UMass Amherst releases fall COVID-19 policies
AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- UMass Amherst released it’s COVID-19 policies for the fall semester. Among them includes requiring students get a COVID-19 test before move-in day and come prepared with a “self-isolation kit.”
“I had a unique experience being in college during the pandemic, so I’m kind of ready and whatever the university is comfortable with, I’m comfortable with,” said UMass junior Jake Dambrosio.
Dambrosio is ready to enjoy his final year of college with limited COVID-19 restrictions, but other students are bit more wary.
“New students coming onto campus and they want that college experience, you know, and I think there has to be a lot of care and concern taken in consideration taken when universities open back up,” said UMass grad student Ide Thompson.
While masks aren’t required on-campus, the university is strongly encouraging them in the first two weeks of the fall semester and in those very crowded settings.
“Especially when I go to the library or other large campus spaces, definitely have it on. In my office, I won’t,” Thompson added.
The university is requiring students either take a PCR test with 72 hours of arriving on-campus or a rapid test within 24 hours. Those who test positive on-campus will have to isolate for at least five days, then wear a mask for another five days.
Students are expected to isolate off-campus, but if they have nowhere to go, they’ll have to isolate in place. That’s why the university is recommending students bring a “self-isolation kit” with Tylenol or Advil, a thermometer, snacks, personal care items, and at-home test kits.
Students and staff should report all positive tests to firstname.lastname@example.org. Those exposed to covid can take an at-home test, available in vending machines at the Campus Center or visit University Health Services for a PCR test. The university said testing will be billed to the person’s insurance, but elective tests, like those used for travel, will cost $25.
Dambrosio told Western Mass News that he’s sure cases will spike when students return to campus, but believes the university is well-prepared.
“They’ve seen it all honestly. I know last year was kind of a trial and error, but I think this year, they’re going to come in knowing what they’re doing,” Dambrosio explained.
Students, faculty, and staff must be fully vaccinated or have applied for a medical or religious exemption. Boosters are highly recommended.
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