UM to Recommend but not Require Masks as Fall Semester Begins
Masks will be recommended but not required on the University of Montana campus for students and visitors as the fall semester gets underway later this month.
KGVO spoke to Director of Strategic Communications Dave Kuntz after a report surfaced that MSU might be requiring masks, a report that proved untrue.
“We here at the University of Montana are recommending and we're asking all students and employees to wear masks indoors,” said Kuntz. “But this is not a mandate. We're just reassuring students, that we want to come together and have a safe environment this fall. This is something that we'll reassess on September 20, depending on how the Delta variants impacting the community. But right now our mask policy here at the University of Montana is a recommendation.”
Regarding outdoor events like Grizzly football or soccer games, Kuntz said there are no masking requirements.
“Right now our policy for outside its not recommended that people wear masks,” he said. “Obviously we're going to see that's an extra healthy step we can take to limit spread the virus, but we're working really in close coordination with Missoula City County Health Department. We're following the latest CDC guidelines, and both of those while recommending masks are used inside, for outside everything will be treated as normal here going forward.”
Kuntz reiterated the outdoor policy, especially the first home football game.
“The guidance right now is just for indoor spaces, especially our classrooms, our learning spaces and our laboratories,” he said. “For the outside and for the football game; The first one is September 11. There's been no policy change to that yet in the stadium.”
Although UM officials strongly encourage everyone to be vaccinated, Kuntz said there will be no vaccine mandate.
“There has not,” he said. “Montana law is pretty clear on this, that the universities don't have that authority to require the vaccine. So although it's something that can be debated pretty intensely across the state, right now there are zero plans to have any sort of vaccine mandate on campus.”
The first day of classes for the fall semester will be Monday, August 30.
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