Forever Green
Campaign for Northwest
Directory
A-Z Index
 

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.

To focus on health and safety, Northwest expects all students, employees and visitors to adhere to four basic workforce mitigation measures:

  • Frequently wash hands and use hand sanitizer, per CDC guidelines.
  • To the fullest extent possible, maintain 6 feet of social distancing.
  • 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 spaces, meeting rooms, classrooms, etc.).
  • All areas that require evaluation of mitigation measures – primarily public-facing offices – are being evaluated on a prioritized basis and such measures will be enacted in a timely manner.

Employees should work with their immediate supervisor and the Office of Human Resources to address specific needs and circumstances.


How many positive COVID-19 cases have been reported in Nodaway County and involve Northwest students or employees?  (updated 4/11/21)

In collaboration with the Nodaway County Health Department, Northwest is monitoring five active cases involving University students or employees; 860 students or employees have tested positive since April 2, 2020.

According to the Nodaway County Health Department, there are 11 active cases of COVID-19 in the county, and 2,672 individuals have tested positive in the county since April 2, 2020.

2,638 of all individuals testing positive in Nodaway County are no longer in isolation.

168 individuals in Nodaway County have been hospitalized; none are currently hospitalized and 23 have died.

Is Northwest providing face coverings for students and employees?   (updated 3/23/21)

Northwest is providing Bearcat Logo face coverings to all employees and students. These face coverings are made of cloth and are washable for reuse.

Students who have not received a Northwest face covering may pick up one face covering at The Station between noon and 5 p.m. daily. Additionally, Northwest has placed disposable masks in buildings and campus vending machines for individuals who may not have a face covering upon entering.

Face coverings are required in all hallways, common spaces, meeting rooms, classrooms and all other areas, indoors and outdoors, when at least 6 feet of distance from others is difficult to maintain.

In what situations are individuals required to wear a face covering on campus?  (updated 3/23/21)

Face coverings are required in all hallways, common spaces, meeting rooms, classrooms and all other areas indoors. Face coverings are required outdoors when at least 6 feet of distance from others is difficult to maintain.

Individuals who do not have a face covering when entering a building should obtain one at designated stations located in all campus buildings or campus vending machines.

Exceptions to Northwest face covering requirement are as follows:

  • Individuals who are alone in an office or room
  • Students in their assigned residence hall room
  • When eating and drinking in a campus dining venue
  • When an alternative has been approved through Northwest’s Office of Accessibility and Accommodations

The appropriate use of face coverings is critical to minimize the spread of COVID-19 to others. Wearing a face covering not only protects you; it is us collectively protecting one another.

Students who do not comply with the policy may be reported in violation of Northwest’s Student Code of Conduct and be subject to disciplinary sanctions. Employees who are non-compliant may be reported and face sanctions in accordance with Northwest’s Disciplinary Action Policy.

What are acceptable face coverings?  (updated 3/23/21)

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

Northwest’s face covering guidelines are aligned with those provided by the CDC. 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.

How is social distancing maintained on campus?  (updated 12/11/20)

Northwest has implemented a variety of measures to encourage social distancing on the campus that include moving and limiting the access to furniture in classrooms and gathering spaces as well as the installation of Plexiglas barriers in high-traffic workspaces.

While the mitigation measures and protocols in place at Northwest are focused on protecting our campus community and preventing spread of the disease, it is our shared responsibility as individuals to participate in protecting those around us by following Northwest’s recommended measures and taking responsibility for our personal well-being. By taking individual responsibility and holding each other accountable, we not only do our part to help protect our campus and local community but contribute to a successful learning environment at Northwest.

If a student tests positive in my class, who is asked to quarantine?  (updated 12/11/20)

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.

Do I need to quarantine if my roommate was exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19?  (updated 12/9/20)

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.

What adjustments has Northwest made to restrooms to help prevent spread of COVID-19?  (updated 12/9/20)

Northwest custodial services is sanitizing restrooms more frequently.

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

Are sanitizers available to students and employees?  (updated 12/9/20)

Northwest has installed additional wall-mounted hand sanitizers in building locations and provided hand-pump dispensers for office settings and portable stations for large gatherings.

Sanitizing spray, called Bearcat Thunder, also is provided in areas throughout campus to help employees and students clean touch surfaces after use.

Northwest has intensified its disinfection efforts across the campus in accordance with guidelines shared by the CDC, the American College Health Association and other state universities.

What if I have symptoms of COVID-19?   (updated 12/9/20)

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 at 660.562.1348.
  • 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 is the difference between “isolation” and “quarantine”?   (updated 8/29/20)

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.

What is a close contact?  (updated 8/29/20)

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 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.

What is contact tracing?  (updated 8/29/20)

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.

If I’m instructed to quarantine, when does it start and end?  (updated 8/24/20)

You should stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19. For all of the following scenarios, even if you test negative for COVID-19 or feel healthy, you should stay home (quarantine) since symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.

Scenario 1:
I had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 and will not have further contact or interactions with the person while they are sick (e.g., co-worker, neighbor, or friend).

Quarantine time: Your last day of quarantine is 14 days from the date you had close contact.

Scenario 2:
I live with someone who has COVID-19 (e.g., roommate, partner, family member), and that person has isolated by staying in a separate bedroom. I have had no close contact with the person since they isolated.

Quarantine time: Your last day of quarantine is 14 days from when the person with COVID-19 began home isolation.

Scenario 3:
I live with someone who has COVID-19 and started my 14-day quarantine period because we had close contact. What if I ended up having close contact with the person who is sick during my quarantine? What if another household member gets sick with COVID-19? Do I need to restart my quarantine?

Quarantine time: You will have to restart your quarantine from the last day you had close contact with anyone in your house who has COVID-19. Any time a new household member gets sick with COVID-19 and you had close contact, you will need to restart your quarantine.

Scenario 4:
I live in a household where I cannot avoid close contact with the person who has COVID-19. I am providing direct care to the person who is sick, don’t have a separate bedroom to isolate from the person who is sick, or live in close quarters where I am unable to keep a physical distance of 6 feet.

Quarantine time: You should avoid contact with others outside the home while the person is sick and quarantine for 14 days after the person who has COVID-19 meets the criteria to end their home isolation.

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.

Does a student who tested positive for COVID-19 have to test negative before returning to a classroom?  (updated 8/21/20)

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 factors will Northwest consider when deciding whether to discontinue in-person classes and transition to remote delivery?  (updated 8/21/20)

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 online 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.

How do I know when someone has become a contact to a positive case and must quarantine?  (updated 8/19/20)

To be considered a contact, the following criteria must be met:

  • The individual was within 6 feet of a positive case for 15 minutes or more, with or without a mask, or;
  • The individual made physical contact with a positive case, or;
  • The individual lives in the same room or house as a positive case.

What if I forget my face covering?  (updated 8/19/20)

Northwest has designated face covering stations in all campus buildings. Disposable face coverings may be obtained in the following areas:

Academic areas

  • Dean L. Hubbard Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship – Room 1200
  • Colden Hall – Room 2050
  • Garrett Strong Science Building – Rooms 2610 and 1610
  • Horace Mann Laboratory School – Front desk
  • Everett W. Brown Education Hall – Room 200
  • Martindale Hall – Room 202
  • McKemy Center for Lifelong Learning – Hubbard Center, Room 1200
  • Music (Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building – Room 106
  • Northwest-Kansas City – Front office
  • Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building – Main office
  • Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts Center – back stage office area
  • Valk Center – Room 94
  • Wells Hall – Room 237

 

Service and support areas

  • Administration Building – Career Services office, Room 130
  • B.D. Owens Library – Front desk
  • J.W. Jones Student Union - Front Desk
  • Jon T. Rickman Electronic Campus Support Center – Front desk
  • KXCV-KRNW (Wells Hall) – Room 224
  • Michael L. Faust Center for Alumni and Friends – Front desk
  • Mabel Cook Recruitment and Visitors Center – Front desk
  • The Station (Textbook Services) – Front desk
  • Mail/Copy Center – Front desk
  • Materials Distribution Center – Front desk
  • University Police – Front desk
  • Wellness Center – Front desk

 

Athletics and recreation areas

  • Carl and Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse – Greg Hansen
  • Lamkin Activity Center – Room 224
  • Robert and Virginia Foster Fitness Center – Front desk
  • Student Rec Center – Front desk

 

Residential Life

  • Dieterich Hall – Front desk
  • Forest Village Apartments (Hawthorne, Sycamore, Willow) – Front desk
  • Franken Hall – Front desk
  • Hudson Hall – Front desk
  • Millikan Hall – Front desk
  • North Complex (Cooper, Douglas) – South Complex rront desk
  • Perrin Hall – Front desk
  • Roberta Hall – Front desk
  • South Complex (Cook, Richardson, Wilson) – Front desk
  • Tower Suites East and West – The Station front desk

 

Facility Services buildings

  • Facility Services Administration Building – Front desk
  • Facility Services East – Front desk
  • Facility Services Maintenance Building – Front desk

What slogans are acceptable on face coverings?  (updated 8/15/20)

Northwest supports individual messaging on masks as freedom of expression but expects students, employees and visitors to consider the impacts their statements may have on our community.

Will campus issue building capacity occupancy limits?  (updated 7/17/20)

Northwest is not issuing building capacity occupancy limits at this time.

Individuals are expected to maintain 6 feet of social distancing to the fullest extent possible and are required to wear a face covering when social distancing cannot be maintained.

What if my roommate tests positive for COVID-19?  (updated 7/10/20)

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.

I heard someone in one of my classes tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do?  (updated 6/23/20)

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.

Will my teachers be notified if I test positive?   (updated 6/23/20)

A student testing positive for COVID-19 is responsible for notifying their instructors that they will not return to class until further notice. The student is not required to provide the reason.

Wellness Services will notify the Office of Student Affairs that you are not to attend classes until further notice and will not provide a reason. This is part of Northwest’s normal procedure when students have an infectious disease, are hospitalized, or for other reasons.  

What happens if I have to miss classes?  (updated 6/23/20)

If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, you have an obligation to stay away from others. It is important that you communicate with your instructors that you are not feeling well.

Call Wellness Services for screening and further guidance. Wellness Services may communicate to your instructors if you need to be excused from classes. Faculty will offer alternative learning opportunities if you have an approved absence from the Office of Student Affairs and Wellness Services.

Where can I learn more about COVID-19 and recommendations for prevention?  (updated 6/22/20)

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.