A graphic showing a face mask with the words "mask up"

Face masks are recommended, but not required, for students, faculty and staff indoors on campus.

In light of declining numbers of new and active cases in Gallatin County, and following direction from the Montana Commissioner of Higher Education to phase out COVID-19 restrictions, starting Monday, Feb. 14, face masks will be recommended, but not required, for students, faculty and staff in campus buildings at Montana State University. Read the president's message to campus.

Face coverings can help slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 via droplets from sneezes, coughs or even talking over distances up to 6 feet. 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.

Types of face coverings

Appropriate face coverings are those that cover the mouth and nose of the wearer. Different types of face coverings have been shown to vary in effectiveness in preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus. Surgical masks and cloth face masks are among the more effective types, while bandanas and gaiters are among the least effective. MSU recommends the use of masks over other types of coverings.

Masks for employees

All staff should have sufficient masks to meet current use guidance within campus facilities. Departments may have Level 3 surgical masks in their main offices for those who forget a mask. These masks will be distributed through department and unit supervisors.

Faculty and instructors can request clear masks or face shields through their department office for use in the classroom. These items 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.

Face Shield Usage

Get instructions for taking off and reusing plastic face shields.

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.

Page updated Feb. 12, 2022