Montana Western COVID-19 Guidelines: 2021-22
This message was sent to all faculty, staff, and students.
The University of Montana Western is committed to providing high-quality instruction and a safe environment for students, staff, faculty, and our community during the 2021-22 academic year. We understand that local, state, and national health situations will continue to evolve and guidance will be adjusted accordingly.
The Montana Western COVID-19 Information website has also been updated to include the latest guidelines as listed below. Please remember to check this website for the latest updates throughout the year.
Below are key points regarding the UMW 2021-22 Academic Year:
- UMW is open for Fall 2021. Face-to-face courses will resume and we do not anticipate changes to the course schedule or mode of instruction. However, we will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will follow guidance from Beaverhead County Public Health as needed.
- Faculty, staff, and students are not required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. However, the CDC has said that the COVID-19 vaccine is an important tool to stop the pandemic. Vaccination clinics will be available on campus for faculty, staff, and students during the Fall semester. UMW strongly encourages all community members to work with their healthcare provider to determine an appropriate vaccination course.
- At this time, mask wearing is not mandated on campus. The CDC and Beaverhead County Public Health strongly encourage individuals who are not fully vaccinated to wear a mask due to COVID-19 variants. Vaccinated individuals are encouraged to wear masks in areas experiencing high transmission rates. The CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status. Montana Western expects all faculty, students, and staff to be considerate and respectful to those who have made the decision to wear a mask.
- At this time, social distancing is not mandated on campus. However, some people may feel more comfortable if they are able to maintain a distance from others. Please be mindful of others’ personal space and respect others’ decisions regarding distancing.
- At all times, good hygiene is important for our individual and community health. Students, faculty, and staff are strongly encouraged to wash their hands regularly and use hand sanitizer. Likewise, students, faculty, and staff are expected to cover coughs and sneezes. Any individual experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms should avoid close interactions with others and call their healthcare provider for guidance. Free COVID-19 testing is available through Southwest Montana Community Health Center and Barrett Hospital & HealthCare.
- Beaverhead County Public Health will conduct contact tracing and determine the need for quarantine or isolation on an individual basis. Individuals who are vaccinated will NOT need to quarantine based solely on contact with infected individuals.
- Individual faculty members set the attendance policies for their classes. For information about the attendance policy in a class, students should consult the course syllabus. In all cases, if a student will miss class for any reason, they should notify the instructor before the start of class.
If you have any questions, please contact Dean of Students and UMW COVID-19 Taskforce Chair, Nicole Hazelbaker: [email protected] or 406-683-7900.