COVID-19 Update: Encouraging Trends Continue, Operational Posture Changed to Guarded Risk

Dear Campus Community,

The Public Health Promotion Center is closely monitoring COVID-19 test results and recent trends have been consistently encouraging.

The positivity rate for last week (March 15-21) is 0.26%. This compares with the first week in February when the campus encountered a surge of cases and the positivity rate rose to 2.45%. Every week since then, we have seen a decrease in the positivity rate. Given this consistent trend, UMass Amherst is lowering its operational posture from Elevated Risk to Guarded Risk, effective today.

To sustain this operating posture, our entire community must remain vigilant by following vital public health protocols including social distancing, mask wearing and socializing within your bubble. Limiting unnecessary travel and keeping your social circle small really do make a difference. 

We thank everyone for their continued support in protecting the public health of our community.

For ongoing updates and details on the university’s COVID-19 response, including FAQs on operational postures, please visit


Co-Directors of the Public Health Promotion Center (PHPC)

Jeffrey Hescock, Executive Director of Environmental Health and Safety
Ann Becker, Public Health Director