MSU-Billings and Other Campuses Lift Mask Requirements
The mask restrictions at MSU-Billings and other campuses in the Montana University System are "coming off."
According to a press release from Montana State University-Billings on Monday afternoon:
Effective immediately, there is no longer a requirement to wear a face mask on MSUB campuses or property if you have been fully vaccinated or have had a confirmed case of COVID-19. While not a requirement, individuals who still want to wear a face mask are welcome to continue doing so.
That sentence would lead you to believe that masks would still be required to non-vaccinated individuals, something that would be un-enforceable in Billings, Montana. Sam Wilson with the Helena Independent Record also reported in his lead line that "Montana's public university system is no longer requiring that masks be worn on its campuses."
***Updated at 915 p.m. Monday night: When it comes to masks being required for non-vaccinated individuals, a spokeswoman for MSU-Billings says the university "will rely on the integrity of our community to continue to protect each other as we have successfully done to this point, while we respect and protect their privacy." Bottom line: a mask mandate won't be enforced. I also heard from Rep. Jennifer Carlson (R-Manhattan) who says, "It is illegal in Montana, as of May 6, to discriminate against a person based on their vaccination status or possession of immunity passport."
Commissioner of Higher Education Clay Christian pushed out statewide guidance to the university system in a memo on Friday, which includes:
I am writing today to formally sunset the Healthy MUS Planning Guidelines. This change is effective immediately. This action is taken in partnership with the Montana Board of Regents and is based on federal, state, and local public health guidance and on the recommendation of the Healthy MUS Task Force.
Click here for the full memo. When it comes to masks, here's what the memo from Commissioner Christian detailed:
Mask Requirement. There is no longer a system-level mask requirement for the Montana University System. Campuses should consult relevant authorities and guidance at the local, state, and federal levels when developing any ongoing guidance related to masks.
Hopefully, K-12 schools will follow shortly behind...the kids (and teachers and staff) deserve to wrap up the school year on a positive note.