MISSOULA – The University of Montana will provide all students living in residence halls with access to asymptomatic COVID-19 tests upon their return to campus for spring semester.
Students who live in on-campus residence halls can receive their asymptomatic COVID-19 test for free.
“To keep our campus and community safe, it is critical that students who live in our residence halls have access to COVID-19 tests as they return to campus from winter break,” said Dr. Jeff Adams, medical director of UM’s Curry Health Center. “Being able to offer asymptomatic testing as students return to residence halls will result in early detection and rapid response to prevent COVID-19 transmission within these congregate living environments. The medical team at Curry Health Center went above and beyond to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our residence halls last fall, and we are in strong position to provide the same level of high-quality care to all UM students again during the spring semester.”
Due to limited testing resources statewide, only UM students living within residence halls will be eligible to receive asymptomatic COVID-19 tests during the first two weeks of the semester. The Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education chose to prioritize the testing for students living on campus due to the volume and density of their housing arrangement, compared to UM students who live off campus. All students experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms also can receive a free COVID-19 test regardless of their living arrangement.
UM this week also updated its Campus COVID Operations Plan, which provides guidance, best practices and information related to UM’s effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As a result of diligent efforts and communication, UM-affiliated COVID-19 transmissions remained a small fraction of Missoula County’s COVID-19 positive cases in 2020.
“Whether it is in person, remote or a hybrid of both, everyone at UM is committed to seeing our students continue their education during the pandemic,” said UM President Seth Bodnar. “The policies that we have put in place on our campus to reduce the spread of COVID-19 are working, and we will continue to prioritize the health and safety of every student and employee at UM – just as we did last fall.”
In addition to curbing the spread of COVID-19 this spring semester, UM students, faculty and staff are actively working to end the pandemic. UM was named as a COVID-19 vaccine provider and distributor last month, and is on standby for the arrival of vaccines. Last year, UM’s Center for Translational Medicine was awarded $2.5 million from the National Institutes of Health to produce a COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
Contact: Paula Short, associate vice president for Strategic Communications, 406-243-5806, firstname.lastname@example.org