Positive COVID-19 case rate drops at UMass Amherst | News


UMass Amherst sign - generic 2018

(Western Mass News photo)

AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — COVID-19 cases at UMass Amherst drop by more than 200 from last week to this week and the university is doing around the same number of tests.

“It really freaks me out, honestly, just because of the fact I’m in these big lecture halls and when I hear people coughing, in the back of my head, should I be staying in my dorm?” said UMass sophomore Jeremy Martinez.

Martinz is not letting his guard down just because COVID-19 cases at UMass have dropped.

Last week, which was September 8 to 14, the university reported a total of 371 cases – 68 from on-campus students, 292 for off-campus students, and 11 faculty and staff.

The total tests performed were 8,800 tests, with a positivity rate of just over four percent.

However, for this week’s numbers, which include September 15 to 21, there were just 100 total cases – 34 on-campus students, 57 off-campus students, and nine faculty and staff.

Total tests performed were nearly 7,900 tests, with a positivity rate of just over one percent, but for Martinez, low case numbers don’t matter to him on how he reacts to COVID-19 on-campus.

“It may be my paranoia, I guess, with it, but it definitely feels like people are like…for an example, there are parties at some point this week and I don’t trust it,” Martinez explained.

UMass Amherst told Western Mass News in a statement:

“Positive cases continue to be predominately among undergraduate students connected to unmasked social activities. We do not see any spread in academic settings.”

However, one UMass junior believes cases are declining because of the university’s response to the rise in cases.

“Sort of cracking down on partying and people realizing that cases have spiked and changing their behavior, I think maybe another reason why cases have dropped,” said UMass junior Isaac Macarthur.

The university added that even though cases dropped, it’s not time for students to let their guard down and continue to follow protocols like wearing a mask inside and outside when social distancing is not possible.

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