Events and Welcoming Students and Visitors to Campus

Introduction

UM remains steadfast in staying up to date with ongoing health and safety information and guidance provided by the local health board, MT State, MUS and the CDC.  

Due to the rapidly changing environment of COVID-19, the guidelines below are subject to change and event organizers must be prepared to scale back, postpone or cancel if the Missoula Health Board or MUS reinstates additional restrictions based on the current epidemiological situation.  

Careful decision-making, training and planning will be necessary when hosting an event on campus. Decisions must be driven by a realistic assessment of how UM venues and services and the event can operate with reasonable risk mitigation and health and safety measures for the attendees and employees.  

Event Organizers must develop a plan for communicating these expectations to attendees and staff prior to the event as well as provide reminders during the event.

Definitions

Attendee: An attendee is anyone who pays or presents a credential to attend an event.

Attendees may be required by the client/event organizer to follow health and safety procedures as a condition of entry and attendance.

Client/Event Organizers: The individual scheduling the venue and responsible for planning and coordinating all aspects of the event. This person(s) serves as the point of contact for the event and will work the venue’s assigned UM staff to ensure compliance to health and safety guidelines.

Employee/Worker: A paid professional or volunteer providing service. They can be required by their supervisor to follow health and safety training and procedures.

Event: Including but not limited to: meetings, receptions, conferences, parties, banquet, fairs, festivals, vendor events, concerts, arts and entertainment events, sporting events, tournaments and races.

Queue: A line or area where attendees, guests or employees await their turn.

Venue: A venue is a designated facility, room, space or outdoor location on UM property where something happens, especially an organized event such as a conference, banquet, meeting or special occasion.

Facility Use

Indoor and outdoor UM venues can allow reservations in their facility/area based on their capacity to reserve, staff, clean and sanitize the spaces. Facilities may have reduced capacities or maximum gathering sizes based on the facility and staff as well as guidance by the local health department.

COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidance and Requirements

Masks, Face Coverings

Event organizers will require staff, attendees, volunteers, and others at the event to follow the current face covering requirements of the Missoula Health Board and MUS guidelines.

Facemask Recommendations

  • Among children ages 2-15 when in groups or congregate settings such as day camps, daycare, classrooms and at social events;
  • Ages 2 and up at events, gatherings, and places where groups of vaccinated and non-vaccinated people may mix: a. At indoor group events such as worship services, ceremonies, parties, receptions, business meetings and conferences, b. At large outdoor events such as concerts, dances, markets, and festivals.

Crowd Mitigation

Events must identify and take steps to mitigate areas or times of crowding. It is recommended that larger groups be structured to allow for physically distanced pods of attendees but this is not required.

Health and Safety

  • For events that are equally amenable to indoor and outdoor venues, priority should be given to outdoor venues.
  • Clean commonly touched surfaces with soap and water or disinfectant at least daily and throughout the event or gathering.
  • Provide hand sanitizer or hand washing stations.
  • Take steps to ensure employees, volunteers, attendees, and participants are aware of symptoms of COVID-19, and know that persons must not attend the event or gathering if they exhibit symptoms. Daily symptom screening practices are recommended for multi-day events/camps.
  • If a hybrid model of in-person and remote participation is possible, that option is recommended to allow attendees with potential health risks or symptoms to participate most safely.
  • Before the start of your camp or event, develop and communicate a plan to immediately separate and end participation for anyone who has COVID-related symptoms, or anyone who has been identified as a close contact or received a positive COIVD test result.
  • Prior to the event, communicate the event COVID mitigation plan to staff, volunteers and attendees.
  • Train staff and volunteers to enforce COVID mitigations throughout the event.

Medical Privacy

UM-sponsored programs must preserve individuals’ legally-protected personal medical information and comply with HIPAA regulations, and observe following guidelines:

  • Do not ask anyone to disclose their COVID vaccination status.
  • Do not request evidence of anyone’s COVID vaccination status.
  • If individuals voluntarily disclose their COVID vaccination status, do not record or store this information.
  • Do not delineate individual participation in activities according to participants’ COVID vaccination status.
  • For small groups, volunteered vaccination status may be considered when formulating a risk mitigation plan appropriate to a group’s activities.

 

Campus Overnight Housing

Currently, wearing face coverings within the residence halls is recommended.

The program coordinator must have a mitigation plan in place to respond to symptomatic attendees and staff in the event staff or an attendee shows signs of COVID-19 symptoms. 

  • UM Housing is unable to provide quarantine and isolation housing for attendees. Program staff are responsible for immediately and appropriately responding to potential COVID-19 concerns within the program.
  • In the event that an attendee exhibits symptoms, tests positive for COVID-19, or is directed by a public health official to quarantine or isolate, that attendee must immediately vacate their residence hall space and the program coordinator must enact their pre-established plan for alternative housing and transportation and meals as needed. The mitigation plan should address the following areas:
    • How quickly the participant will be expected to vacate their room
    • Transportation plans and travel timelines for minors or attendees without personal modes of transportation who need to leave before the planned end date
    • How the expectations of this plan are communicated to participants or parents of participants before the program
    • Communication plan with University and program attendees when appropriate
  • Depending on the type of housing provided and the number of exposed attendees, UM Housing may require the program to remove all attendees from the residence hall for the remainder of the program.
  • Program coordinators are expected to report positive tests to UM Housing immediately with a list of areas the person was present in UM Housing and elsewhere on campus so appropriate cleaning mitigation can occur.

Program coordinators must communicate that no participants can come to campus if they are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, have tested positive for COVID-19 and not been cleared by a doctor to be around others, or are under an active quarantine or isolation directive.

The residence halls will remain locked 24/7.  Only individuals assigned to the hall are permitted entry into the residence hall.

  • During the COVID-19 Pandemic, we have a limited Visitor Policy. A visitor is defined as any individual that is not assigned to live in a specific residence hall room/suite.
  • Common spaces such as TV lounges, etc. will remain closed until further notice. To maintain social distancing and maintain greater air circulation, attendees are highly encouraged to use the lobby and other campus spaces for socializing.  

Campus Dining

UM Campus Dining’s Food Zoo dining room will be a self-serve, all-you-care-to-eat option for group meals this summer.  Several mitigation measures will be in effect to ensure guest safety and compliance with Missoula City-County Health Department requirements.  We will do our best to notify you of measures in effect before your first meal in the Food Zoo.  Please consider the following when planning your summer camp experience.

  • Masks are still required on campus when not actively eating and drinking.
  • Guests will be required to wear disposable gloves and/or use sanitizer before handling common touch utensils on the buffet lines.
  • Depending on the size of coinciding groups, the dining room may be cordoned off to allow groups to dine in their own area and to maintain social distancing between groups.
  • We may attempt to stagger arrival times of concurrent groups in the dining room.
  • If the dining room capacity is too high to allow for proper social distancing, certain groups may be asked to take their food to-go and dine outside the dining room.

If you have any questions regarding group meals or dining in the Food Zoo, please contact Laura Colby at (406) 243-5134.

Fall Guidelines for Events

Fall 2021 events are expected to return to pre-pandemic planning and approval processes. Event organizers should anticipate that many health and safety measure will be loosened or removed, but some may remain. Guidance for Fall 2021 events will be provided close to the start of the fall semester.

Resources

  • UM's Curry Health Center provides free COVID-19 testing for UM Students who are experiencing coronavirus symptoms. Students must call 406-243-2122 to make an appointment before coming in.
  • UM health pharmacy at Curry Health Center is able to offer vaccines to all students, faculty, staff and visitors.
  • UM and the Missoula City-County Health Department (MCCHD) are closely tracking COVID-19 case trends at UM and in Missoula. The MCCHD is releasing information about UM-affiliated cases each day. Find UM affiliated COVID-19 cases on this page under the "Data" tab.
  • Find information about all necessary health and safety precautions for COVID-19 on UM's Coronavirus FAQ page, or on the Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 website.
  • UM instructional activities and courses should follow the UM Summer COVID-19 guidelines.
  • Still have questions? Please e-mail ces@umontana.edu