After backlash, Amherst College eases heavy COVID-19 restrictions

After a year of learning remotely or in a campus bubble, many Amherst College students prepared for a fall semester that would look like pre-COVID-19 times, living in dormitories, going to in-person classes, eating in the dining commons and taking walks to downtown restaurants and stores.

“We were all coming back and expecting a normal year after what was a pretty brutal year,” says Makaela Weeda, an Amherst College senior from California.

Instead, shortly after Weeda, who plays volleyball for the school, arrived on campus, an Aug. 24 letter from President Biddy Martin outlined a series of new temporary measures to control the delta variant of COVID-19, including that students, already required to be vaccinated, wear two masks or KN95 masks when not in their dorm rooms, that students mask up outdoors, and that only takeout would be available from dining commons.

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