Frequently Asked Questions
No. MSU-Northern is now offering all of its classes and labs remotely for the rest of this semester. The campus remains open for business but not accessible to the public. School will continue to the end of the semester and classes will be completed for credit.
For those students staying with us, our residence halls will remain open, and staff will be available to provide necessary support.
Employees will continue to report to work unless instructed otherwise or work-from-home accommodations are developed in individual cases.
No. At this time visits and tours have been suspended until further notice.
In an ongoing effort to ensure the safety of our campus, events have been postponed, cancelled or capped at 10. This current list is only projecting to the end of April.
See the Status of Campus Events page for the current status of events.
All events held on campus must remain under 10 participants, moved off campus, postponed or canceled. Please contact Tammy Boles (265-3732) for further information.
MSU-Northern's staff has systematically cleaning all lecture halls and labs. According to the CDC, the virus cannot live for more than three days on a surface, so MSU-Northern is taking sanitization precautions based on these guidelines. Most building are closed to the public and places with people are being cleaned at least nightly. The Food Court is closed after every meal for cleaning.
As of March 23, All face-to-face instruction including lectures, labs, and clinicals will be part of this transition.
Our faculty and staff are providing resources through the Office of Teaching and Learning Excellence to assist you with this transition and ensure you can accomplish all of your learning outcomes.
Our campus will remain open to serve all those who rely on our services, including dining services, residence halls, and campus services.
Yes, it will be possible. Our goal is to make sure that students' academic work is fairly recognized and that any disruption does not present a disadvantage to their future academic progress.
All classes are now being provided remotely (online), even labs. Please check your Brightspace account for details on what your professor wants you to do for your specific courses.
Every class is different. Some labs will be using simulation software, some will use custom videos, and some will use interactive video like WebEx or Skype for Business. Regardless of the method your professor is using, they are working hard to ensure that their classes meet their requirements and accreditation standards.
Since all courses and labs are now online you will have greater flexibility to meet their needs and work your schooling around their schedules.
Faculty have been advised that COVID-19 could cause childcare and/or work schedule disruptions for students and are asked to work with them by offering makeup exams, alternate assignments, or alternate weighting of missed work.
Human Resources: Staff & Student Workers
For the latest information on how to use the "Paid COVID-19 Leave" please contact Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org or 265-3568.
Please contact all of your students and make sure they understand what you expect from them for the rest of the semester. Please be flexible as many of your students could have children at home or poor internet connections.
Montana University System students, faculty and staff are asked to consider the risks of personal travel, including unexpected travel disruptions and health risks to oneself and the public, recognizing that the status of COVID-19 infection in the United States continues to change rapidly.
Currently we are at a level 2 travel status, which means:
- Older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel.
- Travelers should avoid contact with sick people and wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- All travelers should monitor their health and practice social distancing for 14 days after returning from travel.
- Travelers who are sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing should stay home and call ahead before seeking medical care.
The most up-to-date information is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.
Please contact Wanda Meredith at 406-265-3599 for questions related to the flu vaccine.
Health & Wellness
According to the CDC, novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.
A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.
The CDC reports that current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. This includes being within approximately six feet of an individual with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may also be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
If you are sick, stay home. Here are some helpful tips:
Practice good hygiene.
- Avoid contact with others.
- Do not travel while sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing, and immediately dispose of the tissue.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean your hands by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
Monitor your symptoms closely. Take your temperature daily.
Stay home from school and work until at least 72 hours after your fever ends, without the use of fever-reducing medications. If you must go out of the house or be around others, wear a mask and avoid close contact. Be especially careful around people who have compromised immune systems, underlying health conditions or are age 60 and older.
Take care of yourself. Rest as much as possible. Drink lots of fluids.
Additionally, any person (faculty, staff, students and visitors) who traveled in a country with a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice (due to the novel coronavirus) should take the following steps before returning to campus offices or residence halls:
- Stay home for 14 days after leaving a country with a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice.
- Monitor your health and report any symptoms of illness consistent with COVID-19 infection (fever, cough, shortness of breath) to your health provider.
If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 infection — such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath — within 14 days of your return from personal or official travel to a country with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice (due to the novel coronavirus) OR have been in close contact with someone who has confirmed COVID-19, please take the steps listed below:
(Close contact is defined as being within about 6 feet of a person with confirmed COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time, or having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case without wearing personal protective equipment.)
First: Call your health provider in advance. Please do not show up at a clinic, urgent care or other health facility without calling first. Your provider will need to take special measures to protect other people in the clinic. Telemedicine may also be available, enabling you to consult a provider from home.
- Students on campus may contact Student Health Services at 406-265-3599.
- Students living off campus should contact their usual health care provider.
- Faculty, other academic personnel and staff should contact their primary care provider.
If you had close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19, but you do not have any symptoms (fever, coughing, shortness of breath):
- Stay at home for 14 days after your last contact with the ill person. Do not go to school or work. Avoid public places.
- During the 14 days, monitor your health for fever, cough and shortness of breath.
- If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 infection— such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath — within 14 days of your return from personal or official travel to a country with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice (due to the novel coronavirus) OR have been in close contact with someone who has confirmed COVID-19, please take the steps listed in the next question.
- The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. These can be symptoms of other respiratory illnesses as well as COVID-19.
- If you are in a high-risk category, and have symptoms of COVID-19, call your healthcare provider for advice. If you are at risk for serious illness, your healthcare provider may arrange a test for COVID-19.
- If you do not have a high-risk condition and your symptoms are mild, you do not need to be tested for COVID-19. Do not go out when you are sick, practice excellent hygiene and wear a facemask when you are around other people if you can.
- Cover coughs and sneezes. Avoid sharing personal household items. Clean your hands often. Clean all high-touch surfaces like doorknobs often.
- Monitor your symptoms and call your healthcare provider if symptoms worsen.
- Stay home and avoid others for 72 hours after your fever goes down and symptoms get better.
Testing is typically contacted by taking a swab at a healthcare provider's office. Call ahead before visiting your healthcare provider.
While there are no restrictions who can get tested, not everybody who feels ill needs to be tested, particularly if you have mild illness. If you are sick with fever, cough or shortness of breath and are in a high-risk group, call your healthcare provider to discuss whether you should be tested for COVID-19.
People at high risk for complications from COVID-19 are:
- People older than 60 years
- People with chronic medical conditions
- People with weakened immune systems
- Pregnant people
If you are sick, stay home. You should take steps you normally would when sick, including focusing on caring for your health, contacting your health care provider if you feel you need and don't attend social events if contagious. If you miss class due to illness, work with your instructor on any necessary arrangements for making up coursework.
People at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible, including public places with lots of people and large gatherings where there will be close contact with others. This includes concert venues, conventions, sporting events and crowded social gatherings.
People at higher risk include people:
- More than 60 years of age.
- With underlying health conditions, including include heart disease, lung disease or diabetes.
- With weakened immune systems.
- Who are pregnant.
Caregivers of children with underlying health conditions should consult with healthcare providers about whether their children should stay home. Anyone who has questions about whether their condition puts them at risk for novel coronavirus should consult with their healthcare providers.
As with any natural or human-inflicted disaster, the novel coronavirus outbreak presents an added layer of stress and worry for members of our community who have personal connections to any affected area. This is a critically important time for all of us to reinforce a community of care on our campus and support one another.
If you would like to talk with someone, support is available to students at Student Health Services 406-265-3599.
Many are experiencing anxiety as news and warnings about COVID-19 intensify. Remember that the risk of contracting COVID-19 in Montana and in the U.S. as a whole is currently low. If you would like to talk with someone, support is available to students at Student Health Services.
To protect patient privacy, the Montana University System cannot legally release the immediate location of individuals being screened for or confirmed to have COVID-19.
Confirmed and suspected cases will be reported by the Montana Department of Health & Human Services. Montana's Department of Health and Human Services tracks possible, negative, and confirmed cases on their website.
In the event that a member of one of our Montana University System campus communities were confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19, the campus would follow the lead of the local county health department to initiate appropriate quarantine and public health management protocols.
Student Health Services staff is in close contact with the county health officials and is checking the CDC, WHO, and DPHHS websites daily for updates.
Your health is our top priority. Please do not hesitate to seek the care you need.
IMPORTANT: If you develop fever; cough and/or difficulty breathing; and in the past 14 days have returned from a country or area with a COVID-19 outbreak OR have been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19, please call Student Health Services (406-265-3599) or your health provider immediately to discuss your illness and plan for how you will be seen.
If you are sick, you should take steps you normally would when sick, including focusing on caring for your health, contacting your healthcare provider if you feel you need to and not attending class or work if contagious.
The Montana University System has protocols in place at its clinics to keep patients and staff safe. One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from any virus is to practice good hand-washing and respiratory hygiene. Please do not hesitate to seek the care you need.
The best way to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19 and influenza, is to avoid exposure to the virus. Take the CDC-recommended precautions to reduce your risk of exposure, including proper handwashing; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in a trash receptacle; cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces; and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
You can reduce the risk of spreading coronaviruses by taking the same steps as you would to prevent infection from the flu and the common cold:
- Wash hands often with soap and water for a least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer, with 60-95% alcohol if water is not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
- Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and immediately dispose of the used tissue.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces (e.g., door knobs, tables, computer keyboards, handrails, exercise rooms).
Departments should use a disinfectant on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's list of Antimicrobial Products for Use Against Novel Coronavirus, an alcohol solution with at least 70% alcohol or a 10% bleach/water solution to disinfect hard, non-porous surfaces. It is also recommended that all departments purchase single use disinfectant wipes for touch points within their work spaces.
Please avoid putting disinfectant gels or liquids on electronics and other equipment, including elevator buttons, unless they have been indicated as safe to use on those devices.
CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected. The use of facemasks also is crucial for health workers and other people who are taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).