COVID-19 Information

The UM COVID Response Team has put the Campus COVID Operations Plan into place in order to guide the University on COVID-19 through spring, summer and beyond as necessary.

General preparedness:

There are a few basic things that you can do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. In fact, these things can help the spread of most respiratory viruses:

  • First, avoid close contact with people that are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue then throw it in the trash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Wash our hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Communication:

The University of Montana and the School of Social Work are committed to open and fact-based communication. You can find archived messages from the University on the COVID-19 archived messages web page.

The School of Social Work will send school and class related information via your student email, through class announcements, and via Moodle.

Please also consider electing to receive emergency notifications from the University of Montana by text message. You can sign up for Campus Emergency Notifications by texting “Join UM-alerts” to 30890.

Vaccine Information:

You’ve likely heard about COVID-19 vaccine distribution, which has begun in Missoula for residents in long-term care facilities and frontline health care workers. Curry Health Center is both a provider and distributor of COVID-19 vaccine, and will do so according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and, specifically, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which established phases for vaccine distribution. The MCCHD website has a helpful overview of these phases, of which we are currently in Phase 1A. For UM, this group includes Curry Health Center medical staff, students and employees gathering or analyzing COVID-19 test samples and students who are required to receive the vaccine to participate in clinical rotations. Currently, only those individuals in Phase 1A are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Curry Health Center will be able to provide vaccine to students and employees and may expand to the greater community in coordination with MCCHD. We will provide additional updates about vaccine distribution as new information becomes available –particularly as we complete vaccination of individuals in Phase 1A.

Campus Resources:

The University of Montana campus is highly engaged at local and state levels to daily assess how COVID-19 may affect the campus and students. In order to help answer questions that you may have please visit the Curry Health Center website. Additionally, please visit the Keep on Learning web page for information and preparedness strategies.

Advising:

As you are probably aware, we are just beginning advising for the fall 2020 semester. Please keep your advising appointments. If you are sick or have had close contact with someone who is sick please let your advisor know so they can arrange another day/time or zoom advising meeting. If you don’t know who your advisor is, please check CyberBear.

Social Work Field Education:

If students are advised by their agency, the University of Montana, or the government to not attend their field placement, or if safety concerns warrant a temporary disruption in field placement, students should immediately consult with BOTH their UM School of Social Work Field Liaison and their Agency Field Instructor and discuss next steps. To ensure that BSW and MSW students are able to complete their required 450 hours of practicum and fulfill educational requirements, the Field Education Team will support students in developing individualized practicum plans with alternative learning activities that can be completed off site. Please see this overview of alternative learning activities and field education strategies for remote competency development attached.

Please note that this policy is meant to address short-term field placement disruptions, with a maximum of 30 days. If the field placement interruption continues beyond a 30-day period, the UM School of Social Work Field Education Program will conduct a review to determine the most appropriate response to support students in completing their field placement requirements. 

Kat Werner, the Director of Field Education, can be reached at katharina.werner@umontana.edu or via phone at 406 243 5589.