Guide to Returning to Campus After Break
Classes for spring semester begin on Monday, January 11, and the majority of MSU classes this spring will be offered face-to-face. The university will continue the precautions against COVID-19 that you're already familiar with from fall semester to reduce the risk of virus transmission as much as possible.
- Face masks are required on campus.
- Social distancing will be observed in classrooms and other areas on campus.
- Wash your hands often and use hand sanitizer when you can't use soap and water.
- Keep tabs on your health and stay home when you're sick.
- If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, seek testing.
Additional things to remember
While a number of vaccines are being distributed across the nation, please remember that supplies are limited. Also, the timeline for widespread availability and the determination of who's first in line to get vaccinations is decided at the state and federal levels.
Despite vaccines becoming available, we must all still remember to practice the proven COVID-19 precautions to minimize the spread of the virus.
There is not a firm answer among doctors and scientists about how long immunity to COVID-19 lasts once a person has recovered from it. A person who had COVID-19 could still spread the disease with unwashed hands or by other means.
Even if you had COVID-19, you still need to observe social distancing, wear a mask and take other precautions to help keep others from getting ill.
If you have symptoms, get tested and follow the directions from health officials and your health care providers on any quarantine or isolation.
Beginning Jan. 11, MSU's Student Testing Center will offer free, voluntary testing for students living in the campus residence halls who are not showing symptoms of COVID-19. This option will be available through Jan. 22.
Residence Hall students will have the option for asymptomatic COVID-19 testing at MSU. Additional information will be sent to them directly.
- Health and Safety
- Residence Life
As President Cruzado said in her email on December 17, the Montana University System and MSU are recommending that our returning and incoming students undergo a precautionary 10-day self quarantine before they return to campus.
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.
Remember that with spring classes beginning Monday, Jan. 11, and our residence halls opening Jan. 6, that could mean that some students would need to start their self-quarantine as early as Dec. 27.
- 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.
- Only come to campus if you're symptom-free.
MSU recommends that students seek COVID-19 testing before returning to campus, whether or not you have symptoms of the virus. If you receive a positive test, quarantine or isolate as directed by your health care provider and delay your return to campus.
MSU realizes that the 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.
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.
- Wear a mask on public transportation, such as trains, buses or airplanes.
- Maintain social distancing by staying at least 6 feet from anyone who’s not a part of your household.
- Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer that’s at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Additional travel guidance during the pandemic is available from the CDC.
The Clean 'Cat Kit is a free tool for you to use to help ensure the cleanliness of the areas you touch each day. The spring Clean 'Cat Kit will include a Bobcat cloth face mask and a refillable bottle of hand sanitizer. Refill stations for the hand sanitizer are available at more than 80 locations campus-wide.
Kits will be distributed to resident students at their halls' front desks, and commuter students may pick up their kits during the first week of classes at the following locations:
- Outdoors on the north side of the MSU Library, Jan. 11-12, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Outside the main entrance to Barnard Hall, Jan. 11-12, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Just outside the doors of the MSU Bookstore in the SUB, Jan. 11-15, 7:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
After Jan. 15, students can pick up their kits at the Bookstore. Picking up a kit is worth 10,000 ChampChange points and will enter the student into a prize drawing.
MSU has been approved to distribute COVID-19 vaccines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Please note, however, that the availability of vaccinations will depend on decisions at the state and federal level. Additional information about vaccines will be sent to the campus community when it is available.
MSU instructors have provided additional details on what students can expect from their blended courses and how they’ll be delivered this spring. Students can use the new website to search for this information or find it in MyInfo on their schedule of classes.
Some of the most important notes about moving in to the residence halls for spring semester are below. For additional information, visit the Res Life spring housing information web page.
Students can begin returning or moving in to MSU's residence halls on Wednesday, January 6, at noon. No appointment or pre-arranged move-in time is required. Students will need to visit their hall's front desk to pick up their room keys if they dropped the keys off at the end of fall semester.
- Students are limited to two family members or guests in the residence hall to help with moving in. Additional family members or guests may be outside the building to help there, but the number allowed inside will be resricted.
- Students and family members must wear a face mask in the residence halls.
- Students and helpers will be asked to wipe down any carts they use for move-in with disinfectant wipes. Custodians will also be wiping down elevators, buttons and other high-touch surfaces in the residence halls regularly.
All students who drive to campus need to have purchased a parking permit or have a temporary, move-in parking credential on their dashboards while parked on campus between January 6-10. The temporary credential will be available from the Res Life spring move-in page.
You can ship your personal belongings to your residence hall ahead of time to reduce the number of items you need to carry in. You should plan to have your items arrive at your residence hall on or after Jan. 6, 2021. Mailing addresses for each hall are listed on the Res Life spring move-in page.