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Coronavirus Information

(Updated March 27, 2020)

In the wake of the federal government and the state of Missouri declaring states of emergency, and to minimize the spread of COVID-19, Northwest has moved all courses online for the remainder of its spring semester.

The campus is transitioning to restricted operations and closed to the public, effective 5 p.m. March 20. All student organization and external events on campus are canceled through the end of the spring semester. 

For a listing of Northwest office and department contacts while the University is operating on a restricted basis, click here.

All Northwest courses have resumed in an online-only format, effective March 23, and will remain in that mode for the duration of the spring semester. Students should monitor their Northwest email and Northwest Online for communication from instructors.

Northwest's Horace Mann Laboratory School and the Phyllis and Richard Leet Center for Children and Families are closed through the month of April, in alignment with local school districts.

The University, in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Missouri Department of Health and other public health agencies, is actively monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19, or coronavirus.

The respiratory illness was identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, and a growing number of cases are being identified in other international locations as well as the United States.

The situation is evolving rapidly and the World Health Organization has characterized the outbreak as a pandemic.

Northwest will update this webpage as necessary. For more information, visit the links and answers to frequently asked questions provided below.

Links & Resources

The links below are affiliated with state and federal health agencies and provide real-time updates, travel guidelines and other resources related to the coronavirus outbreak.

Frequently Asked Questions

Northwest continues to listen and respond to questions and concerns of the campus community during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Members of the Northwest community who have additional questions about the University’s response to COVID-19 may contact the University Police Department at police@nwmissouri.edu.

Note, the FAQs provided below are specific to Northwest's community and operations. For other questions, including specific questions regarding COVID-19 and its impacts on your health, visit the CDC's FAQ page.

What to know about COVID-19

How many cases of coronavirus have been reported in northwest Missouri?

At this time, no cases of the coronavirus have been reported with any connection to the Northwest campus.

Cases of the coronavirus, however, have been confirmed in Missouri and throughout the four-state region.

What are symptoms of the coronavirus?

Symptoms of the coronavirus include:

  • Tiredness
  • Dry cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat

Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell or experience any symptoms. If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice by calling your primary care provider. Calling in advance will allow your healthcare provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This also will help to prevent possible spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.

  • Northwest students may call Wellness Services at 660.562.1348. 
  • Northwest employees using Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) may call its 24-Hour Nurse Line at 877.852.5422.

How can I protect myself against the coronavirus?

There is no vaccine to prevent this virus. The CDC advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus and practice everyday prevention measures.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Maintain several feet of distance between yourself and anyone coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Ways to help

How can I financially help students impacted by the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Northwest is seeking donations to two previously established efforts at the University that make an immediate and impactful difference to students: the Pay It Forward Fund and the Bearcat Food Pantry. Individuals can make a secure, online donation to the Bearcats Helping Bearcats Campaign by visiting www.nwmissouri.edu/alumni/giving/bearcatshelpingbearcats.htm.     

Classwork and academics

What is the COVID-19 grade?

COVID-19-Grade-graphic.jpg

Is there a change in costs as a result of moving courses to online-only?

No. There is no change in cost as a result of moving courses from an in-person method of delivery to an online-only method during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Is academic advising, academic support, tutoring and supplemental instruction still being offered?

Yes. Student Success Services has transitioned to online/remote delivery. Instead of in-person appointments, Student Success Services is offering a variety of connection options. For more information visit, www.nwmissouri.edu/studentsuccess/updates.htm

 

Textbooks

How should I return my textbooks?

More information about returning textbooks at the end of the spring semester will be provided to students by April 20.

Many textbook publishers are allowing access to online texts, and students are encouraged to check that option in addition to seeking guidance from their instructors.

Students who do not neet their textbooks during the remainder of the spring semester may return them to Textbook Services in The Station during normal business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; outside of normal business hours, students may leave textbooks at the Textbook Services dropbox in The Station.

Students also may ship their textbooks to Textbook Services. Record the tracking number for reference and ship textbooks to:

Textbook Services
Northwest Missouri State University
800 University Drive
Maryville, MO 64468

Information Technology

Is the Technology Service Center open?

The Technology Service Center, located in the Jon T. Rickman Electronic Campus Support Building, is open from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Laptop repair will be on a swap-only basis. Users should have all of their data backed up prior to arrival. Upon arrival, call the phone number posted on the door to receive instructions about the process. Services are being conducted in a way that minimizes contact between customers and staff while practicing social distancing.

How can I change my network password while I'm off campus?

Network users do not need to be on campus to change their passwords. Users may update their passwords by following the instructions at this link.

What if my laptop needs to be repaired and I cannot come to campus?

Students may ship their laptop to Northwest and receive a replacement.

Contact the Northwest Technology Service Center for assistance with shipping and swapping by calling 660.562.1634 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Friday, and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Users also may send an email to helpdesk@nwmissouri.edu; staff will reply to emails between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Staff also are using Skype for Business to assist with remote support.

How should I return my laptop?

You can return your laptop now by visiting the Technology Service Center, located in the Jon T. Rickman Electronic Campus Support. Make sure you have a computer that will run all the programs you need, including LockDown Browser for online coursework (Click here to download LockDown Browser only if you do not have a Northwest laptop). The Technology Service Center is open 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Laptop returns may only be processed on Northwest’s Maryville campus.

Students who are pre-registered for summer 2020 or fall 2020 Northwest courses may keep their laptop during the summer; Northwest’s summer rental charge will be waived for students not enrolled in summer 2020 courses through Northwest.

Graduating students and students not pre-registered for summer or fall coursework must return their laptop. Information regarding the laptop return process will be communicated to students on or before April 20, 2020.

Campus operations & activities

What if I’m a prospective student and want to visit the campus for a tour?

Daily tours are canceled through April 30. As an alternative, prospective students may schedule Skype meetings with Northwest admissions staff, visit the campus through a virtual tour, or chat with admissions staff at this link. For more information, contact Northwest’s admissions office at admstu@nwmissouri.edu or 660.562.1562.

What steps is Northwest taking to clean and disinfect facilities?

Facility Services custodial staff are completing a deep clean and disinfecting process, using an EPA-registered product that meets CDC guidelines. As building functions are low while they are closed to the public and courses are online, custodial staff are placing a heightened concentration on disinfecting high-touch surfaces in residential and academic areas to provide a healthy environment on campus. Facility Services partners with Northwest environmental health and safety specialists to provide a safe and clean environment and continues to monitor and evaluate cleaning practices and processes.

What if I need to complete a test through the assessment office?

All on-ground and in-person activities in the assessment office have been halted, including Pearson Vue testing. Online testing, where permitted, will continue as scheduled. For more information, contact your instructor.

MoGEA, Praxis, Pearson VUE (MEGA MoCA, Missouri Agriculture, CompTIA, Missouri Insurance)

MoGEA, Praxis and Pearson VUE testing, including MEGA MoCA, Missouri Agriculture, CompTIA, Missouri Insurance, and Project Management Institute testing is canceled.

Individuals who need to reschedule or cancel MEGA’s (MoGEA and MoCA) withdrawal/refund policy and instructions are accessible here. (By following the first step, individuals may cancel an exam and maintain their registration to schedule at a later date.) 

Assessment of Core Proficiencies

Assessment of Core Proficiencies testing has ceased for the spring semester.  Remaining students have had the requirement waived for the term and will complete in fall 2020.  Graduating students who need to complete testing will receive remote proctoring.

Major Field (MFT/ACATs)

MFTs for online courses will continue through remote proctoring. On-ground courses with MFTs/ACATs scheduled should contact their instructor for information.

Ruffalo Noel Levitz survey

The Ruffalo Noel Levitz survey for junior students is proceeding as scheduled because it is provided online. Its completion is required for pre-registration.

ACT

ACT has rescheduled the April 4, 2020, National ACT® test date for June 13 and July 18. ACT will notify registered students.

SAT

The College Board has canceled May SAT exams.

Can we continue to bring recyclable materials to the Pellet Plant?

No. Northwest has suspended its acceptance of recyclable materials from community members until further notice in an effort to safeguard University staff members tasked with handling, sorting and processing those materials during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Is Northwest canceling or restricting activities based on the size of gatherings?

Yes. Campus events that are not critical to the University's mission or operations are canceled during the COVID-19 outbreak. The University is taking precautions and implementing social-distancing measures for mission-critical gatherings where more than 10 people may be present.

Is the Bearcat Food Pantry open?

The Bearcat Food Pantry provides a source of food and necessities to Northwest students and employees who are experiencing food insecurity. Individuals needing access to the Bearcat Food Pantry should send an email to SAffair@nwimssouri.edu to make an appointment; students and employees must have a 919 number to shop.

How can I access Career Services?

Career Services has a variety of online tools on its website to assist students, or students may contact Career Services at career@nwmissouri.edu or 660.562.1250.

Is Safe Rides operational?

Safe Rides is operating from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and 5 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday. Hours are posted on the University Police Department website and on Twitter as they are modified.

Are the Student Rec Center, the Foster Fitness Center and the Hughes Fieldhouse open?

No. Recreation facilities at Northwest are closed. This decision includes the Carl and Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse, the Robert and Virginia Foster Fitness Center, the Student Recreation Center and Lamkin Activity Center.

Is the B.D. Owens Library offering services?

The Owens Library is offering its services online only. Visit nwmissouri.edu/library/ or call 660.562.1193 for more information.

Is the Wellness Center open?

The Wellness Center is closed to visitors. Anyone needing assistance may call 660.562.1348 during regular business hours and staff will be available to provide recommendations regarding health and wellness concerns.

Will Northwest cancel graduation?

At this time, commencement ceremonies are scheduled for Friday, May 8, and Saturday, May 9. The University is evaluating.

On-campus living and dining

What Campus Dining services are available?

Campus Dining is open with limited services and only to students who reside on campus and have a meal plan. The Northwest campus, including Campus Dining facilities, is closed to the public.

How is Northwest providing refunds for housing and meal plans?

Students who did stayed on campus or use their meal plans after the start of spring break (March 6) and completed their residence hall checkout on or before March 25 will receive a prorated amount for housing and meals (approximately 50 percent) of the semester cost. Students who stayed on campus or used their meal plan during spring break will receive a refund, minus costs of spring break housing and/or meals.

If a student is receiving a refund and has a balance, the refund will be applied to the student's balance first. Refunds will be posted six to eight weeks after the checkout is complete.

Will commuter and residential meal plans be refunded?

Northwest will refund commuter meal plans, in addition to residential plans. Commuter full access plans will be prorated, using the same date as residential plans (March 6) as long as they were not used after that date. Block plans will be refunded a prorated amount, based on blocks remaining.

How can I pick up my items that have been mailed to campus?

Students should collect all mail from their residence hall mailbox when moving out. Students who believe they had a package delivered to campus should contact the Materials Distribution Center at 660.562.1508 or mstripl@nwmissouri.edu to make arrangements to pick up the package or have it mailed to a different address.

Can my vehicle remain on campus?

Yes, as long as you have a valid permit. University parking policies remain in place.

Employee information

What is the status of employee work modes?

Northwest is closed to the public and is transitioning to limited operations. Information about remote work and technology capabilities has been provided to supervisors, who are making decisions about work modes.

Can employees take computer equipment (i.e. monitors or towers) off campus to work remotely?

Employees should work with their supervisors to meet the needs of working remotely, which may include checking out a laptop.

When do employees have to use accrued time?

Employees who cannot work on campus or remotely, as determined by their supervisor, will use accrued time; employees with insufficient accrued leave may use up to 14 unearned days. 

Northwest reserves the right to recoup this time from the final paycheck of employees who separate employment before they rebuild their accrued time. Contact the Office of Human Resources at 660.562.1127 or hrwebpg@nwmissouri.edu with questions.

How should employees and departments track expenses impacted by COVID-19?

The University has provided a PowerPoint with instructions and a financial tracking form for employees to use. To access these tools, log in to MyNorthwest, click the Employee Resources tab and then look for the expense tracking links within the Tools module.

Can student employees and graduate assistants continue to work?

Student employees should work with their supervisors to schedule on-campus or remote work, based on the work functions of the student employee and the office or department. Student employees may work a maximum of 20 hours per week when they are enrolled in courses, including online courses.

Graduate assistants will maintain their fee waiver. Pay will be suspended if there are no work days in the month. On-campus work or remote work should be approved by supervisors.

Contact the student employment office for assistance at 660.562.1140.

Travel

What if I traveled recently to an infected area?

Students and employees who have traveled internationally or are showing symptoms of COVID-19, should not visit the Northwest campus and should self-quarantine for 14 days. If you have questions about your health, contact your medical provider.

For CDC information related to domestic travel, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-in-the-us.html

What should I do if I have travel plans?

Effective March 12, Northwest has suspended non-essential University-supported travel until further notice (i.e. conferences, trainings, association meetings).

In regard to personal travel, Northwest urges its campus community to be mindful of the health risks, especially in geographic areas with widespread infection.

Employees who have questions or need guidance about their travel plans should contact the Office of Human Resources at 660.562.1127 or hrwebpg@nwmissouri.edu.

How are Northwest study abroad programs affected?

Following the guidance of the CDC, as of March 2, Northwest has suspended its spring 2020 study abroad programs for students studying on the European continent. Northwest has advised these students to work with personnel at their host university or their program provider and make arrangements to return to the United States. A total of 14 Northwest students were studying abroad during the spring semester, with 13 in the European countries of Finland, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.

A week-long study abroad experience, March 20-27, that was sponsored by the School of Education and scheduled to take 11 students, two Northwest faculty members, one Horace Mann instructor and one community partner to Reggio Emilia, Italy, also was canceled.

Faculty-sponsored study abroad experiences to Ireland and Western Europe, scheduled during the month of May, also are canceled.

The University continues to evaluate other planned study abroad activities.