Newsroom

COVID-19 Update Fall 2021

Welcome Buccaneers                   

COVID-19

In order to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on our campus, DCC is asking every one of our employees/students/visitors to help with our prevention efforts while at work, in the classroom or lab, and on-campus facilities. Given the fast-developing nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, DCC may modify this plan accordingly. We encourage everyone to continue to monitor their emails on a regular basis.

DCC will continue to support staff and students who choose to wear a mask or wish to remain distanced from others.

Vaccination Requirements

DCC joins other Montana colleges in encouraging employees and students to receive the vaccine for COVID-19 to protect themselves, the DCC learning environment, and our communities at large. Likewise, we join the majority of Montana community colleges in not mandating vaccines for employees or students. As a learning institution, we will continue to share resources and information about the vaccine's availability and efficacy.

Masks

The topic that generates the most questions is whether masks will be required for fall 2021 In accordance with the current guidance from the state and OCHE, masks are not required. However, DCC will encourage anyone who is not fully vaccinated to continue to wear a mask indoors in accordance with guidance from the CDC.

DCC will continue to make disposable masks available to students and employees who wish to continue wearing a mask while on campus, as well as continue to support those who choose to wear a mask regardless of the reason. Getting vaccinated is a personal decision and a number of our students and employees either cannot receive the vaccination for a number of reasons, choose not to receive the vaccination, and/or have been vaccinated and prefer to continue to wear a mask out of caution.

DCC will respect the decisions of all members of our campus community in regards to vaccination status and/or use or non-use of masks, and will expect every person on campus to respect the decisions of others as well. If you need help or support feeling comfortable on campus or need to discuss any concerns you may have please contact Justin Beach (Dean of Students).

Classroom and Space Capacity

Social distancing and classroom/space capacity have been an important factor in return-to-campus planning. Given the updated guidance from OCHE, social distancing is no longer required. Classroom/space capacity have returned to full capacity. Physical distancing in most indoor areas is recommended when possible.

On-Campus Activities

  • On-campus meetings, College Facility Use/Rentals
  • Admissions and Recruitment activities and events
  • Student Support Services, activities and events
  • Associated Student Government and Club activities and events

Case Reporting and Contact Tracing

We understand that unknowns about the pandemic, specifically those regarding new variants of the virus that are occurring in other parts of the world, are a major concern for many. DCC has experienced certain levels of success around COVID-19 and that is due in no small part to the steps that our students and employees have taken to ensure their individual well-being and the well-being of the DCC community as a whole.

As we begin the return to campus, vigilance will continue to be key. Each of us has a personal responsibility to help ensure the safety and well-being of ourselves and those around us. DCC will coordinate with the Dawson County Health Department for testing and tracing protocols. The Dawson County Health Department manages all instances of contact tracing when needed, as required by Montana law.

Quarantine and Isolation

Current Montana State guidelines are that fully vaccinated contacts do not need to quarantine as long as they are asymptomatic. It is recommended that fully vaccinated people get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms, and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 or is unvaccinated and has direct exposure to a positive COVID-19 case should self-quarantine for at least 7 days AND receive a negative COVID-19 test at least 5 days following the exposure before returning to class/work.

If you are isolated or quarantined it is very important that you follow these guidelines to keep yourself and others safe.

Cleaning

DCC Facilities will continue to clean all campus facilities in accordance with CDC guidance. DCC Facilities will also continue to disinfect any college space following a reported case of COVID-19 in that specific space. For more information, please refer to the CDC COVID-19 Cleaning Guidance

Signage and Sanitizing

In order to support the continued commitment to the safety of our entire DCC community, DCC will continue to:

  • Provide hand sanitizing stations positioned at the entrance to most buildings;
  • Post specific signage that is related to hand washing and remaining home if you are feeling ill; and
  • Provide information on how to report a positive COVID-19 test or an exposure to COVID 19.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding COVID-19 precautions on DCC campuses, please reach out to Joe Peterson at jpeterson@dawson.edu or Justin Beach at jbeach@dawson.edu.