COVID-19 Update: March 17, 2021

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Hard to believe we are at the one-year anniversary of COVID having altered our way of life. March 17, 2020, was the day we moved all our classes to remote delivery. While this past year has been challenging in so many unexpected ways, we are incredibly proud of our campus for responding responsibly and doing whatever was asked of us to keep our community as safe and healthy as possible during a global pandemic.

While there certainly appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel with Governor Gianforte announcing yesterday that all Montanans over 16 will be eligible for the COVID vaccine by April 1, we still must remain vigilant. We have eight weeks until graduation and we want to make it to that point with as few positive cases on campus as possible. Adhering to the safety protocols in place improves our chances that we will be able to have an in-person graduation ceremony with family members present.

We are not out of the woods in terms of COVID-19 and the new variants are concerning and are currently impacting other colleges and universities across the nation. For instance, Duke University is currently in lockdown after a surge in cases.

Please recognize that the campus masking policy will remain in place until the end of the semester. Masks are required in all indoor spaces including All Saints Chapel and the Campus Center. Please also continue with proper handwashing and social distancing. As the weather warms up, there will be more opportunities and spaces for students to socialize and eat outside.

Although the Governor has said all will be eligible for vaccines April 1, we still do not know about vaccine supplies and availability. We will keep our students, faculty and staff informed of the availability of vaccines for those interested in obtaining one.

Also, even though Lewis & Clark County has lifted the majority of restrictions in the county – except the mask mandate – some local businesses continue to limit capacities and enforce physical distancing to ensure the safety of their staff and customers. Please respect our local businesses and follow any guidelines that might be in place.

We continue to offer ongoing COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic students, faculty and staff on Mondays and Tuesdays from 9:00 am - 11:30 am in the Wellness Center. No appointment necessary

Only individuals who are asymptomatic should come to the Wellness Center for testing. If you have symptoms, contact the Wellness Center or your healthcare provider and follow the guidelines on the Marching Forward website under the heading “If you feel ill.”

Please celebrate responsibly this St. Patrick’s Day. It will take all of us to cross the finish line.

Thank you,

Marching Forward Team