AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – UMass Amherst announced Thursday that an employee has died of COVID-19, the first active employee to die from the virus since the pandemic began.
In a statement on the university’s website, the Center for Public Health Promotion said, “Last week, we learned that an employee at UMass Amherst died of complications from COVID-19. It is the first time that an active employee has died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends and colleagues on campus. »
The campus reported 377 new positive cases of COVID-19 from Jan. 5-11. The university currently has a test positivity rate of 7.56%, down from last week’s rate of 13.21%. On Thursday, Massachusetts’ positivity percentage was 20.34%.
The university also updated its mask requirements on Thursday, asking all students, staff and researchers to wear a high-quality mask or double face mask when inside campus. A higher quality mask is considered an N95, KN95 or KF94 mask. If you cannot wear one of these masks, we encourage you to wear a double mask. The school said in the update that cloth masks should only be used when worn with a surgical mask underneath.
Starting Tuesday, UMass Amherst will provide self-testing kits to PHPC on the lower level of Campus Center.