COVID-19

COVID-19 AND FLU CLINICS

The Amherst Public Health Department is participating in the regional Public Health Excellence grant and working collaboratively with the City of Northampton to ensure access to both the updated COVID and Flu vaccine.  

Please click here to see an updated list of their future clinics with information on how to register 

Anyone is welcome to register, regardless of where they live or insurance status!

SURVEILLANCE

Click here  Version OptionsCOVID-19Headlineto see our Wastewater Surveillance Reports!

COVID TESTING KITS

Stop by the Public Health Department located in the Bangs Center to pick up free COVID-19 testing kits!

Rapid Antigen Tests test results do not need to be reported, but you can always call or email us with any questions or concerns. 

COVID TESTING: Go to link here for information on what COVID test to use.

GUIDANCE FOR ISOLATION AND EXPOSURE

Have you received a positive COVID test result, or been exposed to a positive person? You need to know what you do with a positive result to keep yourself, your family and the community safe and healthy. 

Isolation Guidance

Tested positive for COVID-19?

If you test positive for COVID-19 on either a rapid antigen test or PCR test, you are required to isolate – whether you are vaccinated or not. See instructions below on isolation for details on length of isolation. 

1. Calculate your period of isolation: Day 0 is your first day of symptoms, or, a positive Antigen or PCR test. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms or test, then count forward. All people who have a positive test must isolate for the first five days. 

2. Notify your close contacts. The people near you who are 'close contacts' of you while sick or contagious should be notified of your illness, they need to review exposure options. A close contact is someone who comes within 6 feet of a sick person for 15 minutes, inside, regardless of whether or not they are wearing a mask. 

3. If needed, seek treatment. For high risk populations (older adults and people with underlying medical conditions) or severe cases of COVID-19, talk to your doctor about seeking treatment. Call your provider to find out if an anti-viral pill, such as Paxlovid, is appropriate for you. Or, go to the quick and free State's Telehealth Site to speak with a provider about the pill.

Never hesitate to notify your provider if you need medical care or have any questions. Most people have mild illness and recover without medical care, so rest and stay hydrated and take over-the-counter medicine such as Tylenol or ibuprofen (if it's ok for you to take) to help you feel better. 

4. Ending Isolation. You may end isolation after Day 5 if you had mild or no symptoms and are feeling well (no fever for at least 24 hours). You should wear a high quality N95 type mask until Day 10 when you are around others indoors and avoid contact with people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. If you were sick with moderate to severe symptoms, you should isolate through day 10.

Testing is not required to exit isolation. If you do choose to do an at home rapid antigen test, you may remove your mask before Day 10 if you have two sequential negative tests 48 hours apart.


EXPOSURE GUIDANCE

Exposed to COVID-19?

Follow this new guidance for exposure, previously referred to as quarantine. If you have been exposed to someone with COVID, you do not need to quarantine as long as you remain asymptomatic, regardless of your vaccination status.

 

Wear a high-quality, N95 type mask as soon as you find out about the exposure and continue wearing a mask for 10 days. Day 1 is the first full day after your last exposure. Take extra precaution if you are around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, such as older adults and people with underlying health conditions.

 

Watch for symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath). If you develop symptoms, isolate immediately and do a COVID rapid antigen home test. If your test is positive, follow the isolation guidance above.

 

If no symptoms develop, test at least five full days after your last exposure. Even if you test negative, it is advised that you continue taking precautions through day 10, including wearing a high quality (N95) mask when around others at home or in public.


Link for MA Dept. Public Health Isolation and Exposure Guidance: COVID-19 Quarantine Guidance for the General Public | Mass.gov

Contact your provider if any health concerns or questions.  If you need health insurance or a provider, please call the Amherst Public Health Department at 413-259-3077.