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Information & Updates

COVID-19 Information and Updates
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Our highest priority is the health and safety of the NSU Community. The University’s senior leadership team and Emergency Operations Committee is continuing to monitor the local and regional impact of COVID-19, and is taking proactive actions to mitigate potential risks to our community.  Please see the most recent updates for NSU Students and NSU Faculty and Staff below.


January 2022

01/18/2022
Important COVID-19 Information

From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Adams-Gaston has stressed the importance of our Culture of Care at NSU as a guiding principle to assist us in navigating these challenging times. It has been that Culture of Care that has put the safety of each individual first, has allowed us to collectively meet each new challenge that we faced, and has encouraged each person to do their part in ensuring NSU is as safe as possible. As we begin this semester, we are fully committed to continuing the spectrum of mitigation efforts that have afforded us to maintain a low number of cases and very little serious illness for our community. 

In response to the new executive orders signed by Governor Youngkin, we wanted to communicate regarding where we stand with our own mitigation efforts.  

  • Masking indoors is required regardless of vaccination status
  • Weekly testing for students who are exempt from the vaccination is required 
  • Booster requirement for all students is required unless exempt
  • We will no longer require employees exempted from vaccination to test weekly
  • We strongly encourage employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters and to share their vaccination status with Norfolk State University. Vaccines have been proven to be the single most effective means to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and the severity of its symptoms. Our own data and experience on campus support the important role vaccinations play in the continued safety of our community.  

In addition to the above information, please see some important reminders and updates below. 

Masks 
Consistent with the most recent CDC recommendations for masking, we highly recommend that everyone wear the most protective masks you can that fits well and that you will wear consistently. Surgical masks are available in mask dispensers around campus. KN95 masks will be made available soon to anyone in the community in need of one. In extending the Culture of Care, masking remains a critical mitigation practice that has helped keep our community safe. Please continue to practice masking over your mouth and nose when indoors and in large crowds.  

Clinics 
NSU will partner with two Alumnae and their organization, Groomed for Greatness Vaccine Clinic, to host two booster and vaccination clinics on campus on January 29, 2022, and early February. Information with the link to sign up will be sent out later this week as a campus announcement.  

Important Reminder to Students 
If you are going to miss class because you have been exposed to COVID-19, are in isolation or quarantine, please notify your faculty right away so that they can appropriately work to keep you caught up with course work. In addition, notify the Dean of Students (Deanofstudents@nsu.edu), so they can verify with faculty that you are missing class for appropriate reasons.  

What If I Am Exposed to COVID-19?
If you are feeling symptoms of COVID-19, please do not go to class or come to work. Get tested for COVID-19. Students should call the Spartan Health Center Annex at 757-278-4129. Employees should consult with their primary care physician. 

Fully vaccinated persons (two weeks since last required vaccine dose) without symptoms ̶ Do not need to quarantine if they are exposed, but they do need to get tested 3-5 days after exposure, wear a mask anytime they are around others for 10 days or until a negative test result, monitor for symptoms and avoid travel. If they develop symptoms, they should isolate themselves and get tested. If the test returns positive, fully vaccinated persons should isolate for 10 days (5 days if medically cleared).  

Unvaccinated/Partially vaccinated persons need to isolate for 10 days (5 days if medically cleared) if exposed, get tested right away if symptomatic, or get tested in 5 days if asymptomatic. Unvaccinated persons should re-test if symptoms develop after the negative first test. If the test returns positive, Unvaccinated/Partially vaccinated persons need to isolate for 10 days (5 days if medically cleared). 

Seek medical care if symptoms worsen or still feeling unwell at Day #5 since positive test. 

Booster and Return Testing Requirement 
We are finalizing the process to collect booster information for students who are required to get the booster when they are eligible to do so unless they have a religious/medical exemption and employees who we are strongly encouraging to share that information with us. Once the collection process is in place, we will share that information with the campus community. 

All students returning to campus must complete a COVID-19 test prior to coming to campus. If you have not completed a test yet, you may submit your own home kit. Results should be sent as a jpeg or pdf to Covid@nsu.edu.   

01/13/22
COVID-19 Update

As we continue to monitor the on-going surge of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus, we wanted to provide some additional information regarding our preparation for the coming semester. Around the country and state, the number of positives cases continue to increase. Many places are averaging above a 30 percent positivity rate to include a current seven-day 35 percent positivity rate in Virginia. While we continue to plan in the best way we can, we have no reason to believe that our campus will be immune from what is happening in other places. This reality will require us to go beyond monitoring and reacting to the number of positive cases on campus but also to take into consideration the severity of illness and how the campus is being impacted overall. It will also require us to be flexible in accommodating students and employees who test positive for COVID-19.

 Please review these brief but important considerations

  • Masking in-doors and when around others, distancing when possible, and taking individual agency around personal safety will be paramount as we start and continue through the spring semester.
  • We are highly recommending reduced capacity for events on campus until we see a downward trend on positive cases. Those who are coordinating events can contact Dr. Brown to talk through what may be best for specific events.
  • If you are experiencing any symptoms, isolate and get tested.  Do not interact with others, go to class or come to campus for work. Students should call the Spartan Health Center Annex at 757-278-4129 to get tested if you are experiencing symptoms. Employees should consult their primary care physician.
  • If you do test positive, you should isolate for at least five days until medically cleared and wear a mask around others for an additional five days.
  • Faculty, please be prepared to provide students who miss class because of COVID-19 the materials via blackboard that they need to stay on top of their course work.

As with previous semesters, working together to problem solve in the moment will be paramount. There will inevitably be situations that we did not anticipate and situations we could not have anticipated. I am confident in our ability to manage what is ahead as we have done since the COVID-19 pandemic began.


December 2021

12/30/21
Important Return Information for Commuter, Online ​and Residential Students 

As a reminder, all students who will be on campus for any reason during the Spring 2022 semester must complete return testing prior to the start of classes. Please see the updated information below for details. 

    Commuter Students 

  • You have the option to sign up for the on-campus testing process using the Returning Student link, or you may submit your own COVID-19 test as long as it is administered between 1/10/22 and 1/16/22. Send a jpeg or pdf of your results to COVID@nsu.edu before 1/17/22. Home test kits will be made available for free on campus for non-residential students on January 12, 13, and 14 from noon – 3 p.m. at the Student Center front desk. 

    Online Students

  • If you are completely online and do not come to campus for any reason including work, labs, events, or the library, you may notify covid@nsu.edu and be exempt from return testing.  

    Residential Students 

  • Move-in is now scheduled to begin on January 12-13, 2022 from 8:30 a.m.- 4:45 p.m. for new students and Spartan Suites residents. Returning students will be able to move in on January 13-16, 2022 from 8:30 a.m.- 4:45 p.m. All residents can move in immediately after being tested for COVID-19. Walk-In testing will be available on January 16, 2022. 
  • To sign up for your scheduled test date, select your respective sign-up link below. 
  • Residents who previously signed up must sign up again. The sign-up links will close on January 7, 2022 at 5 p.m., EST.

  • New Students/Spartan Suites (January 12-13, 2022): https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=20028006&calendarID=4397887 
  • Returning Students (January 13-16, 2022): https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=20028006&calendarID=5774830

  • Students who return to campus after testing ends at 4:45 p.m. on January 16, 2022, will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test upon check-in. The off-campus COVID-19 test must be taken up to 72 hours prior to returning to campus. 

 

12/28/21
NSU Spring Semester 2022 – Return to Campus

As the COVID-19 pandemic presents new variants across the Commonwealth and the entire globe, Norfolk State University continues to prioritize the health and safety of the entire community and campus. The omicron variant of COVID-19 is causing a surge in infections at a rapid rate. NSU is taking the following steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on our campus.

  • Spring semester classes will begin on January 18, 2022. They will be held in person. Faculty will need to adjust their syllabi to accommodate the shift in starting dates for classes. The required number of in-class course hours and the end of the semester date will not be impacted by this shift. Move-in and return testing will be moved back a week to January 12 through January 16, 2022. Students will be receiving a separate communication regarding move-in and return testing by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, December 29, 2021. 
  • Employees will return to work as scheduled on January 3, 2022 – All offices will need to have continuous in-person coverage during normal operating hours – 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. However, department heads and managers may implement teleworking on a rotating basis for employees as needed for the week of January 3 – 7, 2022. For questions or guidance, department heads can contact their Vice President or direct supervisor.  
  • All essential staff/employees designated to work on campus will report to work during their normal shifts beginning January 3, 2022.  
  • Starting January 10, 2022, all employees must resume normal in-person shifts and operating hours. 
  • Booster Shot Requirement: All students, staff, and faculty are required to show proof of having received a booster shot no later than February 4, 2022. A mechanism to provide proof of this information will be shared with the University community at the beginning of the year. Those who already have vaccination exemptions for medical or religious reasons are also exempt from this requirement and will have ongoing testing. If you have only recently received the initial vaccination and are not eligible to receive a booster shot until after February 4, you will be expected to show proof of the booster shot at a later time. You will be provided instructions for moving forward.

We must all do our part to keep the University community healthy and safe. General questions regarding our COVID-19 response can be directed to COVID@nsu.edu .  

12/15/21
Norfolk State University COVID-19 Response
Spring 2022

    Returning Testing

All students must be tested upon return to campus.

  • Residential students are required to get tested on campus through the NSU testing process. Testing will be held in Wilder Hall from January 5-9. Walk in appointments only accepted Sunday January 9, 2022. Sign up using the links below:
  • January 5 & 6 New Students and Spartan Suite Residents
  • January 7, 8, 9 Returning Students
  • All other Students are required to get tested. You may sign up for the on-campus testing process using the Returning Student link above, or you may submit your own test as long as it is administered between 1/3/22 and 1/9/22. Send a jpeg or pdf of your results to COVID@nsu.edu before 1/10/22. Home test kits will be made available for free on campus for non-residential students on January 5, 6, and 7 from noon – 3 PM at the Student Center front desk.
  • Online Students who do not come to campus for any reason including work, labs, events, or the library may notify covid@nsu.edu and be exempt from return testing.
     

Employees

  • Employees who want access to a free home test kit may pick one up on January 5, 6, and 7 from noon – 3 PM at the Student Center front desk.


    Spring 2022 COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

  • All New students must email a jpeg or pdf of their COVID-19 vaccination or a completed medical or religious exemption form to Covid@nsu.edu by January 7, 2022. 
  • Students who were not enrolled in the Fall 2021 semester must email a jpeg or pdf of their COVID-19 vaccination or a completed medical or religious exemption form to Covid@nsu.edu by January 7, 2022. 
  • Students who submitted information in the Fall 2021 semester DO NOT have to resubmit their information.
  • All employees must be fully vaccinated or have an approved medical or religious exemption.  Exempted employees will be required to submit to weekly COVID-19 testing.
  •  For more information, please visit https://www.nsu.edu/Coronavirus/vaccinations.
     

    The Omicron Variant and Vaccine Boosters

  • While the Omicron Variant remains a headline in the news, the Delta variant remains the predominant variant in the U.S. We are keeping a close eye on the science evolving around the Omicron variant and will continue to follow CDC and VDH guidance regarding any changes to our mitigation efforts.
  • As per the CDC, we highly recommend all vaccinated community members get the booster shot as soon as you are eligible based on the recommended time frame for the booster. Vaccinations remain the best tool we have to fight the spread of COVID-19.
  • Get your Flu Shot. We highly recommend all community members get the flu shot prior to returning to campus for the Spring 2022 semester.
     

    Reaffirming the Culture of Care

  • Our collective efforts have helped us to continue to navigate through this pandemic and our success will be defined by how we continue those efforts.
  • Wear your mask when you are in-doors regardless of your vaccination status over your mouth and nose! This remains a requirement of all community members unless you are seated and eating in designated areas or you are alone in your personal work space.
  • Masking in-doors has been the biggest concern raised regarding our campus mitigation efforts. We will work in partnership with SGA and others to address this issue in the Spring.
     

    Summary of Fall 2021 COVID-19 Cases

COVID-19 Fall 2021 Cases

    Information for Faculty

  • What happens when a student in my class reports they are or may be positive with COVID-19. Please use this link for information.
     

    Policy Compliance

  • It is important for the campus community to know that we are in fact tracking which students are in compliance with our policy, having either provided proof of vaccination or having provided a religious/medical exemption. Students who are not in compliance with the policy are referred to the Dean of Students office for student conduct.
  • Students and staff who are required to be tested on a weekly basis are tracked to ensure that they are in compliance with the policy. We have specific staff who are tasked with ensuring compliance with testing.


    COVID-19 Health Information

For information and resources on being a close contact and/or COVID-19 positive, use this link for information from the Spartan Health Center.

The Dean of Students Office will notify professors if a student is medically excused by the Spartan health Center and off campus students should obtain and send medical excuse documentation to Dean of Students office if ill or in quarantine affecting in person classes.

The American College Health Association released its latest recommendations for Covid-19 policy on college campuses. The ACHA leans strongly in favor of vaccinating as many people on campus as possible. Familiar COVID-mitigation measures — masking, social distancing, testing, and contact tracing — should remain in place, to varying degrees, depending on local circumstances, the recommendations say.

    Testing during the Spring Semester

  • Students who you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate and call the Spartan Health Center Annex at 757-278-4129 M-F 8 am to 5 pm. Residential students can contact the RD on call after hours or on weekends.
  • Employees who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, notify your supervisor, do not come to work, and contact your primary care physician for medical care.
  • Students exempted from the COVID-19 vaccination will be required to test on campus once a week.
  • Vaccinated Students will be randomly chosen to participate in surveillance testing throughout the semester.
  • Employees exempted from the COVID-19 vaccination will be required to test on campus once a week.
  • Home Test Kits will be available on a limited basis for students and employees without symptoms who would like to test themselves. Residential Students can get kits at their front desk. Kits are also available in the Student Services Center, Suite 301.


    Facilities Management

  • Facilities Management will be installing free-standing mask dispensers for students in Academic Buildings. This should assist students, faculty and staff in ensuring mask requirements are adhered to   in campus buildings.
  • Housekeeping staff will provide cleaning on a continuous basis during hours of operation. Based on classroom scheduling data, Housekeeping Staff will clean and disinfect all classrooms that are scheduled for use on a particular day. CDC approved disinfecting product will be provided in classrooms so that educators and students can disinfect podiums, desks, chairs, and tabletops before and after each use.  Misting/Fogging method will be used afterhours to deeply disinfect and sanitize space in preparation for the next day.


    Message from the Provost to the Faculty

  1. Please ensure that students enrolled in your courses are aware of your expectations from the first day of class. Make your expectations and course policies clear and accessible to all students, share them in multiple communication formats, and discuss them with your students. To provide guidance, prevent confusion, and minimize disruptions, please include the following in your syllabi:
    1. Established site/place where all class discussions, chats, and interactions will occur for the class;
    2. Clear delineation of due dates for assignments;
    3. Clear policy regarding acceptance of late assignments, including whether there will be penalties for each day;
    4. Clear policy regarding reporting technical or internet access issues and remedies for missed assignments that may result from such issues;
    5. Timeline for responding to emails from students;
    6. Clear policy regarding turning on video and audio during live or synchronous sessions;
    7. Clear policy indicating that all virtual discussions/classes will be recorded, posted on Blackboard, and made available to students;
    8. Listing of all resources (equipment, healthcare, mental healthcare, counseling, etc.) available to faculty and students on campus, Blackboard, and NSU website;
    9. Guidelines and protocols for student complaints (i.e., faculty member, department chair, dean, provost);
    10. Clear instructions that any students enrolled in face-to-face classes who wish to participate virtually must provide written permission from the Dean of Students during the first week of the semester stating that they are in quarantine status (The only exception is if the student has tested positive for COVID-19.);
    11. Clear grading policies and criteria that take into account “grading with grace” and what that entails.

12/15/21
Spring 2022
NSU Faculty & Staff

We wanted to provide the faculty teaching in-person classes or labs this semester more precise recommendations for dealing with a situation where you or a student in the class/lab reports being positive for COVID-19.

Fully vaccinated persons (two weeks since last required vaccine dose) without symptoms- Do Not need to quarantine, but they do need to get tested 3-5 days after exposure, wear a mask in public for 14 days or until a negative test result and monitor for symptoms. Fully vaccinated persons should isolate for 10 days if the test is positive. Fully vaccinated persons with symptoms should get tested right away, wear a mask in public and isolate 10 days or until negative test result.

Unvaccinated/Partially vaccinated persons need to quarantine for 10 days, get tested right away if symptomatic or get tested in 5 days if asymptomatic.  Unvaccinated persons should re-test if symptoms develop after negative first test. 

  1. Ensuring that you and your students are masked in class is critical.
  2. If you hear from a student in your class that they are positive or you hear from our contact tracers that a student in your class is positive, we recommend suspending in person class until you receive further instruction from our medical providers in the Spartan Health Center. We also recommend that you notify your Dean and Pat Perkins or Alice Musapatike, so they are aware of what is occurring. You should email a copy of your class list to spartanhealth@nsu.edu and call the Health Center Annex at 757-278-4129 (leave a message if the nurse is busy with patients).
  3. If the student is asking what they should do, instruct them to self-isolate and call the Spartan Health Center Annex at 757-278-4129 to be directed on next steps.
  4. What should I tell my students? You should never share the name of the student who is positive. You should tell your students the following:

A student in class is positive with COVID-19. Out of precaution, I am suspending class until I receive further information from the Spartan Health Center Staff. The University contact tracers are thoroughly investigating who may be close contacts with the student. Just because they may have been in class does not automatically mean that those of us in class were close contacts. If you have symptoms, you should immediately contact the Health Center Annex at 757-278-4129. If you do not have symptoms there is no action you need to take. You will be contacted by the Contact Tracer if you are considered a close contact or they need to discuss with you the possibility of being a close contact. I know it is a bit unsettling for all of us but it is important to give the process time to work itself through. If you have individual questions, you should email covid@nsu.edu and they will address your specific concerns.

  1. What about me? As with all employees, we encourage you to be in contact with your primary care physician if you are experiencing symptoms or believe you are a close contact. Faculty who want to be tested as a result of a positive student in their classroom/lab and are unable to get tested at their PCP office, urgent care, local pharmacy or over the counter tests kits may contact Dr. Vanessa Blowe at Vablowe@nsu.edu. It is important to know that the CDC recommends testing 5-7 days after initial exposure if you are not experiencing any symptoms so getting tested immediately may not be useful and is not best practice.

Contact to report close contact with a positive student. If contact does not meet the definition of close contact (within six feet –of someone positive for COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period), continue to use PPE and other precautions as you continue your duties. You should arrange to be tested through your primary care physician if you experience COVID-19 symptoms. Should you test positive, notify Pat Perkins or Alice Musapatike and provide a copy of the positive test. In addition, you should stay home and quarantine for 7-14 days. Human Resources will contact you regarding leave options. After you complete the quarantine period, re-test. If the test is negative, provide a copy to the individuals above and you will receive notification to return to work.

  1.  Our contact tracers may be in touch with you to get a class list from you. Please share that information if requested.

One of the most challenging aspects of a situation with possible exposure in the classroom is evaluating who are close contacts. Our practice has been to err on the side of caution. Please know that our contact tracers are making the evaluation about the class based on interviews with the positive student and always in consultation with our health providers.

We thank you for your continued engagement and adaptability in managing through this pandemic. We hope this information is useful. Please send any questions to covid@nsu.edu.