Amherst — In a new email to the campus community on Thursday August 19, UMass Amherst’s co-directors of Public Health and Promotion Center (PHPC), Anne Becker and Jeffrey Hescock outlined the policy for the fall semester around quarantine and isolation procedures and testing requirements for COVID-19.
With residence halls fully occupied this semester, isolation and quarantine housing will be limited, and only available in specific instances. The policy states on campus students who need to isolate or quarantine should do so at their permanent home or residence. The school is encouraging students who live both on and off campus to create a planning guide with their families in case they are exposed or test positive for COVID-19.
This semester, there will be an additional option for community members to do unobserved testing through picking up a kit from the PHPC and dropping off the completed kit at three kiosks located across campus–outside the Mullins Center, Outside of University Health Service, and at the PHPC.
Testing will be required twice a week for faculty, staff, and students who are between their first and second shots of the COVID-19 vaccine in addition to those who have received exemptions from the vaccine for religious or medical reasons. Anyone who suspects they have been exposed or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should also get tested through University Health Services or through using an unobserved testing kit.
The Public Health Promotion Center will also be moving on Aug. 23 from the Mullins Center to the first floor of the Student Union. This location, behind Blue Wall, will serve as the location for asymptomatic testing.
The email also noted an increase in domestic undergraduate and graduate student rates with 98% being vaccinated from the previous 96% of students who were reported being fully vaccinated by the university in a campus wide email on Aug. 9. Additionally, 93% of faculty and staff are also in compliance with the university’s vaccine requirements.