In response to new measures aimed at minimizing increases in COVID-19 cases in the state, Jeff Hescock, executive director of environmental health and safety, and Ann Becker, public health director, sent an email to the UMass Amherst community outlining how these measures should be observed on campus.
That email is as follows:
Dear Campus Community:
Governor Baker has announced a new series of targeted measures to curb rising COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts. These measures go into effect Friday, Nov. 6. These new and updated public health measures are summarized below, and all members of our community should review them.
- Stay at Home Advisory: Residents are instructed to stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. The advisory allows for activities such as going to work (including research activities), picking up take-out meals, getting groceries, and addressing health needs. This advisory prohibits any gatherings in your residence hall, apartment or home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. that includes individuals with whom you do not live.
- Early Closure of Businesses and Activities: Certain businesses and activities are required to close by 9:30 p.m. each night. In accordance with this advisory, dine-in service will conclude in all UMass Dining locations at 9:30 p.m.; meals will be served in grab-and-go format from 9:30 p.m. until the facilities close.
- Face Covering Order: All persons must wear face coverings in all public places, including outdoors, even where they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others. Whether you are on campus or off campus, you are now required to wear face coverings outdoors.
- Gatherings Order: At private residences, gatherings must end and disperse by 9:30 p.m. Indoor gatherings are restricted to 10 or fewer people, outdoor gatherings are restricted to 25 or fewer people, and organizers are required to cooperate with contact tracing. We recommend that all social gatherings should be in groups of 10 or fewer, and all in attendance should wear face coverings and maintain physical distance when possible.
As the fall semester nears its end and we prepare for a spring semester with increased on-campus activity, it is important to remember that the actions we take now impact our ability to open more fully in the future. Through our asymptomatic testing program, cooperation with contact tracing, avoidance of parties and gatherings, and commitment to wearing face coverings, we have been successful in mitigating the spread of the virus in our community. By following this new guidance from the governor, we can continue to take active steps toward further repopulating campus. Please keep up these proactive and responsible efforts.
Thank you to all the faculty, staff and students for your efforts in adhering to the public health guidance issued by the state, the town, and the university.
Co-Directors of the Public Health Promotion Center (PHPC)
Jeff Hescock, Executive Director of Environmental Health and Safety
Ann Becker, Public Health Director