UMass Amherst public health officials released data today that shows a cluster of 13 UMass students who live off campus tested positive for the novel coronavirus this week. All are known to have socialized together, and a number of them attended a party together.
The case investigation is on-going and close contacts are being notified to get tested for COVID-19 and placed in quarantine. All students are being supported in their needs. The university is working closely with Town of Amherst public health officials to monitor the matter.
Jeff Hescock, executive director of Environmental Health and Safety, said the cluster highlights the need for continued adherence to public health practices, which include wearing face coverings, social distancing and avoidance of gatherings. “We want to emphasize that all students living in the Amherst area should come in for asymptomatic testing at the Mullins Center twice a week," he said. “Testing, while extremely important, tells us whether someone is infected, but does not protect a person from becoming infected. Good public health practices are critical to the success of preventing COVID transmission.”
The university’s asymptomatic testing program is one of the largest in the state. UMass Amherst has conducted more than 52,000 tests since Aug. 6, including approximately 30,000 tests in the off-campus student population living in the Amherst area.
Town of Amherst specific case counts will be updated over the weekend with data from the MAVEN system and can be found at www.amherstcovid19.org
Do you have non-emergent COVID-19 related concerns or questions? Call (413) 259-2425 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
*As of 6:25 PM on Friday, September 25th