January 20, 2021

Dear On-Campus Students, 

I hope that everyone is doing well and staying healthy.  There will be a couple of additional messages this week as we work to provide needed information.  The following message focuses on the pre-arrival testing expectations. 

As I mentioned in my message to you last week, all students 18 and older who will be traveling to campus from one of the 50 U.S. states or Washington, D.C. for the spring semester are required to self-administer an at-home test and receive their results prior to departing for campus. 

Amherst has partnered with Color, a population health-testing company, to provide at-home tests. To create an account with Color and request your test kit, go to www.color.com/amherst.

Color will work with you to tailor the timing of the test to correspond with your travel plans so you have your test results before you depart for campus. Please be aware of the following: 

  • We encourage you to create your account and begin the process to claim your kit immediately; you must request it no fewer than 10 days prior to the day you plan to depart for campus in order to receive your results on time.

  • Follow the steps provided by Color carefully. If you have any questions, contact Color support directly at mycovidtest@color.com.

  • Instructions on how to administer the test will be included in the materials you receive from Color, but please be sure to swab your nose thoroughly in order to secure a valid sample for testing.

  • Once your Color test kit has been claimed and sent out via FedEx, you will be able to track the shipment. Please do so and contact Color Support directly (mycovidtest@color.com) if your kit does not show up when it’s expected.

Since some individuals are infected with COVID-19 without showing symptoms, testing of Amherst students before you leave your home for campus will help identify those students who might be carrying the virus unknowingly and, therefore, must not travel to Amherst until they are cleared by a medical provider.   

Students who test positive or develop symptoms before their scheduled arrival to campus should promptly be evaluated by a medical provider and inform Amherst College Health Services at 413-542-2267 immediately and should not travel to campus. We will work with each student on a plan to come to campus after being cleared by a medical provider.

Once you have administered the test, and before you return to campus, we ask that you make every effort to reduce your exposure to the virus, including avoiding large gatherings, wearing a mask or face covering, washing your hands frequently and practicing physical distancing, among others. 

I know that we have sent a lot of information in the last few weeks with a variety of action items.  Tomorrow we will send you a checklist of items that need to be completed before returning to campus so that you can have all of the information in one place and can keep track of completing the various steps. 

Thank you again and be well. 


Liz Agosto

she, her, hers
Dean of Students