Health & Safety Protocols

COVID-19 Vaccination and Booster Shots

The College requires that all community members be fully vaccinated and that those who are eligible receive a booster no later than February 1, 2022.  Anyone who will be on campus during J-term will need to have a booster by January 7. Those who are not eligible for a booster shot by those dates will be required to receive it as soon as they are eligible. The only exceptions to the booster/vaccination requirement are those granted on medical or religious grounds. 

stickers saying I got my covid-19 vaccine

Students who have not yet verified their vaccination and/or booster should submit documentation through our patient portal by logging in and clicking on the “Upload” tab and selecting “COVID vaccine documentation” to upload the paperwork immediately.

Learn more about the vaccine and booster requirement and verification


updated 4/4/22


Students will be tested on one of three days — Monday, Tuesdays or Thursdays — which will provide data over the course of the week to allow us to identify any increases in positive cases quickly. Students will a receive a sign-up email the prior week to select their testing time. 

test tube with sample to be tested for covid

Faculty and staff will be tested one time per week. 

Any member of the community who wishes to test more frequently may do so and should contact the Testing Center. 

Find more information about testing requirements, including requirements for visitors and contractors.

Contact Tracing

Anyone who tests positive through Amherst’s testing program will be given instructions on how to identify and notify their close contacts. The College is no longer informing people’s close contacts for them. A person is considered a close contact if they have been within six feet of a COVID-19 positive person for 15 minutes or more during what is considered the infectious period, which starts 48 hours prior to positive diagnosis or onset of symptoms. If you are informed that you have been identified as a close contact consult the COVID-19 website for details of what to do.

Isolation and Quarantine

Find the latest requirements for isolation and quarantine.


Amherst continues to update its mask requirements in response to the evolving impact of COVID-19. See our latest mask requirements and related information.

Capacity Limits, Events, and Building Access

updated 5/16/22

  • KN-95 masks will be required in all indoor spaces, including residence halls, except when alone in an office or in one’s residence hall room with the door closed (see more information about masks).
  • All indoor events will be at 50% capacity, and serving food is strongly discouraged.
  • All events approved through the Student-Hosted Events Process are canceled.
  • Amherst College IDs must be worn at all times while on campus. Lanyards are available at the Testing Center.
  • KN-95 masks should be worn at all times in Val dining hall except when actively eating. Students are strongly encouraged to eat their meals outdoors.
  • Buildings are generally accessible only to members of our community who are part of our testing program (and to faculty, staff, and students from the Five Colleges who are participating in weekly testing at their home institutions). The exterior doors to general academic and administrative buildings will be accessible by your AC OneCard between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.
  • Visitors are allowed to attend official indoor College events, including Athletics contests, at the discretion of hosting departments or programs. Visitors will be required to show proof of either full vaccination and booster or a negative test result taken within 72 hours preceding the event. The hosting department or program will be responsible for verification. More information can be found on the Guidelines for Hosting Indoor Events page.

washing hands under a faucet

Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette 

All community members, regardless of vaccination status, should follow good hand hygiene. This includes washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to clean hands BEFORE and AFTER:

  • Touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Touching your mask
  • Touching an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people, such as door handles, tables, gas pumps, shopping carts, or electronic cashier registers/screens  

All community members, regardless of vaccination status, should follow good respiratory etiquette. This includes covering coughs and sneezes and keeping hands clean. To help stop the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • Throw used tissues in the trash
  • If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands


updated 3/23/22

  • Students may visit the town of Amherst to conduct business, such as picking up prescriptions, meals, etc., but must be masked when indoors.
  • Students are asked to register their travel if traveling will result in missing their scheduled testing day. Missed tests must be made up immediately upon return. 
  • There will no longer be any restrictions on College-sponsored travel.
  • Anyone traveling on College business must follow CDC guidance.

student wearing masks at an outdoor event

Information for Students

Find information about dining, residential life, and more.

close-up of someone opening a swab package to take a covid test

COVID-19 Dashboard

See the results of testing of Amherst College faculty, staff, and students who are being tested routinely on campus. The data are updated every weekday.

Amherst College is anticipating and responding to the impact of COVID-19. We continue to monitor the situation and are in contact with state and local public health officials, colleagues at the Five Colleges, and other relevant parties. This site is updated regularly and includes information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other trusted sources. If you have questions, please email: