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Mar. 12, 2020 Update on coronavirus preparedness

Dear NMC students,

We are in the midst of a rapidly changing situation in the United States as a result of the spread of COVID-19. NMC places the highest priority on student, faculty and staff safety and we are writing to update you on our monitoring and planning processes. The most current updates may be found online at nmc.edu/coronavirus.

We are aware many Michigan four-year universities and some colleges this week canceled face-to-face classes in an effort to limit the spread of the disease. Some of these institutions are near confirmed cases of COVID-19. Currently, the two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan are in the metro Detroit area. (See current Michigan testing data here.) Other institutions have spring breaks that are scheduled weeks earlier than NMC’s spring break and wanted to limit the impact of travel to and from their campuses.

NMC is also monitoring for cases in our five-county service area (Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie, Antrim and Kalkaska.) We will take necessary steps to keep students and employees safe, which could result in cancellation of face-to-face classes. NMC’s emergency management team is also evaluating the impact of spring break, scheduled for March 30-April 5, and will continue to communicate changes that will impact students and employees.

At the present time, NMC is following Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s recommendations for colleges and universities.

  1. Educate students and the community about COVID-19 and preventative hygiene practices. NMC has added this information to all restrooms and has resources on nmc.edu/coronavirus
  2. Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, like doorknobs, keyboards, cell phones, and light switches. NMC practices daily disinfection of all these.
  3. Encourage staff and students to stay home when sick. Instructors and supervisors have been instructed to accommodate the needs of student and employee health. 
  4. Cancel or postpone large gatherings, conferences, and sporting events (e.g., greater than 100 people in a shared space). NMC does not currently have classes of more than 100. We are also evaluating all upcoming large events to determine whether to postpone or cancel.
  5. Consider tele-learning opportunities, as feasible. NMC is currently working to shift as many classes as possible to online delivery. Educational Media Technologies staff are conducting drop-in sessions today and Friday to assist faculty with converting face-to-face classes to online format. Resources will also be available to students to help with a transition to online learning.
  6. Communicate and reinforce best practices for washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes. NMC has added this information to all restrooms and has resources on nmc.edu/coronavirus.
  7. Students and faculty at risk of severe illness should implement plans for distance learning.

Instructors have been asked to work with students unable to attend class. Contact your instructor about individual circumstances. At-risk groups are people over age 60 and anyone with an underlying health condition such as diabetes, respiratory illnesses or heart disease.

If you are concerned about your health now, you can contact:

  • NMC Health Services at (231) 995-1255 or StudentHealthServices@nmc.edu. While Health Services does not offer coronavirus testing (available only through the State of Michigan), reporting an illness will assist NMC in implementing an informed response.
  • Your healthcare provider, who, using federal guidelines and taking into consideration symptoms, travel to an affected location, and/or contact with a person with a positive diagnosis, will determine appropriate next steps.
  • If you are currently ill, please stay home until you are symptom free.

See Munson Medical Center guidelines for locally relevant information on staying well.

Additional coronavirus resources:

Thank you.

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