Requirements for Travel and COVID-19 Testing for Spring Semester

Dear Students,

Keeping the UMass community healthy is critical to our success this spring. The asymptomatic testing program for COVID-19, conducted at the Public Health Promotion Center at the Mullins Center, is designed to mitigate community spread through the early detection of infection. Here’s how you can play your part.

Arrival on Campus

For undergraduate students living in residence halls, a phased move-in will occur starting Monday, Jan. 25, 2021 so students can complete the required quarantine in time to participate in face-to-face classes, in-person activities or research activities. The first phase, from Jan. 25-27, includes undergraduate students living on campus who are taking face-to-face 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.

All students living off campus, both graduate students and undergraduate students, as well as post-docs and visiting scholars should arrive Jan. 25-31 so they can have access to campus in a timely fashion.

Everyone must comply with UMass Amherst travel protocols.

Testing Requirements for the Spring Semester

  • Students who reside on campus are required to be tested twice a week. In addition, off-campus students coming to campus for face-to-face classes, research labs or work are also required to be tested twice a week.
  • Undergraduate students who live in the Amherst area and are not coming to campus for classes are required to get tested twice a week. 
  • Graduate students coming to campus are required to get tested twice a week.
  • Graduate students who live in the Amherst area and are not coming to campus for classes are strongly encouraged to get tested twice weekly.

 Please note that the Amherst area is defined as Amherst, Hadley, Sunderland, Belchertown, Pelham, Shutesbury and Leverett.

Persons Who Tested Positive within 90 Days and Successfully Completed Isolation

Students previously diagnosed with the COVID-19 infection, as confirmed by molecular diagnostic testing (a PCR test, not an antigen test), will be required to show proof of a positive test result. They will not be required to test until 90 days have passed from their positive test result as long as they do not have symptoms.

Students are required to bring a copy (physical or electronic) of the positive test result, which shows the date and type of test to the Mullins Center so staff can verify the test result and adjust the date of their next required test. A photo ID (UCard, license, passport, etc.) is also required. If students are moving into a residence hall, they will then be able to receive their room keys and proceed to their room.

This exception does not include COVID-19-recovered individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19, who must follow all testing and quarantine guidance outlined in the travel rules.

Scheduling Your Free COVID-19 Test

Testing is by appointment only, no walk-ins are allowed.

To schedule your testing appointment follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Campus Health Hub and select “Book an Appointment” 

    (NOTE: If you receive a message that says: Currently you are not registered as part of the program,” You should check your address in SPIRE to make sure your local address is correct, or that SPIRE shows you currently enrolled in an on campus class.
     
  2. Click “Walk-In at Mullins Center”
  3. Choose the date and click next
  4. Select an appointment

For students getting tested twice weekly, we recommend a Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday testing schedule. 

Student Planning Guide to Isolation and Quarantine

UMass Amherst will use the key public health tools known as isolation and quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Because there is typically little time to prepare for isolation or quarantine when instructed to do so, the university has developed this planning guide. This guide is for students who live on campus as well as students who reside off campus. 

If you have any of the symptoms in the Daily Symptom Checklist, DO NOT come to the Mullins Center for testing. 

How to do the Daily Self-Check

The Daily Self-Check should be conducted before coming to campus or leaving a residence hall each day.

Students will access the Campus Health Hub to conduct their Daily Self-Check, and if you have a symptom of COVID-19, text SYMPTOM to 413-944-8562.

You’ll receive a link to self-schedule an appointment for symptomatic COVID-19 testing on the UHS Patient Portal. Login or create an account, click the APPTS tab, and follow instructions to schedule your appointment. When it’s time for your appointment, go to the UHS Respiratory Clinic.

Information about the daily screening will remain private. The data is not stored on the app.

Please Note: Testing is NOT a substitute for prevention measures. Even with increased participation in the campus asymptomatic testing program, you must still continue to follow guidance concerning physical distancing, wearing face coverings, washing hands frequently, conducting a daily symptom checklist, and staying home if you experience COVID-like symptoms.

In addition, we want to emphasize that individuals should minimize their contacts prior to coming to campus and that on- or off-campus gatherings, such as parties, are known to be a significant source of community transmission. By declining to host or attend gatherings where social distancing is not possible, you are helping protect the most vulnerable among us.

If you have any specific questions, you may direct them by email to testing@umass.edu.

Sincerely,

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

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