Tufts increases COVID-19 testing frequency to every other day, twice a week

Tufts community members are pictured waiting outside the Medford/Somerville COVID-19 testing center on Nov. 16. Aaron Apostadero / The Tufts Daily

Tufts announced increased testing frequency and reiterated stricter COVID-19 guidelines around students leaving their residence halls and off-campus apartments in an email sent Monday, signed by Dean James Glaser of the School of Arts and Sciences, Dean Jianmin Qu of the School of Engineering, Dean Nancy Bauer of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Michael Jordan, university infection control health director. 

The email explained that those who have been getting tested twice per week will now be tested every other day, and those who have been getting tested once per week will now be tested twice per week. 

The email attributed this change in testing frequency to the rise in COVID-19 cases at Tufts, the cities of Medford and Somerville and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

As of Nov. 16, Tufts had identified 21 cases in the previous seven days, with a positivity rate of 0.14%. Although the university’s positivity rate remains lower than the rest of Massachusetts, it has increased considerably since the beginning of the school year. 

The email also repeated the guidelines that were sent in an email on Sunday, which say that students should only leave their residence halls or off-campus apartments to attend class, study, pick up food, exercise physically distanced, seek medical care, obtain COVID-19 testing and go to or from employment. 

Students cannot leave their residence halls or apartments to attend any kind of social event, gathering or party, no matter the size.

“The increase in testing frequency that we are announcing today will allow us to catch cases even earlier and further protect our communities,” the email said.