COVID-19 Update from the UMass Public Health Promotion Center: March 24

Dear Campus Community,

Today we are announcing changes to COVID-19 testing facilities located at UMass Amherst. Following the state’s decision to downsize its Stop the Spread testing program and conclude funding for the campus’ community testing site, the last day of testing for non-UMass community members will be Thursday, March 31. The UMass Amherst testing center, based in the Campus Center, will continue to serve students, faculty and staff and members of their households, as well as university-sponsored visitors.

Since the UMass Amherst Stop the Spread location opened in December 2021, more than 95,000 tests were performed for community members. We want to thank all the student employees, staff, supporters and community members who participated in the Stop the Spread program and the Baker-Polito administration for funding this vital service.

Vaccine clinics resumed this week and are offered on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Thursdays from 1 to 4 p.m. until April 30. Walk-ins will be accepted, but we encourage everyone to book an appointment.

We continue to monitor COVID-19 trends in our community through our symptomatic, adaptive and voluntary testing program as well as wastewater surveillance. The latest COVID-19 testing data for the UMass community for March 16-22 shows 39 new positive cases. Individuals testing positive continue to report they are experiencing minimal to moderate symptoms of infection and there are no hospitalizations to report. The university’s positivity rate is 2.30%, compared to last week’s rate of 1.83%. The state’s seven-day positivity rate is 1.91%.

Please continue to monitor yourself for COVID-19 symptoms every day before coming to campus. If you feel unwell, stay home and get tested. University Health Services has symptomatic testing available for students, or, if you have an unobserved test kit on hand you can drop it off at one of the campus kiosks.

KN95 masks remain available for free at the Public Health Promotion Center (PHPC) in the Campus Center, and as a community we encourage everyone to respect the choices that individuals will make about their own masking.

Thank you for all that you’re doing — staying home when sick, testing when you have symptoms, and supporting each other as part of our community.

Sincerely,

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

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