EMERGENCY CARE: Amherst College Police Department has a 24-hour dispatcher. The emergency number is: 413-542-2111.
There will be a Nurse triage service on-call 24 hours per day during this time. You can access this by calling the Health Center at 413-542-2267 and pressing the on-call Nurse triage option. The Nurse will call you back to assess your symptoms and recommend the course of care you should take. Call 413-542-2111 for all emergencies.
For other non-urgent concerns - please call the ACPD business line 413-542-2291. The dispatcher will connect you with the Community Safety Team. The Community Safety Team will contact other on-call services if indicated.
Below is a list of local urgent care centers: (we recommend checking for updated hours)
UMass Health Services (UHS) 150 Infirmary Way Amherst 413-577-5101
Monday-Friday 8:00-5:00. For current hours and information, please go to umass.edu/uhs
AEIOU Cooley Dickinson Urgent Care 170 University Drive Amherst (413) 582-4400
Hours of operation: M-F 8am - 8pm: Sat-Sun 9am-5pm https://www.cooleydickinson.org/programs-services/urgent-care-amherst
MedExpress Urgent Care – 1505 Memorial Dr. Chicopee, MA 01020 (413)-533-3049
Hours: 8 am – 8 pm, Monday – Sunday
Cooley Dickinson Hospital Emergency Department https://www.cooleydickinson.org/
Please reach out in advance of July 15th with any questions or routine medical concerns via phone 413-542-2267 or email email@example.com.
Gastroenteritis - "stomach flu" - posted April 2023
Viral gastroenteritis is an infection that causes inflammation and irritation of your intestines caused by one of a number of viruses, most commonly norovirus or rotavirus. This illness is also known as the “stomach flu.” The most common signs and symptoms are watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea or vomiting and sometimes fever. Symptoms usually last just a day or two, but sometimes can last longer. If you’re otherwise healthy, you will likely recover without treatment or complications.
It is important to stay hydrated with frequent small sips of liquids, such as Gatorade, ginger ale, honey with tea, vitamin water, or other beverages with a small amount of sugar. If you are tolerating fluids well, then you can try small amounts of easy-to-digest foods such as crackers, toast, bananas, and rice.
This highly contagious illness usually spreads through close contact with people who have the virus or things that a person with the virus has touched or used. It is easy for spread to occur in settings of community living.
The best way to prevent the spread of intestinal infections is to follow these precautions:
- Wash your hands thoroughly.
- Use separate personal items. Avoid sharing eating utensils, drinking glasses and plates. Use separate towels in the bathroom.
Call the health center if:
- You're not able to keep liquids down for 24 hours.
- You've been vomiting or having diarrhea for more than two days.
- You're vomiting blood.
- You're dehydrated — signs of dehydration include excessive thirst, dry mouth, deep yellow urine or little or no urine, and severe weakness, dizziness or lightheadedness.
- You notice blood in your bowel movements.
- You have severe stomach pain.
- You have a fever above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
Letter sent to students 8.17.22
As you have surely seen in the news, cases of the monkeypox virus are on the rise domestically and abroad, which has prompted the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to declare the outbreak a public health emergency. At present, we have no reason to believe there are any cases in our campus community or in the Town of Amherst. In fact, the current risk to the public is still relatively low. But given the College’s previous experiences with COVID-19, we have begun taking the appropriate precautionary measures to reduce the risk of an outbreak, as well as preparing for cases on our campus and the event that outbreak should occur. This message is an update on the steps we are taking and a request for your help with keeping our herd as safe and healthy as possible.
The facts about monkeypox
First discovered more than half a century ago, monkeypox is rarely fatal, but nevertheless a concern because of the serious health implications it can pose for some. Its symptoms can include fever, headache, muscle and back aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and, most significantly, an infectious rash. While some monkeypox symptoms may overlap with those of COVID-19, it is important to note that the two viruses are completely different.
Unlike COVID-19, which is primarily transmitted via respiratory droplets, monkeypox spreads most commonly through prolonged, close, intimate contact with an infected person. Fortunately, it does not spread as easily as COVID-19 or the flu. However, it is important to understand that anyone can become infected with monkeypox, so everyone should take the proper precautions. Infections can occur through direct contact with the aforementioned rash, scabs or body fluids; secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact; or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling or sex. What’s more, monkeypox can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed. As such, anyone who has been in close personal contact with a person with monkeypox is considered at risk. For more information on symptoms, transmission and other aspects of the virus, go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
Since monkeypox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, vaccines and antiviral medications already developed to protect against smallpox may be used to prevent and treat monkeypox infections. Although in limited supply, these vaccines are available through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) to individuals who meet certain eligibility requirements.
What the College is doing
Given these facts, the College is taking the following measures, among others: maintaining our hand-sanitizing stations; instituting enhanced cleaning protocols, including using appropriate EPA-registered disinfectants and sanitizers, in accordance with CDC and MDPH guidance; posting fact sheets and other materials to better inform the campus community and asking for everyone’s help with taking preventative behavioral measures.
What you can do to protect yourself and others
- Avoid close contact with others who have a rash that looks like monkeypox. (The CDC has some photos of rashes at the bottom of the symptoms page on the organization’s website.)
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer, particularly before eating or touching your face.
- Refrain from sharing towels, clothing and other objects and materials that others have also used.
If you have monkeypox symptoms or believe you have been directly exposed to someone diagnosed with monkeypox:
- Call Health Services at 413-542-2267. The medical staff there will advise you on next steps if they think you need a medical evaluation.
- If you have contracted monkeypox, Health Services will coordinate your testing, treatment and supportive care for your illness. This will include facilitating isolation plans.
We encourage you to make a plan ahead of time and in consultation with friends and family members about what you will do in the event you have to isolate, as that period can be anywhere from two to four weeks. We encourage those struggling with fear, sadness or mental exhaustion to reach out for support. Many staff are available to support you including, the Community Development Coordinators, your Class Dean, and staff in Case Management and the Counseling Center. If you are concerned about another student, you can also submit a Care Report to connect them to supportive resources.
Lastly, we want to emphasize, again, that anyone can become ill with monkeypox; it is not accurate that only some specific populations are contracting and spreading the disease. As such, we all need to be extra vigilant in taking the precautionary measures we outlined above. In addition, we all must know the facts and science of the virus, hold each other accountable for spreading potentially harmful misperceptions about it and reducing possible stigma and shame we know some are experiencing after contracting it. If there is one thing our community has shown over the past few years, it is how supportive of one another and resilient we are in the face of health emergencies.
As we prepare for the start of the fall semester, let’s continue to work together to protect the health of our herd. We will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Keefe Health Center at 413-542-2267 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Student Affairs at 413-542-2337.
Emily Jones, M.D.
Director, Student Health Services
Chief Student Affairs Officer and Dean of Students