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The latest news about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 in Montana.

MSU Plans New Class Schedule In Response To Coronavirus

Montana State University announced the school's fall semester will begin two weeks earlier than normal and end before Thanksgiving in an attempt to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus on campus.

University President Waded Cruzado announced the scheduling update in an email Friday, The Daily Chronicle reported.

Classes are scheduled to begin in Bozeman on Aug. 17, while final exams will be completed Nov. 25, the last day of the semester.

The spring semester is scheduled to begin Jan. 11 and finish May 10.

The prolonged winter break could enable the university to offer a winter session with some online courses, Cruzado said.

The new schedule limits the need for students, faculty and staff to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday and then return to campus, which could facilitate the spread of the coronavirus, Cruzado said.

The schedule also reduces the possibility of the flu and COVID-19 circulating on campus simultaneously, Cruzado said.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

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