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June 3, 2021

 

Dear Undergraduate Student,

Although the calendar tells us it is still spring, the Arts, Sciences and Engineering staff are working hard at preparing for the fall semester and the start of a new academic year. We are writing today to share preliminary information about Fall semester arrival and campus life.

Yesterday, the University revised its COVID-19 safety protocols. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with them and to visit the Tufts coronavirus website before coming to campus. The website will always be your best source for current information. Circumstances and guidance could change over the summer and we want you to be aware of this possibility.

Here in Greater Boston and the United States, the widespread availability of effective vaccines is greatly reducing the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. While the battle is not won and we will have to continue to exercise caution to protect the immunocompromised and others who remain vulnerable to serious illness on campus and in our host communities, we are making headway.

Because of this progress, many of the restrictions that were in place during the last academic year have been revised or eliminated. If you were on campus last year, we thank you once again for the many personal sacrifices you made in service to the community and the greater good.

In addition to the following information, if you are an international student and have any questions about coming to Tufts this Fall, we encourage you to reach out directly to our International Center by emailing internationalcenter@tufts.edu and visit their website. The International Center is hosting a Special Open Forum for international students regarding COVID-19 with Dr. Michael Jordan on Friday, June 4 at 9 a.m. EDT that you can register for here.

Campus Arrival

Returning undergraduate students with campus housing assignments will return to campus on Sunday, September 5 unless you are a varsity fall sport athlete, resident assistant, or involved in some other early arrival program. If you are in one of these categories, you will receive arrival information separately later in the summer. Students with campus housing assignments will not be permitted to arrive early unless approved formally by the Office of Residential Life and Learning (ORLL).

Classes begin on Wednesday, September 8.

When you arrive, you will be required to take a rapid COVID test, results of which will be known within 30 minutes. If you test negative, you can go about your activities and begin your weekly COVID-19 routine testing program within 3 to 4 days. If you test positive, you need to isolate for 10 days in your off-campus apartment or in the Mods. You will be put in touch with a clinician from Tufts Health Service who will follow your case and can provide medical advice and monitoring.

Arrival procedures and dates for undergraduate students who live off campus are still in development and will be shared with you before the end of June.

Any student arriving from an international location who is not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 upon arrival to campus will be required by state and local health regulations to quarantine for 7 days before leaving their rooms or off-campus apartments. You are fully vaccinated 14 days after your second dose of a two-shot vaccine or your first dose of a one-shot vaccine such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Students who have not submitted proper vaccination records will be contacted if they will be required to arrive early to complete this required quarantine and get a COVID-19 vaccination.

You will receive more information about campus arrival later in the summer. You may also check the Residential Life and Learning website for updates.

COVID-19 Vaccines

All in-person students are required to have been vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they have a medical or religious accommodation. We encourage you to get vaccinated now and upload your proof of vaccination to our secure Patient Portal. International students are encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 now. However, they may receive their COVID-19 vaccinations when they arrive in the United States. Current guidance requires 7-10 days of arrival quarantine for unvaccinated international students.

All vaccines approved by another country or the World Health Organization (WHO) will be accepted as meeting Tufts’ requirement for vaccination. Individuals who have received a non-WHO approved vaccine may be offered one approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Masking

Wearing face masks will be required when you are indoors, including classrooms, laboratories, studios, libraries, dining halls, and residences. Within your off campus apartment or residence hall, face masks must be worn in communal areas such as lounges, kitchens, and hallways. 

Residence Hall Visitors

Tufts students participating in surveillance testing may visit Tufts students living in other residence halls in accordance with ORLL guest policy; however, occupancy limits and mask wearing policies will be in effect.

Non-Tufts visitors will not be allowed in residence halls. (Parents and guardians may assist with move-in and must wear face masks.)

Dining

While outdoor dining will be encouraged in the Fall, we anticipate all of our campus dining locations will be fully operational.

Athletics

We are preparing for a full resumption of athletics, including club sports and intramurals. Varsity athletes will be tested in the same testing cadence with other students; any additional guidance that may come from the NCAA or the NESCAC will be applicable. 

Campus Organizations

Student organizations and student groups will be able to conduct meetings and events in person.

Singing and Wind and Brass Instrument Playing

Indoor practices and performances will be permitted with appropriate, instrument-specific PPE (e.g., masks for singers; masks for wind and brass instrument players; reed instrument bags; etc.). There is no distance requirement between performers and the audience. Audience members do not need to wear masks outdoors.

There will be no PPE requirements or other COVID-19 restrictions for outdoor practices and performances.

Theater Rehearsals and Performances (non-singing)

Performers and audience members must wear masks indoors.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, much of what we know and enjoy about the Tufts residential campus experience will be restored this Fall. However, we will not be going back to the “before times” anytime soon. Everyone has experienced a great deal of personal disruption and emotional stress during the past 18 months. Allow yourself all the time you need to adjust to this new reality and go at your own pace. The transition will not be like flipping a switch. 

While masking and social distancing outdoors is no longer required, many of us may choose to continue to do so. Some of us may just not be ready to transition completely this soon. Others may not have been vaccinated for medical or religious reasons and must follow the previous guidance.

When we are reunited on campus this Fall, I ask you to be generous with one another. Please respect with grace each individual’s personal choices regarding how they choose to transition back into group and in-person settings. I very much look forward to seeing you in the Fall.

With best wishes for your summer,

Camille Lizarríbar, JD, PhD
Dean of Student Affairs and Chief Student Affairs Officer for AS&E 

 

Note: the word “exemption” was changed to “accommodation” in this email and noted in bold italic text to align with the university’s COVID-19 vaccination policies for students, faculty and staff, and vendors and affiliates.