Making Plans to Return for the Spring Semester at UMass Amherst

Dear Students,

We are writing to share with you details about preparations for the Spring Semester if you are either planning to reside on campus or expect to live off campus in the Amherst area. To protect your health and safety, UMass has established enhanced COVID-19 testing protocols for your arrival.

For undergraduate students living in residence halls, a phased return will occur starting Monday, January 25, 2021 so students can complete the required quarantine in time to participate in face-to-face classes, activities or research activities. The first phase, from January 25-27, includes on-campus undergraduate students who have in-person courses, international students, and out-of-state students who may travel by air. These students should not plan to arrive before January 25. All other on-campus students will move in January 28-31. Residential Life will soon contact all students planning to live on campus to arrange move-in reservations.

We also recommend that all students living off campus, both graduate students and undergraduate students, as well as post-docs and visiting scholars, arrive January 25-31 so they can have access to campus in a timely fashion.

TRAVEL AND TESTING PROTOCOLS

For all students living on campus:

  • COVID-19 test required upon arrival, then follow back-to-campus quarantine guidelines in your residence hall room. You will receive your room key when tested at the Public Health Promotion Center at the Mullins Center. Limit all interactions.
  • Get second test on day four. Continue to limit all interactions until receiving a second negative test. Upon receipt of second negative test result, you can participate in face-to-face classes, campus activities or research activities.

For all students living off campus, both graduate students and undergraduate students, as well as post docs and visiting scholars:

  • COVID-19 test required upon arrival. You should come to the Mullins Center for testing, and as needed get food and medical care. Otherwise, you must remain at your off-campus residence and limit all interactions.
  • Get second test on day four. Continue to limit all interactions until receiving a second negative test. Upon receipt of second negative test result, you can participate in face-to-face classes, campus activities or research activities.

Back-to-Campus Quarantine

Upon your arrival in the Amherst area, you must avoid interactions with other individuals, and only leave your residence hall room or off-campus residence to pick up food, get tested or receive medical care. Students may use shared hall bathrooms or showers and can participate in outdoor, individual activities such as walking and hiking.

Back-to-Campus Quarantine is a modified quarantine. We initially adopt the approach that you have not been directly exposed to anyone with COVID-19, and you are not required to entirely separate yourself from other people. Rather, you should limit your interactions. This is a prevention measure designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as UMass conducts testing and welcomes our community members back to campus.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Amherst. The protocols we have in place reflect the university’s commitment to our community, further strengthening the proven infrastructure that we established in the fall to test for COVID-19 and protect public health.

Sincerely,
 

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

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