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The University of Massachusetts Amherst has decided to cancel its first tailgate of the 2021 football season, citing an uptick in positive COVID-19 cases, according to an email sent out to the campus community on Thursday evening.

“It is with risk in mind that the decision has been made,” the statement from the university’s Public Health Promotion Center said. There is still significant risk of transmission, even outdoors, if social distancing is not possible, and the cancelation would “minimize the density of students gathering prior to kickoff,” the statement said.

Saturday’s game is against Boston College, and parking lot access will be limited to those with valid game-day parking passes, the email said. It stated that an increase in positive cases at the university “has been connected to indoor social activities, including visits to crowded downtown bars and attendance at parties.”


Brittany Bowker can be reached at brittany.bowker@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @brittbowker.