A graphic of a face mask in a circle to indicate masks are required at Montana State University

The virus that causes COVID-19 can spread via droplets from sneezes, coughs or even talking over distances up to 6 feet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And since people can carry and spread the virus without showing any symptoms of it — or with very mild symptoms — wearing a face covering can help protect those around you and the community at large.

Wearing cloth face masks and coverings is required for all students, faculty, staff and visitors to campus in all indoor spaces and all enclosed or partially enclosed outdoor spaces. Read the full face mask requirement in MSU's Roadmap for Fall 2020.

In outdoor settings where social distancing is possible, face coverings continue to be strongly recommended. The face covering requirement applies to all Montana State University students, employees and to all visitors, including service providers, contractors, vendors, suppliers, alumni, families, and community members.

Cloth face masks and face coverings will also be required in specific areas and circumstances that include, but are not limited to employees serving food, sick students visiting the student health center, some laboratories where the use of protective face masks was part of protocols before the pandemic, and some clinical settings that are part of a student’s education in a medical field.

Clean 'Cat Kits

A reuseable mask will be provided to all students, staff and faculty in their personal Clean 'Cat Kit for fall 2020. This personal kit is meant to help people on campus take personal charge of the sanitization of the spaces they come into contact with frequently, such as desks, podiums and chairs.

Masks for employees

Upon request to a unit supervisor, the university will provide one cloth face mask to each employee who returns to campus. This mask is to supplement an employee's own mask or face covering. Masks will be distributed through department and unit supervisors.

Faculty and instructors will be provided their preference of face shields or cloth face masks to wear in the classroom. Face shields may be useful for instructional faculty because students can more easily read lips and observe facial expressions. Requests for personal protection equipment should be made by unit or department supervisors to the MSU Office of Safety and Risk Management.

Usage instructions

Below, you can review instructions from MSU Safety and Risk Management for putting on and removing masks, as well as print posters showing the instructions.

Laundering cloth masks

Please note, the CDC advises washing cloth face coverings routinely, depending on their frequency of use. Laundering instructions will depend upon the cloth used to make the face covering. Running your face covering through a washing machine should suffice to properly clean it, but in general, clean your covering with water and a mild detergent, dry it completely in a hot dryer and store in a clean container or bag for use.