Level 1: Normal COVID-19 Operations

This phase of campus operations is marked by a limited number of cases on campus with controlled transmission.

  • Members of the community are expected to follow personal safety practices: practicing physical distancing, wearing masks, washing hands frequently.
  • Students are tested three times per week and faculty and staff who are permitted to come to campus are tested at least one time per week.
  • Classes are offered in a mix of in-person/hybrid and online formats.
  • Students can gather in groups of fewer than 10 people (physical distancing and masks required). 
  • No visitors are allowed on campus.

Level 2:  Heightened Awareness

The College will move to a state of Heightened Awareness if conditions suggest that there may be potential for increased exposure/cases.

  • There will be enhanced communications stressing the importance of being vigilant about following personal safety practices.
  • Efforts will be made to ensure all community members have sufficient PPE.
  • There may be temporary restrictions placed on any gatherings (even under 10) that aren’t academic.
  • There will be no other changes to campus operations.

Potential triggers:

  • Emergence of cases in Amherst/surrounding area
  • Signs of increased caseload in MA - reversing current trends
  • 3-4 cases (i.e. an increase in what we’ve seen to date)
  • An increase in the average number of contacts needing to quarantine

Level 3: Modified Operations, Localized Restricted Movement

The College will modify operations and introduce a soft quarantine if multiple cases are reported in a particular residence hall.

  • Students in the residence hall will go into “soft quarantine” for 14 days where they will be restricted to their room and shared bathroom. They will join their classes remotely.
  • The positive cases will be moved to isolation. 
  • All students in the hall will continue to be tested.

Potential triggers:

  • If several positive COVID-19 cases emerge in a single residence hall and contact tracing suggests the likelihood of transmission within the hall.

Level 4: Temporarily Restricted Operations, Campus-wide Restricted Movement

The College will temporarily restrict operations campus-wide in an effort to limit Community spread.

  • Students will be quarantined in their dorms.
  • All classes will be remote.
  • Only essential staff will be allowed to travel to campus.
  • Students will continue to be tested

Potential triggers:

  • Evidence of significant community spread
  • A few random, seemingly unconnected cases
  • A significant number of positive cases
  • A significant increase in the presentation of other illness (flu, strep, mono, 
  • etc.) at the health center
  • A rollback at state level to Phase II of reopening

Level 5: Severely Restricted Operations/Campus Closure

Under certain conditions, the College may decide it must close the campus or move to fully remote classes and activities.

5A. Suspend on-campus activities and have students remain on campus but move to fully remote classes and activities.

Potential triggers:

  • Need for quarantine space outstrips capacity results in need to institute campus-wide soft quarantine
  • Increase in cases in local area but significantly worse conditions in other areas of the country makes it ill advised to send all/most students away

5B. Suspend on-campus activities and ask students to leave campus if we believe that is in the best interest of the health and safety of the campus community. Any students diagnosed as COVID-19 positive will need to remain on campus (unless arrangements are made for family (etc) to pick them up)

Potential triggers:

  • Signs of elevated health risks from COVID-19
  • Severe illness or hospitalization due to COVID-19
  • Limited local hospital (ICU) capacity
  • Significant increase in cases in Amherst/Hampshire County
  • State mandate (roll back to Phase I of reopening)
  • Severely limited staffing (Due to COVID or other reasons) results in decreased ability to deliver essential services