UMass reports 100 new COVID-19 cases and a 1.27 percent positivity rate for the week of Sept. 15-21

The positive test rate declined from last week’s rate of 4.18%


Ana Pietrewicz / Daily Collegian

By Saliha Bayrak, Assistant News Editor

On Thursday, an email from the University of Massachusetts detailed a decrease in COVID-19 cases across students, faculty, and staff within the last week. From Sept. 15 to Sept. 21, UMass had 100 new positive cases, or a 1.27 percent positivity rate, a drop from the 4.18 percent positivity rate last week.

The University’s COVID-19 dashboard indicates that 34 of those who tested positive are on-campus students, 57 are off-campus students, and nine are faculty and staff.

UMass continues to emphasize that there is no evidence for the spread of COVID-19 in academic settings, stating “Positive cases continue to be predominately among undergraduate students connected to un-masked social activities. We do not see any spread in academic settings.”

The email from the Public Health Promotion Center (PHPC) also announced that UMass students and employees can begin booking appointments for twice weekly flu vaccination clinics via the health hub, which will begin Sept. 30 on the lower level of the campus center.

Last week, the University stated that there was a 1.7 percent positivity rate in vaccinated individuals and a 10.05 percent positivity rate in unvaccinated individuals with medical and religious exemptions.

“We continue to stress that vaccinations provide the most effective protection against COVID-19, and at UMass 96.9% of our faculty, staff and students are vaccinated. We urge those not yet vaccinated to consider doing so,” wrote the email.

The email comes after the announcement of the adaptive testing program last week, which selects students from specific areas, such as residential areas and social groups, for testing. The email stated “The PHPC also launched adaptive testing this week, with selected students coming in for additional testing to help us monitor community transmission trends.”

“While we are encouraged by the decrease in the positivity rate and cases, now is not the time to let our guard down. We must remain vigilant and consistently follow important protocols including wearing masks indoors and while outdoors when social distancing is not possible,” the email read. “If you feel unwell, stay home, and get tested.”

Saliha Bayrak can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @salihabayrak_.