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Tufts University School of Medicine

COVID-19 Communications and Guidance

Below is guidance and information for the Tufts School of Medicine community around COVID-19. For the latest updates from Tufts University please visit coronavirus.tufts.edu. Answers to commonly asked questions can be found on the Tufts FAQ page.

 

Tuesday, March 24th - Updates & Town Hall on Friday

Dear TUSM Community,

Given Governor Baker’s recent order, Tufts University believes our current work guidelines comply with the new definition of essential services. While our TUSM buildings will remain open, we prefer that everyone work and study at home whenever possible. For those who work in labs, OVPR sent out an announcement last week with helpful information. Additionally, further restrictions on personal and work travel may be forthcoming as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.

To continue our open flow of communication, I am hosting another virtual TUSM Town Hall for faculty and staff on Friday (3/27) at 3pm ET and I ask that you email medical_dean@tufts.edu with any questions or concerns so we can talk through them together on Friday. 

Thanks and I look forward to seeing you on Friday.

Sincerely,

Peter W. Bates, MD
Dean ad interim
Professor of Medicine

Monday, March 16th - A Video Message from Peter W. Bates, Dean ad interim

Dear Tufts Community,

Although my video covers some of the major news and guidance that university and school leaders have shared in recent days, I also wanted to briefly recap some of those details should it be useful.

  • Our administrative offices on the Boston campus remain open, and new measures are immediately being put into place that will assist staff in working remotely. You will find that information here.
  • We encourage individuals to communicate electronically as much as possible and to be understanding of delays in responsiveness that occur due to this unprecedented situation.
  • Everyone should continue to practice meticulous hand hygiene and social distancing practices.
  • For faculty, students and staff who believe they may need evaluation and possible COVID-19 testing, please see the University’s FAQs relevant to this concern or contact your supervisor or dean for guidance.
  • Tufts University and TUSM will continue to send you further information and guidance as it becomes available.
  • For general information from the University, you will find all of President Monaco’s messages as well as other helpful resources here; you can also email covid19@tufts.edu if you have any follow-up questions.
  • For urgent questions or concerns that remain, please contact me at peter.bates@tufts.edu.

Thank you for your continued patience and solidarity during this time.

Sincerely,

Peter W. Bates, MD
Dean ad interim
Professor of Medicine

Wednesday, March 11th - A Message from Peter W. Bates, MD, Dean ad interim

Dear Tufts University School of Medicine Colleagues,

I’m writing to follow up on President Monaco’s message of last evening which announced unprecedented changes in our academic programs and day-to-day work life in response to the entry of COVID-19 into our community. As disruptive as these may seem, these changes are designed to protect all of us, sustain our academic mission, and reduce potential viral transmission. Let me first address adjustments that all of us will need to make.

Effective immediately through April 30

  • School offices and research facilities will remain open; this policy may be revised as new information develops, so it’s important to check coronavirus.tufts.edu for updates and helpful information. Faculty and staff may have some flexibility to work from home but will need to coordinate with their supervisor. Tufts Technology Resources has put together the following materials to support staff and faculty members with technology needs.
  • All University-related international and domestic travel (including air, bus and train) is prohibited. Personal travel is strongly discouraged. Commuting is not included in this ban, so consult your supervisor if you have concerns about public transportation. Options could include adjusting your schedule so you are commuting during non-peak hours.
  • In an effort to reduce the potential spread of the virus, it is important to limit the density of gatherings, and whenever possible alternatives to in-person gatherings should be pursued. If necessary, an upper limit of 25 attendees is recommended. This ban includes seminars and related activities. If you work in an open large-group setting, consult with your supervisor about working in shifts.

Beginning March 23

  • Academic instruction for medical students will be virtual with rare exceptions approved by the Dean for Educational Affairs. Clinical rotations for medical students will continue but may be adjusted by the Dean of Student Affairs or the sponsoring clinical site.
  • PA, MBS, HIA, Public Health, GSBS and other program learning activities will be governed by similar principles – students should consult with their dean and program leaders.

Specific questions about academic programs should be directed to your relevant dean, program director, supervisor or research lab manager. You will also receive specific research guidance from the Office of the Vice Provost separately.

These decisions will create challenges for all of us. The potential impact of COVID-19 on our community, our health care system, our university and our school of medicine is enormous. This is our opportunity to come together as a community, to think creatively about how we teach, learn, work, and help each other through a difficult challenge.

Lastly, Tufts University Executive Vice President, Mike Howard, will send a more detailed message with staff guidelines soon. If you have questions that I haven’t addressed, please send them to covid19@tufts.edu.

Sincerely,

Peter W. Bates, MD
Dean ad interim
Professor of Medicine

Community Updates and Resources