COVID-19 Health Service Updates
Visit the Tufts Coronavirus website for more information about COVID-19 at Tufts. The site is regularly updated and serves as a centralized location for information, guidance, and resources on coronavirus for the Tufts community.
Topics you might find of interest:
- Contact Tracing and Quarantine Guidelines
- COVID-19 Routine/Surveillance Testing
- COVID-19 Symptomatic Testing
- COVID-19 Testing Site Hours and Locations
- COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for Students
- COVID-19 Vaccine Information
- Isolation Guidelines
- Spring 2022 Arrival Procedures (Coming Soon!)
Our Frequently Asked Questions are being updated to include information about testing, moving in, etc.
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Health Service is located on the Medford/Somerville campus and provides telemedicine and in-person medical appointments for eligible AS&E, SMFA, and Fletcher students. Students can access services by calling 617-627-3350 or can self-schedule an appointment online. We are not able to accommodate walk-in appointments at this time, but we can often schedule a same-day visit.
Frequently Asked Questions
f you have a fever or cough, you might have COVID-19. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. Keep track of your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), get medical attention right away.
You can visit the following resources for additional information:
A student may call Health Service during the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and request an appointment. We are closed 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. for lunch. The doors of Health Service are locked for walk-in traffic. Our goal is to be able to provide safe onsite care, avoiding crowds in our waiting and check-in areas.
A student will be given an appointment time with a clinician when they call. The clinician will set up a phone call or Zoom via our HIPAA-compliant platform with the student to identify their concern and next steps.
If you need a private space to talk, please follow this link to reserve a space: https://students.tufts.edu/registrar/what-we-assist/space-reservation
Yes, we are seeing students for both illness and routine visits by appointment only.
In some instances where an in-person exam is required based on a symptom reported to a clinician, a face-to-face appointment will be made and the student will be seen in the building at a designated time.
We will continue to follow the same procedure we have been following with partners from Residential Life, Dean of Student Affairs, Dining and Facilities. If a student tests positive, they need to remain in isolation until they meet the criteria for release: without fever for 24 hours (no Tylenol or ibuprofen) and symptoms substantially improved OR 14 days from onset of symptoms WHICHEVER IS LONGER. Release from isolation is ultimately determined by the student's clinician.
Students who test positive will be relocated to the mods for isolation where they will receive a daily health check, meal delivery and on-site access to free laundry services.
For more information please visit: http://go.tufts.edu/isolation
We understand that many of our patients are interested in antibody testing for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes the illness known as COVID-19. Currently we are NOT ordering this type of testing routinely. At this point in time, antibody testing is useful for research, epidemiologic surveillance, and in certain cases for confirming a diagnosis in someone who is sick. There currently is not enough scientific information to prove that the test is reliable or that having antibodies means that someone is immune to the virus. The development of different types of testing for SARS-CoV-2 is actively being researched and when there are clear clinical guidelines for whom to test for antibodies and how to interpret the results, we will certainly provide testing to those for whom it is indicated.
We know there are companies that are currently offering and selling this testing. However, we have determined that it is not in the interest of our students to order blood tests that will not help them make health-care decisions and may result in a significant out of pocket cost. Right now, antibody testing cannot tell us reliably who has had SARS-CoV-2 infection or who is at risk for getting COVID-19 in the future.
We continue to actively monitor scientific developments and guidelines published by public health authorities and will inform our community as healthcare recommendations evolve.
If you want to see a medical clinician after hours you can visit our After-Hours page or check the Telehealth options on this page.
Isolation is very similar to "quarantine". The difference is that in isolation, the patient has been confirmed as positive for COVID-19. It is important to maintain strict self-isolation practices until your clinician says you meet the criteria for release.
Please visit this document we have created for Tufts students for more information http://go.tufts.edu/isolation.
A close contact is defined as someone who:
- Is within six feet for 15 minutes or more over the course of a 24-hour period of a positive COVID-19 person/case, starting two days before the onset of illness and through illness state, OR
- Provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19, OR
- Had direct physical contact with (touched, hugged, or kissed) a positive COVID-19 person, OR
- Shared eating or drinking utensils with a positive COVID-19 person, OR
- Was sneezed or coughed on by a positive COVID-19 person, transmitting respiratory droplets to them.
You can transfer most medications from one pharmacy to another. Please visit this link for more information.
If your test produces a negative result, you will receive an e-mail with a link directing you to a confidential health portal established by the Broad Institute, where you may obtain your test results. After your first negative test, you will receive an email inviting you to create an account to log in and view results. (Negative test results mean the virus was not detected in your specimen.) If a student's COVID-19 test is positive, the individual will be contacted by phone by a healthcare clinician/provider and given instructions for appropriate next steps and care, and will be able to begin isolation, which also initiates the contact tracing process.
Test results are sent to your Tufts email address. Check to see if it was moved to your junk or spam folder. The sender would be firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are traveling and need to show a negative PCR test, you can present your negative test result from the Broad Institute.
For more information on how to get your test result please refer to question above: How will you learn about your COVID surveillance test results?
Some countries require ISO 15189 accreditation, or equivalent, recognized in the place where the laboratory is located. CRSP is not ISO 15189 accredited but is CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited, which is considered the equivalent. You will find the required certification information for the Broad Institute here.
Some countries require COVID antibody testing. This is not something the Broad Institute provides. Contact Health Service at 617-627-3350 for a test order from one of our clinicians. You will be tested at Boston Heart. Please plan ahead of time to create your account with Boston Heart, make an appointment and travel to the Boston Heart site. Testing for travel purposes is not covered by insurance.
If you need your passport number added to your most recent test report, please contact Health Service at 617-627-3350 and they will be able to help you.
If your name and/or DOB is either incomplete or incorrect on your test report, the Broad Institute can issue a corrected report. Please check your test report as soon as you receive it, and contact the Broad immediately at email@example.com if a correction is needed. The turnaround time is approximately 24 to 48 hours.
If you were in isolation less than 90 days ago and have been released from isolation, contact your health service clinician (617-627-3350). They will guide you through the process, and provide a letter confirming your release from isolation.
At least, two weeks prior to departure:
- Get an influenza vaccination and submit proof via go.tufts.edu/portal.
- Review the regulations governing travel to your destination. Some states require the completion of a travelers' form prior to arrival, along with specific restrictions and testing requirements after arrival.
- Minimize risk of exposure and infection during the weeks leading to departure from campus. Any exposures could disrupt plans to go home. If you become infected or if you are exposed to a person who is confirmed to be infected, you must isolate or quarantine before traveling. Travelers who are ill, are infected, or have been exposed to the virus will not be allowed to board airplanes and trains.
- Reduce the number of people with whom you have close contact prior to the trip. Any close interaction with persons outside immediate household or residence hall roommates will present an opportunity for infection.
Day of Travel Advice
- Reduce the number of stops on the trip. Take a direct flight if possible, and if driving, pack food/snacks for the car trip home.
- Delay travel if sick or exposed. Anyone feeling ill, recently diagnosed with COVID-19 (within 10 days), or exposed to someone with COVID-19 (within 14 days) should self-isolate and delay travel. Follow guidance from Health Service regarding when recommended isolation/quarantine periods are complete and travel can be resumed.
- Take safety precautions during travel, especially if using public transportation. Wearing a face covering at all times and consider also wearing a face shield. Stay at least 6 feet away from other people; if not possible on public transportation, sit as far away from other passengers as possible. Carry and use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) frequently.
- Use a disinfecting/sanitizing wipe to clean any touchable surfaces in the vehicle in which you are traveling. This includes planes, trains and other forms of transportation.
- Re-check for any requirements or restrictions at your travel destination.
- The least risky option is private transportation by yourself or your family members. If in a car with others outside the household, war a mask and sit in the back seat if someone else is driving. If weather conditions permit, open the windows.
Arrival at Home Advice
- The most cautious approach upon arrival home is to quarantine for the first 14 days after arrival. This is especially important if there are vulnerable, higher risk individuals living in the home nad/or there is high prevalence on the campus or in the local community surrounding the campus prior to leaving for home. -
- Quarantining in the home includes eating meals in a private space or outdoors with family at least 6ft apart.
- Use separate serving ware, utensils, glasses and plates.
- Use a separate bathroom from other family members. If not possible, disinfect the bathroom after each use.
- Avoid physical contact including hugging, kissing, and shaking hands.
- Wear a mask and maintain a distance of at least 6ft when in the presence of others.
- Restrict movement within and outside the home.
- If quarantine is not possible, stay physically distant from family household members, wear a face covering, and avoid close contact, including hugging and shaking hands, for the first 14 days home.
- Consider placing HEPA filter units in the home and opening windows to increase circulation.
Medical and Mental Health and Well-Being While at Home
- Reach out for help or guidance from your primary care provider, psychologist/mental health clinician, or college health or counseling center if you are feeling sad, anxious, or hopeless or if you feel emotional distress of any kind.
- Consults with your primary care provider at home, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions or develop any possible symptoms of COVID-19.
- Get the flu vaccine if you haven't already done so and submit proof of vaccine via http://go.tufts.edu/portal.
Consult the following CDC websites for additional information on travel and on safer ways to celebrate holidays with family and friends.
Source: American College Health Association, ACHA Brief: Considerations for Institutions of Higher Education as Students Return Home, October 29, 2020
You have questions and not sure who to contact? Please see this contact list.
For students that are not on or near campus, due to medical licensing limitations, we are ask that you inquire about telehealth options offered through your insurance company.
Student Health Insurance (UnitedHealthcare StudentResources)
- We are encouraging members to take advantage of our Virtual Visit* capability, available through the HealthiestYou mobile app, or for more information through their www.uhcsr.com/MyAccount.
- UHCSR insureds have access at no charge, when included with their UHCSR medical plan, or at a $40 for all other students.
- To find out if your plan includes this benefit or any other benefits, access your My Account and select My Benefits, then Additional Benefits.
Other Insurance Companies
Please contact your insurance company to inquire about telehealth services they offer and cost. Here are some of the most popular resources:
Student Health Insurance
Student Health Insurance coverage remains unaffected by the move to online instruction. UnitedHealthcare StudentResources is taking action to ensure health plan members impacted by COVID-19 have the support and resources they need. Information will continue to be updated as it relates to COVID-19 at www.uhcsr.com/news-main as more information becomes available. For questions about the student health insurance you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Access to Medical Care, Coverage in the United States
- Members who feel like they may have been exposed to COVID-19 are being advised to immediately call their provider. To find a network provider they can visit www.uhcsr.com/MyAccount or their UHCSR mobile app.
- UHCSR will continue to monitor for any State regulatory guidance that pertains to coverage.
Access to Medical Care, Coverage outside the United States
- The Student Health Insurance Plan provides worldwide coverage. The plan provides the same benefits as if you were on campus. In addition, through participation in the student insurance plan, each student and his or her enrolled dependents are eligible for travel assistance services. The services are provided through UnitedHealthcare Global/Global Emergency Services to access services please call 800-527-0218 (toll-free within United States) 410-453-6330 (collect outside the United States). Services are also accessible via email.
- When traveling you should make sure you have your student insurance ID card. When traveling internationally, you may be asked to pay first for your services and then seek reimbursement.
- Please visit the UnitedHealthcare website to download a claim form. Forms can be used for Medical or Pharmacy claims and should be submitted within 90 days of service. If you have any questions, please refer to your insurance guide.
Student Assistance Program
- UHCSR insureds have access to Student Assistance Program through Optum which provides a wide range of resources to students telephonically including 24/7 counseling, health risks assessments, health/fitness calculators and other helpful resources. The phone number is available on your UHCSR Mobile App or your www.uhcsr.com/MyAccount.
- For additional resources, please visit the Tufts University Counseling Center page.
Optum Support Line
Optum is opening its Emotional-Support Help Line, providing access to specially trained mental health specialists to support people who may be experiencing anxiety or stress following the recent developments around COVID-19. Optum’s toll-free help line number, 866-342-6892, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as necessary. The service is free of charge and open to anyone.
Testing and Treatment for COVID-19
- Waiving costs for COVID-19 testing provided at the approved locations, in accordance to CDC guidelines
- Waiving copays, coinsurance, and deductibles for visits for visits associated with COVID-19 testing, whether the care is received in a physician's office, an urgent care center, or an emergency department
- Waiving member cost-sharing for the treatment of COVID-19 through May 31, 2020.
Q: Will testing and physician visits be covered for COVID-19?
A: Yes, we will be waiving costs for COVID-19 testing provided at approved locations in accordance with the CDC guidelines. In addition, we will waive copays, coinsurance, and deductibles for visits associated with COVID-19 testing, whether the care is received in a physician’s office, an urgent care center, or an emergency department
Q: Will treatment, hospitalization or isolation be covered for COVID-19?
A: All current policy provisions and limitations will apply to all services except for diagnostic testing, refer to initial Q and A above.
Q: What about testing performed overseas, will it be reimbursed?
A: If the member incurred the expense for the testing outside the US, the itemized bill and proof of payment can be submitted. The claim will be subject to policy provisions and limitations. The member can upload the required documentation online via My Account.
Q: Would this service be a covered benefit?
A: If an ambulance service is used, the claim will be paid same as any other sickness subject to normal policy provisions and limitations.
Polices with referral requirement:
Q: Will the referral requirement apply?
A: The referral provision will be waived for COVID-19 tests and/or treatment. In the event a claim is denied for no referral, it can be appealed for reconsideration.
Exclusions and Limitations:
Q: Are there any excluded charges if a student is hospitalized with the potential Coronavirus?
A: All services rendered will be subject to normal policy provisions and limitations.
Q: Does UHCSR offer any provisions for students who have to be isolated?
A: The student insurance policy can be used when the covered member is being treated for an illness or injury. The insured person must be treated by a licensed, board certified or board eligible physician qualified to practice in the area of medicine. All services are subject to normal policy provisions and limitations.
Q: How are claims going to be processed if treatment is rendered in the emergency room?
A: Expenses incurred for Medical Emergency will be paid only for Sickness or Injury if it meets the conditions listed in the Certificate’s definition for Medical Emergency. Emergency room expenses will not be paid for minor injuries or minor sicknesses. Refer to the Medical Emergency definition in the Certificate as well as the Medical Expense Benefits and the Schedule of Benefits.
Message from Our Partners
The Haven at College, in collaboration with Tufts, provides college students with outpatient treatment and recovery programs for mental health and substance-use disorders. The Haven is now admitting students to its confidential virtual outpatient program. All online outpatient services are covered by Tufts’ student health insurance. Students can connect with like-minded peers who, along with Haven clinicians, provide community, accountability, and relief from isolation during this challenging time. Treatment services include: group, individual, and family therapy; case management; life skills and educational sessions; as well as recovery coaching; family support; online recovery meetings; and online peer support. Learn more about all their programs at thehavenatcollege.com or call 888-224-2836 for more information.
- Coronavirus Self-Checker
- 10 Things You Can Do to Manage Your COVID-19 Symptoms at Home
- Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19
- Face Covering Do's and Don'ts
- Fletcher Office of Student Affairs
- Health Promotion
- The Haven at College
- University COVID-19 Updates
- Undergraduate Office of Student Affairs