Mar. 11, 2020 NMC update on COVID-19 (coronavirus) monitoring

Dear NMC Community -- With two cases of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, now confirmed in Michigan (in Oakland and Wayne counties in the metro Detroit area), we are writing to update you on monitoring and preparation activities at Northwestern Michigan College, which are continuing in partnership with the Grand Traverse County Health Department, Munson Medical Center and state and federal health and emergency response agencies.

Our goal is to keep NMC students and employees safe with the least possible disruption to learning. We have established an online hub for coronavirus updates. Continually updated information appears there, including previous communications from March 6 and Feb. 27, expert health and safety resources and government recommendations.


NMC custodial services disinfect all flat surfaces, as well as keyboards, elevator buttons, doorknobs and light switches in every classroom, restroom and in common areas daily.


NMC has postponed its first scheduled study abroad trip, which was scheduled to depart for Ireland March 28. NMC is also stopping all international and domestic travel for employees and college sponsored travel at this time. The college is monitoring the COVID-19 situation worldwide for trips planned later this spring and will adjust as needed to keep students and employees safe. NMC last adjusted study abroad trips in 2016 to avoid the Zika virus.

On-Campus Events

The college will monitor and evaluate planned events on our college campuses and follow recommended guidelines from state health experts. This may include canceling or postponing large events.

Face-to-Face Classes

You may have heard that Michigan State University has suspended face-to-face classes effective today through April 20. NMC has online systems in place that allow many areas of the college to work, teach and learn remotely. For the classes or work that needs to be done in person, our technology teams are working with faculty and staff to develop solutions in the event that the college would need to close for an extended period of time.

Keeping Healthy

Prevention and symptom awareness continues to be the best way to remain safe and healthy. Follow these steps:


  • Wash hands with soap and water frequently
  • Stay home if sick, especially if a fever is present
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes with unwashed hands
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from people who are ill
  • Eat healthy foods; avoid alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs
  • Get plenty of rest, 8-10 hours’ sleep nightly

Symptoms of COVID-19

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Other symptoms may be present in addition to the above including fatigue, headache, body aches, loss of appetite, upset stomach, runny nose or sneezing

Coronavirus FAQ

Most COVID-19 illnesses (80 percent) are mild in nature. Certain groups, including those over age 60 and those with underlying health conditions, are considered more vulnerable. Please contact NMC Health Services at (231) 995-1255 or to report an illness. All medical information will remain confidential. Reporting of an illness to Health Services will assist NMC in implementing an informed response.

NMC Health Services does not offer testing for COVID-19. Currently, only hospitalized patients with respiratory distress are tested and only after all other viruses/bacteria are ruled out and with permission to test from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. However, students should still come to Health Services with any concerns. Health Services is available to help students with any illness or injury. If a student presented with symptoms that resembled COVID-19, appropriate steps would be taken to assure the health and safety of the student as well as the student body, faculty and staff.

Other resources: