As part of a Tufts-wide initiative, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine is instituting a surveillance testing program for asymptomatic employees and students. The intent of the program is to monitor the occurrence of COVID-19 on campus and to reduce the risk of transmission by asymptomatic individuals.
The schedule for the surveillance testing program is summarized below. If your schedule is better suited to one of the other times than the day and time at which you are currently being tested, please email email@example.com. If you have had flexibility in your schedule approved, or your work schedule requires some shifting from week to week, please continue on your current testing schedule. The compliance-tracking system will note if you are too many days away from the once-a-week testing schedule, so it is important that we have any modified schedules recorded in the system.
All employees and students are expected to take their temperature twice a day. If their temperature is above 100.0, they should stay home and monitor unless there is an obvious, non-illness related explanation (including having a high normal range). A temperature of 100.4 is considered a fever and always requires staying home for a minimum of 48 hours after resolution of the fever. All fevers should be reported as illness.
All individuals who are sick or unwell for any reason are required to stay at home or to leave the workplace immediately.
Changes in CDC Recommendations for Isolation Time with known or probable coronavirus infection (COVID-19):
If anyone with confirmed or probable COVID-19 is on campus, we will carry out contact tracing. Contact tracing for positive tests through our on-campus testing will have contact tracing by Marathon Health (see below). All other contact tracing (probably COVID-19; positive symptomatic) will be carried out on-campus by OEHN (and/or other appointed individuals). This is why we ask the information above when you are sick. Please not that the Department of Public Health may do additional contact tracing. We do not do contact tracing for off-campus individuals.
In order for proper contact tracing, it is important that you provide as accurate information as possible.
In assessing the steps required following close contact, it is important that we have the details. 29
The following guidelines are in place related to close contact with a case. A case is defined as anyone with probable COVID-19, symptomatic positive for COVID-19, or asymptomatic positive for COVID-19. This includes co-workers, employees, family members, friends, roommates, or any other person in your life with whom you may have close contact (as defined above).
The PPE requirements outlined in this policy are MANDATORY. The final authority for implementation is the dean.
The critical process in ensuring compliance is education and moral suasion. We should all engage in the appropriate behavior such that it is socially unacceptable for someone not to comply. Immediate peer feedback is the first approach to increase compliance. Requesting support from immediate supervisors or chairs is the next step.
We have established an anonymous reporting system for non-compliance. Reports will be monitored and provided to the relevant individual for action (listed below):
In the event that an individual repeatedly fails to comply (e.g. a third request or warning), putting themselves or others at risk, the matters should be brought to the dean who will determine the appropriate next steps in consultation with the relevant individual from the list above.
When possible, limit vehicles to two people and physically distance as much as possible within the vehicle.
Cummings School and Tufts University cannot dictate how employees or students spend personal time. Nevertheless, Cummings School asks that all employees and students respect the principles and guidelines of this policy in their personal activities to reduce the risk of becoming infected with COVID-19.
Please note that group activities, particularly with people you do not normally interact with, increase risk. It is essential to follow MA guidelines on gathering sizes, to have everyone wear masks, to respect physical distancing, and to avoid inside gatherings.
For more information and resources for researchers—including links to the research reopen surveys—please see Cummings School’s COVID-19 intranet.
The recent MA Travel Order (https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order) has understandably created some confusion, with its requirements and exemptions. The following definitions are helpful in understanding what you need to do under different circumstances:
What does the order say?
Travel to or from a MA-designated low-risk state, at the time of travel, will not result in a stay-off-campus request, provided you do not engage in high-risk activities (e.g. group events, fail to social distance, engage in group activities without a mask, eating regularly in restaurants, etc.).
If you engage in high-risk activities while traveling to MA-designated low-risk states, please contact Cummingscovid@tufts.edu for advice on required testing prior to return to campus.
Travel to a high-risk state or international travel will result in a stay-off-campus request unless specific approval has been granted by the school. Please note that for low-risk travel from states now designated high-risk, in the past we might have been able to allow people to come to campus. Now they will all be under a state-ordered quarantine unless they meet an exemption or test out, and we will not be able to allow them on campus. If you have previously requested exemption from a stay-off-campus request and are not traveling to an MA-designated low-risk region, any exemptions we may have granted in the past are now superseded by the MA Travel Order. We will not accept a test taken 72 hours prior to returning to MA as a test-out of a stay-off-campus request for students and employees following travel to a high-risk state, internationally, and/or following engagement in high-risk activities.
Use of public transit, provided you follow all the precautions, wear a mask, and physical distance, will not lead to a stay-off-campus request. This includes train or bus to get to campus, which we have previously requested be avoided unless necessary and an exemption has been granted.
If dependent care challenges prevent you from returning to campus or fulfilling your position expectations at home, please contact your chair or supervisor and HR (Lucia Hackett).
Unable to complete work at home and not enough work in your regular role on campus
We ask faculty and staff to be considerate when taking vacations that will require self-quarantine or a stay-off-campus request on return. Please be proactive in ensuring that any self-quarantines or stay-off-campus requests needed on return do not interfere with your ability to fulfill work obligations on campus. Please work with your department chair or supervisor and/or relevant clinic/hospital director/section head well in advance to manage your schedules appropriately.
For questions about testing, travel, or health, please email Cummingscovid@tufts.edu. Nurses will be responding between 10 am and 2 pm to the majority of questions. The mailbox is monitored from roughly 6 am to 9 pm, and we respond in a timely manner when required.
Any concerns or questions regarding COVID-19 Policies and Guidelines should be forwarded to Dean Alastair Cribb.