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April 7, 2022

Dear members of the Medford/Somerville and SMFA campus community,

Due to the continued high number of COVID-19 cases on the Medford/Somerville and SMFA campuses, we are adjusting our plans for lifting COVID mitigation measures. We are doing this to keep everyone as healthy and safe as possible through the end of the final exam period (May 13) and to maximize the success of our in-person graduation events and Commencement in May to celebrate our 2022 and 2020 graduates.

Surveillance Testing

  • We will continue routine surveillance testing for all faculty, staff, and students until April 30. PLEASE NOTE: This date has been extended to Thursday, May 5.
  • AS&E and Fletcher graduate students, except those living on campus or in an athletics program: decrease to 1x per week effective April 7.
  • Undergraduate students: continue 2x per week.
  • Faculty and staff: continue 1x per week.

Isolation Policy

  • 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.
  • 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 our isolation guidelines.

Masking

  • Indoor masking, including in classrooms, laboratories, studios, libraries, dining halls, and residences (except when alone, or eating/drinking, or in a residence hall room with one’s roommate) will be required through the end of the final exam period. This also applies to all indoor events being held on the Medford/Somerville and SMFA campuses.
  • Masks must be 3-ply surgical grade, KN95, or N95, not cloth.
  • Effective April 7, faculty in large lecture halls and speakers at events who are at least 12 feet away from the front row may choose to lecture/speak without a mask.

Visitors & Events

  • By mid-May, we anticipate that masking will be optional at all events.
  • Vaccination requirements will remain in place for all events.
  • Until further notice, please follow current university guidelines for masking, food, and vaccination requirements for on-campus events.

Symptoms of COVID-19

If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, you must report your symptoms to Student Health Service (students) or Marathon Health (faculty/staff) and obtain a rapid antigen test before returning to class or work on campus.

Advice on boosters

Based on the April 6, 2022 meeting of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, the FDA is recommending a fourth booster of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccines to those over the age of 50. Individuals who are immunocompromised are also eligible for a second booster of Pfizer if they are over 12 or Moderna if they are over 18. Emerging evidence suggests that a second booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine may improve protection against severe COVID-19 and is not associated with new safety concerns. If you have questions about the booster, you should speak with your primary care physician to decide if it is right for you. At this time, Tufts University is not requiring a second booster shot.

With best wishes for a successful conclusion to the 2021-2022 academic year,

Michael R. Jordan, M.D., M.P.H.
University Infection Control Health Director and Associate Professor of Medicine