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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

How many positive COVID-19 cases have been reported in Nodaway County and involve Northwest students or employees?  (updated 1/23/21)

In collaboration with the Nodaway County Health Department, Northwest is monitoring eight active cases involving University students or employees; 799 students or employees have tested positive since April 2.

According to the Nodaway County Health Department, there are 52 active cases of COVID-19 in the county, and 2,501 individuals have tested positive in the county since April 2, 2020.

2,428 of all individuals testing positive in Nodaway County are no longer in isolation.

163 individuals in Nodaway County have been hospitalized; five are currently hospitalized and 21 have died.

Click here for a detailed review of COVID-19 data in Nodaway County.

Click here for a detailed review of COVID-19 data related to Northwest.

How did Northwest identify and provide HEERF emergency grants to eligible students?  (updated 1/6/21)

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 has 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. 

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 1/6/21)

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 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. In total, students have received $2,377,000 in HEERF emergency grant payments.

Remaining funds are being delivered on an as-needed, case-by-case basis. 

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 1/6/21)

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.

Under what circumstances will an event be canceled?  (updated 1/5/21)

Student organization activities must be canceled or postponed if mitigation measures cannot be maintained. At a minimum, individuals attending campus events and activities must maintain 6 feet of social distance and wear a face covering. Common areas, such as the J.W. Jones Student Union, as well as hallways, common work spaces, meeting rooms and classrooms, will require individuals to wear a face covering regardless of social distance.

Events or activities that do not meet Northwest mitigation measures or the city of Maryville's seventh emergency order, effective through March 31, 2021 (see below), and cannot be modified due to time or resource limitations, must be canceled or postponed.

As such, the following requirements are in place regarding campus activities administered within the Office of Student Involvement:

  • Events that are deemed educational/operational may continue to be in person (or virtual) as long as Northwest mitigation measures are maintained. Such events include, but are not limited to, organizational meetings to conduct regular business, speakers, philanthropic or service events, or religious meetings and services.
  • Events deemed social in nature are only allowed on campus and must follow the restrictions of the seventh emergency order. Such events include, but are not limited to, parties, dances or formals. These events must also maintain Northwest mitigation measures provided above.
  • Limits to attendance will be based on location capacity and the nature of the event. Staff responsible for reserving event locations on campus will provide specific attendance limitations/capacities. Educational/operational events, in most instances, will be allowed to occur off-campus within Nodaway County as long as Northwest mitigation measures are followed.
  • Student organization travel is prohibited until further notice.
Seventh emergency order requirements
  • Category 1 (extreme risk): 7-day positivity rate of 15 percent or above and 7-day case rate per 100k of 350 or above = No more than 10 people in attendance
  • Category 2 (critical risk): 7-day positivity rate of 10 to 14 percent and 7-day case rate per 100k of 100-349 = No more than 25 people in attendance
  • Category 3 (serious risk): 7 day positivity rate of 5 to 9 percent and 7-day case rate per 100k of 10-99 = No limit to attendance

 

Northwest reserves the right to change this policy at any time and restrict events that are deemed too high-risk to be carried out safely.

For additional information or assistance, contact Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Kori Hoffmann at khoff20@nwmissouri.edu.

What do student activities and events on campus look like?  (updated 1/5/21)

Northwest is reviewing all student organization activities for compliance with the city of Maryville’s seventh emergency order, effective Nov. 25, 2020, through March 31, 2021.

Student organization events are categorized as "educational/operational" or "social." As such, the following requirements are in place in accordance with the seventh emergency order and campus activities administered within the Office of Student Involvement:

  • Events that are deemed educational/operational may continue to be in person (or virtual) as long as Northwest mitigation measures are maintained. Such events include, but are not limited to, organizational meetings to conduct regular business, speakers, philanthropic or service events, or religious meetings and services. Mitigation measures include, at a minimum, maintaining 6 feet of social distance from others and wearing a face covering. Common areas, such as the J.W. Jones Student Union, as well as hallways, common work spaces, meeting rooms and classrooms, require students to wear a face covering regardless of social distance.
  • Events deemed social in nature are only allowed on campus and must follow the restrictions of the seventh emergency order. Such events include, but are not limited to, parties, dances or formals. These events must also maintain Northwest mitigation measures provided above.
  • Limits to attendance will be based on location capacity and the nature of the event. Staff responsible for reserving event locations on campus will provide specific attendance limitations/capacities. Educational/operational events, in most instances, will be allowed to occur off-campus within Nodaway County as long as Northwest mitigation measures are followed.
  • Student organization travel is prohibited until further notice.
Seventh emergency order requirements
  • Category 1 (extreme risk): 7-day positivity rate of 15 percent or above and 7-day case rate per 100k of 350 or above = No more than 10 people in attendance
  • Category 2 (critical risk): 7-day positivity rate of 10 to 14 percent and 7-day case rate per 100k of 100-349 = No more than 25 people in attendance
  • Category 3 (serious risk): 7 day positivity rate of 5 to 9 percent and 7-day case rate per 100k of 10-99 = No limit to attendance

 

Northwest reserves the right to change this policy at any time and restrict events that are deemed too high-risk to be carried out safely.

For additional information or assistance, contact Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Kori Hoffmann at khoff20@nwmissouri.edu.

Are student organizations allowed to meet in person?  (updated 1/5/21)

Student organizations may meet in person and are expected to implement and maintain Northwest mitigation measures, which include, at a minimum, maintaining 6 feet of social distance from others and wearing a face covering. Common areas, such as the J.W. Jones Student Union, as well as hallways, common work spaces, meeting rooms and classrooms, will require students to wear a face covering regardless of social distance.

While Northwest advises student organizations to use Zoom or similar platforms for meetings, groups may choose to meet in-person if they can maintain appropriate social distancing and wear face coverings.

Organizations may host activities off-campus within Nodaway County with the following limitations:

  • On-campus mitigation measures must also be followed at off-campus activities.
  • No organizational activities may be hosted at bars, restaurants or other facilities where mitigation measures cannot be maintained due to the nature of the venue.
  • No off-campus activities with food or drink.
  • Student organization travel is prohibited until further notice.

Northwest is reviewing all student organization activities for compliance with the city of Maryville’s seventh emergency order, effective through March 31, 2021.

Student organization events are categorized as "educational/operational" or "social." As such, the following requirements are in place in accordance with the seventh emergency order and campus activities administered within the Office of Student Involvement:

  • Events that are deemed educational/operational may continue to be in person (or virtual) as long as Northwest mitigation measures are maintained. Such events include, but are not limited to, organizational meetings to conduct regular business, speakers, philanthropic or service events, or religious meetings and services. Mitigation measures include, at a minimum, maintaining 6 feet of social distance from others and wearing a face covering. Common areas, such as the J.W. Jones Student Union, as well as hallways, common work spaces, meeting rooms and classrooms, require students to wear a face covering regardless of social distance.
  • Events deemed social in nature are only allowed on campus and must follow the restrictions of the seventh emergency order. Such events include, but are not limited to, parties, dances or formals. These events must also maintain Northwest mitigation measures provided above.
  • Limits to attendance will be based on location capacity and the nature of the event. Staff responsible for reserving event locations on campus will provide specific attendance limitations/capacities. Educational/operational events, in most instances, will be allowed to occur off-campus within Nodaway County as long as Northwest mitigation measures are followed.
Seventh emergency order requirements
  • Category 1 (extreme risk): 7-day positivity rate of 15 percent or above and 7-day case rate per 100k of 350 or above = No more than 10 people in attendance
  • Category 2 (critical risk): 7-day positivity rate of 10 to 14 percent and 7-day case rate per 100k of 100-349 = No more than 25 people in attendance
  • Category 3 (serious risk): 7 day positivity rate of 5 to 9 percent and 7-day case rate per 100k of 10-99 = No limit to attendance

 

Northwest reserves the right to change this policy at any time and restrict events that are deemed too high-risk to be carried out safely.

For additional information or assistance, contact Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Kori Hoffmann at khoff20@nwmissouri.edu.

What restrictions has Northwest placed on travel?  (updated 1/5/21)

All University-related and University-funded travel, international and domestic, is prohibited until further notice and should not be planned or scheduled. The policy applies to all students and student organizations, faculty and staff. Northwest encourages individuals and teams to explore creative options for alternative study, research, work and collaboration.

Exceptions will be granted for recruitment of students and donors, athletic team travel and fully funded grant-required expenditures. Additional exceptions will be granted on a case-by-case basis with the approval of the University president. All requests should be submitted to the respective NLT member for evaluation.

 

Personal travel

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 travel should self-monitor for symptoms and follow their medical provider’s instructions. Refer to the CDC guidelines related to travel, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html.

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.

Will students be charged room and board for a full semester?  (updated 12/18/20)

Students living in residence halls during the fall 2020 semester are charged the semester price because the halls remained open for the duration of the semester, which ended Dec. 11.

The start and end dates of Northwest’s spring semester, as well as the length of time students will be residing on campus, have not changed, and therefore Northwest is not adjusting food or housing costs. Northwest also is adding nine meal plan days, at no cost, to students with Campus Dining meal plans.

How has Northwest revised the academic calendar for the spring 2021 semester?  (updated 12/18/20)

To help prevent transmission of COVID-19 and to ease stress placed on our students and employees as a result of the ongoing pandemic, Northwest is altering its academic calendar during the spring 2021 semester.

Northwest’s spring semester begins Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, and concludes Friday, May 7, 2021, both as previously scheduled.

To help reduce transmission of the virus, the spring break week is removed from the calendar. The campus will close Monday, March 8, and no classes will be offered that day, but classes will resume Tuesday, March 9.

The last day for on-ground, in-person classes will be Friday, April 23. Northwest is designating the week of April 26-30 as a preparation week, and final exams will be conducted online during the week of May 3-7. Northwest’s updated academic calendar is accessible at www.nwmissouri.edu/academics/calendar.htm.

This schedule does not apply to coursework offered at Northwest-Kansas City and Online Professional programs, which follow a different academic calendar than the Maryville campus.

As always, in alignment with Northwest’s incremental decision-making process in response to the pandemic, course delivery modes are subject to change as conditions change.

How is class attendance handled during the COVID-19 pandemic?  (updated 12/11/20)

Attendance policies are determined by individual faculty. Students who self-report being symptomatic will be accommodated as an excused illness with course delivery.

How are classrooms altered to accommodate social distancing?  (updated 12/11/20)

Students and faculty should follow mitigation guidelines, which require the wearing of face coverings and maintaining social distance.

Academic units have prepared their areas to meet instructional outcomes. In some cases, a class may be split with students attending face-to-face in one session and virtually the next. Another class may follow a blended instruction model that is already a common practice at Northwest. In some cases, classes will remain exactly the same with the expectation of mitigation efforts.

Northwest will not add costs to students for mitigation measures, except where personal protective gear may be required above and beyond what is provided.

Will Northwest accommodate a student who may be in quarantine?  (updated 12/11/20)

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

 

What should I do if I’m a faculty member and need to quarantine or isolate?  (updated 12/11/20)

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.

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.

What actions have been taken in residence halls to help prevent transmission of COVID-19?  (updated 12/11/20)

Residents and guests are required to wear face coverings in all common space, including hallways, elevators, stairwells, lounges, restrooms and laundry rooms. All residence hall staff wear face coverings in common areas or an enclosed spaces with a student, such as an office.

Desk supplies remain available but must be cleaned by users after each use. Cleaning supplies are provided.

Furniture is spaced in lounges to allow for socially distanced seating.

Non-Northwest guests are not allowed to visit residence halls. Students should meet guests outside or in another space.

Elevators are limited to three people at a time, except during move-in days when one family unit is allowed at a time in the elevator.

Programming is provided with mitigation measures in place.

Students who have medical conditions that make them vulnerable and need special accommodations, such as a private room, may contact the Office of Accessibility and Accommodations.

Additional cleaning and hand sanitizers is provided in common areas.

Roommates and suitemates should establish their own mitigation rules for their room, suite or apartment.

Do employees have access to insurance and benefits related to COVID-19?  (updated 12/10/20)

Should I self-quarantine after travel?  (updated 12/9/20)

Per CDC guidelines, anyone who travels, regardless of the location, poses a risk to family, friends and community members for 14 days afterward.

Individuals who travel should take these everyday actions to prevent transmission of the virus:

  • Stay at least 6 feet from anyone who did not travel with you, indoors and outdoors.
  • Wear a face covering with your nose and mouth covered when you are in shared spaces with people who did not travel with you.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Look for symptoms of COVID-19, and take your temperature if you feel sick.
 
Testing

Testing before and after travel can reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, especially if you participated in a higher-risk activity such as attending a large social gathering or were in a crowded space (wedding, funeral, party, sporting event, concert, parade, restaurant, bar, fitness center or movie theater).

Take the actions listed above and do the following after travel:

  • Get tested three to five days after travel.
  • Stay home for seven days after travel, even if you test negative. If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you do not get tested, stay home for 10 days after travel.

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

Where can I be tested for COVID-19?  (updated 12/9/20)

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 at 660.562.2525 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday or between 8 a.m. and 12 Saturday to request a test. 

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.

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. Learn about COVID-19 symptoms by clicking here.

  • 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.

Will all classes be offered on campus, or will some courses be moved online?  (updated 12/9/20)

Courses will continue to look different during the spring semester and will include a variety of instruction models.

For example, Northwest moved two large, multi-section courses – General Psychology and Introduction to American Government and Politics – online to help lighten hallway traffic in academic buildings and open those classrooms to allow additional flexibility. Likewise, the University moved American Popular Music and Western Civilization I and II to fully remote (virtual) delivery

Students should be aware of the following definitions to describe course delivery models:

Online: Courses indicated in the course schedule as “online” are delivered through Canvas and involve asynchronous student engagement (no scheduled class time).
Virtual or remote: Courses indicated on CatPAWS with a message and location indicated as “VRTUAL” and a message indicating “Remote Delivery” involve student engagement during the scheduled class time through synchronous Zoom delivery.

Students should be attentive to email communication from faculty, and check all course syllabi and messages in Canvas, for course delivery methods.

Will Northwest reduce fees associated with co-curricular activities if such activities cannot take place due to COVID-19 restrictions?  (updated 12/8/20)

Co-curricular activities continue to take place at Northwest, though they may be modified to meet COVID-19 mitigation measures.

Northwest's Office of Student Involvement hosts a variety of virtual activities during the pandemic and offers guidance to help student organizations meet and continue fulfilling their objectives virtually.

In what situations are individuals required to wear a face covering on campus?  (updated 12/8/20)

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 do Bearcat athletics look like?  (updated 12/8/20)

Bearcat athletics teams are competing, with mitigation measures in place and limited fans inside playing venues.

For more information and updates regarding athletics, visit https://bearcatsports.com/.

Will Campus Dining deliver food?  (updated 10/6/20)

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

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.

What does Bearcat Commons look like?  (updated 10/6/20)

Campus Dining is allowing a limited number of students inside Bearcat Commons at one time, and students are encouraged to leave when they are finished eating. Face coverings are required to enter dining facilities and while moving through the facilities but may be removed while eating and drinking when seated at a table.

Additional mitigation measures include:

  • All dining employees all screened upon entering the building and are required to wear face coverings.
  • Specific doors are designated for entering, exiting and takeout.
  • All condiments, napkins and silverware are distributed by employees.
  • Grab-and-go items are available for quick dining solutions with minimal contact.
  • Register shields are located at registers.
  • Hand sanitizer is available throughout all locations.
  • Tables and chairs are socially distanced and sanitized between customers.

What does The Jones retail dining area look like?  (updated 10/6/20)

Seating is reduced and set to accommodate social distancing. Two traffic ways are set up for ordering – one walkway for Chick-fil-A guests and one walkway for Einstein or Zen guests.

Additional mitigation measures include:

  • All condiments, napkins and plastic-ware are distributed by employees.
  • Register shields are at all registers.
  • New cups are provided for refills.

Are to-go containers provided at Campus Dining locations?  (updated 10/6/20)

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.

What is the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)?   (updated 10/1/20)

As part of the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the HEERF provides funding for emergency grants to students whose lives have been disrupted and are facing financial challenges to meet their most basic needs.

Northwest signed and returned the required HEERF certification and agreement on April 28, 2020.  The University will use the required $2,396,395 of these CARES Act funds to provide emergency financial aid grants to 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.

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.

Where on campus can I study or participate in a Zoom session, if needed?  (updated 8/28/20)

Northwest has implemented “Zoom Zones” in various locations throughout the campus where students may go to access technology and participate in Zoom sessions. The following locations are available during regular hours:

  • B.D. Owens Library: First and second floors, outdoor seating area (headsets, microphones and power cords are available for checkout).  
  • Carl and Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse: Tables and chairs are set up in the southwest corner of the facility from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • J.W. Jones Student Union: Third floor meeting rooms, Ballroom (availability may be sporadic due to previously scheduled meetings)
  • Raymond J. Courter College Park Pavilion: Outdoor area in College Park

 

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.

What are acceptable face coverings?  (updated 8/24/20)

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.

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.

How is Northwest mitigating foot traffic in academic buildings?  (updated 8/21/20)

Northwest teams have evaluated all campus buildings and posted directional signs to mark entrances and exits as well as one-way traffic in some staircases and hallways.

Additionally, Northwest has adapted some course delivery models and moved its largest classes online to reduce the number of people passing through hallways in some academic buildings.

What is Northwest’s capability for testing individuals for COVID-19?  (updated 8/21/20)

While Northwest does have limited testing capability for students, the University is following the guidance of the CDC, the American College Health Association, and the World Health Organization, which do not recommend testing for asymptomatic individuals.

Northwest has adopted a “box-in” strategy, which focuses on testing symptomatic individuals and others who are identified as contacts of those individuals.

Students may choose to obtain a test in their home communities. Northwest employees who desire a test, should contact Mosaic Medical Center by calling its COVID-19 nurse call line at 660.562.5357.

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.

If I learn of a student who has contracted COVID-19 how do I report it?  (updated 8/21/20)

An extended absence flag has been created in Northwest Success 360 to communicate a COVID-19 case to campus stakeholders. Log in to Northwest Success 360, find the student, and raise the flag titled, “Student reported that they will be absent for a week or more of classes.”

The flag will trigger a notification to the student’s course instructors as well as various campus offices for services or account holds.

Although the flag system provides a notification, students who must isolate after testing positive for COVID-19 or need to quarantine due to being a contact of a positive case are expected to communicate directly with their instructors to arrange accommodations and progress through their coursework.

What buildings have extended hours where students can study or gather in small groups while following mitigation measures?  (updated 8/21/20)

Students may gather in the Student Union, The Station, the B.D. Owens Library or their residence hall lounges. Northwest staff have evaluated all buildings and put mitigation measures in place, including the spacing of furniture.

What happens if Northwest reaches its bed capacity for on-campus isolation and quarantine housing?  (updated 8/21/20)

In an effort to prevent further spread of the virus at Northwest and to keep isolation and quarantine housing available, a student who tests positive will first be encouraged to go home to isolate or quarantine.

The University is evaluating additional options in the event that on-campus housing designated for isolation or quarantine reaches capacity.

Can employees offer office hours via Zoom?   (updated 8/21/20)

Yes, employees are encouraged to host Zoom meetings with students but should do so in campus offices.

What floors or halls are used for individuals who need to isolate or be quarantined?  (updated 8/21/20)

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.

Is Northwest providing face coverings for students and employees?   (updated 8/21/20)

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.

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.

Click here for a detailed review of COVID-19 data in Nodaway County.

Click here for a detailed review of COVID-19 data related to Northwest.

A student told me they had a negative COVID-19 test and won’t be in class for two weeks. Is that ok?  (updated 8/19/20)

Yes. An individual could be a known contact without a positive test and be required to quarantine.

If a student tells me they must isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19, what should I do to communicate this to others?  (updated 8/19/20)

An extended absence flag has been created in Northwest Success 360 to communicate this to campus stakeholders. Login to Northwest Success 360, find the student, and raise the flag titled, “Student reported that they will be absent for a week or more of classes.”

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

How is Northwest cleaning classrooms and offices?  (updated 8/18/20)

Northwest has adopted the use of a sanitizing product, which we’re calling “Bearcat Thunder” and is being made 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.

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.

Are guests allowed in campus residential facilities?  (updated 7/10/20)

Northwest is prohibiting guests in residential facilities to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and guest rooms will not be available for reservations this fall.

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.

How should employees and departments track expenses impacted by COVID-19?  (updated 6/29/20)

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 6/26/20)

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 Department of Health will conduct a trace and contact employee who may have been exposed and need to be quarantined. 

Can I ask an employee if he or she has the coronavirus?  (updated 6/26/20)

Can I require an employee to go home (or stay home) if he or she is sick?  (updated 6/26/20)

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.

Is Northwest offering additional scholarships or financial opportunities due to COVID-19?   (updated 6/19/20)

Northwest will maintain a level of financial assistance that allows the University to remain an affordable college choice.