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COVID-19 Guidance: Guidance and operational updates for Cummings School and its veterinary teaching hospitals

TESTING, REPORTING, QUARANTINE, & ISOLATION and DAILY HEALTH SCREENING REQUIREMENTS

Changes in Testing Schedules

UPDATED Testing Schedule effective SEPTEMBER 1, 2021 can be viewed here. Testing will no longer be available on Sundays. Getting tested the day before coming to campus is no longer required for vaccinated individuals.  All visitors to campus must be vaccinated.

Vaccination Requirements for Students, Faculty & Staff

COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory for all faculty, staff, and students. Please refer to the Tufts University COVID-19 vaccination policies found here.

Surveillance Testing of Employees and Students (Updated 6/2/21)
  • 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.
  • Faculty, staff, students, affiliates, and vendors who are on campus regularly and in contact with others: 1x /week
  • Faculty, staff, students, affiliated, and vendors who are accessing Tufts facilities less than once a week: required to test on the day of visit
  • Faculty, staff, and other Tufts people who are coming in for contactless pick-up or errands do not need to get tested.
  • Masks must still be worn at all times on campus.
PPE and Other Mitigation Measures
  • Physical distancing is no longer required and there are no room capacity limits.
  • You should continue to wash hands regularly and clean high-touch surfaces before using them.
  • You must wear a mask at all times when indoors.
    • 2-layer cloth minimum – must be a close fit.
    • 3-ply disposable preferred.
    • You are not required to wear a mask when eating or drinking, but we recommend that you physically distance yourself where possible and preferably eat outdoors.
  • You do not need to wear a mask outdoors.
    • If you are not vaccinated, recommend mask in social situations outdoors.
Tufts Daily Health Check (Updated 6/2/21)

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.

  • All faculty, staff, affiliates, and students who are coming to or living on campus are required to complete the daily health status survey. This is critically important since even those who are vaccinated can become infected and transmit the virus, though the likelihood is significantly reduced.
  • Students, faculty, and staff should stay home when feeling sick! Individuals with flu-like symptoms should seek medical care and receive a negative COVID-19 test before returning to work or classes.

For more details on daily health screening, visit Testing at Tufts.

What if You are Feeling Sick? (Updated 10/20/20)

All individuals normally coming to campus who are sick or unwell for any reason are required to stay at home or to leave the workplace immediately.

Anyone who is sick or unwell should email cummingscovid@tufts.edu for specific guidance and be cleared to return to work or school.

In addition, you must notify the appropriate supervisor that you will not be coming to campus:

  • DVM students should notify the Office of Academic Affairs. Fourth-year students should also notify their rotation director.
  • Graduate students should notify the Graduate Programs Manager and their Graduate Program Director. 
  • Staff should notify their immediate supervisor
  • Faculty should notify their department chair 
  • When you email cummingcovid@tufts.edu, please provide the following information:
      • Summary of symptoms
        • What they are
        • When they started
      • Work or school history (if relevant)
        • Where you work or what academic program and year are you in?
        • When were you last on campus?
        • When are you scheduled to return to campus (day, time)?
      • History
        • What was your physical location(s) when on campus in the 48 hours before you became sick?
        • In the 7-14 days preceding illness, did you engage in any group activities?
        • Did you travel in the last 14 days? Is yes, where did you go?
        • Did you interact with anyone who was sick, had suspected COVID-19, or was diagnosed with COVID-19?
        • Do you share living quarters with anyone else from the Cummings community?
    • Contacts
        • Please make a note of the names of anyone in the Cummings community who met the following criteria, through on-campus or off-campus interactions, as you may be asked to provide this information at a later date:
          • spent more than 10-15 consecutive minutes within 6 ft, even while wearing masks
          • more than 5 minutes within 6 ft, while not wearing masks. This is for internal use only.
          • Was in direct physical contact with you.
          • Other general contacts, including those working in a confined space or room with the individual for greater than 60 minutes (even if not within six feet), should also be reported
  • What will happen next?
    • When appropriate, you will be asked to contact your PCP or an urgent care center. We may ask you to see if you can get tested.
      • If you can get tested, please ask for a PCR-based test because an antigen-based test has too high a false negative rate to rule-out COVID-19. However, if a rapid antigen test is positive, it is considered diagnostic. With a negative antigen test and appropriate symptoms, we will still consider you a possible or probably COVID-19 case.
    • If it is determined that you do not have COVID-19 by your healthcare provider, through appropriate diagnostic testing, or because of the course of symptoms, we will ask you to stay home until you have been symptom-free for 24 h in cases of non-flu like/non-respiratory illness, and at least 48 h in cases of flu-like illness or any illness with a respiratory component (cough, runny nose, etc). If disease is conclusively diagnosed and is not contagious, you may return to work in accordance with the guidance of your health care provider.
    • If you are determined to have COVID-19 or probably or possibly have COVID-19, we will follow the CDC guidelines or those of your healthcare provider (whichever are stricter). This is outlined in the next section

General Guidance

  • Remember you must stay home if you are sick until it has been confirmed to be non-contagious and you have permission to return to work from a healthcare provider (if relevant) and from Cummings School.
  • The symptoms of COVID-19 are varied and are easily mistaken for allergies, a common cold, and other viral infections. Please be extra cautious when sick. We do not want other people to get sick with a non-COVID-19 disease, which would still require them to stay off campus.
  • Symptoms of COVID-19 include, but are not limited to:
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Tiredness
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Muscle aches
    • Chills
    • Sore throat
    • Runny nose
    • Loss of taste or smell
    • Headache
    • Chest pain
What Happens if You have Symptomatic, Probable or Positively Diagnosed COVID-19 or if You have a Positive PCR or Antigen-based SARS-CoV2 (Coronavirus Test)? (Updated 6/2/21)
  • Any vaccinated and unvaccinated employee or student testing positive is asked to report the positive test to cummingscovid@tufts.edu, and provide all the information outlined in the previous section for when you are ill.
    • Employees should also report their absences to their supervisor
    • Students must inform the relevant Office of Academic Affairs or the Graduate Program manager.
  • 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, with symptom monitoring for a total of 14 days.
  • Vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will isolate at home for 10 days. 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, individuals with a positive COVID-19 test must be cleared by a medical professional prior to return to classes or to work
  • Vaccinated and unvaccinated employees and students who test positive for COVID-19 will isolate at home for 10 days, with at least 24 h of no fever (without fever-reducing medication), and markedly improved symptoms in accordance with the CDC and MA DPH guidelines.
  • Return to Campus: All employees and students who have been quarantined or asked to stay off campus must receive permission from Cummings School before returning to campus.

For more details on quarantine and isolation, visit Testing at Tufts.

Testing on Return from Travel
  • Please consult University travel policies here for guidance.
  • Any travelers who have any symptoms on return to Massachusetts should stay home and email cummingscovid@tufts.edu for guidance.
  • All vaccinated travelers (whether on personal or Tufts-related travel) should get tested on their first available testing day on return to campus and resume their normal testing cadence. They may resume normal campus activities without waiting for the result if they are asymptomatic.
  • Unvaccinated travelers (whether on personal or Tufts-related business, in accordance with CDC guidelines, are asked to stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days. They should come to campus solely for getting a PCR-based COVID-19 test within 3 – 54 days of return to the region. If it is negative and they remain asymptomatic, they may return to campus on day 8 following return.

    Email cummingscovid@tufts.edu for guidance.

Contact Tracing on Campus (Updated 11/09/20)

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 for the information above when you are sick. Please note 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. 

Visitors to Campus

Essential short-term visitors (<1 day) are allowed to campus, provided that the one-up supervisor has approved the visitor as essential.

  • Visitors may come without further approvals or testing if they meet the following criteria:
  • Visitors must have completed the daily health check online and received a clearance to come to campus (this checks that they do not have any symptoms and have not been in contact with anyone with COVID-19.
  • They must have an identified contact who will supervise the visit.
  • They must wear a mask at all times when indoors. They cannot eat or drink in proximity to any employees or students.
  • They must not be in close contact with students

If they meet these criteria, they no longer require testing. 

If they must eat or drink with employees, or be in close contact with students, then they must be tested when on campus.

Anyone who is coming for an extended period of time will need to be in some form of testing program and will need dean’s office approval in advance. Volunteers are still not permitted on campus or in any of our hospitals or clinics.

In these latter two cases, please email Stephen Libuda to get them appropriately enrolled and/or email cummingscovid@tufts.edu for guidance.

Contact

Where to Report Non-Compliance with Policies

Report an instance of a student, faculty member, staff member, or outside contractor failing to follow COVID-19 mitigation policies using this Qualtrics link.  

Your report will be recorded anonymously.

 

Who to Contact with Questions

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.