This is happening in Amherst, MA, a town that owes much of its economy to the many colleges in the area.

Mass Live reports:

College parties take on a new cast in COVID-19 era: Amherst residents concerned about students without masks, too close together

Residents have been calling police after seeing college students outdoors at private homes not wearing masks and too close to each other, Town Manager Paul Bockelman told the Town Council during Monday’s meeting.

“Many of our year-round residents are seeing smallish parties, by Amherst standards. But people are starting to call and say there’s a party at this private house and they’re not social distancing, and they’re not wearing masks,” Bockelman said.

“Normally, that person might have just walked by or driven by that household as being a normal student party — but in this day and age it’s a different feeling for people,” he said.

The difference, of course, is the coronavirus pandemic, which prompted local colleges to send students home in mid-March.

After peaking in April, the rate of new cases of COVID-19 continues to decline in Massachusetts. But health experts continue to recommend that people wear face coverings and stay at least 6 feet apart from others while in public.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst plans to keep almost all of its courses online in the fall semester, but it has invited some students to return to campus — provided they abide by restrictions meant to stop the spread of the virus.

Even so, the return of students — particularly those living off campus — has prompted concern from Bockelman and others who say an influx of students could lead to new spikes in infections.


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