Dear MSU Students,

The end of the semester is approaching, and many of us have already begun thinking about the long winter break and cherished time with our families and loved ones. However, with COVID-19 still widespread in our community and across the nation, it is important that we remember those in our lives who may have additional vulnerabilities to the coronavirus and to take precautions to keep them safe as we make our holiday plans.

Today marks two weeks until the end of the semester on Nov. 25, and research has shown us that a person infected with the coronavirus can take up to 14 days to show symptoms of COVID-19.

I urge you to consider this time period as we end our semester. Limiting your social circle, staying home when you can and avoiding gatherings now can help reduce the risk of carrying the virus with you when you travel later.

Additionally, last week the Gallatin City-County Board of Health passed new county-wide restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19. One of those restrictions now limits social gatherings to 25 people or fewer, regardless of the ability to maintain social distancing. This new restriction applies to indoor and outdoor venues.

We want to remind you that students who host or attend events where more than 25 people are present would be breaking the county rule, which is in turn a violation of MSU's Code of Student Conduct. Hosting or attending an event that violates the restriction could lead to discipline under the conduct code.

More information about the Code of Student Conduct is at, and more about the county-wide restrictions are on the Healthy Gallatin website.

The university has put together a guide for things to think about before leaving campus for the break. It includes information about taking care of your residence, parking and virus safety tips.

And, as always, be aware of your own health. If you develop symptoms of the virus, seek testing. Students who have symptoms of COVID-19 can visit our Symptomatic Student Testing Center at Bobcat Stadium for a test free of charge. And if your condition worsens, seek appropriate medical care.

The public health situation can change rapidly. Please continue to regularly check your official university email accounts for updates or visit our COVID-19 website at

Happy holidays,

Matthew R. Caires, Dean of Students

Office of the Dean of Students
174 Strand Union Building | P.O. Box 174220 | Bozeman, MT 59717| [email protected] | 406-994-2826