Presidential COVID-19 Update: July 22, 2020

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Dear Saints,

We can’t wait for your return to campus! It seems like it has been a long time and I’m looking forward to greeting each of you. Of course, things are going to look a little different this year, so I wanted to write to you now and make sure you are well prepared as we start the new academic year. 

The bottom line is that collectively we have the power to limit the spread of COVID-19 and look out for each other. It is what Saints do. We are all going to be a little uncomfortable as we get used to the new environment but working together we can achieve our dual goals of a safe and healthy return to campus and making the most of your academic and campus experience.

Before you return: We are asking you to do a few things to ensure a safe and healthy return to campus.

  • Self-quarantine for 14 days before moving in or attending class. Where you currently are, please limit your contacts 14 days before returning to campus.
  • Monitor your symptoms 14 days before returning to campus. In the coming weeks we will be rolling out a tool to help you do this but daily health screening will be a key to keeping us all safe this fall and that starts before you return.
  • Complete the Carroll College COVID-19 Training Module. This will be emailed to you in early August and explains more about what you can expect when you return to campus.
  • Travel safely. Limit exposure on your way back to campus and arrive safe and COVID-19 free.

What to bring: Some new supplies will be needed to ensure we stay safe.

  • Currently, the State of Montana is requiring masks in all public spaces and masks will be required on campus. Bring a supply of approximately seven reusable masks or a plentiful supply of disposable ones with you when you return to campus. Washable cloth masks are acceptable and should be washed after a day’s use. We are using the CDC Guidelines for acceptable face coverings.
  • Hand sanitizer and hand soap. We will have plenty of sanitizer stations and cleaning supplies in classrooms, bathrooms, and common areas, but make sure you have what you need to practice good hand hygiene.
  • A thermometer to complete self-health checks.

Housing and Dining: Specific instructions will be coming from the res life office, but in general be prepared to follow these guidelines.

  • Visitors to residence halls will be prohibited. You can only access the hall you live in.
  • Cleaning will be more frequent in the residence halls.
  • Masks and physical distancing guidelines will be followed in the common areas.
  • Tables will be spread out in the dining hall to promote physical distancing, and there will not be self-service options while we are in Montana’s Phase 2.
  • We will not be renting out common use kitchen items or providing cooking supplies in any of the common kitchens.

In the classroom: Making sure you achieve your educational goals is the most important thing we do. Protecting faculty and students from spreading COVID-19 will ensure we accomplish this goal.

  • Cleaning will occur before and after every class. This task will be shared by faculty members and students in the class.
  • Masks will be required in class.  
  • Classes are being moved to larger locations. Our goal is to fill classrooms to 50% capacity or less, and faculty will be 6-8 feet from students in the classroom at all times.
  • Some classes may have additional online components or be delivered remotely to protect vulnerable faculty and staff members.

Procedures if someone suspects or tests positive for COVID-19: Throughout the summer we have been working with Lewis & Clark Public Health to develop the following guidelines. All students, faculty and staff will be provided further detailed information which will include contact numbers and after hours information before move-in:

  • If a student has symptoms of COVID-19, they should remain in their room or remain off campus and contact the Wellness Center.
  • If a student is notified by L&C Public Health that they are a known contact of a COVID-19 positive individual or are COVID-19 positive themselves, they must report that to Student Life.
  • If a student suspects they have COVID-19, our health service can order a test right away at a local healthcare provider.
  • If a student living on campus suspects they have COVID-19 or has had contact with a known COVID-19 carrier and needs to isolate themselves, we have space set aside for those students.
  • If a student is diagnosed with COVID-19, we have space set aside to isolate that student, make sure their needs are met, and quarantine any known contacts identified by the County Health Department through contact tracing. We will be working very closely with L&C Public Health on this.
  • Students who are isolated or quarantined will be able to continue their coursework remotely.
  • Due to FERPA and HIPAA, we cannot release any information about a student's health and therefore, we will not be releasing personal information including age, gender, place of residence, or what programs they are involved in. However, we are working on a procedure to communicate to the Carroll community the prevalence of the virus on campus.

Future Communications: We recognize the importance of keeping you informed as you return to campus. Expect to receive an email from every Wednesday for the foreseeable future beginning next Wednesday, July 29. You can also expect in the coming weeks to hear from Student Life, coaches, and others regarding specific information about Marching Back plans as it relates to your program. Upcoming communications will include information about testing, hybrid and remote coursework, and more.

Carroll and its community of Helena offer plenty of COVID-19 safe and outdoor-friendly opportunities for students, including world-class hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, skiing, and nature exploration just minutes from campus. We look forward to your arrival and sharing our wonderful campus and community with you!

Please refer your questions to and check out the “Marching Back” webpage, which is continually updated with details as we develop the final procedures to ensure your return to campus. 

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you soon!

John E. Cech, Ph.D.