Community Agreement

UMass Amherst Community Agreement

A personal commitment to protect the health and safety of our community

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is relying upon the guidance and direction of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local, state, and federal health and medical professionals in determining our reopening and return to campus plans. One element of the return to campus plans is for each member of the university community who returns to campus to agree to a set of behaviors that will support keeping themselves, their peers, the faculty and staff, as well as the community safe. Thank you for your commitment to protecting yourself and the university and local communities.


If at any time after you have voluntarily returned to campus, you feel uncomfortable remaining on campus, please reach out to the Dean of Students Office, your residence director or your academic dean’s office. We will listen and discuss your situation with you and assist you as you make the best decision for your academic success.

Protect Myself | Protect Others | Protect the University and Local Communities


As a member of the university community, I AGREE to take active steps to protect the health and safety of every member of our campus and local communities in the midst of this global pandemic. Furthermore, I recognize my efforts keep me and those with whom I live with safer and healthier. My success (personal, academic, and/or professional) is dependent on staying healthy and agreeing to shared behavioral changes that will keep me and other members of the university and local community protected from illness. I AGREE to invite others to participate with me by reminding them of their responsibility to our greater community.

I AGREE to protect myself, protect others and the UMass Amherst community by doing the following:


1. Protect Myself

I will:

  • Take a viral test before arriving on campus, or immediately upon arriving, if requested.
  • Monitor myself for symptoms of COVID-19 daily and report to University Health Services if I experience any COVID-19 symptoms. I will not be penalized for staying home to study or work if I take this responsible action.
  • Make University Health Services my first point of contact for any symptoms related to COVID-19.
  • Take a viral test if I am experiencing any of the COVID-19 symptoms, or if I have been contacted and notified I was in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
  • Get a flu vaccine during the course of the fall semester.
  • Wash my hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds frequently, especially after being in a public place or after blowing my nose, coughing or sneezing, before touching food, and after using the bathroom. Use hand sanitizer at times when soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching my face, mouth, eyes or nose.
  • Avoid sharing food, drink, utensils or similar items.
  • Minimize touching surfaces in shared areas.
  • Carry hand sanitizer, an extra face covering, and cleaning wipes in my bag/backpack. Make sure I have back-up supplies of items listed here.
  • Avoid crowded rooms, elevators, busses, or off campus locations where social distancing is difficult.
  • NOT host and or attend gatherings and parties where social distancing is not possible. I will remove myself from the gathering immediately upon a legal order from the Amherst Police Department, your local police departments or UMass Police Department.
  • Keep track of my activities and limit my social contacts to a core group of friends. This will help protect me and assist with exposure (contact) tracing. Medical professionals and those researching the transmission of the virus recommend limiting contacts to no more than 6-8 people per day.
  • Respond to calls, texts, emails or other forms of communication from contact tracers to enable tracking of the disease.
  • Download and activate any required UMass approved public health applications, or access required digital health platforms through web browsers
  • Read all university emails to stay informed about health and safety updates or responses to COVID-19.
  • Respond to messages from university staff who may be checking on my well-being or otherwise need my assistance.
  • Develop an isolation and quarantine plan before returning to campus. Assemble a Go-Kit in case I need to be isolated or quarantined and cannot return to my room.

2. Protect Others

I will:

  • Wear a face covering when in public, on public transportation, outside the privacy of my own room/home including on public sidewalks, roads, bike paths, parks or other public areas, or as directed by the university or local/state health authorities; face coverings must be worn in all instructional settings (classroom, labs, studios etc.).
  • Maintain appropriate social distancing, especially in classrooms, labs, or in any shared indoor spaces.
  • Observe the posted public health modified occupancy limits of shared indoor spaces and follow any signage directing traffic patterns or other social distancing precautions. Prepare and bring a COVID-19 safety/cleaning kit that includes face coverings, hand sanitizer, disinfectant and wipes, disposable gloves and zip lock bags for waste disposal.
  • Stay home and contact University Health Services if I feel ill or after possible exposure to someone who is ill or has tested positive for COVID-19 and avoid close contact with others.
  • Adhere to daily contact limitations and limits on sizes of group gatherings. Currently Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA DPH) guidelines allow for no more than 10 people (with face coverings). The size of group gatherings will change as the MA DPH guidelines change throughout fall, the university may also limit interactions if a spike in cases occurs on campus.
  • Respect social distancing signs, barriers, and protocols intended to assure social distancing between campus community members on campus and in the university’s host communities.
  • No guests will accompany me on campus or into any campus facility.

3. Protect the University and Local Communities

I will:

  • Participate in testing and contact tracing as instructed to preserve community health.
  • Adhere to isolation and quarantine instructions if I test positive for COVID-19 or if I am exposed to someone who has tested positive.
  • Limit leaving my home or residence hall to attending in-person classes, tending to necessary university business, work, shopping and meal pick up, health care, outdoor activities, and other necessary university or personal business.
  • Limit my own personal travel outside of Amherst and surrounding communities and not host outside visitors.
  • Acknowledge that travel beyond the Amherst area (except as required to commute to the campus for school or work), particularly out of state, may require me to follow additional public measures such as being in self-quarantine.
  • Keep my personal belongings and shared common spaces, such as those in residence halls, dining commons, academic buildings, libraries, labs, and shared outdoor recreation spaces, clean.
  • Carefully observe instructional signs and follow directions in both on and off campus locations.
  • Serve as an active bystander for the well-being of myself and others by encouraging social distancing and other health guidelines outlined here. I will help others remember their responsibility and remind them to wear face coverings and keep appropriate distance to assure everyone’s health and safety.
  • Report any concerns regarding compliance to expectations outlined in the agreement via Residence Education staff, Student Conduct and Community Standards Office, Dean of Students Office, or my academic dean’s office.
  • Demonstrate social responsibility by following public health guidelines in local businesses, public places, and on all public transportation. Show compassion, care and respect for other members of the community.
  • Seek assistance from university and community staff or resources to support myself or other members of the community during this challenging time.

I understand COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus and it is possible to develop and contract the COVID-19 virus even if I follow all of the safety precautions above and those recommended by the CDC, local, state and federal health and medical professionals. I understand that although the university is following the coronavirus guidelines issued by the CDC, Massachusetts Department of Public Health and other experts to reduce the spread of infection, I can never be completely shielded from all risk of illness caused by COVID-19 or other infections.

I have read, understand, and agree to comply with this UMass Amherst Agreement above. I further understand that I am subject to the provisions the Code of Student Conduct as they relate to these expectations for my behavior.


Students living on campus or using UMass campus facilities (libraries, rec center, dining halls, etc.) in fall 2020 are required to sign a copy of this agreement in SPIRE by July 31, 2020. If you filled out the Agreement incorrectly, or wish to change your response, request a form reset.


Download PDF of this agreement