Frequently Asked Questions

These Frequently Asked Questions and Answers are being continually updated to address new and changing issues and concerns. Please check back often for the latest information.

last update: April 5, 2021 

Operational Posture FAQs

The campus is currently in Guarded posture.

What are the current policies for residence hall common areas?

(Added March 25, 2021) Residence hall common areas in most halls are open with limited capacity. Capacity limits are posted in every common area including lounges and rec rooms; the capacity ranges from 1 to 5 people permitted in a space. Students are expected to wear face coverings in residence hall common spaces at all times and these areas may not be used for dining. If COVID-19 positivity rates in a specific hall are higher than the campus average, common areas may remain closed.  Hallways and lobbies are not gathering spaces and gatherings in these areas is not allowed. 

Who is permitted in the residence halls? Can other UMass students visit my residence hall?

(Updated March 24, 2021) Guests are not allowed in the residence halls. A guest is defined as someone who is not a resident of the residence hall.

Under the Guarded posture, residential students may host other students from their same residence hall in their room. The maximum number of individuals allowed in any residence hall room at a particular time is the number of assigned individuals plus one. The maximum number allowed in a suite or apartment common area is the number assigned to that suite or apartment.

Are in-person classes taking place?

(Added Feb. 22, 2021) In-person classes have resumed during the Elevated operational posture for students who are in compliance with the twice-weekly COVID-19 testing requirement. Students must display a green Campus Health Hub checkmark to go to in-person classes. 

Is Campus Recreation open?

(Updated March 19, 2021) The Recreation Center and Curry Hicks Pool are both now open available to students who show proof of compliance with university COVID-19 testing protocols via a green check mark on their Campus Health Hub app. Please visit the Campus Recreation site for more information, including current hours of operation.

Am I able to leave my residence hall room?

(Updated March 24, 2021)  Yes. Under the Guarded operational posture, you may leave your room as long as you follow all mask protocols and maintain social distancing. Failure to comply with any of these policies will result in disciplinary action, which may include removal from residence halls and/or suspension.

What are the plans for Commencement?

(Updated March 30, 2021) Undergraduate Commencement will be held Friday, May 14, and will take the form of four smaller and shorter ceremonies in McGuirk Alumni Stadium. To maintain compliance with public health guidelines, the ceremonies will be limited to graduates only, with no guests allowed. For more information and updates, please visit the Commencement website.

A separate ceremony for those receiving degrees from the Graduate School will take place on Thursday, May 13. 

Individual schools and colleges are planning separate virtual events. Please check with your school or college for details.

What are the plans for Graduate School Commencement?

(Added March 25, 2021) An outdoor in-person ceremony for graduates earning degrees this academic year (September, February and May) will be held in McGuirk Alumni Stadium on Thursday, May 13, at 4 p.m. To abide by public health guidelines set by the Governor’s office, attendance is limited to graduating masters and doctoral students only. For more information, visit the Graduate School website.

How are UMass Dining locations operating?

(Added March 24, 2021) Campus Dining Commons and the Blue Wall are open for dine-in service. All students must follow the strict health and safety guidelines in place, including showing a Campus Health Hub green checkmark upon entry into a dining location.

Are students allowed to dine together?

(Updated Feb. 28, 2021) Students are allowed to dine together in campus Dining Commons and in the Blue Wall, within the limits of campus and UMass Dining health and safety protocols. All student must follow the strict health and safety guidelines in place, including showing a Campus Health Hub green check mark upon entry into a dining location.

Can I leave my residence hall to go for a walk?

(Updated Feb. 13, 2021) You may  leave your residence to participate in outdoor exercise. When exercising and engaging in other outdoor activities, it is imperative that you wear a mask and maintain social distancing. 

Can I go to my job?

(Updated March 24, 2021) Yes. Students employed in on-campus jobs should consult with their supervisor and must present a Campus Health Hub green checkmark to their supervisor in order to return to work. Students employed off-campus might wish to use the green checkmark to assure their employers of their health status and commitment to public health obligations.

Is the kitchen available to students who live in their residence hall?

(Added Feb. 9, 2021) Yes. Kitchens remain open and available for use. Only one person can be in the kitchen at a time. Residents should follow all established health and safety guidelines posted.

Are laundry rooms available in residence halls? How often are machines cleaned?

(Added Feb. 9, 2021) Yes, laundry rooms remain open and available for use. Only one person can be in the laundry room at a time. Follow all established health and safety guidelines posted. Laundry rooms are cleaned once daily, seven days a week.

Clothing and other personal items should not be placed on top of washers or dryers. Wipe down knobs/handles of each machine after use. Clean/disinfect clothes hamper. Students should fold laundry in their room.

How are the UMass Amherst Libraries operating?

(Updated Apri. 5, 2021)  As of April 5, 2021, the Libraries have reopened to students on a limited basis. 

Please visit the UMass Libraries website for the latest information about how to use library services.

How are you addressing activities at Greek chapter houses?

(Added Feb. 9, 2021) UMass Amherst is very aware of reports of gatherings at fraternities and sororities located off campus. We have done extensive communication and outreach to students living in these houses, advising them of the requirement to adhere to current capacity and public health guidelines outlined by the state. We carefully investigate every complaint through the student conduct process in an effort to ensure our students are acting responsibly and safely and held accountable when warranted.

The university has placed Theta Chi fraternity on interim suspension pending investigation by the Student Conduct and Community Standards Office. The chapter has been directed to cease all chapter-related functions. 

Student socialization in large and small groups, both on-campus and off-campus, contributed to the recent increase in cases of COVID-19 at UMass Amherst.

Student COVID Testing and Green Check Compliance

What is the green check mark?

(Added Feb. 23, 2021) A green check mark displays in the UMass Campus Health Hub app for UMass community members who are in compliance with their required asymptomatic COVID-19 testing and have completed the daily symptom self-check. 

A yellow check mark will appear for individuals who are either out of compliance with testing or who have not submitted the daily symptom self-check. 

Campus members who does not regularly come to campus will have a green check mark if their most recent test was in the last four days. Otherwise, they will see a grey Do Not Enter sign.

green check

What are the COVID-19 testing requirements for students?

(Updated March 1, 2021) All undergraduate students living on or off campus in the Amherst area (defined as Amherst, Belchertown, Hadley, Leverett, Pelham, Shutesbury and Sunderland) are required to be tested twice a week.

All graduate students who are coming to campus for face-to-face classes are are required to be tested twice a week.

Graduate students who live in the Amherst area (defined as Amherst, Hadley, Sunderland, Belchertown, Pelham, Shutesbury and Leverett), and are not coming to campus for classes are strongly encouraged to get tested twice a week.


(Added March 1, 2021) Twice-a-week testing means testing every four days. The recommended schedule is Monday-Thursday or Tuesday-Friday. If you are not in compliance, you will see a yellow checkmark indicating you are non-compliant with testing or have not submitted your daily symptom self-check.

What happens if students don't maintain COVID-19 testing requirements?

(Updated Feb. 26, 2021) After falling out of compliance, students will be notified in a number of ways, such as email, phone call and LMS notification. Students will be given time to get into testing compliance before any action is taken, such as removing LMS access. Students should schedule a testing appointment at the Public Health Promotion Center immediately to continue their twice-weekly testing requirement for the rest of the semester. 

What if my in-person classes don’t start meeting until later in the spring and I don’t live in the Amherst area?

(Added Feb. 22, 2021) Please reach out to your instructor(s)  to make sure the course exception to be not on site until the correct date.

I’ve received an exception to take my in-person class remotely. How do I get my testing status changed?

(Added Feb. 21, 2021) Please reach out to your faculty member to let them know you need an exception entered in SPIRE.

I’m on a Research and Library Operating Plan (RLOP), and I think I should be marked remote because I do not come to campus. What should I do?

(Added Feb. 22, 2021) If you think your status is marked incorrectly, please reach out to your instructor and ask them modify your status on the RLOP. 

What do I need to do if I tested positive when having my COVID testing done off campus in the last 90 days?

(Added Feb. 22, 2021) You should proof of your positive test to testing@umass.edu, and your next test will be reset.

What do I have to do if I am having my COVID testing done off campus?

(Updated Feb. 23, 2021)  If you are testing off campus, you must send proof of all tests to testing@umass.eduTo stay in compliance, you must complete the Daily Symptom Checker. Note that only PCR tests are valid for compliance requirements.

How do I remain in compliance if I test positive?

(Added Feb. 22, 2021)  If you test positive at the Mullins Center or University Health Services, we will update your official testing profile. To stay in compliance, you must complete the Daily Symptom Checker. Per federal and state policies, you don’t have to be tested again for 90 days after you test positive. If you test positive at a non-UMass facility, UMass must receive proof of your positive test. Please send proof of the test results to testing@umass.edu or bring a copy of the test results in person to the Mullins Center, and we will update your testing profile.

My studies are fully remote and I live outside the Amherst area. Will I lose access to Moodle or Blackboard Learn if I don’t get tested?

(Added Feb. 22, 2021) If you live outside the Amherst area and do not have an in-person class, you are not required to be tested. You will maintain access to your learning management system. If you received a non-compliance notice in error, please email testing@umass.edu with the appropriate details and we will update your profile. The Amherst area is defined as Amherst, Belchertown, Hadley, Leverett, Pelham, Shutesbury and Sunderland.

What if I want to go home for a little bit? How will this affect my testing requirement?

(Added Feb. 23, 2021) To stop the spread of COVID-19, travel is discouraged. If you must leave campus long enough to miss a required COVID test, be certain to follow all Massachusetts travel guidelines. Write to testing@umass.edu to request an exception for your compliance tracker (the green check mark on the Campus Health Hub). If you live on campus, consider sharing information about your travel plans with your residence director. In addition, please follow the posted campus travel guidelines. 

Health and Safety FAQs

What are UMass Amherst’s plans for Fall 2021?

(Added March 15, 2021)  Planning for the Fall 2021 semester is well underway. Keeping in mind that the course of the pandemic and the overall public health situation may alter our plans, we are working toward more normal campus operations for the next academic year, which would include face-to-face instruction, full residence halls, and a complement of student events and activities. In other words, come fall, we could see campus life as close to pre-COVID times as possible.

 

What should I do if believe I may have been exposed to COVID-19 or am experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19?

(Updated Jan. 21, 2021) Students who have a new symptom of COVID-19, should login to the UMass Patient Portal. Click the "Appts" tab, and follow instructions to schedule your testing appointment at UHS, 150 Infirmary Way. When it is time for your appointment, please do not use the UHS main entrance; follow signs for Respiratory Clinic. If you need help accessing the portal, review these Patient Portal FAQs or email uhsportalhelp@umass.edu.

What safety measures are in place at the Public Health Promotion Center at the Mullins Center?

  • Face coverings are required and compliance is monitored.
  • The ventilation in the Mullins Center has been changed to supply 100 percent outside air, which is then 100 percent exhausted, with no air recirculation. 
  • Heating, air conditioning and ventilation (HVAC) system air filtration is rated by Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values, known as MERV ratings. The Mullins Center has upgraded filters to MERV13, as recommended for COVID-19 by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.
  • The Mullins Center is cleaned each night using an electrostatic precipitator.
  • Enhanced cleaning takes place throughout the day in the Mullins Center, including high-touch areas.  
  • Multiple hand sanitizing stations are set up across the Mullins Center. Individuals are instructed to use hand sanitizer prior to coming into the Mullins Center and then after they perform their test. 
  • Touchless UCard reader gathers individual contact information. 
  • Plexiglass is installed in the Registration Area and in the Testing Area. 
  • Staff are tested twice a week.

Does UMass have a contact tracing program?

Yes, to determine the risk of potential exposure to others on campus the UMass Public Health Team will conduct contact tracing per Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidelines on any individual who has tested positive. The team will have a dedicated phone number and caller ID, and it will actively promote its “Answer the Call” program to protect the UMass community.

What’s the difference between isolation and quarantine?

(Updated Jan.. 26, 2021) The Centers for Disease Control define isolation as separating sick people with a contagious disease (such as COVID-19) from people who are not sick, and quarantine as separating and restricting the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

Learn more about planning for isolation and quarantine in the Isolation and Quarantine   Planning Guide For Students 2021.

How should I organize a bubble to socialize and keep the campus healthy?

(Added Feb. 22, 2021) A bubble is an unofficial term used to describe your group—maybe your household, your close friends, your suitemates—those you feel comfortable spending time with amidst the pandemic because you know they are taking the same precautions you are. Your bubble is your safer space in a world where even small group gatherings can have a big public health risk. 

For some of you, forming a bubble likely happened naturally. Over the weeks and months of distancing, you gradually lowered your guard with those closest to you because you saw how safe those friends were being out in the world and so it felt safe to be with them. For others, bubbling up is a goal to get to, and maybe you need a little help in getting there.

Student Affairs will be offering strategies for creating shared agreements amongst your bubble. Information will be shared as part of Wellbeing Wednesday programming. You can also e-mail email sacl@umass.edu for more information. 

What happens if a student tests positive for COVID-19 or has been in contact with someone who tested positive?

(Updated Jan. 26, 2021) All students living on campus are required to have an isolation and quarantine plan.

You will be required to isolate if you test positive for COVID-19.  You will be required to quarantine if you are exposed to someone who has COVID-19.

For students who can travel in a private vehicle and are within driving distance of their primary place of residence, we strongly recommend your plan include you conducting your period of isolation or quarantine in the comfort of your home.

For those students living on‐campus who cannot travel home, the university has set aside dedicated isolation and quarantine space. Meals and needed medications will be delivered to students isolating and quarantining on campus. The Public Health Promotion Center will check in on you regularly to monitor your symptoms.  

All students living off campus are required to have an isolation and quarantine plan. The university will provide support services in your off‐campus location or at your family home. The university has limited isolation and quarantine spaces on campus and may not be able to provide this option to you.  

More information on quarantine and isolation and what happens if you test positive or are exposed to someone who tests positive can be found in this document: Isolation and Quarantine   Planning Guide For Students 2021.

If I test positive for COVID-19 and have completed my 10-day quarantine, can I resume activities? Do I still have to be tested regularly?

(Added Feb. 5, 2021) If you test positive, you can resume participation in campus activities following the required ten day quarantine. You are then exempt from COVID-19 testing for 90 days. At the end of 90 days, you will again be required to be tested according to the protocols in place.

What support do students get if they are in isolation or quarantine?

UMass is committed to supporting all students during any required isolation and quarantine. This includes contact tracing, academic support, health services and counseling services. All students in isolation and quarantine, both on- and off-campus, will receive a daily wellness call.

How is face-to-face instruction conducted?

The occupancy of classrooms has been be modified to maintain social distancing, including assigned seating where appropriate. Before the start of each class, students and faculty must wipe down their chairs and any other commonly touched surfaces. Everyone in the classroom is required to wear face coverings. There is no eating or drinking in class. 

How is density in classrooms being reduced?

Classrooms and study spaces have diagrams depicting the reduced seating capacity for each space, including designated areas for instructors and required space between students to ensure appropriate social distancing. Signs are posted to explain appropriate ways to enter and exit, as well as reminders about preventive health practices.

Who can use University Health Services (UHS)?

Whether living or working on or off campus, all UMass Amherst students, faculty and staff and their spouses, domestic partners and dependents can use UHS for in-person and remote services.

What happens if students don't maintain COVID-19 testing requirements?

(Updated Feb. 26, 2021) After falling out of compliance, students will be notified in a number of ways, such as email, phone call and LMS notification. Students will be given time to get into testing compliance before any action is taken, such as removing LMS access. Students should schedule a testing appointment at the Public Health Promotion Center immediately to continue their twice-weekly testing requirement for the rest of the semester. 

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

Do people who have been vaccinated still need to be tested through the UMass COVID-19 Asymptomatic Testing Program?

(Added Feb. 24, 2021) Yes, vaccinated people must continue to follow all UMass safety protocols including regular testing, wearing a mask, physical distancing, and handwashing.

Do I need to wear a mask and social distance if I have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine?

(Added Feb. 24, 2021) Yes, it’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop the pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions. Experts are looking at how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities. We don’t yet know whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to other people, even if you don’t get sick yourself. 

Is UMass Amherst administrating COVID-19 vaccines to the public?

(Added Feb. 24, 2021) Yes, in partnership with Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration, UMass Amherst was one of the first regional vaccine locations in the Commonwealth and continues to make available appointments for eligible individuals at the university’s public COVID-19 vaccination clinic. Currently, most traditional college-age students are not eligible to receive the vaccine, but the hope is that as supplies increase in the coming months that will change. Please visit the UMass vaccine clinic website for more information

Who is eligible to get vaccinated at UMass?

(Updated March 24, 2021) The Massachusetts COVID-19 Vaccination website has the latest information about vaccine phases and eligibility.The state has announced that beginning April 19, all Massachusetts residents over age 18 will be eligible to receive a vaccine. 

What are the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

(Added March 10, 2021) A COVID-19 vaccination will help keep you from getting sick from COVID-19. All COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. have been shown to be very effective. Experts continue to conduct more studies about whether the vaccines also keep people from spreading COVID-19. Wearing masks and social distancing help lower your chance of getting the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. The combination of getting vaccinated and following CDC recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.

Should people who have been infected with COVID-19 be vaccinated?

(Added March 10, 2021) Yes, people who have previously had COVID-19 should be vaccinated.

Do I still have to quarantine after I’ve been vaccinated if I am identified as a close contact to someone with COVID-19?

(Added March 10, 2021) UMass follows Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidance. if you have received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines or one dose of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine more than 14 days ago, you are not required to quarantine following an exposure. The UMass Public Health Team will need to verify that you received the vaccination(s) and that you are past the 14-day window.

 

On Campus FAQs

Is Campus Recreation open?

(Updated March 19, 2021) The Recreation Center and Curry Hicks Pool are both now open available to students who show proof of compliance with university COVID-19 testing protocols via a green check mark on their Campus Health Hub app. Please visit the Campus Recreation site for more information, including current hours of operation.

Who can enter the Student Union Building?

(Added March 17, 2021) The Student Union Building is open to faculty, staff and students who can show a green checkmark on their phone, indicating they are in compliance with the UMass Asymptomatic Testing Program and have completed their daily symptom self-check. There are students posted at entrances monitoring activity and checking compliance. Distance markers are laid out in common areas to separate tables and block off space, and designate other social distancing requirements. There is no reservation needed for casual use of the space, but events and programs happening in the Student Union Building must be registered. 

Can spectators attend UMass Athletics games and matches?

(Added March 24, 2021) UMass student- athletes are permitted to invite a limited number of spectators to attend games at outdoor campus venues.  Visiting teams are not allowed to invite fans. Spectators must adhere to campus mask and social distancing policies and if traveling from out-of-state, follow current Massachusetts quarantine policies. People not formally invited by student-athletes through the Athletic Department process may not attend events. 

How should I organize a bubble to socialize and keep the campus healthy?

(Added Feb. 22, 2021) A bubble is an unofficial term used to describe your group—maybe your household, your close friends, your suitemates—those you feel comfortable spending time with amidst the pandemic because you know they are taking the same precautions you are. Your bubble is your safer space in a world where even small group gatherings can have a big public health risk. 

For some of you, forming a bubble likely happened naturally. Over the weeks and months of distancing, you gradually lowered your guard with those closest to you because you saw how safe those friends were being out in the world and so it felt safe to be with them. For others, bubbling up is a goal to get to, and maybe you need a little help in getting there.

Student Affairs will be offering strategies for creating shared agreements amongst your bubble. Information will be shared as part of Wellbeing Wednesday programming. You can also e-mail email sacl@umass.edu for more information. 

Who is eligible to live on campus?

The following students are invited to campus for Spring 2021:

  • Students enrolled in mandatory face-to-face classes
  • Students dependent on the university for housing and dining, including international students, as well as students requiring specific academic accommodations or those participating in athletics
  • First-year students and entering transfer students, enrolled in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021

What study or breakout spaces are available for students enrolled in face-to-face classes and living on campus?

(Updated March 5, 2021) Please see Spring 2021 Safe Study Spaces for a comprehensive list of campus spaces available for student use during spring semester.  

These spaces are only available to students enrolled in face-to-face courses and students living in residence halls on campus. When using these spaces social distancing and masks are required and you must abide by posted occupancy limits at all times.

What meal plans are available?

To view all meal plans, please visit the UMass Dining site.

Are students allowed to dine together?

(Updated Feb. 28, 2021) Students are allowed to dine together in campus Dining Commons and in the Blue Wall, within the limits of campus and UMass Dining health and safety protocols. All student must follow the strict health and safety guidelines in place, including showing a Campus Health Hub green check mark upon entry into a dining location.

Are there residential staff to support students who are living on campus?

Yes, residence hall staff is on campus to support the residential population.

Is there residence hall security?

Yes, Residence Hall Security staff will remain in place during established hours. Residence hall card access systems and other features will be in place as usual.

Is there a restriction on guests in the residence halls?

To deter the spread of COVID-19, no guests are allowed in residence halls until further notice. A guest is defined as someone who does not live in the residence hall. 

Will pricing be adjusted since dining options are modified due to COVID-19?

(Updated Feb. 23, 2021) Pricing will not be reduced due to COVID-19, and students are encouraged to choose the meal plan that best meets their needs. 

What is the Interim Pandemic Policy?

The Interim Pandemic Policy, developed by students and staff and reviewed by the Student Government Association and the Graduate Student Senate, clearly outlines expectations for the spring semester for students living either on or off campus.

If a residential student is exposed to COVID-19 and has to quarantine, how will they get meals?

Students isolated or quarantined due to COVID-19 will receive prepared meals delivered to their housing location. Additionally, if a student has an allergy and is quarantined or isolated, dining services will provide meals that are in line with medical needs or dietary preferences.

How are the UMass Amherst Libraries operating?

(Updated Apri. 5, 2021)  As of April 5, 2021, the Libraries have reopened to students on a limited basis. 

Please visit the UMass Libraries website for the latest information about how to use library services.

How has access to campus buildings changed?

(Added Jan. 27, 2021) As a result of the de-densified campus this spring, a limited number of buildings will be unlocked during the Spring Semester.

Certain buildings that host face-to-face instruction and research will be unlocked during weekdays, as well as buildings with in-person support functions. All other buildings will remain locked. Any UMass employee with existing UCard or key access to buildings will continue to have the same access. 

More details about access to specific campus buildings

Are student businesses open?

(Updated Jan. 20, 2021) Student businesses are not open this spring. 

How do I cancel my housing assignment for Spring?

(Added  Feb. 12, 2021) Remove your belongings from the room, turn in your key to the Residential Service Desk, then email living@umass.edu with the following details and a note indicating you have checked out and would like to cancel your Spring 2021 assignment:

1. First and last name
2. Student ID number
3. Building and Room number of assignment

Cancellation requests will be processed within one (1) business day.  Students who check out after Feb. 15 will be subject to Rent Refund Schedule.

Students are permitted two helpers to move out, helpers can only enter the Residence Hall to help carry items out, they may not help with packing. There will not be moving bins available at this time.

I canceled housing and will be studying remotely. Do I have to cancel my meal plan or will I automatically receive a credit?

(Updated Feb. 9, 2021) If you move out of university housing, you must also cancel your meal plan. You can do this in SPIRE

What are UMass Amherst’s plans for Fall 2021?

(Added March 15, 2021)  Planning for the Fall 2021 semester is well underway. Keeping in mind that the course of the pandemic and the overall public health situation may alter our plans, we are working toward more normal campus operations for the next academic year, which would include face-to-face instruction, full residence halls, and a complement of student events and activities. In other words, come fall, we could see campus life as close to pre-COVID times as possible.

 

Off Campus FAQs

Do off-campus students have access to University Health Services?

Yes, both on and off campus students who have medical needs, including symptomatic testing, can get services at UHS.

Can off campus students purchase a meal plan?

(Updated Jan. 12, 2021) Yes, off campus students have access to both the Residential and YCMP off-campus plans. Please go to umassdining.com/meal-plans for additional meal plan information.

 

Are off-campus students able to access the Recreation Center?

(Updated March 19, 2021) Yes. The Recreation Center is open to all UMass students who have a valid UCard with recreation membership. Graduate and continuing education students must purchase a recreation membership. At this time, memberships is not be available to faculty/staff, retirees, associates and alumni. Everyone using the Recreation Center must show proof of compliance with campus COVID-19 testing protocols by showing the green check mark in their Campus Health Hub app.

What is the Interim Pandemic Policy?

The Interim Pandemic Policy, developed by students and staff and reviewed by the Student Government Association and the Graduate Student Senate, clearly outlines expectations for the spring semester for students living either on or off campus.

Are Disability Services available?

Students can book fall accommodations appointments with their Consumer Manager via their Zoom invitation Monday-Friday from 1 to 4 p.m. beginning Monday, August 3. Please check your UMass email for all correspondence from our office. You can reach our staff via email directly, if needed. We continue to provide all services remotely to keep the campus community healthy and safe. Visit www.umass.edu/disability/

Research and Libraries FAQs

How are the UMass Amherst Libraries operating?

(Updated Apri. 5, 2021)  As of April 5, 2021, the Libraries have reopened to students on a limited basis. 

Please visit the UMass Libraries website for the latest information about how to use library services.

I am not doing an honors thesis or independent study research in a research lab, but I am working there as an employee. How does that affect my situation?

Anyone in campus research laboratories or other research facilities must be included in a Research & Libraries Operating Plan (RLOP). If a faculty member includes you in an approved RLOP as an employee, and you are designated by your supervisor to Human Resources as an essential on campus employee, then you can come to campus to work in the lab.

International Students FAQs

Can I still come to campus if I am an international student?

Yes, international undergraduate and graduate students may come to campus if their travel and visa conditions will allow. Please refer to these International Programs Office FAQs and be in contact with your IPO advisor if you need further information or help.

Is UMass providing in-person courses for me as required by student visa regulations?

(Updated Feb. 23, 2021) Yes, UMass is offering required in-person, face-to-face courses for students whose visa status requires this. 

Can international students take time off?

International students considering taking time off from full-time study must contact their IPO advisor. Falling below full-time enrollment can affect your immigration status. 

COVID-19 Testing FAQs

Who is required to be tested regularly for COVID-19 and what are the requirements?

(Updated March 1, 2021)

Students

  1. All undergraduate students living on or off campus in the Amherst area (defined as Amherst, Hadley, Sunderland, Belchertown, Pelham, Shutesbury and Leverett) are required to be tested twice a week. Twice-a-week testing means testing every four days. A Monday-Thursday or Tuesday-Friday schedule is recommended for students in order to remain in compliance.
  2. All graduate students who are coming to campus for face-to-face classes are are required to be tested twice a week.
  3. Graduate students who live in the Amherst area (defined as Amherst, Hadley, Sunderland, Belchertown, Pelham, Shutesbury and Leverett) and are not coming to campus for classes are strongly encouraged to get tested twice a week.

Faculty and Staff

  1. Faculty who are teaching or conducting research on campus are required to be tested weekly.
  2. Clinical faculty who are working in healthcare facilities or University Health Services staff who are providing in-person healthcare are required to be tested twice weekly.
  3. Staff who regularly work on campus are required to be tested weekly.

Testing is by appointment only.

What is the difference between asymptomatic and symptomatic testing?

Asymptomatic testing is conducted upon return to campus and then throughout the semester, as a way to identify COVID-19 in people who are not showing any symptoms of the disease. This service is conducted at the Mullins Center and is provided free of charge for those students, faculty or staff designated as eligible for the program.

Symptomatic testing is conducted when a campus community member has any symptoms, even mild ones, of COVID-19. This testing is conducted at University Health Services and your insurance will be billed for this testing. All on- or off-campus students, faculty or staff, regardless if they come to campus, are eligible for this testing.

What happens if a student tests positive for COVID-19 or has been in contact with someone who tested positive?

(Updated Jan. 26, 2021) All students living on campus are required to have an isolation and quarantine plan.

You will be required to isolate if you test positive for COVID-19.  You will be required to quarantine if you are exposed to someone who has COVID-19.

For students who can travel in a private vehicle and are within driving distance of their primary place of residence, we strongly recommend your plan include you conducting your period of isolation or quarantine in the comfort of your home.

For those students living on‐campus who cannot travel home, the university has set aside dedicated isolation and quarantine space. Meals and needed medications will be delivered to students isolating and quarantining on campus. The Public Health Promotion Center will check in on you regularly to monitor your symptoms.  

All students living off campus are required to have an isolation and quarantine plan. The university will provide support services in your off‐campus location or at your family home. The university has limited isolation and quarantine spaces on campus and may not be able to provide this option to you.  

More information on quarantine and isolation and what happens if you test positive or are exposed to someone who tests positive can be found in this document: Isolation and Quarantine   Planning Guide For Students 2021.

How can I learn more about COVID-19 testing for local community members?

Please visit the Community COVID-19 Testing page for complete information about making an appointment and being tested at the Public Health Promotion Center (PHPC) at the Mullins Center on campus.

Do I have to make an appointment in order to get an asymptomatic test at the Mullins Center?

Yes. All testing at the Mullins Center, including for UMass Amherst students, faculty and staff and members of the general public, is by appointment only. 

Do I have to pay for testing?

(Added Aug. 28, 2020) There is no charge to students, faculty or staff who are required to get asymptomatic COVID-19 tests at the Mullins Center's Public Health Promotion Center (PHPC).

Symptomatic testing for COVID-19 conducted through University Health Services can be billed to your insurance.

Who is conducting the asymptomatic testing?

Asymptomatic test collection operations at the Mullins Center are being conducted through a joint effort of the College of Nursing students and faculty, Environmental Health and Safety, and University Health Services. The test samples are then sent to the Broad Institute in Cambridge, which conducts the analysis.

What type of asymptomatic test is being used?

SARS-CoV-2 Real-time Reverse Transcriptase (RT)-PCR Diagnostic Assay is a real-time RT-PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test intended for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 in nasal swabs collected from individuals who may have contracted the virus.

How will I learn the results of my COVID-19 test?

When your results are ready, you will get a notification email from umalab@umass.eduThen, to access your results, log in to the Patient Portal. For security reasons, your email will not include a link to the Patient Portal. It is at umalab.netsmartcloud.com.  Be sure to bookmark or make a note of this address. There is no need to register on the Portal, but you will be asked to change the password during your first visit.

What safety measures are in place at the Public Health Promotion Center at the Mullins Center?

  • Face coverings are required and compliance is monitored.
  • The ventilation in the Mullins Center has been changed to supply 100 percent outside air, which is then 100 percent exhausted, with no air recirculation. 
  • Heating, air conditioning and ventilation (HVAC) system air filtration is rated by Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values, known as MERV ratings. The Mullins Center has upgraded filters to MERV13, as recommended for COVID-19 by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.
  • The Mullins Center is cleaned each night using an electrostatic precipitator.
  • Enhanced cleaning takes place throughout the day in the Mullins Center, including high-touch areas.  
  • Multiple hand sanitizing stations are set up across the Mullins Center. Individuals are instructed to use hand sanitizer prior to coming into the Mullins Center and then after they perform their test. 
  • Touchless UCard reader gathers individual contact information. 
  • Plexiglass is installed in the Registration Area and in the Testing Area. 
  • Staff are tested twice a week.

Are COVID-19 test results confidential?

Yes, your results are completely confidential. We will share our testing data with the Broad Institute in Cambridge, which is supplying the test kits and completing the results. Through the state’s Maven system, the UMass Amherst Department of Public Health will have access to these results as required by Massachusetts state law. The UMass Amherst Public Health department will conduct case investigations and contact tracing per state guidelines.

Do I need to self-isolate or quarantine while waiting for my COVID-19 test results?

In some cases, yes, but in general no.

Yes: If you have just come to campus from any of the states that Massachusetts has deemed as at higher risk, AND you have not been tested prior to arriving on campus., then you need to quarantine until you are tested twice. See travel details and information. If you are being tested at University Health Services because you have any symptoms, even mild ones, then you need to isolate in your room until you get your results.


No: If you are part of the university’s routine asymptomatic testing program and are getting tested once or twice a week, then you do not need to quarantine while you await your test results.

If I test positive for COVID-19 and have completed my 10-day quarantine, can I resume activities? Do I still have to be tested regularly?

(Added Feb. 5, 2021) If you test positive, you can resume participation in campus activities following the required ten day quarantine. You are then exempt from COVID-19 testing for 90 days. At the end of 90 days, you will again be required to be tested according to the protocols in place.

Why is UMass Amherst requiring the PCR test and not accepting the rapid response antigen test?

Research demonstrates that the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test is more reliable than the rapid response antigen test.

What do I need to bring with me when I’m getting tested for COVID-19? Can I bring a parent/guardian/friend for support?

You should bring your student or employee ID. You cannot bring a friend or family member with you, but if you have a student or co-worker who also needs testing you can schedule your tests for the same time slot and go together.

How long will my COVID-19 asymptomatic testing appointment take?

The registration and testing process should take under five minutes.

How do minors give consent to be tested for COVID-19?

All students who are under 18 must complete this form in order to get tested. Please fill it out, have your parent or guardian sign it, and bring it with you when you come for testing.

Do I have to be tested for COVID-19 twice weekly if my only in-person course is an internship that is not on campus?

(Added Aug. 14, 2020) Yes, you will need to be tested twice a week to keep you and your internship site safe. If this is a problem because of issues such as distance, childcare or transportation, please email testing@umass.edu and we will work with you on a modified testing schedule.

I need to reschedule my COVID-19 test. How do I do that?

If you missed your scheduled test, simply go to the UMass Health Hub app and schedule another one for the next available slot. If you are a student getting tested twice a week, we recommend you stay on a Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday schedule.

I forgot my password to access test results. What should I do?

(Added Feb. 22, 2021) If you forgot your password for accessing your test results through the UMass Lab, please do not use the “forgot your password” option, which is run by a third party and is unable to reset your password. To maintain your privacy, we ask that you instead send an email to testing@umass.edu to have your password manually reset. When your request is processed, you will receive a confirmation email. Given the current volume of email, there may be a delay in processing.

 

Who do I contact if I have a question about asymptomatic COVID-19 testing?

Students, faculty and staff can email testing@umass.edu with questions related to asymptomatic testing at the Mullins Center. Please be aware this email is not for private health information, but for logistical or technical help with the testing process.

Finances FAQs

Are there any tuition or fee reductions if I am taking classes remotely and not living on campus?

Generally, no. Tuition and fee are the same regardless of modality.

If a student becomes ill with COVID-19, will a refund be provided for any unused meal plan?

We will accommodate refunds similar to a medical withdrawal as needed.

I canceled housing and will be studying remotely. Do I have to cancel my meal plan or will I automatically receive a credit?

(Updated Feb. 9, 2021) If you move out of university housing, you must also cancel your meal plan. You can do this in SPIRE

What happens to my aid if I decide to take the spring semester off?, move to part-time, or withdraw from school for any reason?

(Updated Feb. 23, 2021) Please call or email Financial Aid Services to discuss your situation.

If I go part-time or take the semester off, will I lose my scholarship forever?

Call, email or set up an appointment with the Financial Aid office to discuss. We’ll review your scholarship awards and will provide you with information on the specific rules for each of your scholarships.  If you have a scholarship from outside the university (e.g., through your high school, home town, community foundation, etc.) you’ll need to speak with your scholarship provider. UMass disburses outside scholarships according to the scholarship provider’s preferences.

If you received a scholarship from your academic department, please check with your school/college or department to see if you are eligible to keep your award if you enroll part-time. You cannot receive any financial aid in a semester in which you are not enrolled.