Coronavirus Information

Latest Update:

What does Level 4 Mean for NAU?

Effective at 11:59 p.m. 03/24/2020, NAU will not be open during normal business hours and will abide by the City of Houston’s “Stay Home, Work Safe Order”.   NAU staff members will begin telecommuting or working from home, through April 03, 2020, starting at the above said time.  This means all physical NAU offices will continue to operate but in a remote manner; this includes the Library.  All dorm students that have a U.S. address have mostly left the campus.  International students who were unable to go back to their home country remain.  The efforts by the dorm managers and supervisors to ensure the comfort of these students are being executed to maintain their safety and good health.

We could not be more pleased by our committed staff members and department leaders, working hard, maintaining a safe distance, and staying positive in this new experience, a pandemic.  We are all in this together, and without you, we would not be able to maintain our daily operations, so we thank you in helping to continue serving our students and each other.

As of the last report, the City of Houston had 24 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and as of today, NAU has had zero reported COVID-19 cases.  For more information, please visit the Houston Emergency Management page.   You can also view up-to-the minute progress at the NAU dedicated COVID-19 webpage on NAU’s response to COVID-19.

Telecommute (action needed by Staff Members)

We do not want to disrupt our daily operations and have implemented a telecommute agreement for all staff members.  This will allow business as usual as we need to continue to serve our students.

Telecommute Agreement:

Who needs to fill this out?  All NAU staff members (not faculty).  Instructions for form, fill in each section, sign, and submit by 03/24/2020 11:59 p.m..  Once complete, your supervisor will receive (1) copy and sign along with (1)copy for your personnel file.  Your supervisor will follow up with you should they have additional questions regarding your agreement.

Mail:

NAU Mail will continue to be received but will not be distributed until we return safely to campus.  We stress the importance of your health and hope these measures will ensure you remain COVID-19 free.  We look forward to welcoming you back to campus.

Is COVID-19 testing covered by our group health plan(for those covered with CIGNA)? 

Yes. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act signed into law on March 18 requires group health plans to provide coverage for FDA-approved COVID-19 diagnostic testing products and related items and services furnished during a provider visit.

Reading about the COVID-19 pandemic is a bit worrisome and makes you aware of touching your face with your hands and other surfaces not customarily considered.   We are fortunate that no one in our community has tested positive for COVID-19;  as our CDC guided measures have been put in place by all personnel, so thank you for adhering to these new standards. 

What does Level 3 mean for NAU Faculty and Staff? 

The below is effective March 23, 2020 – April 03, 2020.:

  1. ALL Faculty members will telecommute from home. Your department chair or supervisor will guide you should you need assistance along with Mr. Maldar atmoodle@na.edu.  IT Support is also available to help at support@na.edu 
  2. All Other Personnel (Staff) – Will continue coming to the NAU Campus with the revised hours:  Monday – Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Friday, you will telecommute from home. Policy details will be sent at a later date.  
  3. A maximum amount of people in meetings/gatherings is limited to ten persons.  Social distancing is also required as guided by the CDC recommendation. 
  4. UMCR is preparing posters to inform those students who will be using our labs, elevators, and Library of the CDC Guidelines of social distancing should they need to use NAU computers and Wifi for class.   
  5. The Library has issued new hours.
  6. Until further notice, all NAU Sponsored events and activities are canceled or postponed. 
  7. The NAU Café will be open for take-out Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  In addition to this, for those students who left campus, meal plans have been canceled and refunded. 
  8. All International Travel is prohibited for faculty, staff, and students.  Should you decide to travel, despite recommendations from the Department of State, your supervisor will need to be made aware with dates of travel. A 14 day quarantine period will be required prior to resuming NAU on-campus work.
  9. All NAU Domestic travel has been canceled as of today. 

Updated March 13, 12:00 p.m.

NAU has decided to move in-person classes online beginning March 23, 2020. This should allow time for face-to-face instructors to align their courses with Moodle and limit persons coming to campus. Help is available for our faculty at moodle@na.edu. NAU will remain open; in addition to this, please note the following:

  1. Students and faculty will be on spring break beginning March 16 – March 20, 2020.
  2. Staff will remain on campus as NAU will maintain regular business hours.
  3. Our cleaning crew was expanded to ensure all areas of NAU common areas are given special attention for disinfectant.
  4. Due to our large international student population, dorms and our café will remain open throughout the semester.
    1. Domestic students are strongly encouraged to go home for the remainder of the semester.
  5. Student employees who are needed in their area can still maintain the approved hours for the remainder of the semester unless other modifications are required.
  6. Effective immediately, NAU Faculty and Staff business travel (including conference attendance) are on-hold until further notice.
  7. The travel registration form should be submitted for employees that traveled internationally after January 01, 2020.
  8. Dr. Linda Hart is our on-site counselor; we understand our on-campus/dorm students may have anxiety regarding COVID-19. Please refer concerned students to her should they express an interest for counseling:
  • Counseling sessions can be made by phone, SKYPE or other online methods.
  • Linda Hart, Ph.D., CSC, LPCS, RPTS It’s best to make an appointment to guarantee availability.
  • 8th floor, Office 836.
  • Email: LHart@na.edu
  • Phone: 832-230-5121
  • Counseling sessions can be made by phone, SKYPE or other online methods.
  1. If you feel sick, are coughing, have a runny nose, or feel lethargic, please stay home. Please see CDC’s recommendations when you are ill and levels of severity.
  2. We have also implemented a group meeting maximum of 15 people. Our birthday and other celebratory days will be postponed until further notice.

This is a new undertaking for all of us; we appreciate your response and action as needed. Updates will be sent as necessary, and we do appreciate your concerns, time, and effort in making sure we continue to maintain a sense of normalcy for the sake of our students and university. All the while, taking all necessary precautions for the safety and well-being of all.

Updated March 11, 2020:

Though NAU has no confirmed cases of the COVID-19(coronavirus), we continue to closely monitor information concerning coronavirus and follow the guidance and expertise from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) , City of Houston Health Department, Harris County Public Health and the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Please be reminded, it is best to rely on factual information from reliable sources. Below are links to information about COVID-19 from local, state, national and international health organizations

As with any precautionary measures, please stay home if you have a fever, feel sick or experience severe fatigue. We want you to be the best you can be when you are here (03/10/2020).
North American University continues to monitor developments related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and evolving Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. While we are currently not aware of any cases of COVID-19 at NAU, our primary priorities are the health and well-being of our community and doing all we can to ensure that our students, faculty, and staff remain safe as this public health situation continues to evolve. As a university, we have established four levels of severity, with one being the least severe. Currently, the NAU campus remains at a Level 1. We are taking all the necessary precautions when it comes to planning and steps of informing the NAU community should this level change.
With that in mind, and with spring break approaching, we write regarding precautions NAU is taking and steps every member of this community can take to protect themselves both from illness and from travel-related challenges that could interfere with students’ abilities to complete their coursework and the ability of faculty and staff to perform their work functions.
Currently four countries—China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea—are categorized by CDC Level 3 travel warnings (avoid nonessential travel), and Japan is Level 2 (practice enhanced precautions). The information and recommendations below are based largely on those designations and current CDC guidance.

Travel Guidelines

We understand that many members of our community are reconsidering travel at this time. While these are individual decisions, they could potentially have an impact on the NAU community. Therefore, NAU-related travel to any international country is currently prohibited for faculty and staff.

Any member of the community who travels to another country for personal reasons will be required to self-quarantine (independently, off-campus) for 14 days upon re-entry to the United States. They will also need to fill in the below travel registration form.

Health Precautions
As a reminder, to help prevent the spread of illness, including the flu and common cold:
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 10-20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Consider an alternative to shaking hands.
  • Cough into your sleeve, or preferably a tissue, and immediately discard.
  • Avoid sharing food and beverages.
  • If you reside with someone who is sick, try to stay at least six feet away to prevent exposure.
  • If you are ill, avoid being in contact with others.

Updates
  The circumstances around the virus are continually shifting. Many of us are working to determine actions that are in 
the best interest of our community based on the information we have at any given time. Additional information about the virus and NAU’s response will be updated online and through email correspondence.  An online site is being established and will be shared soon.  We anticipate variations in guidance and protocols, and we will continue to update this page and send email messages to the NAU community as deemed appropriate.

 Minimizing the risk of campus exposure to COVID-19 is a collective responsibility. We appreciate your attention, cooperation, and understanding as we all cope with this emerging public health situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. North American University continues to conduct full university operations, with the major exceptions of remote instruction, on-campus student housing, on-campus dining and  NAU Librariy. Many on-campus services are still available.

North American University will transition from on-campus instruction to remote delivery beginning Monday, March 16 and continue through April 10 in response to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). University officials ask that students refrain from returning to campus after spring break. University officials will subsequently determine if students will return to campus for the remaining weeks of the spring semester. NAU faculty will contact students on steps they should take to continue their academic coursework. The university will continue normal operations, although departments and units should utilize remote work and “social distancing” as appropriate. In addition to the above actions.

Instruction will transition to remote delivery beginning Monday, March 16and continuing through April 10. University officials ask that students refrain from returning to campus after spring break. University officials will subsequently determine if students will return to campus for the remaining weeks of the spring semester. NAU faculty will contact students on steps they should take to continue their academic coursework.

NAU is taking these unprecedented steps based on our utmost concern for the health and well-being of NAU students, faculty and staff. In the meantime, the university will continue working with public health and emergency preparedness officials to make decisions in the best interest of the campus community and to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

All university events are canceled through April 10, ensuring appropriate “social distancing” and helping prevent the potential spread of the virus.

Event organizers are responsible for taking action to cancel their individual events, including communicating with speakers and guests and cancelling room reservations, catering and any other arrangements.

Please contact your event organizer for more details about your specific event.

A decision will be made soon about spring commencement. 

Although it’s difficult to predict every scenario, the university’s Emergency Management personnel are closely monitoring the situation both on campus and beyond in an effort to keep the campus community informed as conditions change. We are taking direction from our medical director and following best practices published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Students and faculty who have reason to believe they may have been exposed or have any coronavirus symptoms should call theHouston Health Department.

The CDC advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Here are everyday actions to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Yes. The current COVID-19 outbreak is occurring during a time of year when respiratory illnesses from influenza and other viruses, including other coronaviruses that cause the “common cold,” are highly prevalent, according to the CDC. To prevent influenza and possible unnecessary evaluation for COVID-19, all persons aged six months and older should receive an annual influenza vaccine – which is still available and effective in helping to prevent influenza. There currently is no vaccine for COVID-19.

As of March 4, 2020, the CDC had no reports of animals becoming sick with COVID-19, nor does it have evidence to support that pets can spread the virus. The CDC does recommend that those with COVID-19 restrict contact with their pets as they would with other people until more is known about this virus.

NAU is open and though in-person classes have been canceled, online classes will resume for students. The NAU campus will continue to operate. After an assessment of all NAU work areas, we found the work spaces had enough social distance that the CDC recommends. We ask that all personnel follow CDC guidelines (https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/) and have hired additional cleaning staff to make sure all highly populated areas are sanitized frequently.

Currently, NAU does not have a telecommute policy. Those that may fall into a “higher risk” category can speak to their supervisor regarding alternative work solutions. If you have a special circumstance, you can contact the Human Resources Office at hr@na.edu

NAU is open and employees are physically needed on campus to continue serving our students and others. If you are sick, the proper ETO policy rules apply. Some employees may express a concern, who may have an underlying health condition or are considered at an elevated risk, can speak to their supervisor.

Yes, for those employees who wish to stay home, follow regular policy for requesting time off through ADP Workforce. Otherwise, all personnel are expected to be on campus. We will update our campus community should this change.

NAU has established a webpage for updated information on Covid-19 and located at https://www.na.edu/coronavirus/. The university currently has no confirmed cases within our campus community.

We should ensure that employees have the most accurate information (CDC guidelines) CDC’s Prevention and Treatment Tips. We ask all faculty and staff to adhere to previously issued preventive hygiene guidance, including washing their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds avoid touching their face with unwashed hands clean and disinfect shared surfaces and objects that are touched frequently.

The University’s first priority is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff. We are monitoring the situation closely and following government health advice to keep

our campus safe. Our first step was to transition to online delivery of classes beginning Monday, March 23, 2020. There are few students on campus and we have enforced greater social distancing.

In addition to this, we have enacted several measures to minimize the risk of exposure, including sanitizers on the most populated floors and hired more cleaning staff to frequently sanitize our campus. We remind everyone to exercise good hygiene habits and follow healthcare advice.

If you experience symptoms of coronavirus, which include a fever, a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath:

· isolate yourself from others immediately

· phone (do not visit) a local general practitioner or the closest hospital emergency department for instructions on what to do nex

Inform your supervisor so the university community is aware. You will need to make sure the recommendation from your healthcare provider is followed. The CDC offers guidelines on what to do if you are sick: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html

NAU employees will need to let their supervisor know they will not be in work as proper ETO protocol will need to be followed. If they do get tested for COVID-19 and are positive, to let their supervisor know.

Other recommended items include:

· Self-isolation – do not attend public places

· Stay in your home or other areas of accommodation

· Do not see visitors

· Avoid going out in public

· There is no need to wear a mask at home if you are well. Where possible, get others who are not required to be isolated to get food and necessities for you. If you must leave your accommodation wear a surgical mask if you have one.

· Practice simple hygiene by covering your coughs and sneezes and wash your hands thoroughly.

· Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers or soap.

· Aerate your room, if possible, by opening windows to allow fresh air into the room.

Other information: The World Health Organization has information, documents and situation reports related to 2019 Novel Coronavirus: www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

It can be stressful to read about coronavirus in the news. NAU offers an Employee Assistance Program through CIGNA, please log into your CIGNA portal for assistance in finding a professional that fits your needs. If you are not covered by CIGNA, we have extended our counselor, Dr. Linda Hart. She is available and can discuss your concerns via SKYPE or other tele communicative methods.