All Montana University System schools are being directed to transition all in-class instruction to "online or other remote teaching modalities that do not require in-class presence" due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) across the nation and in many communities.
Clayton Christian, the Montana Commissioner of Higher Education, made the announcement on Thursday, March 12, and it will go into effect on March 23.
Christian said the decision was made in partnership with the Board of Regents, and applies to all MUS campuses. The directive also states that all MUS campuses will remain open and operational for students, including residence halls, dining services, and most other campus services. Employees of MUS will continue working unless instructed otherwise.
The directive also says that all MUS campuses will "implement appropriate social distancing measures in line with CDC guidelines and recommendations," including restrictions on large lectures, theater performances, academic conferences, and other large gatherings. The measures will remain in effect until further notice, according to Christian.
There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 actually in Montana. Here is the latest update from the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services as of Wednesday morning:
- Reported COVID-19 Cases in Montana: 1*
- Individuals monitored by public health: 30
- - Individuals who have completed monitoring process: 26
- - Individuals who remain under monitoring: 4
- Persons tested for CoVID-19: 34
- - Persons with negative results: 34
- - Persons with positive results: 0
The sole confirmed Montana case is a Lake County woman who is currently in Maryland. Health officials in Maryland say the woman was last in Montana in November 2019, has not returned to the state since that time, and was not in Montana during the 14-day incubation period. Despite the fact that the woman is not in Montana currently and has not been in Montana since she was exposed and tested positive, current CDC guidelines mandate that her case is considered to be a "Montana" case. Click here for more information. .