UMass Center for Public Health Promotion COVID-19 Update: February 10
In a weekly email to Public Health Promotion Center (PHPC) Campus Community Co-Directors Ann Becker and Jeffrey Hescock, address the campus’ COVID positivity rate, vaccination clinics, and availability of KN95 masks and unobserved test kits.
This email is as follows:
Dear campus community,
As we wrap up the third week of the spring semester, we see campus life leading to an anticipated increase in positive COVID-19 cases. We continue to monitor COVID trends in our community through our symptomatic and adaptive testing programs and our sewage monitoring. At our highly immunized campus, these cases occur primarily in our undergraduate students who report having minimal to moderate symptoms of infection. No hospitalizations to report.
The Public Health Promotion Center (PHPC) continues to hold COVID-19 vaccination clinics two days a week at the Center on campus. This week, vaccination clinics are offered on Thursdays and Fridays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Starting next week, vaccination clinics will be offered on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. until March 10. Walk-ins are accepted, but we encourage everyone to make an appointment.
The latest COVID-19 testing data for the UMass community from February 2-8 shows 416 new positive cases. The university’s cumulative positivity rate is 7.45%, up from 4.48% last week. The state’s seven-day positivity rate is 4.08%. A similar increase in cases was seen at other universities at the start of the semester.
The UMass cases primarily involve undergraduates linked to unmasked social activities, based on contact tracing assessments. We must all remain vigilant by following key public health protocols in place, including our indoor mask requirement. The UMass community is invited to pick up free KN95 masks each week at PHPC at Campus Center.
The majority of positive cases are people who show symptoms of COVID and use the unobserved convenient test kit. Please continue to monitor yourself daily for symptoms of COVID-19 before coming to campus. If you don’t feel well, stay home and get tested. University Health Services offers symptomatic testing for students, or if you have an unobserved test kit, you can drop it off at one of the campus kiosks.
Thank you for all you do to take care of yourself and each other, and to support the health of our community.
Co-Directors of the Public Health Promotion Center (PHPC)
Ann Becker, Director of Public Health
Jeffrey Hescock, Executive Director of Environment, Health and Safety