Hello Montana Western Students,

In just a few days, you will be back and we are so excited for your return. I would like to share some of the critical steps we are taking and plans that are in place for your healthy and safe return. Even though some of the plans may feel inconvenient and sometimes difficult, I would like to thank each of you for taking these steps with all of us together and know they are necessary for your safety on and off campus and for keeping classes face to face.

Please remember to refer to our website, www.umwestern.edu, and the yellow banner at the very top of the page. Here you will find links to all of the information about COVID-19 and how we are mitigating the spread of the virus. We have also created an easy to use FAQs section and a COVID-19 safety training to assist you in being prepared for the fall semester. Please review these items before the first day of classes on Monday, August 24.

Face Coverings
In accordance with the guidelines from the MUS Healthy Fall 2020 Task Force, all employees, students, and visitors must wear face coverings on campus as outlined below.

Montana Western Face Covering Practices and Protocols

For more information, including exceptions and accommodations, visit: https://www.umwestern.edu/fall-2020-plan/campus-wide-guidance/ 

Social Distancing
All areas of the campus will observe the CDC guidance on maintaining 6 feet of distance between individuals. This is an important tool in reducing the spread of the novel coronavirus.  

Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping a safe space between yourself and other people who are not from your household.

To practice social or physical distancing, stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people in both indoor and outdoor spaces.

Another critical tool in reducing the spread of the virus is frequent handwashing. Students, faculty, and staff are strongly expected to wash their hands and use hand sanitizer extensively.

Upon your return, you will see hand-sanitizing stations throughout the campus. Please use them if you are unable to wash your hands with soap and water. 

What do I do if I’m Sick? 

If You are Sick and Reside in Campus Housing:


 If You are Sick and Live off-campus:

Stay home and call your medical provider.

Medical Providers in Dillon:

In the event that you are contacted by Beaverhead County Public Health this semester, you may be asked to quarantine or isolate. Please follow the directions from Beaverhead County Public Health and your medical provider.

What’s the difference between quarantine and isolation?

Quarantine and isolation are measures to help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have an infectious disease.

For employees and students living off-campus, quarantine/isolation means staying at home. Please make a plan for yourself and those living in your home in case you are asked to quarantine/isolate. For isolation planning, we encourage you to have a plan in place so that you have access to a private room and bathroom should it become necessary.

For students living on-campus, the university has a plan for isolation and quarantine that may involve moving students to other residential units designated for this purpose. Students living on campus with questions about quarantine and isolation plans should contact UMW Residence Life staff ([email protected] or 406-683-7520) for additional information.

If you are a student, please notify me, the Dean of Students, if you need to quarantine or isolate so I can help you manage your courses during this time. Our goal is to help you complete your course while mitigating the spread of COVID-19.      

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me:

Nicole Hazelbaker, Dean of Students, [email protected] or 406-683-7900

Please be safe as you travel to campus. Block 1 begins on August 24. Let’s each do our part so we can remain face to face all four blocks of the semester by taking care of each other the Bulldog Way.

Be well,

Nicole Hazelbaker
Dean of Students