COVID-19 Information - Community First

COVID-19 Information - Community First

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Fall 2020

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NNU's Community First Plan

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Here for Good

COMMUNITY FIRST

We are excited to come back for Fall 2021, carrying with us all we have learned from our successful in-person 20-21 academic year. As we move forward, we are making plans with significantly more clarity, knowledge and understanding of the virus, its impacts and the ways we can protect ourselves and our community. We anticipate a full return to the robust academic, spiritual, residential, athletic, and community life activities that are the foundation of an NNU experience by continuing to put Community First.

With vaccine availability and the current trend of reduced community spread, we are preparing to come back without many of the health and safety protocols we followed this past year.

NNU's current plan is influenced by:

  • Anticipated levels of vaccinations within the NNU community
  • Current public health risk
  • Current CDC and local health district recommendations

We will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff and will closely monitor any new developments with COVID variants or increases in community spread. Although it is not anticipated, all plans are subject to change and additional health protocols (e.g., saliva screening, face coverings, etc.) may be re-implemented based on the reality we experience in the upcoming academic year.

NNU is committed to being *Here for Good*, providing the excellent education and incredible community for which we are known.

This page will be updated as further decisions are made and additional information becomes available.

Please contact covid19@nnu.edu with any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the COVID-19 vaccination be required this fall?

With vaccines now readily available, we are asking members of our campus community to make informed decisions about their health and how they can best protect themselves and our community. As part of our commitment to Community FIRST, we are requesting all faculty, staff and students to have a conversation with their healthcare provider about the vaccine, and if advised, complete the series of vaccinations and be fully vaccinated before their return to campus this fall. We believe vaccinations will be key in helping us return to a more normal way of life as quickly as possible.

 

Although we are not requiring proof of vaccination to return to campus, we do need students to complete the Immunization Record and Document of Informed Choice form, letting Health Services know your informed choices for several available vaccinations. This form needs to be completed ASAP. You need to:

 

  • Review the Immunization Record and Document of Informed Choice 
  • Discuss each vaccination and the value, risks and consequences with your healthcare provider
  • Complete the form, indicating for each listed vaccine whether you (1) have been fully vaccinated (and provide dates of vaccination), (2) intend to be vaccinated, or (3) are declining the vaccination (when you choose to decline a vaccine, you are acknowledging that you fully understand and accept the risks and consequences of declining it)

Who will see my Immunization Record and Document of Informed Choice and how will it be used?

The Immunization Record and Document of Informed Choice is considered privileged medical information that your on-campus medical provider will have access to. During the admissions process, your admissions counselor also has brief access that ceases at the point of enrollment. This privileged medical information will be used by your on-campus medical provider and shared only in accordance with our Privacy Practices in order to help keep you and our campus healthy and safe. In the event of an outbreak or exposure to a communicable disease (example: Meningitis), this information will allow Health Services to rapidly identify students who are at a personal health risk.

Why should I get vaccinated?

NNU students, staff and faculty enjoy the privilege of living together in community. Living in this way means that vaccines are key in protecting against diseases that can, and sometimes do, result in serious illness, disability and/or death. Vaccination offers many benefits to you personally, as well as to our campus community, including:

 

  • Protecting you from getting COVID-19 and other communicable diseases and/or from having severe symptoms should you contract them
  • Protecting your family, friends, classmates, teammates, our campus community and others through herd immunity 
  • Reducing the chances of having an outbreak on campus—as well as reducing major disruptions during the semester as a result of an outbreak 
  • Reducing the likelihood that you will have to isolate/quarantine (If you have proof of vaccination, you will not be required to quarantine even if you are identified as part of contract tracing.)

Will others know if I am vaccinated or not?

This decision is a personal choice and should be respected. We do not feel that vaccination status is something that needs to be shared with the general community, should not be inquired about and—as part of our commitment to Community FIRST—should not be grounds for judgment or discrimination of those who have made a different choice than you.

Will I be restricted from certain campus activities/opportunities if I choose not to get vaccinated?

Although NNU will not require proof of vaccination for involvement in on-campus activities or opportunities, please note that some of our outside partner organizations/activities such as internships, student teaching, clinicals, travel groups, and/or athletics may. Please consult with your advisor, professors and/or coach to determine if you will need to provide proof of vaccination for any activities involving campus partners. Also, if you choose not to vaccinate and contract or are exposed to one of the illnesses listed on the Immunization Record and Document of Informed Choice, you may be asked to quarantine/isolate away from campus at your own expense. This time away could range from a couple of days to several months, depending upon the situation. 

Will COVID-19 vaccinations be offered on campus this fall if I’m not able to get it at home? 

Yes, a limited number of COVID-19 vaccinations are currently—and will continue to be—available on campus at NNU’s Health Services by appointment. Call 208-465-6799 to make an appointment. However, if you can get your vaccination before returning to campus for fall semester, we highly encourage you to do so. 

Will face coverings be required on campus this fall?

As of May 31, the wearing of face coverings is left to the discretion of each person and is no longer required on campus. We continue to put Community FIRST and show consideration and respect for others. 

Will we need to participate in daily health screenings and bi-weekly saliva screenings this fall?

Based on the current public health risk we are seeing in the community right now, we have discontinued both the daily health screenings and bi-weekly saliva screenings. 

What are the plans for classes this fall?

Just as it was for the 2020-21 academic year, the majority of classroom instruction is scheduled to be delivered face-to-face. A small number of courses will be delivered either as hybrid courses or fully online, as has been the case over the past several years. Students are encouraged to talk with their advisors to ensure that they are registered in classes that will be delivered in a format that meets their comfort levels and needs.

What are the plans for community events this fall? 

With vaccine availability and effectiveness, we are moving forward with plans to hold all of our traditional welcome events, including New Student Orientation, Week One and Freshman Retreat. We will provide more details as they become available.

What is happening with athletics this fall? What about intramural sports? 

For varsity athletics, NNU will be following the guidelines and decisions made by the GNAC. We will provide an update as soon as decisions have been made regarding fall sports. Some co-curricular and extra-curricular experiences (including athletics) may include specific vaccination requirements. Please consult with your coach for the appropriate information.

 

Current plans are for intramural sports to occur this fall, taking into account any health and safety protocols necessary. Details will be provided as students return to campus this fall.
 

What are the plans for chapel this fall?

We plan to have face-to-face chapel this year on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays as we have in years past. Timeout will also be held each Wednesday evening. Additionally, we plan to offer multiple opportunities for spiritual growth and encourage students to take an active role in their health and the health and safety of the NNU community.

What can we expect for the dorms this year? 

We anticipate that Residential Life will return to pre-pandemic operation. 

What happens if I am exposed to or get COVID-19 during the school year?

If you are unvaccinated, you may be asked to quarantine/isolate away from campus at your own expense. If you are vaccinated and are exposed, you will not be required to quarantine.