Feb. 18, 2021

COVID Update



Dear Campus Community, 

The UM mask policy is unchanged.

UM’s mask policy, which has been in effect since late last summer, remains in effect. There have been questions about mask requirements for individuals who have completed their two-dose vaccine, as well as questions about whether those who are recovered from COVID-19 need to continue to wear a mask. The answer is yes.

Our campus mask policy requires “all University employees, students, contractors, vendors and visitors must wear face coverings on site at a University location, and off-site in all University Programs and activities in:

  • Indoor spaces.
  • Enclosed or partially enclosed outdoor spaces.
  • Outdoor settings when people are unable to keep a six-foot distance at all times.
  • University-owned vehicles when more than one person is in a vehicle, including but not limited to ASUM buses and vans.”

The Missoula County vaccine administration continues.

Data posted today on the Missoula County Vaccine Distribution Dashboard indicates 14,182 individuals in Missoula County have received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. That’s roughly 14% of the county population, with the expectation that vaccine availability will continue to increase and administration of doses will accelerate in coming weeks.

Missoula County residents in Phase 1A and Tier 1 of Phase 1B currently are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. MUS employees are in Phase 1C unless they meet specific additional conditions to be included in Phase 1B.

Q: Is there a cost to receive the COVID vaccine?

A: There is no out-of-pocket cost to receive the vaccine. However, providers do bill insurance a small fee associated with the cost of vaccine administration. Individuals who do how have health insurance will still receive the vaccine at no cost.

Q: Is there a vaccine available that is only one dose?

A:  A vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson is expected to get approval from the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization later this month and become available in early March. This vaccine will be easier to distribute and maintain because it is administered as a single dose and only requires normal refrigeration temperatures for storage. It is unclear how quickly the vaccine will be available in Montana.

Vaccine providers are available.

The Missoula County vaccine information website contains a table of current active providers, who can receive vaccine at that location and how to make an appointment. This information changes constantly. Please bookmark this site and visit frequently if you currently are seeking a COVID-19 vaccine and are eligible in the current distribution phase.

Montana continues to add COVID-19 cases and deaths.

COVID-19 cases continue to fall across Montana, with 244 new cases reported on the statewide dashboard. However, new cases and deaths continue to be counted. Statewide, Montana is reporting 98,100 cases and 1,337 deaths from COVID-19. More than 94,000 people have recovered from the virus.

UM Offered “A Conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci.”

If you missed “A Conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci” hosted by the Mansfield Center yesterday, it was an engaging, informative conversation, and more than 6,000 people participated in the virtual event. Thank you to the Mansfield Center for your leadership and commitment to hosting such an important and timely event! For more information, visit the Mansfield Center website.

Have a question? Please email crt@mso.umt.edu, and we will include responses to general questions in future updates.

Be well,

COVID Response Team

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