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COVID-19 Update from the UMass Public Health Promotion Center: April 28 : UMass Amherst

A weekly email to the campus community from co-directors of the Public Health Promotion Center, Ann Becker and Jeffrey Hescock, addresses the availability of at-home antigen testing kits, a semester break for the vaccine clinic and campus positivity rates.

That email is as follows:

Dear Campus Community,

Starting last week, in addition to the unobserved PCR testing kits available at the Public Health Promotion Center (PHPC), faculty, staff and students can pick up free, at-home antigen test kits. Individuals should continue to report their positive tests to testing@umass.edu.

The PHPC vaccine clinic closes for the spring semester today and will reopen in early June. To help you find a nearby COVID-19 vaccine location, visit the vaxfinder website. Please visit the Massachusetts COVID-19 booster Frequently Asked Questions for additional information about eligibility.

We continue to monitor COVID-19 trends in the UMass community through our symptomatic, adaptive and voluntary testing program as well as wastewater surveillance. The latest COVID-19 testing data for the UMass community for April 20-26 shows 132 new positive cases. The university’s positivity rate is 4.73%, compared to the last week’s rate of 4.86%. The state’s seven-day positivity rate is 4.87%. Individuals testing positive continue to report they are experiencing minimal-to-moderate symptoms of infection, and there is one hospitalization to report. KN95 masks remain available for free at the PHPC. We encourage everyone to respect the choices that individuals make about their own masking.

Please do a daily symptom check. If you are sick, stay home and get tested. Be aware that allergy symptoms can resemble those of COVID-19; When you are unsure, please wear a mask, get tested and use caution until you know the results. If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please wear a mask and get tested on the fifth day after exposure.

Thank you for all that you’re doing — staying home when sick, testing when you have symptoms, and supporting each other as part of our community.

Sincerely,

Co-Directors of the Public Health Promotion Center (PHPC)

Ann Becker, Public Health Director
Jeffrey Hescock, Executive Director of Environmental Health and Safety

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