UM days away from end of mandatory masking policy on campuses

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In a few days, the University of Montana will officially end its mandatory masking policy on campus.

Director of Strategic Communications Dave Kuntz provided details to KGVO News.

“Since the start of the pandemic, these decisions have been made by the campus COVID-19 response team, which is comprised of public health experts and operations experts here at the university,” said Kuntz. “As they have taken a closer look at the data and over the past few days they have begun the process of reviewing this final set of data to likely make a recommendation in the next few days to change the posture of our campus in our university spaces from a mask requirement space to a recommended space.

Kuntz explained the protocol for ending the mask mandate.

“The campus team (the CRT) will make the recommendation when they feel comfortable,” she said. “That data is in a place where they can accurately predict what I think will happen here very soon. They will make this recommendation to change this posture to the president, who will probably make this decision very quickly and at that point, she will be communicated to students.

Kuntz said the response team was carefully monitoring the numbers.

“It’s the main factor we’ve seen in the data since Feb. 1 that COVID cases in Missoula County are down nearly 90%, and our on-campus testing and test results reflect those same. data,” he said. “Throughout the process of this pandemic, we have looked at our mitigations as a dial, we increase them when the threat increases, and we reduce them and it decreases, and we believe that we are in a position here to reduce them quite low and hopefully keep them that way for a meaningful period of time.

Kuntz said the atmosphere on campus was exuberant.

“Yes, people are very excited,” he said. “Throughout our time here during the pandemic, our students had been committed alongside the administration to do whatever we needed to do to continue learning and to keep in-person classes together during the pandemic. A lot of that has required us to wear masks in order to have these classes in person. We are soon reaching a point where this will no longer be the case. I think that will be really welcome, and it’s really a testament to our students and their ability to solve this problem; do what they had to do during the peak and different waves of the pandemic, and I think they will be rewarded for their hard work here in the coming days.

KGVO will alert the campus and community when that day arrives.

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