Sept. 18, 2020: Working Together for Community Health


The UM logo

Dear UM Students, 


As we close the fifth week of the semester, we must keep up our efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on our campus. UM students, faculty and staff mostly have done a good job protecting themselves and the health of others. That said, we continue to see an increase in the number of positive cases, so now it’s time to go above and beyond to practice safe and healthy behaviors. The combined health of our campus community depends on all of us working together.


We know that we are seeing transmission as the result of off-campus social activities. This weekend, please consider staying in to avoid large gatherings. Catch up on a Netflix show or get ahead in your studies. Or hike to the M or any of our local trails, parks and recreation areas to get some exercise.


As a result of the increase in UM-affiliated COVID-19 cases, many UM students are now in quarantine and isolation. Here is the difference between quarantine and isolation:


  • Quarantine keeps someone who might have been exposed to the virus away from others.
  • Isolation keeps someone who is infected with the virus away from others, even in their home.

Students who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. In the home, anyone sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area and using a separate bathroom (if available). 


If you are a close contact to someone with COVID-19, you will be contacted by the Missoula City-County Health Department. 


Now is the time for extra vigilance – the recent increase in campus cases is a reminder of how quickly and easily coronavirus can spread. Please be careful with your behavior and be proactive with prevention and mitigation because it affects everyone. Wear your mask, watch your distance and wash your hands. Keep your social circle small. In doing so, we can reduce transmission and new cases.


Last but not least, we understand if you are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed. Curry Health Center is here for you with at-home support. Check out the center’s Be Well at Home page with resources you can access from the comfort of your own home. And remember you can always contact Curry’s counseling department if you need to talk to someone.


Be safe out there, Grizzlies! Your safety and health, as well as the health of the greater Missoula community, depend on it.


Sarah Swager
Vice Provost for Student Success
University of Montana Events
University of Montana News