UMass Amherst has significantly expanded its testing capabilities for COVID-19 as the fall semester begins. Designated students, faculty and staff will be tested in a multi-faceted approach to monitor and help protect public health on campus and in the Amherst area.
Full details and frequently asked questions can be found at on the testing section of the university's reopening website.
The strategy includes close collaboration with Amherst officials on contact tracing and related isolation and quarantine matters. In addition, the university is launching a broad public health campaign to support responsible social behavior by students and all other members of the UMass community, both on and off campus.
The asymptomatic testing program is designed to mitigate community spread through early detection of infection. Starting Monday, Aug. 17, the Public Health Promotion Center (PHPC) at the Mullins Center is open for asymptomatic testing for designated students, faculty and staff. Testing will take place daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The PHPC will also be open on the weekend of Aug. 22-23. Asymptomatic test collection operations at the Mullins Center are being conducted through a joint effort of the College of Nursing students and faculty, Environmental Health and Safety, and University Health Services. The test samples are then sent to the Broad Institute in Cambridge, which conducts the analysis. The university plans to conduct about 10,000 asymptomatic tests per week.
To further monitor the off-campus population, as well as students in residence halls, UMass will conduct additional adaptive testing of specific populations as recommended by our epidemiology advisory group.
Daily symptom monitoring and testing will occur throughout the semester. All students, faculty and staff shall conduct a daily self-screening, and those with any COVID-19 symptoms, living either on or off-campus, will be expected to report those symptoms to University Health Services (UHS). Close contacts with a COVID-19 positive individual will also be promptly tested. Infection rates will be monitored on campus and in the Amherst area.