University of Montana expected to lift mask mandate in a matter of days

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Posted at 4:28 PM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 18:28:40-05

MISSOULA — The University of Montana is just days away from ditching the masks and taking one step closer to becoming that vibrant college community.

“So we expect it to be days not weeks at this point,” said UM spokesman Dave Kuntz.

The seven-day new case average on campus at the end of January was 22, and on Monday is less than 2 cases.

With case numbers falling nearly 90% since February 1, the mask mandate that has been in place for academic settings since last fall is being reevaluated.

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A total of 31 active COVID-19 cases associated with UM were being reported on Feb. 21, 2022.

“We know that throughout the entire pandemic that we've used this as a dial, we turn up mitigations this case let's go up and we can turn it back down as they drop,” said Kuntz.

A COVID team of public health experts and operations personnel looks at COVID-19 case numbers in Missoula County and campus every morning.

They have decided it was time to dial the restrictions back.

“This be welcome news with that decisions made will still provide N95 masks for any employees or students so they can keep themselves protected," Kuntz told MTN News.

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The University of Montana is expected to lift its mask mandate this week.

"But ultimately, it's time to turn that dial back down and loosen some mitigations as the case a little fell," Kutz added.

Mask recommendations are still being encouraged, with N95's available for any student or staff that wants one.

The Missoula City-County Health Department was reporting no new and 31 active COVID-19 cases associated with UM on Monday.