BREAKDOWN: Tufts moves online courses for the first three days of the spring semester

In an email to the Tufts community on Jan. 7, Provost and Acting Senior Vice President Caroline Attardo Genco, Professor Arthur E. Spiller and the university’s director of health and infection prevention Michael Jordan announced that classes will run virtually until Friday January 24 for students. in the Schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Fletcher School. Spring semester classes will begin on Wednesday January 19 for A&SE and SMFA students and Tuesday January 18 for Fletcher students, as scheduled.

The policy change comes after the university confirmed in a Jan. 2 email that classes will be held in person for the spring semester. In the email, university officials announced updated COVID-19 testing, quarantine and isolation protocols designed to allow for an in-person semester amid a wave of coronavirus cases in the Massachusetts and across the country.

According to the Jan. 7 email, the move of online classes during the first few days of the semester is intended to stagger the return of students to residence on campus over the course of a full week instead of a few days. This way, the university can better manage the testing and isolation of COVID-19 positive students upon arrival.

In the email, administrators called on residence students to arrive on campus later in the week of January 17, if possible.

“In this way, we will optimize our ability to manage the testing and isolation of COVID positive students before resuming classes in person,” they wrote.

According to the email, the decision to move the first days of online classes was made in consultation with public health experts, administration, faculty and campus partners in an effort to bring the university back to normal operation as soon as possible. without issue.

“We are taking action now to limit COVID exposure and disease among students, faculty and staff to avoid serious disruption to campus life and operations during the current wave, which is expected to peak in here the third week of January, ”the email reads.

A second email sent Jan. 7 to AS&E students in Jordan, Dean of Student Affairs Camille Lizzaríbar and Medical Director of Health Services Marie Caggiano reiterated the updates on masking, quarantine, isolation and catering. Strategies. The email reminded students to submit proof of their COVD-19 booster injection to Tufts and thanked the students for their patience and cooperation with these policy changes.

According to a third email sent Jan. 7 to members of the Tufts community participating in routine COVID-19 surveillance tests sent by Tufts COVID Testing, the Broad Institute is experiencing delays in processing Tufts tests due to a high volume of tests and a lack of personnel. The email also attributed the increase in processing time – which has gone from an average of 14 hours to over 21 hours over the past week – to the university’s recent shift from bulk PCR testing to individual PCR tests.

“Assuming a stable and low incidence of positive results by mid-February, the Boston and Medford testing sites will revert to pooled testing,” the email said.

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