Recent Updates to the COVID-19 Resources and Guidance Page

Recent Updates to the following page: COVID-19 Resources and Guidance

Note: Some links to PDFs on this page may no longer be active as agencies are continually updating information.


3/8/22 - Under Personnel, added:

  • Effective Wednesday, March 9, at 7 a.m., the campus will lift its indoor mask requirement.
  • In keeping with government guidance, individuals will be welcome to wear masks at their own discretion but will only be required to wear masks aboard public transportation (including PVTA buses) and in healthcare facilities (including University Health Services, Public Health Promotion Center, and Center for Counseling and Psychological Health). Masks will also be required in the Center for Early Education and Child Care.
  • The change in masking applies to face-to-face research with human subjects unless required by the research or the facility, e.g., a health care facility.
  • Learn more here.

Under IRB (Research with Human Subjects), added: 

Research involving human subjects can resume in accordance with the campus update on March 8, 2022. The change in masking applies to face-to-face research with human subjects unless required by the research or the facility, e.g., a health care facility.

2/23/22 - Under Travel Guidance, added: 2/23/22: Beginning March 1, 2022, the university will no longer require travelers to follow the COVID Travel Exemption Process. Travelers should still carefully follow the instructions here.

11/9/21 - Under Travel Guidance, added:

11/9/21: Update on International Travel Policy and Process. Three main things have changed:

  1. Only Level-4 CDC countries will require exceptional travel review as recommended by the International Risk Management Committee and approved by the Provost.

  2. Updated Covid travel checklist (PDF) for international travel; the misleading quarantine requirement has been removed.

  3. Updated UMass international business travel policy (PDF) to include reference to sanctioned countries and travel with UMass equipment as well as an example illustrating and clarifying the definition of UMass Amherst Related International Travel.

8/10/21 - Under Personnel, added:

Effective August 11, 2021, all members of the UMass community ­­— students, faculty and staff —as well as contractors and visitors are required to wear face coverings in public indoor spaces on the UMass Amherst campus. The requirements applies to vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals. Face coverings must be worn in nearly all indoor public spaces, including classrooms, hallways, elevators, restrooms, break rooms, entries and exits to buildings, laboratories, meeting rooms, shared offices and work areas.
  • Face coverings are not required in research spaces when alone.
  • FAQs about the indoor mask requirement can be found on the university’s coronavirus website.

7/19/21 - Under IRB (Research with Human Subjects), added: 

7/14/21 - Added: Based on advice of the Public Health Promotion Center, we are suspending the use of Research and Library Operating Plans (RLOPs), effective immediately. This includes both new requests and updates to existing RLOPs. Research activities should continue in keeping in line with the campus COVID-19 guidance. 

6/2/21 - Under Personnel, added:

  • Social distancing is no longer required for RLOP participants that are fully vaccinated. Individuals not yet fully vaccinated are required to continue to wear face coverings and social distance from others. Please keep the RLOP participant lists updated using the RLOP Personnel Change Request Form, since this will be used for testing compliance. More information on transitioning from RLOPs to alternative registration methods will be provided as soon as they are developed.

Under IRB (Research with Human Subjects), added:

  • Research involving human subjects can resume in accordance with the campus update. Vaccination information can be added to IRB protocols, if necessary, with HRPO/IRB approval. It is recommended that human subjects researchers include information on COVID-19 testing and vaccination availability on campus in their recruitment materials.

    EH&S can provide guidance to researchers working with specific human populations who may not be fully vaccinated; the IRB may recommend an ancillary review by EH&S for specific protocols when circumstances warrant, if such input hasn’t already been secured.

6/1/21 - Removed outdated information

5/28/21 - Removed broken links

5/10/21 - Added EH&S Screening Tool for Human Subjects Research

4/27/21 - Added Campus Announcement: Changes to Research and Libraries Operations for Summer and Fall 2021, Update #1 - 4/27/21

3/24/21 - Removed outdated information and links from the site.

3/10/21 - Under Personnel, edited to read:

  • RLOP faculty leads and faculty backup leads who are not regularly coming to campus can be exempted from COVID-19 testing by emailing
  • Changes in other RLOP personnel (students, staff, post-docs) should still be accomplished via the RLOP Personnel Change Request Form. This process ensures that the Public Health Promotion Center testing lists remain current as to participants who are on-site for RLOP activities. Check the UMass Asymptomatic Testing site for whom testing is required.

2/23/21 - Under Personnel, added: RLOP faculty leads should implement any changes in RLOP personnel via the RLOP Personnel Change Request Form. This process ensures that the Public Health Promotion Center testing lists remain current as to participants who are on-site for RLOP activities. Any individuals on RLOPs who have moved to fully remote, who are now living outside of the Amherst area (Amherst area is defined as Amherst, Belchertown, Hadley, Leverett, Pelham, Shutesbury and Sunderland), or whose presence on-site is infrequent (i.e., once or twice per month), should be removed to prevent non-compliance notices being generated by the testing management system.

2/8/21 - Added 2/7/21: COVID-19 High Risk Operational Posture: Changes for Research & Library Operating Plans

1/26/21 - Added 1/26/21 - An Important Update on Building Access for the Spring

1/20/21 - Added 1/19/20: COVID-19 Testing for the Spring Semester - Faculty who are teaching or conducting research on campus are required to be tested weekly.

1/13/21 - Added Updated COVID-19 Travel Guidance for UMass Amherst

1/4/21 - Added RLOP Personnel Change Form - Request removal/addition of personnel for an Original RLOP or RLOP 2.0

11/10/20 - Updated Checklist for Human Subject Research During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

10/6/20 - Uploaded Furlough Schedule (Excel) 

9/15/20 - Uploaded Updated COVID-19 Travel Guidance for UMass Amherst

8/21/20 - Uploaded revised Research & Library Operating Plan (RLOP) Reviewer/Approver Instructions V 2.1

8/14/20 - Updated Reopening Research FAQs




7/21/20Update on Re-opening Human Subject Research

7/15/20 - Updated Guidelines on Undergraduate Researchers in UMass Facilities in Fall 2020

7/7/20 - EH&S Guidelines for Human Subject Research 

7/6/20Guidance for Reopening Human Subject Research

7/1/20 - EH&S Official Room Capacity Signage

6/25/20COVID-19: Back to Campus CITI training

6/24/20Research & Library Operating Plan (RLOP) Reviewer/Approver Instructions V 1.3

6/18/20Guidance on Farms, Fieldwork, and Travel 

6/16/20 - EH&S Healthy Living COVID-19 Posters


6/10/20Kuali Form Action to find saved forms and/or to manage approvals

6/8/20UMass Core Facilities Restart-to-Research Operations Status



  • Top section on COVID-19 Resources and Guidance
  • Reopening Research & Libraries
    • Detailed information on Reopening Research & Libraries (PDF)
    • Please note that the COVID-19 Interim Operating Plan document has been updated to version 1.3 (Word). If you see a previous version when you open the link, please clear your browser’s cache and open it again. There is new information on naming conventions for completed forms on the last page. 
  • Please send questions on the reopening to



5/20/20 - Campus Email from Mike Malone: URGENT CLARIFICATION for State Reopening Plan and Laboratories 

5/18/20 - Campus Email from Mike Malone: State Reopening Plan and Laboratories 

5/12/20 - Campus Email from Jen Donais: Online CITI Compliance Training: Looking for Something to Do During Stay-at-Home? 

4/24/20 - Campus Email from Mike Malone:​ Update for On-campus Research Activities 

4/15/20 - Major updates to the table here to consolidate and simplify guidance.

4/14/20 - Updated the Personnel row with more detail here.


4/6/20 - New link here:​​ NSF Implementation of OMB Memorandum M-20-17



3/31/20 - New link here: ​National Institute of Food & Agriculture: NIFA-20-005 NIFA Coronavirus FAQs 


  • Details added to the Safety & Cleaning Row (in bold) link here:
    • Safety guidelines should be followed at all times, e.g., personnel should not work alone in laboratories and experiments should not be conducted if required staff expertise is unavailable. Policies and instructions on Laboratory Safety are available at low risk activities can be undertaken by personnel who are alone in the laboratory by implementing a “remote buddy” system described at:
    • Researchers should increase cleaning of lab equipment and practice the preventive steps advised by the campus for everyone:
    • Assistance and advice is available from EH&S (413-545-2682) and the Physical Plant (413-545-6401), including "Enhanced Cleaning" beyond that required for laboratory equipment or experiments:



3/24/20 - Department of Defense - Frequently Asked Questions for DOD Research Proposers and Awardees Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)


3/22/20 - Important VCRE Communication to Animal Researchers (added to the IACUC (Research with Animals) row and the Campus Notices - COVID-19 block)