Student Life

Before returning to Northern this fall, we strongly recommend that each of you quarantine for 14 days without contact outside of your immediate household. Please avoid attending any large social events or gatherings prior to your arrival.

If you are ill or experiencing symptoms, please do not return to campus until you are symptom free, as outlined by CDC and local public health guidelines (typically 24 hours symptom free without medication). We will gladly assist you in communicating with faculty, coaches and University staff to arrange for remote learning, in the event you are unable to return immediately.

Northern continues to require face coverings for all students, employees, and visitors. In congruence with guidance and expectations provided by the state of Montana and local health officials, students are required to wear face coverings under the following conditions.

Indoors at all times, except...

  • when a student is required to wear alternate or additional personal protective equipment that covers the nose and mouth, as designated by area-specific safety protocols (lab or shop settings, etc.);
  • when alone (or with their assigned roommate) in designated residence hall room or within own apartment in student family housing;
  • when eating or drinking in a situation where social distancing is practiced;
  • when alone in a vehicle or utility vehicle used for MSUN business; however, face coverings are required in vehicles used for MSUN business when there is more than one person inside the vehicle.

Outdoors when social distancing of 6 feet or more between individuals cannot be met or when gatherings include 50 or more people.

  • Note that one face covering (mask) will be made available to every student upon your arrival. You may pick up your mask at the SUB Info Desk, Student Central, or via your hall staff, if you live in one of our residence halls.

Local and national health guidelines continue to show the value in social distancing and consistent and regular handwashing. Please be mindful at all times of the need for 6 or more feet between you and others and wash or sanitize your hands frequently.

  • Posted Occupancies and Other Signage | Posted maximum occupancy signs can be found outside almost every room on campus. Some buildings on campus may have also identified foot traffic patterns for entering or exiting a space. Please pay attention to posted signs or other indicators wherever you are on campus.
  • Respect | Each of us may be called upon at some point to ask another to change behavior to keep others safe. Be respectful of those who do, support their efforts, and comply when asked.
  • Understanding & Flexibility | We will do our best to keep you informed as institutional, local, and state-wide expectations evolve. However, as you know, every day brings changes in direction or understanding. Please remember we are learning together as we work through this.

Throughout the summer, Northern has been closely connected with local health officials and health care providers to ensure that our plans for reopening are reflective of what's happening in our local and campus communities and keep health and safety at the forefront of our efforts. We meet weekly with the Hill County Health Department, have been well represented on the Commissioner of Higher Education's MUS Healthy Fall 2020 Task Force, and have encouraged staff and faculty in key positions across campus to reach out to and discuss strategies with colleagues at institutions throughout Montana and beyond.

Across campus, custodial staff are and will continue working hard to ensure spaces are cleaned and sanitized as regularly as possible. These efforts include, but may not be limited to...

  • Daily Deep Cleanings | Classrooms, offices, entrances, lobbies, hallways, kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms will be deep-cleaned and sanitized daily, Monday through Friday. Spaces used regularly on weekends (residence halls, athletic facilities, etc.) will be cleaned Saturdays and Sundays and additionally as needed.
  • Self-Sanitization | We will be placing a combination of disinfectant wipes and sanitizing spray in each classroom, lab, office area, and bathroom for staff, faculty or students to apply in between uses. The spray can be left without need for wiping and will kill viruses (Coronavirus included) within 5 minutes.
  • Hand Sanitizing Stations | Hand sanitizing stations have been placed in high traffic areas across campus.

In order to best serve students this fall and manage our living communities as effectively as possible, we are limiting the number of students who can live on each floor in both Morgan and Mackenzie Halls. Morgan Hall floors will be limited to no more than 20 students per floor (plus 1 RA). Mackenzie Hall floors will be limited to no more than 15 students per floor (plus 1 RA). This means that almost all of our students will be living in single rooms throughout our residence halls.

Visitors will not be allowed to access residence halls throughout the fall semester. Exceptions will be made at move-in (two guests per student are allowed to enter a residence hall to assist with move-in during the assigned two-hour move-in period) and when approved as an accommodation through the office of Accessibility Services.

Additionally, we are taking steps to further minimize exposure within our residence hall communities and throughout campus...

  • Lounges | Floor lounges in both Morgan and Mackenzie Halls will be closed and locked. The main lounge for Morgan Hall will also be closed and locked.
  • Kitchens | The primary kitchen in each of our residence halls will remain available for use. Self-sanitization products will be made available in these locations. However, all other kitchens in Morgan and Mackenzie Halls will be closed and locked.
  • Laundry Rooms | Laundry rooms in both buildings will remain available to students. Self-sanitization products will be made available in these spaces as well.

The Northern Food Court will be available for campus use on a modified schedule to account for additional cleaning, sanitization, and ongoing management of social distancing expectations. As a result, please note the following adjustments...

  • The Dining Room will close for one hour between meal periods each day to accommodate additional cleaning and sanitization. Additional cleaning and sanitizing items will be made available for student use throughout as well. The daily schedule will be as follows:
    • Breakfast | 7 AM to 10 AM
    • Lunch | 11 AM to 3 PM
    • Dinner | 4 PM to 7 PM
  • Food will primarily be provided in disposable, biodegradable containers, ensuring that all items can be taken to-go from the Dining Room. Food will be served by Dining Room staff – no self-serve items will be available.
  • Seating, serving, and retail areas will operate with reduced maximum occupancies. It will be important to maintain social distancing expectations (6 ft or more) at all times and in all places within the Dining Room.
  • Face coverings will be required at all times within the Dining Room, except when in the act of eating and drinking.

It will be important for students to pay close attention to visual cues (signs, stickers or tape on floors) to ensure you are complying with all expectations. Please also remember to be patient, understanding, and respectful at all times. We are all learning and this will take time to get used to.

Bookstore

The Bookstore will operate during normal business hours. However, there are a few highlighted changes of which to make you aware...

  • If possible, please make arrange to purchase your books online through the University Bookstore website in advance of the semester. This will help minimize crowds and lines in the Bookstore. Pay close attention to posted signage and staff directives regarding maximum occupancies and traffic flow.
  • Also, please be aware that laptops are now available for purchase through the Bookstore for $779 with a $100 mail-in rebate. For any who are looking to purchase a new laptop that meets minimum specifications for remote learning needs, note that this option is now available to you.

Vande Bogart Library

We look forward to seeing you in the library this fall! Please note that some changes have been made to the library building and functions due to COVID-19. Please visit the Library website for updates and access to resources.

Here are a few highlights of key adjustments for this fall...

  • Computer labs have been spaced for social distancing. Please use a computer with a chair.
  • Study tables are intended for single users. Do not move furniture around to work as groups.
  • Face coverings and social distancing are required the entire time you are in the library.
  • The Coffee Cart will be closed. We will reevaluate its availability for the spring semester in January.
  • No food or drinks are allowed in the library.
  • No study rooms are currently available, as all have been utilized to store furniture removed for social distancing needs.

To better accommodate cleaning and sanitization needs, hours of operation for the Library will be adjusted as follows...

  • Mondays through Thursdays | 8 AM to 8 PM
  • Fridays | 8 AM to 5 PM
  • Sundays | 1 PM to 8 PM

Here are a few key offerings that haven't changed (though, please remember to socially distance and wear masks at all times) ...

  • 24/7 access to electronic resources. Find us on the Current Student web page. Any off-campus use of resources requires only that you use your BrightSpace username and password for access.
  • A librarian is available to you Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM, via phone, email, or by appointment.
  • The scanner may continue to be used.
  • Books can be checked out at the circulation desk for three weeks at a time with renewals allowed.

University Operations

No.  The MSU-Northern remains open for business all visitors and employees must wear face masks while on campus. 

 

Yes, please make an appointment through our recruiting and admissions office

See the Status of Campus Events page for the current status of events.

Please contact Tammy Boles (265-3732) for help planning your event.

MSU-Northern's staff has systematically cleaning all lecture halls and labs.  According to the CDC guidelines.  

Human Resources: Staff & Student Workers

Employees will continue to report to work unless instructed otherwise or work-from-home accommodations are developed in individual cases.

 

Employees should work with their supervisor and can contact Human Resource Services at 406-265-3568 to discuss their situation.

For the latest information on how to use the "Paid COVID-19 Leave" please contact Human Resources at suzanne.hunger@msun.edu or 265-3568.

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:

  1. Stay home for 14 days after leaving a country with a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice.
  2. 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):

  1. Stay at home for 14 days after your last contact with the ill person. Do not go to school or work. Avoid public places.
  2. During the 14 days, monitor your health for fever, cough and shortness of breath.
  3. 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.

Prevention

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.

Northern continues to require face coverings for all students, employees, and visitors. In congruence with guidance and expectations provided by the state of Montana and local health officials, students are required to wear face coverings under the following conditions.

Indoors at all times, except...

  • when a student is required to wear alternate or additional personal protective equipment that covers the nose and mouth, as designated by area-specific safety protocols (lab or shop settings, etc.);
  • when alone (or with their assigned roommate) in designated residence hall room or within own apartment in student family housing;
  • when eating or drinking in a situation where social distancing is practiced;
  • when alone in a vehicle or utility vehicle used for MSUN business; however, face coverings are required in vehicles used for MSUN business when there is more than one person inside the vehicle.

Outdoors when social distancing of 6 feet or more between individuals cannot be met or when gatherings include 50 or more people.

  • Note that one face covering (mask) will be made available to every student upon your arrival. You may pick up your mask at the SUB Info Desk, Student Central, or via your hall staff, if you live in one of our residence halls.