COVID-19 Community Update – March 2, 2020
Dear Northwest University community member,
Thanks for staying up to date on our operations at Northwest University. We want to remind everyone that we are in regular contact with Public Health—Seattle & King County, sharing information and receiving guidelines. We will continue to base our practices on the direction of local and national health authorities. Here are today’s updates:
- Sports team trips next week to Uganda and Costa Rica, as well as the Choralons trip to Hawaii, will continue as planned. Students who, in consultation with parents, prefer to stay home are welcome to make that choice, although no refunds of travel expenses will be possible. Students who suffer from chronic disease or who are immunocompromised should stay home. For an excellent article on air quality on planes, see this NBC news article. Other student travel decisions will be made in a timely fashion over the coming weeks.
- Please be careful not to treat anyone with prejudice during this time of uncertainty. Ethnicity has nothing to do with exposure to the novel coronavirus 2019. According to the CDC, “People—including those of Asian descent—who have not recently been in an area of ongoing spread of COVID-19 or been in contact with a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 are not at greater risk of acquiring and spreading COVID-19 than other Americans.” Furthermore, people who choose to wear face masks are not more likely to be carriers of disease. Often a face mask simply indicates greater concern about catching a virus.
- Since it is cold, flu, and allergy season, many people in our community have cold or other respiratory symptoms and many people are choosing to play it safe. You should self-quarantine if you have fever, cough, and shortness of breath or contact with a person who has been exposed to COVID-19. If you do self-quarantine, please notify the Wellness Center at (425) 889-5282. If you are an employee, you must also notify your supervisor and the Senior Administrator over your area. If you are a student, you should notify all your professors so they will not mark you absent from class. Professors have been advised to excuse absences of anyone who chooses to stay home sick for any kind of illness.
- Please call the Wellness Center at (425) 889-5282 first rather than just showing up unannounced. They will want to prepare you with instructions to serve you best.
- If you are an employee and you need to stay home due to symptoms, report the time as sick leave. We will be generous in dealing with sick leave as the situation continues. Do not worry that you will run out of sick leave.
- We have created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list to include with every new update that summarizes the guidance we have offered recently. Keep reading to see today's version.
Once again, wash your hands frequently with soap and sing the Doxology while you do it to make sure you get in the full 20 seconds. We are praying for you, and our trust in God has never been stronger.
Joseph Castleberry, Ed.D.
President, Northwest University