May 29, 2020: UM Readies for Phase 2 of Reopening Plan


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Dear UM Colleagues, 

Beginning Monday, June 1, Gov. Bullock’s phased reopening plan for the State of Montana will proceed to Phase Two. Specific guidance from the governor’s directive includes:

Increase in Permissible Group Size to Groups of 50

  • Effective June 1, avoid gathering in groups of more than 50 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing. It is recommended to continue social distancing in gatherings of any size.
  • Groups larger than 50 people should be canceled unless physical distancing can be maintained.
  • If you are planning an event with more than 50 people, you should consult with your local public health office on a plan to implement adequate social distancing.
  • Consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines, event cutoff threshold is at the discretion of community leadership based on current circumstances in your community.
  • Physical distancing guidelines for groups and gatherings do not apply to household members.

Individuals and Employers

  • Vulnerable individuals should continue to adhere to the stay-at-home guidance.
  • All businesses may operate provided they adhere to physical distancing and the conditions in the governor's directive, the Phase Two guidelines, and all other directives and guidance remaining in effect. Businesses should follow CDC sanitation protocols.
  • Restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries and casinos remain in the same operational status as Phase One, but with an increase to 75% capacity.
  • Gyms, indoor group fitness classes, pools and hot tubs can operate at 75% capacity if they can adhere to strict physical distancing and they exercise frequent sanitation protocols.
  • Concert halls, bowling alleys and other places of assembly may operate with reduced capacity and must adhere to strict physical distancing guidelines set forth for group gatherings and follow CDC sanitation protocols.
  • Child-care facilities can increase capacity consistent with the guidelines and FAQ contained in the April 1 directive on childcare, if physical distancing guidelines can be implemented. However, the 24-person cap per facility no longer applies effective June 1.
  • Employers should continue to permit telework as much as possible and where feasible, but refer to guidelines for Phase One where telework is not possible.
  • Senior living or assisted living facilities must continue to follow the guidelines of Phase One.
  • Outdoor recreation remains in the same operational status as Phase One.

Travel Quarantine to Expire June 1

  • Effective June 1, the provisions of the March 30 directive requiring quarantine for non-work-related arrivals in Montana will no longer be in effect.
  • The Montana National Guard remains authorized to conduct temperature checks, assess individuals for COVID-19 symptoms and inquire about exposure history of any traveler arriving in Montana from another state or country through air or rail travel, consistent with the terms and restrictions provided in the March 30 directive.
  • The state will execute a robust public health plan in communities most impacted by tourism, including:
    • Surveillance testing of employees.
    • Enhanced contact tracing resources deployed to these areas as requested by local authorities.
    • An ability to surge personal protective equipment to impacted health care systems.
    • Guidelines for operation for businesses that see high-tourist activity.

The Missoula City-County Health Department has outlined specific guidance around local implementation of Phase Two requirements in addition to the guidance issued at the state level. Please know that here on campus, our events facilities and auxiliary managers are closely following the guidance and working together to proceed in accordance with all applicable policies and procedures. The work we’re doing now will be critical as we head toward the fall semester and welcoming students to campus.

The Campus Preparedness and Response Group is working closely with a health advisory group composed of our campus experts in public health, facilities, Curry Health Center and representatives from Missoula City-County Health Department. We are developing workplace guidance for faculty and staff, preparing classrooms and other learning spaces, planning for events and assembling frequently-asked-questions to respond to concerns about coronavirus. As they are available, these documents will be shared on the University’s coronavirus website.

Please be assured that the continued health, well-being and safety of all students, employees and campus visitors remain our top priority.

Paul Lasiter
Vice President for Operations and Finance
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