The following message was sent on March 16, 2020, to faculty, staff and students regarding novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
To the University Community,
We wanted to share with you a few recent updates in relation to COVID-19:
The University of Montana Western has increased its sanitization efforts on our campus to help minimize the potential spread of COVID-19, including:
General Campus and Residence Halls
- The custodial staff sanitizes all touchable surfaces daily in the campus buildings (including light switches, desks, doorknobs, tables, railings, etc.).
- Bathrooms are mopped daily with a disinfecting solution.
- As the staff conducts their other shift duties including vacuuming, emptying garbage, waxing floors, etc., they re-disinfect the areas in which they have been present.
- Regular sanitizing of surfaces is conducted before and after each shift.
- The open salad and sandwich bars have been closed- dining services staff will now put together individual salads/portions for diners per their request.
- Whole fruit is now individually sanitized and wrapped.
- Disposable gloves are available for diners.
Paid COVID-19 Leave
The Montana University System shared with our campus today that it will provide a new “Paid COVID-19 Leave” for up to 14 calendar days, subject to certain eligibility requirements and in coordination with regular statutory sick-leave requirements for state government employees.
Our campus and system Human Resources officers are working on plans to administer this special leave in accordance with state guidelines. Generally, the Paid COVID-19 Leave will assist in situations where individuals are told by public health officials or health care providers to quarantine because of potential exposure.
In a separate context, employees whose job duties and responsibilities do not allow a work-from-home arrangement may be eligible to use Paid COVID-19 Leave for up to 14 calendar days for medical needs or reasons of illness that sick leave would normally cover before having to use accrued sick leave. Details still need to be finalized but this leave program will be managed consistently with steps taken in other agencies, departments and branches of state government. We will keep you posted as we learn more and the details are finalized.
Telework and Flex Schedules
Supervisors, please see your university email for information about Telework and Flex Scheduling options for employees and further instructions.
For more information about Telework and Flex Schedules, Paid COVID-19 Leave, or other human resources related questions, please call 406-683-7031.
Next, we want to remind you of instructions should you feel ill:
Upon your return from spring break, if you become ill and are in the Dillon area:
- If you have visited an area with a travel advisory that had a Travel Advisory Level 4 at any point during your travels, please immediately notify UMW Dean of Students, Nicole Hazelbaker, by calling 406-683-7900 during regular business hours or after hours by calling 406-925-9782 for further instruction.
- If you visited an area affected by COVID-19 and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, within 14 days after you left, please call your health clinic or other provider immediately to discuss your illness and plan for how you will be seen. Do not go directly to your clinic or other healthcare provider without calling first.If you become ill wherever you are:
- If you visited an area affected by COVID-19 and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, within 14 days after you left, please call your health clinic or other provider immediately to discuss your illness and plan for how you will be seen. Do not go directly to your clinic or other healthcare provider without calling first.
- Avoid contact with others.
- Do not return to class or work.
- Do not travel on public transportation.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading the virus to others.
- Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
- If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol.
- Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
For more information:
Please visit our health advisories webpage for the latest updates, COVID-19 FAQ and more: https://www.umwestern.edu/section/health-advisories/
For questions from students or their families call: 406-683-7900
For questions from employees call: 406-683-7031
For questions from faculty call: 406-683-7115
Thank you for your flexibility, understanding, and patience as we work together to manage the challenges of COVID-19. Remember the best defense against any virus is good hand-washing and respiratory hygiene. Please help us keep our campus safe: Cover your Cough, Stay Home if you’re sick and Wash Your Hands. As the CDC notes, everyone has a role to play in getting ready and staying healthy.