Travel

Travel has proven to increase your chances of contracting and spreading COVID-19, due to the close contact most travel involves.  To be prudent, and to follow state and local travel restrictions, the following protocols have been implemented for travel:

Phase 1

No employee or student business-related travel will be allowed through this phase.  If an employee takes personal leave and travels out-of-state or abroad, the employee must self-quarantine for 14 days immediately upon returning to Montana per State directive.  All employee personal leave must be reviewed and approved by the President.  Students considering leaving campus for an out-of-state trip may not return to campus unless circumstances are extenuating.  If an exception is granted, the student must self-quarantine for 14 days immediately upon returning to Montana per State directive.

Phase 2

All employee or student business-related travel will be minimized through this phase. College sponsored international travel is still suspended at this time. Essential business-related travel will be reviewed on an individual basis by the employee’s supervisor or department chair.

  • Requests for Essential Business-Related Travel - Must be approved by the responsible Vice President or Division Head.  Approval will be based upon:
    • The capacity to adhere to CDC travel guidelines and local Public Health recommendations at the destination;
    • An assessment of the need for the requested travel during the semester instead of at some later time;
    • The immediate importance of the requested travel to the College’s core mission; and
    • The potential long-term consequences to the College of not undertaking the requested travel during the semester.
  • Definitions of Essential Business-Related Domestic Travel
    • For Faculty – Travel is considered essential if it is required to preserve a research project or activity that cannot be postponed. Travel to participate in a professional or educational conference is defined as non-essential and has been suspended through this phase. Faculty seeking approval to engage in business-related essential travel through the use of College funds, should submit a request to the VP of Academic Affairs who will make the final determination.
    • For Staff – Travel is considered essential if the lack of in-person attendance would have a significant, adverse impact to the operations of the College. Travel to participate in professional development activities is considered non-essential and has been suspended through this phase.  Staff seeking approval to engage in business-related essential travel through College fund, should work with their supervisor and submit a request to the responsible Vice President or Division Head who will make a final determination.
    • Course-Related Travel – Field trips for course-related purposes are allowed if it is deemed essential to the core educational purpose of a course. Travel should be approved by a request to the VP of Academic Affair’s office that includes a description of the educational value of the trip, a description of how physical-distancing guidelines will be met, and if there are students taking the course remotely, a description of how those students will be able to participate or what alternate assignment might be offered to the remote students. If rented vans or buses are used, students will be required to sit 6’ apart and wear face coverings.
    • Student Activities Day Trip Travel Within Montana – Is permitted as long as group sizes are limited, social distancing is adhered to and the face covering mandate is followed including being worn in any vehicles when more than one person is in the vehicle.
    • Student Activities Overnight Travel – Is considered non-essential.  Approval for any sponsored overnight travel must be obtained from the Dean of Students.
    • Athletic Travel – Athletic travel will follow all health and safety guidelines outlined by the Frontier Conference and the NAIA.  These guidelines will include, but are not limited to, student-athletes being required to sit 6’ apart and wear face coverings when traveling on buses or vans, limiting overnight trips, ordering meals in, etc.
  • Personal Travel - This policy does not seek to limit personal travel. However, the College strongly encourages all community members to carefully consider the potential impact of personal travel, especially over breaks, on individual and community health.
    • For employees – Out-of-state, or international personal travel plans should be reported to your supervisor or Department chair so that a determination can be made if self-quarantining is necessary upon your return.
    • For Students - Out of state, or international personal travel plans should be reported to the Dean of Students so that a determination can be made if self-quarantining is necessary upon your return.
  • If travel is approved - The following measures should be taken to protect yourself and others during your trip:
    • Wash hands often for at least 20 seconds or use a 60% alcohol hand sanitizer.
    • Wear a face covering if traveling by air, bus or train.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
    • Avoid contact with others by maintaining a 6’ distance between yourself and others.
    • Pick up food at drive-throughs, curbside restaurant services or stores.
    • May be asked to self-quarantine for up to 14 days upon returning.

Phase 3

All domestic travel will resume to normal operations.  International travel will continue to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The following measures will continue to be encouraged to protect yourself and others during your trip.

  • Wash hands often for at least 20 seconds or use a 60% alcohol hand sanitizer.
  • Wear a face covering if traveling by air, bus or train.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Avoid contact with others by trying to maintain a 6’ distance between yourself and others.
  • Pick up food at drive-throughs, curbside restaurant services or stores.