Health & Safety Protocols

Updated 1/11/22

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



For the first three weeks of the semester (through 2/25), students will be tested three times a week (on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday). They will a receive a sign-up email the prior week to select their testing time. After the initial testing protocol, all students will be tested two times a week. 

test tube with sample to be tested for covid

Faculty and staff who work the better part of three or more days will be tested two times per week, with at least one full day between tests; others will be tested one time per week. 

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

Contact Tracing

The College will continue to conduct contact tracing when we identify a positive COVID-19 case, which helps to identify close contacts who may need to be quarantined or follow other precautions, depending on their vaccination status. 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 identified as a close contact, a College contact tracer will reach out to you via phone to discuss details.

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

  • Amherst College IDs must be worn at all times while on campus. Lanyards are available at the Testing Center.
  • Valentine will be at 50% capacity for students. Students may dine in or get meals to go. Faculty and staff will not be able to get meals at Val until at least February 14
  • Campus gatherings and events  be limited to 50% capacity until February 14. Student Activities will provide guidance on how to schedule or register organizational and social events.
  • 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.
  • Only visitors participating in the College’s testing protocol will be allowed to attend indoor campus events.
    • Spectators are currently not allowed at indoor sporting events.

    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


    • Students may visit the town of Amherst to conduct business, such as picking up prescriptions, meals, etc., but must be masked when indoors. They may not go into restaurants or bars until at least Friday, February 18; the CDC offers guidance on the relative risks in restaurant and bar settings.
    • 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.
    • Faculty and staff are strongly discouraged from eating in restaurants and bars until Friday, February 18.
    • 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: