Montana university officials approve guidelines for fall reopening

Posted at 7:11 AM, Jul 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-29 09:11:55-04

BILLINGS — Montana university officials have approved guidelines for colleges and universities statewide to reopen campuses in the fall.

The measures -- known as Montana University System Healthy Fall 2020 Taskforce Guidelines -- would be used as the framework for campuses to form their own individual safe back-to-school plans.

A few of the key points listed in those guidelines include:

On campus food service:

  • Adjusting hours of operation to meet social distancing guidelines
  • Promoting pick-up, delivery, curbside, pre-order, and grab-and -go food services
  • Arranging food delivery options for students in isolation/quarantine
  • Implementing Capacity limits in dining facilities
  • Eliminating buffet and self-serve options
  • Considering additional food services (including food trucks)

Staff campus operations:

  • Redesigning physical spaces, traffic flow patterns and implementing the use of barriers when feasible· Implementing strategies and plans for reasonable work accommodations for employees at risk for COVID-19· Consulting with employee unions to develop staffing strategies

Student housing:

  • Development of an occupancy plan among Montana campuses· Following campus cleaning procedures· Implementing training on public health measure among hall directors, residence advisors, and others in similar roles· Implementing signage to direct traffic flow in common areas· Building a “welcome back to campus” plan, establishing staggered move-in, social distancing, and accommodation of small groups· Development of quarantine and isolation plans

The guidelines will also include plans to lessen mental health risks and promote wellness across campuses.

Like other plans in the set of guidelines, mental health is still being discussed among the board to come up with the best plan or plans of action on different campuses.

Board members of the Montana University System are also discussing a plan of action to address positive COVID-19 cases among faculty and staff.

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