Please check this page regularly, it is updated daily. Last updated Tuesday, March 31, 2020
The Town of Amherst is responding to COVID-19 in Massachusetts. The Town has strong systems in place to address this situation. The Town is the local point of contact and source for information for residents and business of Amherst. We are in continuous contact with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), local institutions of higher education, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, and Amherst Regional Public Schools (ARPS).
Do You Have Questions Regarding COVID-19?
Governor Baker Declaration of Emergency
All non-essential business are to cease in-person operations and a stay at home advisory has been issued. Changes become effective March 24, 2020 - to April 7, 2020. See the order and list of deemed essential service list at MDPH COVID-19 webpage
Special Town Council Meetings - COVID-19 Weekly Updates
Upcoming Special Town Council Meetings - COVID-19 Weekly Updates:
Previous Special Town Council Meetings- COVID-19 Weekly Updates:
What we know now
Hampshire County Case Numbers: Total confirmed cases: 46 (yesterday 37)
Notification - Will I be contacted if I was exposed?
The Amherst Health Department, in compliance with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), performs disease surveillance and contact exposure for over 60 infectious diseases, including COVID-19. Each case will have different circumstances, and we determine where the case was before they became ill, and then where a case has been, and who has been exposed. We notify people who could have been in contact with the case and work with them to quarantine and monitor symptoms. Remember, COVID-19 is droplet spread, it is heavy and does not travel further than six feet - it is not airborne. If there ever is a situation the public needs to be made aware, we will make an announcement. We are reminding you to continue keep social distancing, wash your hands, and clean high touch surfaces!
Is There a Vaccine or Treatment for COVID-19?
Because it is a new (novel) virus, currently there is no vaccine. And since people have never been exposed to the virus, no one has existing immunity. Therefore, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. Preventing exposure is what we are doing when we practice social distancing, standing 6 feet away from other people, closing businesses and asking people to restrict movement. Also, there is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19. Studies are currently ongoing to determine the efficacy of different antiviral treatments. People with COVID-19 can speak with their health care provider to help relieve symptoms, many people are treated at home when they are diagnosed with COVID-19. Always call your provider first if you are ill, do not drop in without speaking with staff first.
Isolation, Quarantine, Social Distancing
Isolation, quarantine and social distancing help protect individuals and the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease. Take time to understand the terms, using them incorrectly may lead to unnecessary worry or unnecessary staying at home.
Amherst and Massachusetts Closings Information
Town of Amherst: Schools to remain closed until May 4, 2020. Stay up to date information on Town of Amherst municipal buildings closings and status, and for Amherst Regional Public School (ARPS) closings and status go the . Please check with specific department for information on the continued and available services and how to conduct your business online.
Higher Risk of Getting Very Sick Individuals: Older adults or anyone with underlying health conditions or weakened immune system, and pregnant women should avoid large gatherings. Link to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) webpage on high risk individuals is available .
Town Manager Paul Bockelman has overall responsibility and has assembled a team that is lead by Health Director Julie Federman, Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director Tim Nelson, Police Chief Scott Livingstone, and Assistant Town Manager David Ziomek. This team brings together the public health and public safety teams to coordinate all management and communication for the Town.
There are basic precautions that everyone can easily take to prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19 - or Flu. The world is a germy place, and you pick up germs on your hands and carry them into your body by touching your eyes, nose, mouth or food. Social Distancing slows the spread of COVID-19 by limiting the number of people that infected people interact with.
Social Distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness.
Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.
Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row..
Certain people are at higher risk for serious illness from this virus. High risk individuals include:
Do You Have More Questions or Concerns?
For Travelers Returning from International Destinations
Find the travel warning level for all countries at the . Travelers from Level 3 countries are asked to quarantine, Level 2 countries do not need to stay at home but are asked to practice social distancing.
For Travelers and Flying in the United States
For Travelers to International Destinations
Should I be tested?
If you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 or you are a resident in a community where there is ongoing spread of COVID-19 and develop symptoms of COVID-19, call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms and your exposure. They will decide whether you need to be tested, but keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill may be able to isolate and care for themselves at home.
For detailed information, visit the CDC’s webpage: Testing for COVID-19
You can also call 2-1-1, a 24-hour state-supported telephone hotline.
What should I do if someone in my household is quarantined?
All household members should monitor their own health and call their healthcare provider if they develop symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath).
In addition, the CDC has provided a list of recommendations for how to best care for someone at home which can be found on the CDC website.
This page will continue to be updated as new information becomes available.