In light of students returning to campus, MSU began offering free drive-through and walk-through testing on Thursday, Aug. 27 for students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. These tests are offered at the MSU Symptomatic Student Testing Center, located on the northeast corner of Bobcat Stadium. The site is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
The testing center was financed with CARES Act funds provided by Governor Steve Bullock. The CARES Act is a federal coronavirus relief bill that granted $2.2 trillion for pandemic relief efforts, including COVID-19 funding for universities. Governor Bullock authorized up to $20 million to the campuses of the Montana University System to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission, including free testing for students. Once tested, students who live on-campus are required to self-quarantine in designated university housing while awaiting the rapid test results, which typically return within 24 hours. Students who reside off-campus are asked to return to their homes and quarantine there. Additional testing is available by appointment through the Swingle Health Center, located on the east side of the Strand Union Building.
All students, faculty and staff who test positive will be accounted for under the Gallatin City-County Health Department. As a result, MSU does not have a separate count of cases that are affiliated with campus, according to MSU spokesperson Mike Becker. MSU also launched a COVID-19 self-checker to help students make appropriate decisions when seeking out medical care. For the latest updates and to access the self-checker, visit https://www.montana.edu/health/coronavirus/.