Montana State University deals with rise in COVID-19 cases

"Spirit the Bobcat" statue on Montana State University's Bozeman campus.

BOZEMAN, Mont. – A significant rise in COVID cases, along with a hospital surge at area hospitals, has forced Montana State University to expand their indoor mask policy.

The latest school-related COVID-19 report from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services shows an increase of over 80 covid cases in the last two weeks at Montana State University with 50 total active cases according to the Gallatin City County Health Department’s latest COVID-19 weekly surveillance report.

MSU President Waded Cruzado announced an expanded guidance on face masks to include indoor hallways, offices, the MSU Library, the student union building, MSU residence halls and dining halls on the Bozeman campus.

Also, until further notice, the requirement continues to be in effect for indoor instructional spaces, including every classroom, laboratory and studio which applies to every MSU student and to every member of the faculty and staff.

President Cruzado cited the current hospital surge at Bozeman Health as a major concern and MSU Spokesperson Michael Becker said they continue to see students sign up for their vaccine sweepstakes.

“We’ve seen really a strong turnout for that, the numbers keep going up for the folks who are in that vaccine sweepstakes more than 4,300 currently and of course while we require masks in certain indoors spaces, we recommend them everywhere people are willing to wear them,” Beck said.

Becker also said the number of students in MSU Quarantine and Isolation housing on campus has gone down as of Sept. 23 with only eight on-campus, resident students in isolation with positive COVID-19 tests.

For perspective, two days before MSU expanded their mask requirement to include more indoor spaces on Sept. 15, the Bozeman campus had 20 students in isolation.

You can find more information about Montana State University’s vaccine clinics every Monday and Wednesday and vaccine appointments for those seeking a COVID-19 vaccine shot here.

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