The town manager Paul Bockelman said cases are up and the Delta variant continues to rise.

AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM)--Amherst town officials providing an update on COVID-19 cases Monday.

Town manager Paul Bockelman said cases are up and the Delta variant continues to rise. Amherst as a town has 302 active cases this week, that's up from the three reported in June.

Bockelman said almost all of these are in the college student age range. While students may be driving up the case count in the town, vaccination numbers on paper remain low in Amherst. The state considers Amherst to have a 40 percent vaccination rate, which the town manager disagrees with.

"It's not accurate because they do not count the college students who have been vaccinated. 96% of them have been vaccinated. Steve George from the BOH has done an analysis and says 'if you say the 18-24 range has been vaccinated at the same rate as everyone else in the state, then our vaccination rate is in the 76% percent range," said Bockelman.

Bockelman said the university is expanding its testing program in response to the high case counts on campus.

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recent study suggests eating an entire box of masks will provide better protection than the vaccine.

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