Dear UM Community,
Today, the Missoula City-County Health Department released this week’s University-specific data on COVID-19. This afternoon, Missoula County Incident Commander Cindy Farr also shared some perspectives about UM cases. We write to provide some additional context for UM’s data and our response to new cases over the past week.
Over the past week, there have been 76 new cases reported in Missoula County, of which 24 (approximately one-third) are UM-affiliated cases during her daily briefing. As was stated in the briefing, many of the new cases in our campus community are within clusters. We will share, specifically, that these clusters of positive cases are within athletics and Greek Life (fraternities and sororities).
When cases are identified as a cluster, it means that positive cases can, through contact tracing, be linked together. Farr noted in her briefing, “Seeing the cases in clusters is a good thing because it means that there are cases that are connected with each other and there are not cases that are just sporadically cropping up without being connected to another case.” She went on to describe the close collaboration between MCCHD and our University leadership and COVID Response Team. Working together, we have been able to quickly respond with testing for close contacts at Curry Health Center, management of quick relocation to isolation and quarantine facilities, and providing class rosters or other information at the request of MCCHD contact tracers.
In addition to these clusters, we also have other members of our community isolating or in quarantine as a result of transmission from off campus.
Please also keep in mind the messages sent earlier in the week:
- Be responsible outside of classes and off campus. Continue to wear a mask, wash your hands and practice social/physical distancing.
- If you’re experiencing symptoms, contact Curry Health Center (students) or your medical provider (employees) to see if a COVID-19 test is recommended. You may also call MCCHD’s information line at 258-INFO to schedule a test at their facility.
- Do not come to campus if you are sick or symptomatic. Stay home, rest, monitor symptoms and contact your medical provider. If your symptoms worsen, and especially if you experience the severe symptoms of COVID-19 (difficulty breathing, pain/pressure in chest, confusion/disorientation, inability to wake or stay awake or bluish lips/face), call 911 immediately.
If you haven’t picked up your Healthy Griz Kit, please do so as soon as possible. This kit provides you with reusable masks, hand sanitizer and surface disinfectant with a reusable microfiber cloth. We have refill stations around the campus for both the hand sanitizer and surface disinfectant.
To get your Healthy Griz Kit, stop by the Mansfield Library, University Center Administrative Offices or the Dean’s Office of each college. You’ll need your Griz Card or your #790 number to get a kit.
Lastly, flu season will be here soon, and the symptoms can be similar to those resulting from COVID-19. Please get a flu shot this year. For students, Curry Health Center provides flu shots. For employees, flu shots will be available at the next WellCheck event, Oct. 6-9. You do not have to register for the flu shot; simply show up with identification and your insurance card. We will share additional information about other places to receive a flu shot once they are available.
Thanks for doing your part to keep our community healthy.
UM COVID Response Team