Tufts announces 10 p.m. COVID-19 curfew

Colorful autumn leaves are pictured on the Academic Quad on Oct. 14. Ava Iannuccillo / Tufts Daily

Tufts University announced that a 10 p.m. curfew will go into effect on Nov. 6, in accordance with the Massachusetts stay-at-home advisory, in an email to the Tufts community Tuesday evening. 

Gov. Charlie Baker’s advisory comes in response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts in the last few weeks. He is asking residents to stay home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. except for essential needs. The email informed students that Tufts will be following this notice. 

The university is instructing students to be in their residence halls or off-campus residences between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless they are in the library, an art studio or lab, working or seeking medical care.

Access to the Mayer Campus Center and takeout options will end at 10 p.m. and indoor dining and the fitness center, gym and indoor pool will close at 9:30 p.m. 

“Due to the serious health risks of our community and our host communities, students who violate any of our COVID-19 related policies will be subject to disciplinary action,” the email said. 

Nadia Vargas, associate director for residential education, said that residential assistants (RAs) are exempted from the 10 p.m. curfew for the purpose of RA duties, meaning they are still allowed to do walkthroughs and handle lockouts between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. 

The state advisory exempts individuals acting in the capacity of their jobs to leave their home,” Vargas wrote in an email to RAs. 

She said that if RAs see residents outside during the hours of the curfew, they should remind them of the advisory. 

“Working together for the common good is what Tufts students do, and you continue to make us proud,” the email said.

Some of Baker’s other guidelines state that face coverings are required regardless of social distancing, whether inside or outside, and social gatherings are limited to 10 people or fewer both indoors and outdoors. Both of these advisories are already being enforced by the university, so there will be no change in this respect for the Tufts community. 

The email, signed by Michelle Bowdler and Marie Caggiano of Health Service, Dean of Student Affairs Camille Lizarríbar and University Infection Control Health Director Michael Jordan, also reminded students to remain generally vigilant. Bowdler and the other signees wrote that although the number of COVID-19 cases at Tufts is well below the state average, there has been a recent rise in cases on campus, and this pattern could continue.

As the weather turns colder and we move indoors, our high rate of negative tests may provide a false sense of security,” they said.