As schools prepare to open this Fall, they have begun to respond to new, growing concerns over COVID-19 resurgence. Montana State University, University of Montana, and Caroll College have announced they will be requiring masks for all students, as will many of the Tribal colleges. Community Colleges stand alone in not imposing mask mandates on students as they reopen in-person classes this Fall.
Flathead Valley Community College refers to Centers for Disease Control guidelines on masking and vaccination but will not have any specific mandates pertaining to vaccines or masks. This guidance is constantly changing and recently CDC Director Rochelle Walensky admitted in a CNN interview that while she believes the vaccines are working, “what they can’t do anymore is prevent transmission.” She also suggested that vaccinated individuals start wearing masks in indoor public settings.
The CDC has yet to change their guidelines in response to this change in vaccine efficiency and many universities, municipalities, and even some countries are imposing stricter vaccination mandates, with countries like France employing squadrons to patrol public areas to check for citizen vaccination passports.
While Montana universities have not yet imposed any mandates for vaccination, Montana State University is attempting to persuade students to get vaccinations by means of a sweepstakes, handing out a total of 76 prizes, ranging from $500 airline vouches to $5000 financial assistance awards for students who are fully vaccinated.
FVCC President jana Karas said in an e-mailed a statement to students and staff that they are strongly encouraging everyone to wear a mask indoors.
“We will continue to assess the situation on a daily basis,” she said. “We also strongly encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated.”