Infection Control Health Director.

Underlying Conditions

Certain underlying conditions (including but not limited to obesity, heart disease, sickle cell disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD), and weakened immune systems from organ transplantation) may predispose an individual to worse outcomes from COVID-19 compared to those without underlying conditions. 

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. 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.

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Visitors

Campus visitors

The points below apply to visitors who are not already part of the regular surveillance testing on campus.

  • Visitors who are indoors and wearing a mask at all times do not need to be tested.
  • Visitors who are indoors and are in situations where eating and drinking will happen (e.g., indoor event, luncheon, or coffee) are required to be tested, irrespective of vaccination status.
  • Visitors who interact with patients in a healthcare setting (e.g., dental exam proctors) are required to be tested.
  • Visitors who provide students with hands-on instruction are required to be tested.
  • Outdoor visitors do not need to be tested, but unvaccinated visitors should wear face masks and physically distance.
  • Visitors are permitted to use indoor restrooms on campus (masks must be worn).

Additional Guidelines for Visitors in Tufts Facilities

  • Must be 18+ years old
  • Minors are not allowed to work in research labs or enroll in in-person classes. Exceptions to minors on campus are those who are at the Elliot Pearson School, patients at the dental clinics, and on campus for admissions tours and athletics recruiting.
  • Must provide their own housing
    • Plans to provide short- or long-term housing for groups (including using hotels) require approval from the University Infection Control Health Director (OccupationalHealth@tufts.edu)
  • Must have health insurance that covers them while at Tufts
  • Must be able to isolate or quarantine in-situ in the case of a positive test or exposure as a close contact
  • Visitors must observe Tufts COVID protocols for including masking and physical distancing
  • Vaccination does not relieve testing, masking, or distancing requirements
     

Review and Approval Process

Research and Lab Related Activities: Integrative Safety Committee (ISC) Approval

  • Locally approved requests must be submitted to ISC for final approval

Other Activities: University Infection Control Health Director (UICHD) Approval

  • Locally approved requests must be submitted to the UICHD for final approval

Approval Processing Time for ISC and UICH


Additional Details

Testing compliance and notifications will be similar to the spring protocols with referrals to school/division contacts depending on the individual of concern.

Schools and divisions must recognize the risks of travel to the Tufts campus. If an individual needs to quarantine or isolate, they may not be able to travel back to their home location and incur additional costs for lodging and food.

Testing, Quarantine & Isolation Protocols for Non-Student Visitors
Who Testing Frequency Onboarding Quarantine and Isolation

Very short-term visitors with no close proximity work

(visiting less than one week)

N/A Test day before on-campus activities, again on 3rd day if applicable

In-situ

(plans should cover cases of a positive test or exposure as a close contact for short-term visitors)

Researchers, Visiting Scholars, Accreditors, Proctors, other short-term visitors

(visiting 1 to 2 weeks)
Every other day Negative test before start of on-campus activities

In-situ

(plans should cover cases of a positive test or exposure as a close contact for short-term visitors)

Researchers and Visiting Scholars

(visiting for more than 2 weeks)
1x per week Two negative tests 3 days apart before beginning on-campus activities. In-situ

Note: Activities that cannot be performed with physical distancing require additional review and may require additional testing before coming on campus, increased testing frequency, or other protocols.

 

Testing, Quarantine & Isolation Protocols for Student Visitors
(effective May 16, 2021 through the start of fall 2021 semester)

Role Testing Frequency Onboarding & Testing Quarantine and Isolation

Residential Students (Medford only)

1x per week Two negative tests 3 days apart before starting in-person activities

Managed by Tufts using residential student protocols (Mods)

Non-residential in-person students (Medford/SMFA) 1x per week One negative test before starting class, 2nd test in first week, then 1x/week testing

In-situ

 

Local Tufts students not in in-person classes or laboratory activities (Medford) TBD whether this will be supported in the summer TBD In-situ
Students (Grafton, Boston) 1x per week One negative test before starting class, 2nd test in first week, then 1x/week testing In-situ

Note: Activities that cannot be performed with physical distancing require additional review and may require additional testing or other protocols.

 

Who Will Not Be Tested?

  • Faculty, staff, and students who are fully remote (This means that they may never enter campus buildings.)
  • Students on leave
  • Graduates/alumni

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Testing Logistics

Arrival (onboard) testing locations

Gantcher Center will be used for arrival (onboard) testing for both on- and off-campus students. Only scheduled appointments will be accepted. Students can sign up for their arrival time through the housing portal in SIS. Both on-campus and off-campus students who are attending Tufts classes in person should sign up for an arrival time.

The testing center is located at 116 Harrison Avenue (formerly the bookstore). For up to date hours, please check the calendar below.

Arrival testing for DVM and graduate students will occur in the Jean Mayer Administration Building, except for V21 students who will be tested in the Hospital for Large Animals (treadmill room). The first testing will be available on August 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for V22, V23, and V24. Students will receive times available for testing by email in advance. After August 20, testing will be available by scheduled appointment on Tuesdays.

If you develop symptoms before your scheduled arrival on campus, you should promptly be evaluated by a medical provider to arrange testing, and you must inform us immediately if your test is positive by reaching out to the health service on your campus. We will work with you on a plan to come to campus after you have been cleared by your medical provider.

Who to contact:

Call Health Services at 617-627-3350.

Call the Boston Testing Center at 617-636-3686 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, to discuss your symptoms and next steps with a clinician.

Individuals previously diagnosed with COVID-19 infection confirmed by molecular diagnostic testing (PCR) may continue to have detection of viral RNA for several weeks. Students who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 or been diagnosed with COVID-19 within 6 weeks prior to their arrival on campus should contact the Health Services at 617-627-3350. We will ask to review your laboratory report and medical documentation supporting the fact that a healthcare professional cleared you from isolation. We will advise you on when you should re-enter the testing program based on the date of the diagnosis.

Surveillance/Routine Testing Locations

The testing center is located at 62R Talbot Ave. For up to date hours, please check the calendar below. On days the testing center opens at 7 a.m., no appointments are scheduled between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. These early hours have been set aside to give faculty and staff the option to be tested on a “walk-in basis” on the day of or the morning after their scheduled appointment.

The testing center is located at 230 Fenway. For up to date hours, please check the calendar below.

The testing center is located at 116 Harrison Avenue (formerly the bookstore). For up to date hours, please check the calendar below.

Clinical faculty, technical staff, and V21 students will be tested in the Hospital for Large Animals. All other students and employees will be tested primarily in the Jean Mayer Administration Building. For up to date hours, please check the calendar below.

Symptomatic and exposure-based testing

Students who develop symptoms and need to be tested for symptomatic reasons should contact Health Services at 617-627-3350 to make an appointment.

Employees who develop symptoms should contact the Jumbo Health Center at jumbohealthcenter@marathon-health.com or 617-627-0467 or their primary care physician for guidance. 

Please do not walk into either Health Services or the Jumbo Heath Center without an appointment. If either the Jumbo Health Center or Health Services determines that the individual needs to be tested, an appointment will be set up at the location for symptomatic testing. The locations for symptomatic testing will be separate from the testing location for surveillance/routine testing. Please do not approach one of the surveillance/routine testing locations without an appointment.  

Call the Boston Testing Center at 617-636-3686 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, to discuss your symptoms and next steps with a clinician. In some cases, the clinician may decide it is best for you to be seen in a clinic at Tufts Medical Center or they might decide you should be seen at the testing center for a COVID-19 test. If you need emergency care, call 911 or go to your local emergency room. The testing center is not open on the weekends. For non-emergency situations, you should call your primary care provider’s office to discuss options.

Symptomatic testing is not available on the Grafton campus. Please leave or do not come to the campus if you are sick. See more information under "Grafton campus" of this section of the resource.

For faculty and staff on the Boston health sciences and Grafton campus who are not in the surveillance testing program, the mass.gov website has a list of testing sites that may be helpful: https://www.mass.gov/doc/ma-covid-19-testing-sites/download.

The university will cover the cost of arrival (onboarding) and surveillance/routine testing. 

Details about the Testing Process

 

Broad Institute certification:
Some countries, including Hong Kong, require ISO 15189 accreditation or equivalent recognized in the place where the laboratory is located. CRSP is not ISO 15189 accredited but is CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited, which is considered the equivalent.

For the institute’s address, license numbers and CLIA certificate, visit: https://sites.broadinstitute.org/safe-for-school/lab-certifications-travel-information

CLIA and CAP certifications may also be accessed at the bottom of this page:  http://genomics.broadinstitute.org/products/clinical-research-sequencing

The test being used is the CRSP SARS-CoV-2 Real-time Reverse Transcriptase (RT)-PCR Diagnostic Assay. This is a safe, high-quality, real-time RT-PCR test intended for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) in nose swabs collected from individuals who may have contracted the virus. Testing is limited to the Clinical Research Sequencing Platform at the Broad Institute, which is certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA), 42 U.S.C. §263a, to perform high complexity tests.  

Note: Tufts is not providing antibody/serological testing. 

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.  

Tests will be self-administered with assistance from Brewster Ambulance Service on the Medford/Somerville and SMFA campuses, Tufts Medical Center on the Boston health science campus, and Cataldo Ambulance on the Grafton campus.

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 will drop your swab into the tube (swab-end down), 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. (A video of the testing process is available here.) 

In the early weeks of testing, you will be observed by a medical professional. Over time, as the testing process becomes increasingly familiar, we hope to move to a process in which tests can be performed without close supervision.

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.

What if you don’t feel well enough to get your test (e.g., you are exhibiting symptoms as noted above)?

Students should call Health Service at 617-627-3350 and speak with a clinician.

Employees should stay (or return) home and notify the Jumbo Health Center at jumbohealthcenter@marathon-health.com or 617-627-0467 or your primary care physician (PCP) to discuss your symptoms. Employees should receive symptom or exposure-based testing if advised by their clinician, and testing should be done through their PCP’s service; they should not return to campus until they have been cleared to return to work by their physician and should keep in communication with their direct supervisor or manager. Tufts is not providing symptom or exposure-based testing to employees at this time. If you test positive, you should notify the Jumbo Health Center at jumbohealthcenter@marathon-health.com or 617-627-0467 to evaluate your individual circumstances and, when appropriate, initiate the contact tracing process so that any Tufts colleagues or students with whom you may have had close contact can be notified of possible exposure. You may leave a voice mail with your name and contact number if it is off-hours.

If you have symptoms, we ask that you do not come to campus. Please call the testing center at 617-636-3686 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, to discuss your symptoms and the appropriate next steps with a clinician. For non-emergency situations or if the testing center is closed, you should call your primary care provider’s office to discuss options. If you need emergency care, call 911 or go to your local emergency room.

Faculty, staff, house officers, or any students should contact their primary health care provider or contact a local urgent care center. If you are feeling unwell, please do not come to campus. Please email cummingscovid@tufts.edu and your supervisor if you are an employee. If you are a DVM student, please contact the Office of Academic Affairs as directed, and if you are a V21 student, contact your rotation director. If you are a graduate student, please contact the graduate program manager and your program director. Any employee or student who is required to isolate or self-quarantine should inform the school through the cummingscovid@tufts.edu email and should not return to campus until cleared by their health-care provider and the school’s health-care monitor.

For faculty and staff on the Boston health sciences and Grafton campus who are not in the surveillance testing program, the mass.gov website has a list of testing sites that may be helpful: https://www.mass.gov/doc/ma-covid-19-testing-sites/download.

We are minimizing risk of exposure to the people providing the tests in the following ways: 

Tufts has partnered with Brewster Ambulance Service to provide the clinical support for our COVID-19 testing program. Brewster’s teams of licensed EMTs, paramedics, and nurses receive advanced training in putting on and taking off personal protective equipment (PPE). The clinicians directly monitoring the testing wear N95 respirators, eye protection including a face shield, gloves, gowns or impermeable coveralls, and disposable gauntlet-style sleeves. Other staff in the testing facilities assisting with administrative duties and support functions wear a minimum of a surgical mask, eye protection, and gloves. Brewster has comprehensive doffing and disinfection procedures to minimize or eliminate workplace infections for testing staff.

Dedicated clinical staff, including infectious disease physicians from Tufts Medical Center, will be properly equipped and available at the testing site to manage the program as well as provide their expertise for creating a safe environment for students, faculty and staff as they return to campus.

The university is engaging with Cataldo Ambulance.

What happens if I choose not to be tested?

Because surveillance/routine testing is designed less to protect the individual and more the entire community, it will be mandatory for students who choose to attend courses in person or come to campus, regardless of whether they live on or off campus. Students who do not wish to be tested may only enroll as remote students; under no circumstances should such students have in-person contact with other students or members of the community nor should they come to campus. 

Because surveillance/routine testing is designed to protect the entire community as well as the individual, it will be 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.

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Test-Scheduling App (CampusKey)

Tufts has developed the CampusKey app to allow the university to schedule the 18,800 required tests per week to balance traffic flow, ensure consistent flow through our testing centers, and minimize queuing at the testing centers. 

Those who are identified as needing regular testing will receive an email inviting them to download the app (available on the App Store and Google Play). 

You will find information on how to download and use the app, including a short video tutorial here: access.tufts.edu/campuskey.

If you have trouble installing or using the app please send an email describing the issue to campuskey@tufts.edu.

If you have questions about scheduling, please email CovidTesting@tufts.edu. Due to the high volume of tests, scheduling cannot be done by email.

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Close Contact Quarantine Policy

Vaccinated close contacts of a COVID-19 case will not be required to quarantine; however, they must participate fully in the contact tracing process and monitor themselves for symptoms of infection. Those identified as close contacts by Tufts contact tracers will be instructed on who to contact if symptoms develop.

Unvaccinated close contacts of a COVID-19 case must quarantine. Unvaccinated close contacts will be tested on day 6 or 7 after the exposure and released from quarantine on day 8, if negative.

Since the incubation period of COVID-19 may be up to 14 days in some individuals, people released from quarantine on day 8 must actively monitor themselves for any symptoms of COVID-19 take their temperature once a day for another 6 days. If even mild symptoms develop or the individual has a temperature of 100.0 F, they must immediately self-isolate. Students should contact Tufts Health Service at (617) 627-3350 and employees should contact the Jumbo Health Center at jumbohealthcenter@marathon-health.com or (617) 627-0467.

 

Close Contact

Congruent with updated state and CDC definition of a close contact of a COVID-19 case, a close contact is defined as someone who:

  • is within six feet of a positive COVID-19 person/case for 15 minutes or more while indoors over the course of a 24-hour period, starting two days before the onset of illness and while the case is symptomatic; or
  • is within six feet of a positive COVID-19 person/case for 15 minutes or more while indoors during the 48 hours before their test was taken or anytime in the 10 days after the test; or
  • provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19; or
  • Had direct physical contact with (touched, hugged, or kissed) a positive COVID-19 person; or
  • shared food, or eating or drinking utensils with a positive COVID-19 person; or
  • was sneezed or coughed on by a positive COVID-19 person, transmitting respiratory droplets to them.

In all cases, the decision to quarantine is a clinical decision made by a Tufts clinician in collaboration with the university’s contract tracing team and the local boards of health. Any student, faculty, or staff member instructed to quarantine is expected to fully cooperate with the contact tracing process and strictly adhere to all instructions.

If you are symptomatic, have tested positive or are concerned that you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you should contact the Jumbo Health Center at jumbohealthcenter@marathon-health.com or 617-627-0467 or your primary care doctor and follow their guidance.


Isolation Guidelines

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.

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. Per state guidance, they must be cleared by a medical professional to return to classes or to work.

Travel

  • All domestic and personal international travel is allowed without restrictions.
  • All Tufts-related international travel must follow the current review process, including approval by the dean or division VP’s office and review by the ITRC for students and by the Integrative Safety Committee (ISC) for research-related travel.
  • All international travelers (personal and Tufts-related) must follow the return quarantine protocols according to their vaccination status.
  • All travelers should be familiar with and follow local guidance at their destination.
  • Even if fully vaccinated, travelers should follow safe travel guidelines to protect themselves and others.
  • For more information, see the Policy on University-connected Travel for Faculty, Staff, and Students: Spring/Summer 2021.

Return to campus testing

Domestic Travel

  • By July, rapid testing (results within 30 minutes) will be available on the Medford/Somerville, Boston, and Grafton campuses. Until the rapid test is available, standard PCR testing with an approximate turnaround time of 12 hours will be used. Please plan return from travel accordingly.
  • If the rapid test result is negative (or the PCR test if rapid testing is unavailable), the returning traveler may resume normal campus activities immediately.
  • If the returning traveler plans to be on campus within a week of their return, they are expected to receive a second test (standard PCR) between day 3 and 5 after This will count as their first weekly surveillance test. Otherwise, they will resume their weekly surveillance testing a week after return.

International Travel

  • All Tufts-related international travel must follow the current review process, including approval by the dean or division VP’s office and review by the ITRC for students and by the Integrative Safety Committee (ISC) for research-related travel.
  • All international travelers (personal and Tufts-related) must follow the return quarantine protocols according to their vaccination status.
  • The steps below are for international travel only.
  • If fully vaccinated:
    • Follow all CDC requirements for entry into the United States, which may include obtaining a COVID test prior to entry into the United States
    • Get tested before coming to campus and again 3-4 days later as outlined above. Per CDC, one of the tests should ideally fall 3-5 days after return to the United States
    • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if symptoms develop.
    • Follow any other state of local requirements after travel.
  • If unvaccinated:
    • Per CDC guidance, individuals arriving from abroad who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 must test 3-5 days after travel and stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel, even if test result is negative.
    • If test result is positive, isolate to protect others from getting infected.
    • A negative test is required to come to campus after the 7-day quarantine.
    • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, regardless of test result.
    • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if symptoms develop.
    • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements.


Unvaccinated international students arriving for summer or fall courses

  • Per CDC guidance, international arrivals who are not fully vaccinated must quarantine for 7 days, even if they have received a negative COVID test. While in the quarantine period, students will need to stay in their rooms, and participate in activities virtually.
  • Tufts will either provide unvaccinated students, faculty, or staff with a COVID-19 vaccine upon arrival or support them in registering with a State of Massachusetts vaccination site or at a local pharmacy.
  • Once unvaccinated international arrivals clear quarantine, complete testing requirements, and receive their first dose of vaccine, they may participate in campus activities.

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Notification

How will you learn about your test 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. (Negative test results mean the virus was not detected in your specimen.) 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 (described in more detail below).  

Test results are sent to your Tufts email address. Check to see if it was moved to your junk or spam folder. The sender would be careevolve@lknotification.com.

During contact tracing, your identity will remain anonymous. Those identified through contact tracing as needing to be notified will not be given your name. (More information about contact tracing is available below.) 

Any person with a positive test for COVID-19 OR symptoms of COVID-19, including early or mild symptoms, must remain in isolation (i.e., stay away from others) 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.)
  • Your 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.

Generally, once you have tested positive, you will be removed from the testing protocols for 90 days 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. 

If you receive a positive test result from your primary care physician or another entity outside of a Tufts testing facility, please provide official documentation of your positive test result for our health providers. Please ensure the uploaded documentation specifies your name, date of birth, what type of test was performed, test result, and test date.

Individuals who test positive are removed from surveillance testing for 90 days following a positive test. At the end of 90 days, you will receive an email inviting you back into the testing protocol.

If you were coming to campus regularly at the time of your positive test or onset of symptoms, please contact the Jumbo Health Center at jumbohealthcenter@marathon-health.com or 617-627-0467 so that a clinician can evaluate your individual circumstances and notify anyone at Tufts with whom you have had close contact; you may leave a voicemail with your name and contact number if it is off-hours.

Note: The university is not currently processing tests from external sources (i.e., organizations other than those with which the university has contracted). 

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Contact Tracing

The purpose of contact tracing is to identify and notify in a timely manner close contacts of people who test positive for COVID-19 and to educate those contacts on quarantine instructions, symptom monitoring, and steps to take if they become symptomatic. When an individual who is within the university’s testing protocols receives a positive test result, that result initiates the university’s contact tracing process.  

Tufts has contracted with Jumbo Health Center to serve as the university’s notification team for contact tracing. When the university receives a report of a positive test for an employee or student, Tufts will notify Jumbo Health Center, which will then contact the individual to confirm the diagnosis, ask the date of the onset of symptoms, and help the individual gather a list of all close contacts starting 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms through illness. Tufts’ contact tracers or a public agency contact tracer will reach out to all individuals who have been exposed to a known-positive individual.  

Current guidance for exposure includes being within six feet of a COVID-19 positive person for more than 15 minutes. Passing someone in a hallway or being in the same building with an infected individual does NOT constitute exposure.  

As above, the contract tracing program will not reveal the identity of the person who tested positive when informing others that they need to go into quarantine. Testing information, however, will be shared with public health authorities. 

Information about rates of infection will be shared with the community on a publicly available dashboard on the COVID-19 website.

For all groups listed below, your testing information will be stored securely in the Broad Institute’s lab information system. It will also be stored in Tufts’ HIPAA 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 epidemic.

In addition:

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.) 

Your information is stored securely in the Tufts’ Health Service's Electronic Health Record system. 

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.

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.

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. 

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Health Services by Campus

Visits by students to the Health Service will be by appointment only this fall semester. Students will call in advance and speak with someone about their health needs. Sometimes a telehealth visit will be adequate to address an issue. If an in-person visit is needed, it will be scheduled.  

While the School of Medicine, the School of Dental Medicine, and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy do not provide any in-person medical services for students, UnitedHealthcare StudentResources offers many products and services in addition to health insurance and prescription benefits that are available online.  

No on-campus health services are provided.

Information about Self-Quarantining for Undergraduate Students (Medford / Somerville / SMFA)

If the contact tracing process indicates that you have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you will be asked to quarantine.

For more information on self-quarantining for Tufts undergraduate students living on- or off-campus, visit: http://go.tufts.edu/quarantine.

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

If/when students test positive for COVID-19 as a result of either their arrival/onboarding 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: http://go.tufts.edu/isolation.

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Other Information for Students (Medford / Somerville / SMFA)

Parents and guardians will not be informed of your test result, but we encourage you to inform your family of your results. The university will only disclose your health information (including the results of the COVID-19 test) in the unlikely event your situation becomes life-threatening or the university is otherwise authorized or required by applicable law to disclose your circumstances or if you have signed a consent authorizing us to disclose your results to your parents/guardians or legally authorized representative.

Arrival and routine/surveillance tests are being paid for by the university.

Residence Life staff will be present in the residence halls as usual, but the responsibility to ensure mask-wearing and physical distancing lies primarily with you. We highly encourage peer-to-peer enforcement of these protocols. Those not wearing masks or practicing social distancing will be addressed.

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HR Questions

Faculty and staff who are required to be tested will be provided time to do so.  

Staff who have not been instructed to return to campus will continue to work remotely. If your department is offering choices of hybrid scheduling or remote work, speak with your manager about those options.  

If you do not qualify for on-campus testing and feel a need to be tested, the university provides eight “wellness” sick-time hours per year to proactively care for your own health, including if you need to go for testing through your primary care provider. Additionally, if family members also need testing, Massachusetts law provides for the Small Necessities Leave, which provides up to 24 hours of time for family events (including for this use). 

Note following safety protocols affects us all. If you observe someone not following guidance (e.g., wearing a mask), you should report this information to your supervisor and should email covid19@tufts.edu. The university will follow up appropriately. For the Grafton campus, please email cummingscovid@tufts.edu or you may report it anonymously here

You cannot opt out of the contact tracing program. The program is essential to control the spread of the virus. Again, you will not be identified during the process in which those individuals with whom you have had close contact are notified about their having had close contact with someone who has tested positive. Your medical information will be held in confidence in accordance with HIPAA regulations and best practices. 

For hourly employees whose responsibilities don’t allow them to work from home but who are not able to come into work due to circumstances related to COVID-19, your department manager may have worked with you to provide you work that you could complete off-site. During the initial COVID-19 outbreak, if you were out of sick time accruals and were caring for an ill family/household member, the university extended the option of taking an advance on sick time for care of self or of a family member, for a maximum of 20 sick days. The university is not extending additional sick time. If you are unable to return to on-site work, you should work with your manager to determine work that you can do remotely. All benefits-eligible non-exempt employees receive another award of sick time upon their anniversary date, which will be when you have additional accruals. If you have a unique circumstance, contact your supervisor or your Human Resources business partner for help. 

If you have a special circumstance not covered by this document, please direct your question(s) to covid19@tufts.edu.  

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Questions

If you have questions that are not answered here, please refer to the COVID-19 contact list for who to email. See go.tufts.edu/COVID19Contacts.

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Calendar

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
 
 
01
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Grafton
8:30a-5:30p
Boston
8a-4:30p
02
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Boston
8a-4:30p
03
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Grafton
8:30a-3:30p
Boston
8a-4:30p
04
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
05
MED/SOM
10a-2p
06
MED/SOM
10a-2p
07
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Grafton
8:30a-3:30p
Boston
8a-4:30p
08
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Grafton
8:30a-5:30p
Boston
8a-4:30p
09
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Boston
8a-4:30p
10
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Grafton
8:30a-3:30p
Boston
8a-4:30p
11
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
12
MED/SOM
10a-2p
13
NO TESTING
14
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Grafton
8:30a-3:30p
Boston
8a-4:30p
15
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Grafton
8:30a-5:30p
Boston
8a-4:30p
16
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Boston
8a-4:30p
17
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Grafton
8:30a-3:30p
Boston
8a-4:30p
18
NO TESTING
19
MED/SOM
10a-2p
20
MED/SOM
10a-2p
21
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Grafton
8:30a-5:30p
Boston
8a-4:30p
22
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Boston
8a-4:30p
23
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Boston
8a-4:30p
24
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Grafton
8:30a-3:30p
Boston
8a-4:30p
25
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
26
MED/SOM
10a-2p
27
MED/SOM
10a-2p
28
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Grafton
8:30a-5:30p
Boston
8a-4:30p
29
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Boston
8a-4:30p
30
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Boston
8a-4:30p
 
 
 

MED/SOM: 62R Talbot Ave - Medford, MA
Grafton: 200 Westboro Rd - Grafton, MA
Boston (Boston Health Sciences): 116 Harrison Ave - Boston, MA
SMFA: 230 Fenway - Boston, MA
*As of 05/21/2021

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
 
 
 
 
01
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Grafton
8:30a-3:30p
Boston
8a-4:30p
02
MED/SOM
7a-12p
SMFA
10a-12p
03
NO TESTING
04
NO TESTING
05
NO TESTING
06
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Boston
8a-4:30p
07
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Boston
8a-4:30p
08
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Grafton
8:30a-3:30p
Boston
8a-4:30p
09
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
10
MED/SOM
10a-2p
11
MED/SOM
10a-2p
12
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Grafton
8:30a-5:30p
Boston
8a-4:30p
13
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Boston
8a-4:30p
14
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Boston
8a-4:30p
15
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Grafton
8:30a-3:30p
Boston
8a-4:30p
16
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
17
MED/SOM
10a-2p
18
MED/SOM
10a-2p
19
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Grafton
8:30a-5:30p
Boston
8a-4:30p
20
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Boston
8a-4:30p
21
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Boston
8a-4:30p
22
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Grafton
8:30a-3:30p
Boston
8a-4:30p
23
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
24
MED/SOM
10a-2p
25
MED/SOM
10a-2p
26
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Grafton
8:30a-5:30p
Boston
8a-4:30p
27
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Boston
8a-4:30p
28
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Boston
8a-4:30p
29
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
Grafton
8:30a-3:30p
Boston
8a-4:30p
30
MED/SOM
7a-3:30p
SMFA
12p-2p
31
MED/SOM
10a-2p

MED/SOM: 62R Talbot Ave - Medford, MA
Grafton: 200 Westboro Rd - Grafton, MA
Boston (Boston Health Sciences): 116 Harrison Ave - Boston, MA
SMFA: 230 Fenway - Boston, MA
*As of 05/21/2021