I hope your summer is off to a terrific start. As promised in my recent message, I write to update you about our preparations to welcome you to campus in-person this fall.
We are excited to resume full operations across the campus. It should be extremely different from last year. We anticipate that once you complete the arrival process, you will be able to engage with your peers and the community in a full range of social and extracurricular activities that have not been possible since the spring of 2020.
I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know as many of you as possible during the coming academic year now that we can gather together once again.
Tufts will look and feel very similar to the “Before Times” this September. As a new student, you will have never experienced that. While we share the common bond of having been through something truly frightening and unprecedented together, I know we are all ready to renew old friendships and create new ones.
For these reasons, community building--and rebuilding--is very much on my mind. I invite you to share your ideas, so please give me your input. Simply email your thoughts to me at email@example.com.
While I believe the campus experience is going to feel particularly vibrant this September, COVID-19 is still with us and will be for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, we cannot say we will be completely out of the woods. Some of you have expressed support for the revised COVID-19 protocols we recently shared. We appreciate your kind words. Others have posed questions, and we have tried to address some of those in the “recently asked questions” section that follows this message.
One thing we have learned is that this pandemic is unpredictable. Things can change quickly--for better or for worse. I cannot offer any false hope that the current restrictions might ease before late August. We just don’t know. However, we will continue to communicate with you over the summer months to share all of the information we have.
With best wishes for your summer,
Camille Lizarríbar, JD, PhD
Dean of Student Affairs and Chief Student Affairs Officer for AS&E
Recently Asked Questions
Do I need to get a COVID-19 vaccine to attend Tufts in person this fall?
Yes. All in-person students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they have an approved medical or religious accommodation. We encourage you to get vaccinated now and upload your proof of vaccination to our secure Patient Portal. The deadline for uploading your proof of vaccination is
International students are encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 now. If vaccine is not available to you where you are living now, you may receive COVID-19 vaccination when you arrive in the United States. All vaccines approved by another country or listed for emergency use by 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 re-vaccination with one approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If you have questions about this, you may reach out to the Health Service.
Current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control requires 7-10 days of arrival quarantine for students who are not fully vaccinated. International students who are unable to access the vaccine over the summer should contact the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an arrival time that allows for quarantine before they plan to participate in any programming. We expect students who have been living in the United States to arrive on campus fully vaccinated. If a student has an extenuating circumstance that has prevented them from being vaccinated before arrival, they should contact the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs.
Why do I have to be vaccinated if I have already had COVID-19?
The evidence is clear that having had COVID-19 does not fully immunize you from contracting the new variants and that immunity acquired through infection may wane over time. The vaccines are providing much more protection against COVID-19, although even they do not offer 100 percent protection, which is why it is important that we have a very high proportion of the population vaccinated to strive to achieve herd immunity.
Why do we have to wear face masks indoors if we are fully vaccinated?
COVID-19 transmission occurs indoors. Although currently rare, fully vaccinated individuals can contract COVID-19 and we remain concerned about the risk to the community from variants. As a residential community in which people may spend significant time together indoors, we have decided to maintain a mask wearing mandate indoors for the fall. In addition, while we anticipate that the vast majority of our students, faculty, and staff will be fully vaccinated before the term begins, some will still be unvaccinated. It is our shared responsibility to help protect these individuals from the virus to the extent that we can. Fully vaccinated individuals can contract and potentially spread COVID-19. We ask for your grace and cooperation with this mandate.
How is the university identifying unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff? Do they have to wear masks at all times?
It would be a violation of the university’s values and federal law to publicly identify unvaccinated individuals. Such medical information is confidential and protected. All individuals on campus should wear masks while indoors in community settings, including classrooms, studios, laboratories, libraries, dining facilities (when not actually eating), lounges, common rooms, and hallways. Unvaccinated individuals are recommended to wear masks and practice social distancing as much as possible when in public spaces and should follow the CDC’s guidance for unvaccinated people.
Will unvaccinated and vaccinated students share campus housing?
Yes, it is possible that unvaccinated and vaccinated students may be in the same room or suite, just as they may be in the same classroom, studio, or laboratory. We are confident that our arrival testing and subsequent surveillance testing will quickly identify any positive individuals among either vaccinated or unvaccinated students so that we can support them through an isolation period.
Why can’t you house unvaccinated students separately?
It would be against our community values to treat any individual differently based on their medical or vaccination status. Such medical information is by law confidential. Students who are granted an accommodation are protected by state law and the ADA and cannot be discriminated against or assigned to designated housing.
What if I want to request a COVID-19 vaccine accommodation for medical or religious reasons?
Any student approved for an accommodation is therefore not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and will be required to observe CDC guidance which may include quarantine for 7 days if they have traveled to come to campus, regardless of the results of COVID-19 testing.