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COVID-19: Health & Safety

Northwest’s primary goals during the COVID-19 pandemic are to protect the health and safety of its employees, students and visitors.

The University’s plans are aligned and consistent with local orders and ordinances set by the city of Maryville as well as the guidelines set by the state of Missouri and the federal government and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As our knowledge and understanding of COVID-19 continues to evolve, Northwest’s policies and plans will be updated as appropriate.

 


How many positive COVID-19 cases have been reported in Nodaway County and involve Northwest students or employees?  (updated 11/21/21)

In collaboration with the Nodaway County Health Department, Northwest is monitoring 23 active cases involving a University student or employee; 1,004 students or employees have tested positive since April 2, 2020.

According to the Nodaway County Health Department, there are 170 active cases of COVID-19 in the county, and seven individuals are currently hospitalized.

3,753 individuals have tested positive in Nodaway County since April 2, 2020, and 3,557 of those individuals are no longer in isolation; 241 individuals in Nodaway County have been hospitalized, and 34 have died.

Is Northwest requiring face coverings on campus?  (updated 10/25/21)

Northwest continues to align its COVID-19 response with CDC guidelines and updated its face-covering requirements, effective Oct. 25, as follows:

  • Face coverings are required in all public, indoor spaces for unvaccinated individuals.
  • 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 new infant and toddler care area; and Safe Ride vehicles, which are designated as public transportation.
  • Face coverings are required for all individuals 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 fully vaccinated individuals.

 

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

What are acceptable face coverings?  (updated 10/25/21)

Individuals may choose their own face covering, which should be, at a minimum, made of thick or multi-layered cloth material.

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

Is Northwest providing face coverings for students and employees?   (updated 8/16/21)

Northwest has placed disposable masks in buildings and campus vending machines for individuals who may not have a face covering upon entering.

Northwest requires all unvaccinated individuals to wear face coverings in the presence of others on campus and in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., hallways, common work spaces, meeting rooms, classrooms, etc.). Vaccinations and the use of face coverings are critical to minimize the spread of COVID-19 to others.

I heard someone in one of my classes tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do?  (updated 8/9/21)

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 guidelines, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html.

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 the difference between “isolation” and “quarantine”?   (updated 7/1/21)

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 10 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 10 days have passed.

Quarantine is the term used for individuals who are identified as a close contact to a positive case, and that person must stay home and avoid seeing any other people. These individuals have not tested positive for COVID-19 but must quarantine for 14 days, beginning with the most recent date of exposure. Quarantine can last 14 to 24 days, depending on the situation. If an individual develops symptoms during this 14-day period or tests positive, their “quarantine” time ends and their 10-day “isolation” period begins. If, during quarantine, you receive a negative COVID-19 test, the quarantine time is not reduced.

Examples:

  • If an individual develops symptoms during this 14-day period and/or tests positive for COVID-19, their quarantine time ends and their 10-day isolation period begins. So it is possible that an individual can develop symptoms and test positive on day 14 of their quarantine and must then isolate for an additional 10 days.
  • If an individual is a household contact to a positive case and cannot keep distance from that person, the individual must quarantine throughout the duration of the positive case’s isolation period (10 days) and an additional 14 days, assuming the last contact was made on day 10.

Does a student who tested positive for COVID-19 have to test negative before returning to a classroom?  (updated 7/1/21)

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

In general, an individual must be fever-free and show an improvement of respiratory symptoms, including cough and shortness of breath. An individual may return to normal activities no less than 10 days after the first symptoms appeared.

What if my roommate tests positive for COVID-19?  (updated 7/1/21)

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.

Do I need to quarantine if my roommate was exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19?  (updated 7/1/21)

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.

If a student tests positive in my class, who is asked to quarantine?  (updated 7/1/21)

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.

What is a close contact?  (updated 7/1/21)

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 guidelines, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html.

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.

What if I have symptoms of COVID-19?   (updated 6/21/21)

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 and Sunday. 
  • 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.

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.

Do I need to quarantine if I've been exposed to someone with COVID-19?  (updated 6/7/21)

People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated against the disease and show no symptoms.

A close contact is an individual who:

  • was within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more
  • provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • had direct physical contact with a person with COVID-19
  • shared eating or drinking utensils with the person who has COVID-19
  • somehow got respiratory droplets (a sneeze or cough) from a person with COVID-19

For additional CDC quarantine guidelines, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html.