Updated Quarantine Guidance for Students Traveling to Massachusetts

Dear Student,

We are writing to inform you of our quarantine guidelines based on a new travel order issued by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.

We greatly appreciate your patience as we adapt our public health plans to protect our community from COVID-19 amid the rapidly evolving situation across the country and in Massachusetts. Below you will find specific guidance on how to plan your arrival at UMass Amherst, and we will update you if any further changes are anticipated.

As of August 1, the state will require all travelers coming to Massachusetts, with certain exceptions, to:

  • Complete the Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival.
  • Quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in the state or acceptable region, or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72 hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts.

Students who have been in a state defined as lower risk for at least 14 days prior to arrival in Massachusetts are exempt from these requirements. The states currently defined as lower risk are Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey and Hawaii.

To comply with the state mandate, students living on campus may choose one of the following options:

To keep your scheduled move-in date, we strongly recommend options #1 and #2.

Option 1: Travel to one of the specified lower-risk states outside of Massachusetts and self-quarantine there for 14 days prior to coming to campus.

Option 2: Travel to Massachusetts and self-quarantine for 14 days prior to coming to campus. The state has established requirements for quarantine that must be followed.

If you are unable to select options #1 or #2, you will be required to move in August 12 or 13.

Option 3: Obtain a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts. You will then get tested upon arrival at campus and move into your assigned residential room; you will be instructed to refrain from interaction with other individuals until you receive a second negative test result.  

Option 4: If you arrive with no test in the previous 72 hours, you will be placed in university-assigned quarantine space until you receive two negative test results. The first test is conducted upon arrival and second test is three days after. Estimated quarantine length is five to seven days. 

Students who live off campus must also adhere to the state travel mandate by either choosing option #1 or #2, or option #3 by obtaining a negative test within 72 hours prior to arrival in Massachusetts and then getting tested at the university; you must also refrain from interaction with other individuals until you receive a negative test. If you arrive in the state without a negative test result within 72 hours, you will be required to self-quarantine immediately and remain in quarantine until you receive two negative test results.

All students planning to return to the Amherst area, either on or off campus, must complete the following Google survey by August 3 and choose an option.

Complete Quarantine Planning Form

Both on-campus and off campus students from high-risk states will be tested not only upon arrival but also multiple times as warranted for the following 14 days.

Students who reside outside of lower-risk states, or have been outside of these states regardless of residence in the 14 days prior to arrival in Massachusetts, must complete the Massachusetts Travel Form and be prepared to present it to upon request to university officials.

A few additional notes about the self-quarantine on campus:

  • The vast majority of quarantine space on campus is not air-conditioned.
  • Students who quarantine on campus should bring sheets, towels, toiletries and other necessities with them to campus.
  • We will provide meals for students.

Please note that if parents/guardians/family members plan to stay overnight in the state, then they also must comply with the state mandate. If they are only dropping off the student and then immediately leave the campus and the state of Massachusetts, they are exempted from the order.

We recognize this information has been delayed in getting to you. For this reason, we have extended the deadline to cancel your on-campus housing assignment, if you so choose, without penalty until Friday, August 7.

Again, we appreciate your patience as we work through the many details involved with bringing our students back to campus.


Sincerely,

Jeffrey Hescock
Executive Director of Environmental Health and Safety