NWACC's Response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

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NWACC's Response to COVID-19


Your safety is NWACC's number one priority. The college continues to implement a variety of actions to keep students and employees safe and prevent the spread of illness. 

Preventative actions being taken by NWACC:

  • NWACC courses are offered online through the 2020 summer session.
  • NWACC plans to offer students flexible class options, including in-person classes in the fall with safety measures in place. 
  • Employees are working remotely and returning back to campus in phases.
  • NWACC facilities are currently closed to visitors.
  • NWACC's hand sanitizer dispensers are full and operational in all NWACC buildings.
  • NWACC has purchased a limited supply of disinfecting wipes.
    • Employees: If your department/area is interested in helping prevent the spread of the flu virus, you may pick up a container of wipes from the facilities office or file a work order to have a container delivered. Quantities are limited, so we ask that you work in conjunction with your department, area or floor to share. This is not an assigned duty, rather, an option for volunteers to assist in helping prevent illness.


Social distancing and hygienic recommendations:

Social distancing involves minimizing exposure to infected individuals by avoiding large public gathering venues, adhering to spacing requirements in the workplace, and following proper personal hygiene practices. The goal of social distancing is to limit exposure to infectious bacteria and viruses.

The following strategies are useful when conducting social distancing:

  • Adhere to public health hygienic recommendations by washing your hands after touching commonly used items or coming into contact with someone who is ill.
  • Proper hand washing involves scrubbing hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose and mouth and avoid rubbing your eyes.
  • Practice proper coughing or sneezing etiquette.
  • Properly dispose of anything that comes in contact with your mouth such as tissues or plastic eating utensils.
  • Avoid coming in contact with individuals displaying symptoms of illness.
  • If working in close proximity to other individuals, attempt to keep a distance of approximately six feet from the nearest person while working and wear a mask.
  • Avoid congregating in large public venues such as theaters or sporting events.

 

 Other Safety Measures & Guidelines:

If you experience COVID-19 symptoms within 14 days of returning from an area impacted by a COVID-19 outbreak OR have been exposed to someone confirmed with COVID-19:

  • Contact your medical provider. Do not show up at a clinic, urgent care or other health care facility without calling first. This will ensure your provider can take special measures to protect other people in the clinic.
  • Avoid using public transportation.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or sleeve. When you use a tissue, throw it in the trash immediately. Do not use a handkerchief.
  • Avoid close contact with others to avoid spreading the virus.
  • Do not go to work or class. Students should make sure to contact their professors as soon as possible to make academic arrangements. Employees should notify their supervisors. 
  • Rest as much as possible. Drink lots of fluids.

If symptoms continue to worsen, make sure to contact your medical provider immediately.

UAMS offers FREE 24 hour online screening for COVID-19 at https://uamshealth.com/healthnow/

Students: 

  • If you are diagnosed or exposed to COVID-19, please report this information to the Dean of Students Office at 479-619-4234 or 479-619-4237 or via email to deanofstudents@nwacc.edu

  • The Dean of Students Office may require the student to provide validation (written proof) from the Centers for Disease Control, Arkansas Department of Health, and/or from his or her local physician.

  • The Dean of Students Office will notify the appropriate faculty of any confirmed cases of COVID-19.

  • Faculty will work with students who have been diagnosed/exposed to COVID-19 and needing to make up work/class time through current NWACC procedures already in place, plus any additional guidelines which may be set forth by NWACC in response to the COVID-19 virus.

Employees: 

  • If you are diagnosed or exposed to COVID-19, please report this information to Human Resources at 479-619-2679 or 479-619-3138 or via email to covidhelp@nwacc.edu

  • HR may require you to provide validation (written proof) from the Centers for Disease Control, Arkansas Department of Health, and/or from your local physician.


What "exposure" means:

A potential exposure means having close contact within 6 feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19. The timeframe for having contact with an individual includes the period of time of 48 hours before the individual became symptomatic. 

What counts as close contact:

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more without a mask or appropriate face covering
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils
  • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you

Once an employee reports a COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure to Human Resources (or a student reports diagnosis/exposure to Dean of Student’s Office), the college will take the following actions:

  • Collect essential information from the individual in question for contact tracing purposes such as building, classroom and other areas visited, who they came into direct contact with, what dates they were on campus, etc.
  • Contact the department’s cabinet representative
  • Notify the Arkansas Department of Health
  • Employee will receive follow-up calls from Arkansas Dept. of Health AND UAMS
  • Notify NWACC facilities for additional cleaning
  • Notify Department of Safety concerning potential room and/or building closure for cleaning.
  • Notify Risk Management and Public Relations
  • Notify exposed employees/students
  • Follow up with employee’s supervisor or student’s dean for additional testing updates

NOTE: NWACC will strive to maintain all aspects of employee/student privacy and not share the names of those who are diagnosed with COVID-19 with the media.

  • All external events scheduled to be held at all NWACC sites will be canceled or postponed. If you have made arrangements with various entities to hold an event on our campus at any of our sites during this time, please notify those entities immediately.

  • All large, internal events scheduled to be held at all NWACC sites will be canceled or postponed. This includes the Employee Recognition Ceremony, the Administrative Assistants’ Tea and other similar events.