Dear MSU Students,

By now, I'm sure you've seen President Cruzado's message strongly encouraging you to self-quarantine before returning to campus as a precaution against COVID-19.

Spring classes begin Monday, Jan. 11, and our residence halls open five days earlier, on Jan. 6. Depending on when you plan to come back to MSU, that could mean beginning your self-quarantine now.

Self-quarantine tips

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, quarantine is meant to keep someone who might have been exposed to the coronavirus away from others. It helps prevent the spread of disease before someone knows they are sick.

  • Stay home unless you absolutely must leave, such as for groceries, medicine or health care.
  • Do your best to keep away from others, including members of your household and pets. Wear a mask if you can't separate yourself.
  • Use a separate bedroom and bathroom if you can.
  • Don't share utensils, plates, cups, bedding, towels or other personal items.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in your area daily, such as phones, remote controls, door handles, toilets, keyboards, etc.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap often.
  • To the best of your ability, isolate yourself while traveling back to MSU.
  • Monitor your temperature and your overall health to watch for symptoms of COVID-19. If you have symptoms, seek testing.

Testing before coming back to MSU

MSU also recommends that students, whether or not they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, seek testing before returning to campus. We realize that capacity for COVID-19 testing for people without symptoms is limited in many places, such as Montana. Still, we encourage you to obtain this extra level of assurance before returning to campus.

Delay your return if you're sick

If you develop symptoms of the virus or receive a positive test result, do not come back to MSU until you receive the all-clear from your health care provider and local health office. You can reach out to your instructors to let them know your situation; they'll be prepared to help you start the semester with online work until you're able to join us safely in Bozeman.

Additional guidance on returning to campus after break is available on MSU's COVID-19 resources page.

We understand that the holidays are a time for gatherings, for family and for sharing and that this self-quarantine recommendation is asking you to give up some of that time. It is a sacrifice that helps to protect your fellow Bobcats and your entire campus community. For that you have my most sincere thanks.


Matt Caires

Dean of Students
Montana State University


Office of the Dean of Students
Montana State University
Student Union Building, Room 174 | P.O. Box 174220 | Bozeman, MT 59717-4220 | [email protected] | (406) 994-2826