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Northwest's COVID-19 response

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As the University, in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Nodaway County Health Department and other public health agencies, actively monitors the COVID-19 pandemic, this webpage provides broad information and answers to frequently asked questions related to Northwest's operations and pandemic response.

Updates and information are provided as they become available. Additional information specific to an academic or service area at Northwest may be obtained by using contact information provided in University directories.

For other information specifically related to COVID-19 and its impacts on your health, visit the CDC's FAQ page.

FAQs by category


Latest Updates

What are acceptable face coverings?  (updated 1/18/22)

Individuals may choose their own face covering, although the CDC recommends that any face covering should fit closely on the face without any gaps along the edges or around your nose, and it should be comfortable enough when worn properly, which means covering your nose and mouth.

Visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/types-of-masks.html for additional guidance and research supporting the importance of face coverings.

How can I test for COVID-19?  (updated 1/18/22)

Northwest students and employees have a variety of options available to them for COVID-19 testing:

  • Students may call Wellness Services at 660.562.1348 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to request a test.
  • Employees and students may call Mosaic Medical Center-Maryville’s COVID-19 nurse call line between 7 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or between 8 a.m. and 12 Saturday to request a test. 
  • Free COVID-19 at-home tests are available and allow individuals to test themselves independently. At-home tests are available to order at covidtests.gov.
  • The following links provide information about testing sites in the four-state region. If you reside outside the four-state region, check with your local or state health departments for testing information.

Are KN95 masks available on campus?  (updated 1/13/22)

KN95 masks are available to students and employees upon request by contacting acullin@nwmissouri.edu.

Who is a close contact?  (updated 1/10/22)

Close contact is considered to be an individual who had a prolonged (at least 15 minutes) close contact (within 6 feet) or had physical contact (of any duration) with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. A person may be considered a close contact regardless of whether either individual was wearing face coverings.

A common misconception is that you should quarantine if you have been exposed to someone who is a close contact; that is not accurate. If you live with someone who is a contact, but they do not have a positive test or symptoms, you do not need to quarantine.

For additional CDC quarantine and isolation guidance, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html

What building is used for individuals who need to isolate or be quarantined?  (updated 1/10/22)

North Complex is used as isolation and quarantine housing for students who, as determined by a health provider, are exhibiting coronavirus symptoms and cannot return home. Residential Life will make arrangements with those students for food delivery and other accommodations while they need to isolate or quarantine.

For additional CDC quarantine and isolation guidance, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html

If a student tests positive in my class, who is asked to quarantine?  (updated 1/10/22)

Northwest works with the Nodaway County Health Department to identify contacts of an individual who tests positive. Whether an individual is identified as a contact depends on the amount of time spent within a 6-foot radius of the positive individual, so it’s possible an entire class will not need to be quarantined.

By definition, a close contact is considered to be any individual who had a prolonged (at least 15 minutes) close contact (within 6 feet), or had physical contact (of any duration) with an individual who tested positive; a person may be considered a close contact regardless of whether either individual was wearing face coverings. A common misconception is that you should quarantine if you have been exposed to someone who is a close contact; that is not accurate. If you are in a classroom with someone identified as a contact, but they do not have a positive test or symptoms, you do not need to quarantine.

To assist Northwest conduct accurate contact tracing, all faculty are requested to maintain seating charts for their classes.

For additional CDC quarantine and isolation guidance, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html

Do I need to quarantine if my roommate was exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19?  (updated 1/10/22)

You do not need to quarantine unless the roommate has symptoms. However, the roommate needs to quarantine, and that means they should not have contact with anyone, including all roommates.  

If your roommate develops symptoms, you should quarantine. A public health official or Wellness Services will contact you to provide guidance. If you are not contacted, there is no need to take additional precautions.

For additional CDC quarantine and isolation guidance, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html

What if my roommate tests positive for COVID-19?  (updated 1/10/22)

If you become aware your roommate was tested for COVID-19, one of you will need to move out of the living space until the test results return. If one of you cannot move out, avoid sharing a bedroom and bathroom. 

If the test results return positive for your roommate, you will be contacted by Wellness Services and/or the public health department for contact tracing. If you are determined to be a contact, you will be given guidance from Wellness Services on what to do next.

If you are not contacted, additional precautions are not necessary.

For additional CDC quarantine and isolation guidance, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html

Does a student who tested positive for COVID-19 have to test negative before returning to a classroom?  (updated 1/10/22)

A student’s ability to return to a classroom will be guided managed by the Nodaway County Health Department, or another health agency, in alignment with CDC guidelines.

In general, an individual may return to the classroom if they have no symptoms or symptoms are resolved after five days, regardless of vaccination status. Individuals who tested positive should continue to wear a mask around others for an additional five days after returning to normal activities.

For additional CDC quarantine and isolation guidance, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html

What is the difference between “isolation” and “quarantine”?   (updated 1/10/22)

Isolation is the term used for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 and who must stay home and avoid seeing any other people. Individuals who test positive are to isolate for five days, beginning on the first day of symptoms or the date of the positive test result. They are not to leave their home or return to campus until they are symptom-free and the five days have passed.

Quarantine is the term used for individuals who are identified as a close contact to a positive case. The CDC has created a two-tier grouping for close contacts:

  • Individuals who have recently completed the primary series of an approved vaccine (within the past six months for Pfizer or Moderna, or within the past two months for Johnson & Johnson), as well as individuals who have received a booster dose of vaccine, are not required to quarantine if they remain asymptomatic. CDC recommends that these individuals should wear a mask around others for 10 days and test on the fifth day after their exposure, if possible. If an individual in this tier develops symptoms, they should be tested and stay at home while awaiting results.
  • Anyone who is unvaccinated, partially vaccinated (only completed one dose of a two-dose series), or who has completed their series (at least six months prior for Pfizer and Moderna, or two months prior for Johnson & Johnson) and who hasn't yet received a booster dose, should quarantine for five days, followed by mask usage around other individuals for an additional five days. The CDC recommends individuals in this group test on the fifth day after exposure and stay at home if symptoms develop at any point.

For additional CDC quarantine and isolation guidance, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html

Do I need to quarantine if I've been exposed to someone with COVID-19?  (updated 1/10/22)

People who are up to date with their vaccines and not experiencing symptoms should wear a mask around others for 10 days and test on day five, if possible. 

People who are not up to date with their vaccines and not experiencing symptoms should quarantine for five days and continue to wear a mask around others for an additional five days; people in this group also should test on day five, if possible.

Anyone (regardless of vaccination status) experiencing symptoms should seek a COVID-19 test and quarantine until they receive test results and instructions from Wellness Services.

For additional CDC quarantine and isolation guidance, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html

I heard someone in one of my classes tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do?  (updated 1/10/22)

A public health official or Wellness Services will notify individual contacts who need to quarantine. If you are not contacted, there is no need to take additional precautions.

To be considered a contact, an individual would have spent more than 15 minutes within 6 feet of another individual who tested positive. If both of you were wearing cloth masks, you would be at low risk but still considered a contact. If the person testing positive sat at the front of a classroom and you sat in the back, you would not be considered a contact.

For additional CDC quarantine and isolation guidance, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html

 

What happens if I have to miss classes due to COVID-19?  (updated 1/10/22)

If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, you have an obligation to stay away from others. As with any issue related to your classes, it is important that you communicate with instructors when you are not feeling well and not attend class or enter any University facility unless specifically instructed to do so by a University official. Instructors will work to support students in COVID-19 quarantine or isolation on a case-by-case basis or as otherwise communicated by faculty.

Students who will be absent from a class due to isolation or quarantine should contact Evan Rand at erand@nwmissouri.edu and provide him with a copy of the positive test result and the date of the onset of symptoms.

Course instructors will receive an email from Evan Rand (erand@nwmissouri.edu) or Jennifer Brown (nwct15@nwmissouri.edu) that includes information regarding students in quarantine or isolation. Those students will receive an excused absence and will need to work with their instructor for any course support during their isolation or quarantine.

For additional CDC quarantine and isolation guidance, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html

If an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, or suspects they have it, do I need to let the exposed employees know they are at risk?   (updated 1/10/22)

If an employer learns of an employee’s medical condition, such as a diagnosis of the coronavirus, the employer may not share this information. Under the confidentiality provisions of ADA, FMLA, and WC, only those who “need to know” may know about the diagnosis. It may be difficult to demonstrate that, for example, a line manager “needed to know” the employee’s specific diagnosis. Instead, the line manager likely only needs to know the employee will be on a leave of absence and not able to work.

Therefore, employers should keep an employee’s medical condition and diagnosis confidential and private unless there are true health and safety circumstances deemed by the Department of Health. It is always the employee’s right to release and share their own medical condition information.

Employers may educate employees on how they can best protect themselves and what steps employees should take if they were exposed or experience symptoms. The local health department will conduct a trace and contact employees who may have been exposed and need to be quarantined. 

For additional CDC quarantine and isolation guidance, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html

Can I require an employee to go home (or stay home) if he or she is sick?  (updated 1/10/22)

Employees who show signs of an illness can be asked to leave the workplace and stay at home until they are free of symptoms. Employees should use accrued leave when they are away from work for an illness.

For additional CDC quarantine and isolation guidance, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html

What should I do if I’m a faculty member and need to quarantine or isolate?  (updated 1/10/22)

Faculty members who must isolate after testing positive for COVID-19 or need to quarantine due to being a contact of a positive case should work with their department chair or school director to move courses to remote status temporarily.

For additional CDC quarantine and isolation guidance, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html.

Should I self-quarantine after travel?  (updated 1/10/22)

People who are up to date with their vaccines and not experiencing symptoms do not need to get tested or self-quarantine.

For additional CDC information related to travel, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html.

For additional CDC quarantine and isolation guidance, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html

What is the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)?   (updated 1/10/22)

As part of the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, HEERF provides funding for emergency grants to students whose lives have been disrupted and are facing financial challenges to meet their most basic needs. Additional HEERF funds were authorized through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) and the American Rescue Plan (ARP); these additional funds are referred to as HEERF II and HEERF III funds, respectively. 

Northwest signed and returned the required HEERF certification and agreement on April 28, 2020. The University used the required $2,396,395 of HEERF I funds and $2,396,395 of HEERF II funds to provide emergency financial aid grants to students. In addition, the University used $25,860 of institutional HEERF II funds to provide additional emergency grant payments to students. The University has used $3,586,050 of the allocated $6,861,615 HEERF III student emergency grant funds and intends to distribute the remaining amount during the spring 2022 term. 

This information is intended to provide needed communication for students and families while meeting federal reporting requirements for the receipt and use of these funds.

How did Northwest identify and provide HEERF emergency grants to eligible students?  (updated 1/10/22)

Northwest identified all HEERF-eligible students in May 2020 and offered payments to all 3,855 eligible students on May 8, 2020. The University provided each student with the opportunity to self-certify eligibility, and students were instructed to opt out if they did not or would not meet the conditions of the payment. After accounting for opt outs, the University provided $2,354,700 to 3,850 students through this initial effort. Additional emergency grant payments are being provided on an as-needed, case-by-case basis to qualifying students who request assistance from the Office of Scholarships and Financial Assistance.

As of Dec. 31, 2020, additional emergency grant funding of $22,300 had been provided to 81 students. In some cases, a student could have been eligible for an initial emergency grant payment in May 2020 and also receive an additional emergency grant payment prior to Dec. 31, 2020.

In January 2021, a remaining HEERF I amount of $17,095 was combined with available HEERF II funds, based on Federal guidance received and awarded to students.

In March 2021, Northwest identified all HEERF II-eligible students and offered payments to all 4,515 eligible students.  Payments totaling $2,422,255 were processed for 4,513 students. 

In August 2021, Northwest identified all HEERF III-eligible students who were Pell grant eligible and enrolled in the summer 2021 term, and offered payments to 504 students.  Payments totaling $126,000 were processed for 504 students.

In October 2021, Northwest identified all HEERF III-eligible students who were enrolled during the fall 2021 term and offered payments to all 7,307 eligible students.  Payments totaling $3,460,050 were processed for 7,298 students. 

This information is intended to provide needed communication for students and families while meeting federal reporting requirements for the receipt and use of these funds.

How did Northwest determine the HEERF award amount that could be offered to each student?  (updated 1/10/22)

Northwest initially used estimated living expense costs calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and published by the College Board to determine a reasonable amount of additional living expenses a student would incur from the campus disruption due to COVID-19.

In our effort to prioritize students with the greatest need, we determined a higher payment amount for our Pell Grant-eligible students was appropriate. All HEERF-eligible students were offered an initial emergency grant payment of $450 or $875.

An additional total of $6,800 was paid to 10 students during the summer 2020 term, with award amounts ranging from $450 to $1,500.

During the fall 2020 term, quarantined or isolated federal work employees and institutional student employees were encouraged to request additional HEERF I emergency grant funds, if needed. This effort resulted in 71 students receiving emergency grant payments, totaling $15,500, with award amounts ranging from $100 to $450.

During January 2021, a remaining HEERF I amount of $17,095 was combined with available HEERF II funds, based on federal guidance, and awarded to students. 

During March 2021, payments of $200, $450, or $1,000 were offered to students, with higher emergency grant payments being processed for those with greater financial need. 

During August 2021, $250 payments were sent to 504 eligible students, using $126,000 of the HEERF III allocation.

During October 2021, payments of $250, $500, or $1,100 were offered to students, with higher emergency grant payments being processed for those with greater financial need. 

In total, students have received $8,404,700 in HEERF I, HEERF II, and HEERF III emergency grant payments.

This information is intended to provide needed communication for students and families while meeting federal reporting requirements for the receipt and use of these funds.

How did Northwest allocate the HEERF Institutional funds?  (updated 1/10/22)

Review the budget and expenditure reports required per HEERF CARES Act Section 18004(a)(1) Institutional funds portion by clicking the links below.

This information is intended to provide needed communication for students and families while meeting federal reporting requirements for the receipt and use of these funds.

What if I have symptoms of COVID-19?   (updated 1/10/22)

Individuals who develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19, should immediately isolate from others. To learn about COVID-19 symptoms, read Symptoms of Coronavirus.

  • Students can contact Wellness Services to be tested. Call 660.562.1348 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Students and employees can contact Mosaic Medical Center-Maryville’s COVID-19 nurse call line at 660.562.5357 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday or between 8 a.m. and noon Saturday. 
  • Do not go to a health care facility unless you are instructed to do so. Mosaic Medical Center recommends going to the emergency room only if you are experiencing labored breathing, confusion, seizures, persistent chest pain or pressure, an inability to talk or be roused, or high fevers not relieved by over-the-counter medications. If any of these happen, promptly call 911, alert them to your symptoms and that you suspect you have COVID-19. If you decide to go to the emergency room on your own, call ahead and notify them that you think you have COVID-19.

For additional CDC quarantine and isolation guidance, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html

Is Northwest requiring face coverings on campus?  (updated 1/6/22)

Northwest continues to align its COVID-19 response with CDC guidelines. The University’s face-covering requirements are as follows:

  • Face coverings are required in all public, indoor spaces for people who are not up to date with their vaccines
  • Face coverings are required for all individuals at all times in classrooms and labs, the Wellness Center; Horace Mann Laboratory School and Phyllis and Richard Leet Center for Children and Families, including its infant and toddler care area; and Safe Ride vehicles, which are designated as public transportation.
  • Face coverings are required for people in meeting rooms where 6 feet of social distance cannot be maintained.
  • Face coverings are optional but recommended in all other public, indoor spaces for people who are up to date with their vaccines.

Students who fail to comply with mitigation measures may be reported to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities by clicking this link.

Is Northwest requiring students and employees to be vaccinated?  (updated 1/6/22)

At this time, Northwest is not requiring its students and employees to have the COVID-19 vaccination, however, the University strongly encourages the vaccination to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

CDC recommends that people remain up to date with their vaccines, which includes additional doses for individuals who are immunocompromised or booster doses at regular time points. Individuals who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should get an additional primary shot and a booster shot.

For information about the vaccine and answers to frequently asked questions provided by Mosaic Life Care, visit https://www.mymlc.com/General/coronavirus-covid-19.

How are class attendance and absences handled during the COVID-19 pandemic?  (updated 1/5/22)

While attendance policies are determined by individual faculty, and students are expected to attend courses as scheduled, students who will be absent from a class due to isolation or quarantine should contact Evan Rand at erand@nwmissouri.edu and provide him with a copy of the positive test result and the date of the onset of symptoms.

Course instructors will receive an email from Evan Rand (erand@nwmissouri.edu) or Jennifer Brown (nwct15@nwmissouri.edu) that includes information regarding students in quarantine or isolation.

Those students will receive an excused absence and will need to work with their instructor for any course support during their isolation or quarantine.

All other absences due to illness or personal reasons are handled by individual faculty members as they were prior to the pandemic.

Is Northwest offering additional scholarships or financial opportunities due to COVID-19?   (updated 1/5/22)

The University has committed to expanding eligibility for the American Dream Grant and allocating additional funds for need-based financial assistance. 

What factors will Northwest consider when deciding whether to discontinue in-person classes and transition to remote delivery?  (updated 1/5/22)

Northwest reviews a variety of metrics and receives daily inputs from local health experts, including the cumulative total of positive cases, the current number of positive cases, the percentage of the population testing positive for COVID-19, and hospitalizations. The University will not rely on one data point to transition courses to remote delivery.

Individual course sections may temporarily move to a blended, alternating attendance or online format as the result of a group of students or an instructor’s need to isolate after testing positive for COVID-19 or a need to quarantine due to being a contact of a positive case.

Are guests allowed in campus residential facilities?  (updated 1/5/22)

Guests are allowed in residence halls and must follow campus mitigation measures, which include:

  • Face coverings are required in all public, indoor spaces for unvaccinated individuals.
  • Face coverings are required for all individuals in meeting rooms where 6 feet of social distance cannot be maintained.

If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated?  (updated 1/5/22)

Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. Studies have shown the vaccine and its boosters are effective in reducing the risk of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Learn more about why getting vaccinated is a safer way to build protection than getting infected.

For answers to other frequently asked questions related to the COVID-19 vaccine, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html.

How effective is the COVID-19 vaccine?  (updated 12/13/21)

FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines help protect against variants while reducing the risk of COVID-19 and its potentially severe complications, including death.

All COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States have proven effective in clinical trials in helping protect people against COVID-19, including severe illness. Studies have shown how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions.

For more information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/effectiveness/work.html.

For answers to other frequently asked questions related to the COVID-19 vaccine, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html.

What restrictions has Northwest placed on travel?  (updated 12/1/21)

At this time, Northwest has no restrictions on University-funded and other travel related to employment and student organizations.

Students and employees who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to exercise every precaution to avoid exposure to the virus. Individuals who choose to travel internationally must understand that, if they are unable to re-enter the United States, they are at risk of not being able to resume or continue classes. Online and remote options will likely not be available for face-to-face courses in which students are enrolled for the spring term.

Refer to additional CDC guidelines related to travel by visiting https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.

Do employees have access to insurance and benefits related to COVID-19?  (updated 9/13/21)

For updates related to how Blue Cross Blue Shield is supporting its members, visit https://www.bluekc.com/consumer/covid/index.html.

How have Campus Dining locations adapted to COVID-19?  (updated 8/16/21)

In alignment with Northwest mitigation measures, all Campus Dining employees must wear a face covering.

Campus Dining sanitizes high-touch zones in Bearcat Commons, including beverage and soft serve machines and self-service utensils, along with elevated cleaning of the dining area after lunch and dinner services

Plexiglass shields and hand sanitizer stations remain in place in Campus Dining areas.

What actions have been taken in residence halls to help prevent transmission of COVID-19?  (updated 8/16/21)

In addition to campus mitigation measures:

  • Desk supplies remain available but must be cleaned by users after each use. Cleaning supplies are provided.
  • Students who have medical conditions that leave them vulnerable and require special accommodations, such as a private room, may contact the Office of Accessibility and Accommodations for assistance.
  • Additional cleaning and hand sanitizers are provided in common areas.
  • Roommates and suitemates should establish their own mitigation rules for their room, suite or apartment.

Will Northwest support a student who may be in quarantine?  (updated 8/15/21)

Northwest faculty and staff will assist students with reasonable flexibility. Students are encouraged to discuss concerns with their instructors or staff supervisors.

How are classrooms altered to support social distancing?  (updated 8/15/21)

Academic units are focused on meeting instructional outcomes, and all classes will continue as scheduled with basic mitigation expectations that do not require most classrooms to be altered. 

Students are asked to maintain a social distance of 3 feet where possible. Face coverings are required in all classrooms and labs.

Northwest will not add costs to students for mitigation measures, except where personal protective gear may be required.

Are to-go containers provided at Campus Dining locations?  (updated 7/12/21)

Disposable to-go containers are provided upon request to all guests. First-year freshmen and transfer students are provided with a free reusable to-go container, which also is available to purchase for $7 at Bearcat Commons registers.

To reduce the risk of cross-contamination, employees plate the student’s chosen food items, hand the plate to the student, and the student is responsible for placing the food into the to-go box.

Additionally, mobile ordering is available at Zen, Starbucks and Bearcat Commons to provide a "no entry" option to customers. To use mobile ordering, download the Transact Mobile Ordering app from the Apple Store or Google Play. Then, select the Northwest campus, register your device and place your order.

Will Campus Dining deliver food?  (updated 7/12/21)

Campus Dining does not deliver. However, to-go containers and a mobile ordering option are available for students.

Mobile ordering is available at Zen, Starbucks and Bearcat Commons to provide a "no entry" option to customers. To use mobile ordering, download the Transact Mobile Ordering app from the Apple Store or Google Play. Then, select the Northwest campus, register your device and place your order.

Can I ask an employee if he or she has the coronavirus?  (updated 7/1/21)

In general, employers can ask an employee how he or she is feeling but should not inquire about a specific illness as that could rise to the level of a disability-related inquiry under the ADA.

Where can I learn more about COVID-19 and recommendations for prevention?  (updated 7/1/21)

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

What is contact tracing?  (updated 7/1/21)

Contact tracing is the process of identifying all close contacts of a COVID-19 patient and placing close contacts into quarantine. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 or who are identified as a close contact will receive instructions from a health care official about the steps they need to take to prevent further spread of the virus.

Northwest or the Nodaway County Health Department begin their case investigation upon learning an individual has tested positive for COVID-19. It is the process of interviewing the patient to determine their symptoms and symptom onset, possible locations where exposure occurred and their close contacts.

A close contact is considered to be any individual who had a prolonged (at least 15 minutes) close contact (within 6 feet), or had physical contact (of any duration) with an individual who tested positive; a person may be considered a close contact regardless of whether either individual was wearing face coverings. A common misconception is that you should quarantine if you have been exposed to someone who is a close contact; that is not accurate. If you live with someone who is a contact, but they do not have a positive test or symptoms, you do not need to quarantine.

To assist with accurate contact tracing, Northwest has requested all faculty to maintain seating charts for their classes.

How should employees and departments track expenses impacted by COVID-19?  (updated 7/1/21)

In alignment with federal and state guidelines and processes, Northwest is approving and tracking purchases related to COVID-19 mitigation measures.

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.

Where can I receive the COVID-19 vaccine?  (updated 6/21/21)

Students and employees may call Wellness Services at 660.562.1348 to schedule an appointment for a vaccine.

Individuals also may call the Nodaway County Health Department at 660.562.2755 or Mosaic Medical Center-Maryville at 660.562.2525 to schedule an appointment.

Local pharmacies have the vaccine available and recommend calling to schedule an appointment.

  • Hy-Vee: 660.562.2199
  • Rogers: 660.562.2300
  • Walmart: 660.562.3593

To find a COVID-19 vaccine near you, visit https://www.vaccines.gov/

For additional information about the vaccine and answers to frequently asked questions provided by Mosaic Life Care, visit https://www.mymlc.com/General/coronavirus-covid-19.

What adjustments has Northwest made to restrooms to help prevent spread of COVID-19?  (updated 6/7/21)

Foot "pulls" and touchless faucets have been installed to help reduce contact with high-touch surfaces.

Are sanitizers available to students and employees?  (updated 6/7/21)

Northwest has installed additional wall-mounted hand sanitizers in building locations and portable stations for large gatherings.

How is Northwest cleaning classrooms and offices?  (updated 5/14/21)

Northwest has adopted the use of a sanitizing product, “Bearcat Thunder,” that is available to classrooms, offices and others throughout the campus. Bearcat Thunder is an alcohol-based product that is sprayed onto surfaces as a mist and allowed to air dry for about 3 minutes.

As a note to employees and students, bleach is not an approved cleaning or sanitizing chemical for use on campus due to risks of chemical reaction.

For more information about “Bearcat Thunder,” including an instructional video, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/services/facility/custodial/bearcatthunder.htm.

Has Northwest upgraded its ventilation systems to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19?  (updated 8/21/20)

With the assistance of an external team, the ventilation systems throughout campus facilities were inspected to ensure operational effectiveness. Filters have been upgraded to MERV 13, and portable air purifiers with HEPA filters and UVC lighting are being deployed in strategic locations.