COVID-19 Facilities Resources
MSU is committed to reducing the risks of COVID-19. As such, University Services is introducing several measures to ensure a safe and successful academic environment. The following initiatives are underway: departmental sanitizing, Clean 'Cat Kit distribution, placement of 80 refill stations around campus, new building HVAC system protocols, and new campus signage to help direct traffic and ease congestion.
Enhanced Custodial Operations
Custodial Services operational plan is based on a cooperative approach involving all students, faculty, and staff to consistently and reliably provide a safe working, learning, and teaching environment for all.
Tools we will all use to compliment Custodial Services efforts include Clean ‘Cat Kits, Departmental Sanitizing Kits, and Supplemental Departmental Supplies. Every 24 hours Custodial Services will sanitize restrooms, common areas (including reception/common areas in office suites), entries, stairs, hallways, classrooms, and teaching labs. Fixtures included in the process include door hardware and door push areas; all horizontal surfaces; seating; stair and protective rails; light switches; dispensers; and bottle filling stations.
In order to ensure Custodial Services continues to efficiently meet its sanitizing responsibilities for the entire campus, please keep in mind that individual offices and office suite areas behind customer service/greeting/waiting area will NOT be serviced, with the exception of trash service. To have your trash emptied place your trash receptacle in the hall.
Custodial Services continues to efficiently meet its sanitizing responsibilities for the entire campus. Beginning Friday, September 25st, Custodial Services will begin servicing individual offices and office suites every two weeks. Trash service remains the same. Place your trash receptacle in the hall to receive service.
Clean ‘Cat Kits
This spring semester every student, faculty member and staff member at MSU will receive a supplemental Clean ‘Cat Kit. This spring kit continues the university's effort to provide personal sanitation tools allowing individuals to take personal action to protect yourselves and others. These kits refresh your personal tools. Please continue to use the disinfectant and microber cloths from the fall Clean 'Cat Kits to sanitize areas you use during the day, such as podiums, desks and seats in classrooms, meeting rooms and collaboration spaces.
Each supplemental Clean ‘Cat Kit will include:
- A Bobcat cloth mask.
- A 2 oz. refillable hand sanitizer.
Clean ‘Cat Kits are just one additional tool, in combination with multiple other initiatives, that enables each of us to continue doing our part in providing and promoting a safe learning and working environment for ourselves and our fellow Bobcats.
Getting a Kit
Students living in the residence halls will receive a kit in their room when they arrive to campus. Students who commute to campus may pick up their kit during the first week of classes. Distribution sites are the north side of the MSU Library (outdoor location); the main/southwest entrance to Barnard Hall (outdoor location); and near the entrance to the MSU Bookstore (indoor location). Kits will be available for pickup at the library and Barnard Hall locations on Jan. 11 and Jan. 12 from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Kits will be available for pickup near the entrance to the MSU Bookstore Jan. 11-15 from 7:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
After Jan. 15, the MSU Bookstore will be the pick up location for student who have not received a kit.
For questions, please contact the Clean 'Cats team.
As you use your Clean ‘Cat Kit around campus this fall, you can refill the hand sanitizer and disinfectant at any of MSU's 80 locations across campus. Refill stations are located at building entrances, residence hall lobbies and dining halls. Use this Interactive Map to easily find refill stations throughout campus.
Facemasks and Faceshields
MSU will provide one (1) facemask per person. Please request masks through your department and allow your department administrators to contact Safety & Risk Management for departmental orders. Departmental mask requests will be delivered through Interoffice Mail. Face shields may be useful for instructional faculty, because students can more easily read lips and observe facial expressions. Thus, face shields are available only for these settings at this time. Use the Faceshield Request Form below to request a faceshield.
Please note, facemasks and field shields will be provided to staff and faculty only.
For additional Covid-19 guidance on the use of face masks/shields, please consult the MSU Roadmap for Fall 2020.
Standard Sanitizing Kits
Sanitizing is an important part of creating a safe environment for ourselves and others. As part of this initiative, University Services has distributed sanitizing kits to all departments. Each department is expected to manage the kits as faculty and staff return. Faculty and staff will be expected to go to a departmental office to get their supplies. Refill stations are serviced by custodial services on an as needed basis.
Standard Sanitizing Kits included -
- 3 spray bottles filled with disinfectant for surface cleaning with directions for use
- 3 rolls of paper towels
- 1-1 gallon hand sanitizer dispensing stations to fill personal bottles
- 5 door stops to prop open doors, minimizing the need to touch them
Standard Sanitizing Kits Supplemental Supplies
These supplemental supplies are a continuation of the Standard Sanitizing Kits and are intended to meet departmental sanitizing needs for specific common, shared, high touch, high use equipment and spaces. Examples include studio spaces, teaching labs, maker spaces. In addition
Supplemental Supplies include -
- Door stops
- Large spray bottles (24 – 32 oz) plus microfiber cloth labeled for the disinfectant dispensed at the Refill stations across campus
- Unlabeled spray bottles (24 -32 0z) plus micro fiber cloth for cleaning supplies such as isopropyl alcohol for specialty equipment (department provides product and label)
Campus Planning, Design, and Construction has worked with the Registrar's Office, the Provost's Office, the Classroom Committee, and other effected users to develop a standard set of parameters for classroom audits. These parameters were utilized to audit all registrar controlled rooms on campus. That audit determined the appropriate capacity for each room while respecting social distancing. The results of those audits were used to create a room diagram for each room which you can view to understand how the room will be laid out and inform how you can provide instruction. To request a room layout please send us an email with the building name, and room number(s) you would like to view. These diagrams will also be posted in each room as the room is rearranged to these layouts leading up to classes starting on August 17, 2020.
One parameter which you will want to make note of when considering room usage is that there is only one layout. Rooms SHOULD NOT be reconfigured for your specific class. Please adhere to the defined layout to support custodial services cleaning efforts, prevent the need to reset the arrangement by others, and help support all users health and safety.
All large classrooms with a capacity of 50 or more have an entry/exit diagram which outlines the best way to enter and exit the room. This procedure is consistent with proper COVID safety and social distancing measures. Please review these diagrams if you are using a large capacity classroom and feel free to provide this information to others. If you have questions about a specific room please contact Richard Rudnicki.
Signage, Stickers and Window Statics
A variety of signage has been placed by University Services and Communications staff leading up to the start of class. Should you find that signage has become degraded or is no longer present, or identify an area where additional signage would be appropriate, these signs are available and can be provided to you upon request.
University Communication signs are available at
If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days and feel ill, please call your health care provider. Students can call University Health Partners at 406-994-2311.
Learn More About COVID-19
For basic information about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, you can view our background page. For the latest updates, consult the links below:
|Centers for Disease Control and Prevention||World Health Organization|
|Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services||Montana University System|
|Gallatin City-County Health Department||COVID-19 Resources from MSU Extension|
About this Page
Montana State University's goal is to provide clear, concise and timely information to students, faculty, staff and visitors on what MSU is doing to protect our community. The university is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic with information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization and consulting with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, the Gallatin City-County Health Department, and our own health professionals on campus.
The information provided on this website is not intended to be all-encompassing and should not be considered medical or legal advice. We encourage proper hygiene and health precautions, but we urge you to consult with a relevant expert for guidance specific to your circumstances. https://www.montana.edu/health/coronavirus/index.html
Frequently Asked Questions
In areas where social distancing cannot be reliably or realistically maintained, clear plastic barriers/partitions may be used as a supplemental option. Examples of acceptable applications for these barriers include reception areas, service counters, and cashiering areas. Lecterns and podiums are NOT acceptable spaces for these barriers. Barriers/Partition installations are not to be construed as a substitute for mask wearing; but as a secondary level of protection. If your department has a need for this application, please submit a work request using the link below. Please keep in mind that the expense for these barriers/partitions are the responsibility of the requesting department.
Doorstops should be used to prop open main exterior building doors. Building Supervisors are asked to develop and execute a plan to ensure that these doors are being propped open at 8:00am and closed at 5:00pm. Of course, during cold and/or inclement weather, doors should remain closed to prevent discomfort and freezing pipes. Due to the increase in custodial operations, this will be the most efficient means of managing individual building plans. If you need to request additional doorstops for your building, please use the supplemental supplies request form above.
Engineering & Utilities department operational plan relies on all students, faculty and staff participating in the front-line efforts communicated by CDC to be most effective: physical distancing, frequent hand washing, wearing face masks and regular sanitizing via individual Clean ‘Cat Kits.
The CDC does not suggest that HVAC systems are a primary transmission method for COVID-19. The impact of HVAC systems in mitigating the transmission of COVID-19 is not well documented. The presence of HVAC systems will not prevent the transmission of COVID-19 nor eliminate the need to follow CDC guidance.
Engineering & Utilities technical staff are closely monitoring the guidance from industry groups such as ASHRAE and APPA regarding operation of HVAC systems and best practices for reoccupying buildings. MSU maintenance personnel are focused on ensuring that HVAC systems in place are functioning properly and maintenance routines are kept as scheduled. This includes completing preventative maintenance tasks such as changing filters. The HVAC system filters at MSU are changed on a regular basis. The most recent scheduled filter change was completed prior to the start of the fall semester. In addition, high efficiency filters (MERV-13) have been ordered for many systems. MSU Engineering staff is evaluating HVAC systems to determine if increased ventilation is possible.
Montana State University's Clean 'Cat Kits contain a refillable bottle of QT 3, a disinfectant and cleaning solution. There has been some confusion due to the different formulas of the disinfectant whose safety information are available online.
According to the university's Office of Safety and Risk, which oversees MSU's chemical safety program, the QT 3 used in the kits and available at campus refill stations is diluted 1:128 and is in its "ready to use" or RTU form. This RTU formula is among the most effective, safe and reliable products on the Environmental Protection Agency's recommended list of COVID-19 disinfectants (under EPA registration number 6836-349 — "QT 3" is the Hillyard name for this product).
The goal of the Open Door program is to provide added ventilation and minimize the need for building occupants and entrants to touch high contact surfaces. During the colder weather we can continue to realize these benefits by adapting our Door Open program to the following parameters.
- Temperatures of 40 degrees or higher, Building Supervisors should ensure doors are opened in the morning by 8am.
- Temperatures of 40 degrees or lower, doors are to remain closed until the temperature reaches 40 degrees
*Personal space heaters may be used as a supplemental means to keep work areas safe and comfortable. See below for operational instructions to consider when using space heaters.
Please consider the following when selecting, operating, and placing your personal space heater—
- The heater must be Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listed with a three-prong plug.
- The heater must shut off automatically when it is tipped forward or backward.
- Always read and follow the manufacturers’ operating instructions before operating the heater.
- Always turn off the heater or unplug it when you leave the office for an extended period (i.e., for a meeting, for lunch, and at the end of the day).
- The heater must be clean and not covered with dust. The cord must be in good condition and not frayed.
- Do not use where flammable or explosive vapors or dust may be present.
- Do not place a heater near combustible materials such as papers, magazines, drapes, or office furniture. Follow manufacturer guidelines for placement of the heater
- Best practice is to provide at least 36 inches of clearance in front of the heater and 18 inches clearance around the sides and back.
- Do not plug a heater into an extension cord or power strip. It should be plugged directly into a permanent wall outlet.
- Never run a power cord under a carpet or floor mat.
Please visit the University's COVID-19 Updates page for more Frequently Asked Questions.