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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.


September 2021

September 10, 2021
A Comprehensive COVID-19 Update

On behalf of the COVID-19 task force we would like to thank the entire NSU community for all the preparation, cooperation, and participation in everything involved in starting the semester off in a safe manner. Please see the updated information below regarding COVID-19 related information. Let’s continue to do our part in keeping ourselves and our community safe. 

COVID-19 Dashboard Fall 2021

  • We began testing returning students at the end of July and continued that process through the first day of classes.
  • As of 9/3/21, we have completed 3578 PCR and Rapid test for COVID-19 for both students and employees with 15 positive student cases and 0 employee cases.
  • The positivity rate for students is .0042 and the positivity rate for employees is 0.
  • We did receive outside reports of 8 additional positive student cases during that time period and two outside reports of employee cases.
  • The active cases (reports of positive cases in the last ten days as of 9.3.21) include one student case and two employee cases.
  • The NSU dashboard can be accessed here and will be updated moving forward every Friday.


Vaccination Rate

  • As you know, all employees and students are required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or be exempted for medical or religious reasons.
  • We are still in the process of collecting and verifying information.
  • As of today 9.9.21, the vaccination rate for students is 89.96%. This percentage includes fully vaccinated students and students who have shown proof that they have received a first dose of the vaccination and have plans to be fully vaccinated.
  • While we expect the vaccination rate to shift as we continue to collect and verify, that range of a vaccination rate for students is positive for our community.
  • As we continue to gather information about students and employees, we will continue to update the community on where we stand.


Norfolk Data

  • In Norfolk, the seven day average number of daily cases reports 130 as of 9.8.21 which is similar to the daily cases reported in January and February of last year.
  • The vaccination rate for the adult population is 43.9 percent fully vaccinated and 50.9 with at least one dose.
  • We all must continue to be vigilant by masking, socially distancing where possible, and washing our hands frequently.


Students with COVID-19 Symptoms or Possible Exposure

  • Students who experience symptoms or may have been exposed should self-isolate, double mask, and call the Spartan Health Center Annex during business hours at 757-278-4129.
  • Residential students can contact their Resident Director for assistance getting to Quarantine/Isolation housing after hours or on weekends until the Annex opens on the next business day.


Resources for Faculty

On Monday we shared information for faculty on the process for managing situations if students report that they have COVID-19. We also wanted to share the following resource that Dr. Cynthia Burwell helped create for faculty.


Employees with COVID-19 Symptoms or Possible Exposure

Unvaccinated Persons:

  • Contact your supervisor if you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 or you may have COVID-19.
  • Stay home for 14 days if you think you’ve been in close contact with a COVID-19 positive person
  • If Symptoms are present — Get tested right away.
  • No symptoms — Get tested right away and Retest in 5–7 days if first test is negative, for optimal test reliability.


Fully Vaccinated Persons:

  • Do not need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless they have symptoms.
  • Should get tested 3–5 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms.
  • Wear a mask indoors and in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.


Masking indoors

  • Please be reminded that regardless of vaccination status, all community members must be masked indoors at all times except when seated in individual offices or while eating/drinking in dining areas.


Culture of Care Videos

  • Our “Culture of Care” video series is designed to answer your questions on these important topics regarding the fall 2021 semester: academics, residence halls, social events and facilities use, vaccinations, facemask requirements, the return of our symptoms checker, and COVID-19 testing.


COVID-19 Vaccination Incentive

  • All validated students who are fully vaccinated and have provided proper proof of vaccination by September 20, 2021, will receive a $500 incentive. Students are encouraged to log into their student account to confirm the banking information for faster and safer distribution of the incentive through direct deposit. Vaccination cards can be emailed as a jpeg or pdf to covid@nsu.edu. Please do not submit multiple times.
  • All Faculty/Staff who are fully vaccinated and have provided proper proof of vaccination by September 20, 2021, will receive a $1000 incentive. The incentive will be issued through payroll. Fill out the individual survey provided to you via email to show proof of vaccination.
  • Incentives will be distributed in early October once all the information is collected and verified.


Vaccination Clinic

  • Send an email to covid@nsu.edu titled Vaccination Clinic
  • Provide 2-3 times between 9 and 11 a.m. that you are available to be vaccinated.
  • You will receive an email response confirming a specific time and the location of the clinic.
     

September 02, 2021
COVID-19 Faculty and Staff Protocols

Faculty or staff members who have been in close contact with a COVID-19 positive person or believe that they have been in close contact with a COVID-19 positive person, should adhere to the following protocols:

Unvaccinated Persons:

  • Contact your supervisor if you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 or you may have COVID-19.
  • Stay home for 14 days if you think you’ve been in close contact with a COVID-19 positive person —(Close Contact means you have been within 6 feet of a COVID19 positive person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period).
  • If Symptoms are present  Get tested right away.
  • No symptoms — Get tested right away and Retest in 5–7 days if first test is negative, for optimal test reliability.


Fully Vaccinated Persons or Persons diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 90 days (prior to exposure):

  • Do not need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless they have symptoms.
  • Should get tested 3–5 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms.
  • Wear a mask indoors and in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.
     

 If you believe you have COVID-19:

  • Check for these symptoms:
    -  Fever or chills
    -  Cough
    -  Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    -  Fatigue
    -  Muscle or body aches
    -  Headache
    -  New loss of taste or smell
    -  Sore throat
    -  Congestion or runny nose
    -  Nausea or vomiting
    -  Diarrhea
  • Notify your supervisor and quarantine at home.
  • Contact your healthcare professional and follow their instructions.


Supervisors

  • Contact Pat Perkins, director of environmental health, safety and risk management, (757- 823-9142, paperkins@nsu.edu) and inform her of any employee who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has chosen to quarantine with symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Notify your human resources business partner.

August 2021

August 23, 2021
A "Culture of Care" Continues at NSU

Norfolk State University is working to make our campus a safe place for continued learning, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to campus fall 2021. We are continuing to follow guidance from the CDC, VDH, and state officials while ensuring that our campus community is protected through vaccinations, as well as the latest masking and physical distancing protocols. Virginia’s Executive Directive Number Eighteen requires all state employees to show proof that they are fully vaccinated or be tested for COVID-19 every week and disclose weekly the results of those tests to the designated agency personnel.

Citing their desire to support our faculty, staff and students during this time and to incentivize vaccination, President Javaune Adams-Gaston and the Executive Cabinet have agreed to award cash incentives for those who have followed the state mandate for vaccination. “NSU will recognize those who are in compliance and offer an incentive for those who have yet to be vaccinated. We also will extend our ‘culture of care’ by acknowledging the hardship that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on our community,” said Adams-Gaston. Effective immediately, the following incentives are offered with a projected payout date of October 15, 2021:

  • All validated students who are fully vaccinated and have provided proper proof of vaccination by September 20, 2021, will receive a $500 incentive. Students are encouraged to log into their student account to confirm the banking information for faster and safer distribution of the incentive through direct deposit.
  • All Faculty/Staff who are fully vaccinated and have provided proper proof of vaccination by September 20, 2021, will receive a $1000 incentive. The incentive will be issued through payroll.

Executive Directive Number Eighteen (2021) allows employees to request a religious or disability exemption.

What happens if I do not comply with the vaccination mandate?

Students who fail to comply with the vaccination/testing mandate will be referred to the Dean of Students Office for Student Conduct. This may lead to removal from on-campus housing and face-to face courses. In addition, students will not be permitted to participate in extracurricular activities. Students may request an exception to this policy for medical and religious reasons through the office of Student Affairs.

Faculty/staff who fail to comply with the vaccination mandate per the Governor's Executive Directive Number Eighteen (2021) and who do not meet the exemption requirements may be subject to disciplinary action.

The Culture of Care Continues at Norfolk State University!


August 12, 2021
COVID-19 Course Guidelines for Students

Dear NSU Spartans:

As we gear up with excitement to welcome you back to campus and resume in-person instruction for Fall 2021, the NSU administration, faculty, and staff are committed to providing world-class instruction and service in a healthy and safe environment. As we continue to follow guidance from the CDC, VDH, and state officials while ensuring that our campus community is protected through vaccinations, as well as the latest masking and distancing protocols, we understand that exposure to the coronavirus or its variants remains a risk. Students who test positive or experience symptoms of COVID-19 will be required to self-isolate and are advised to take the following measures to keep up with their academic work if their health permits. 

1. For health advice, contact the Spartan Health Center at 757-623-3090 to notify them of your condition and seek guidance on COVID-19 and health matters.

2. For academic work, contact the instructors of your Fall 2021 courses to notify them that you are in quarantine and make arrangements for keeping up with missed work. Be respectful and proactive to get a clear understanding of what you are expected to do to make up missed work and how your absence from classes will impact your progress in the course. 

3. For absence requests, contact the Dean of Students Office at 757-823-2152, complete an Absence Request Form, and provide official documentation to support the reason for your absence and a copy of your NSU ID in order to process your absence from classes as excused. 

4. For special accommodations, contact O.A.S.I.S. (Office of Accessibility Services/International Student Services) at 757-823-8325 to process your written documentation from a qualified professional for a temporary disability as a result of illness and to work with your instructors on providing appropriate accommodations.

5. For academic support, communicate with your instructors regularly and respectfully to follow through with the agreed-upon accommodations and to keep up with your academic work.

Please be advised that the Pass/No Pass policy implemented on a temporary basis in the past three semesters will not be offered as an option for the Fall 2021 or Spring 2022 semester. Therefore, it is imperative that you keep up with your academic work, communicate with your instructors regularly, and make arrangements for making up missed work in order to stay on track and maintain progress in your courses.

We are confident that our Spartan spirit will bring us together in this collaborative effort to make this academic year a success, and we trust that the Spartan ideals of pride, engagement, curiosity, integrity, excellence, and civility will guide your path to achieving your academic goals.


August 12, 2021
COVID-19 Course Guidelines for Faculty

Dear NSU Faculty: 

The success of our students depends on our collaborative efforts to ensure that we provide a safe and supportive teaching and learning environment even during uncertain times. As we prepare to welcome our students back to campus this fall and resume in-person instruction, please be guided by the following protocols to maintain continuous instruction while minimizing the risk of the spread of COVID-19 and its variants.    

1.   Require that masks be worn in class and include this requirement on your course syllabus using the following statement: 

Statement on Face Mask Requirement: Protecting the health and safety of our community is every member’s responsibility. Therefore, properly worn face masks that cover both the nose and mouth are required prior to entry into all academic areas, including classrooms, labs, studios, centers, and departmental suites. Students who are unable to wear a face mask due to medical reasons should contact the Office of Accessibility Services and International Student Services (O.A.S.I.S.) at 757-823-8325 to initiate the request for special accommodation. Notification to instructors of approved accommodations should be submitted in writing prior to the first-class session (or as soon thereafter as possible). Students who attempt to enter a classroom without wearing masks will be asked by the instructor to wear masks prior to entry. Accordingly, no eating or drinking will be allowed in class. Students who do not comply with a request by an instructor to wear a mask and have not made an accommodation request through O.A.S.I.S. will be asked to leave class and may be subject to disciplinary actions. 

2.   Use Blackboard as the course management system to provide course content, syllabus, calendar, assignments, and grades. 

3.   Work with students who are in quarantine to ensure that they have access via Blackboard to lecture notes, slides, recorded lectures, assignments, and activities for missed classes. Although it is the students’ responsibility to contact their instructors regarding their absences and missed work, ensuring that students have clear instructions on how to make up missed work and seek help when they need it will provide them with the necessary tools to succeed and make adequate progress in their courses.

4.   Although all NSU students, faculty, and staff are required to be fully vaccinated, except for those with medical or religious exemptions, it is not appropriate to ask anyone about their vaccination status unless it is required for participation in external university business, such as nursing clinical or field activities. 

5.  If you have specific COVID-19 related questions on how to conduct field trips or fieldwork, please contact Dr. Leonard Brown, COVID-19 Director and Vice President for Student Affairs, for assistance (Phone: 757-823-8141 or Email: lebrown@nsu.edu). 

6.   Create a contingency plan for emergency or extended leave in case you need to quarantine or take care of a sick family member. In this plan, you need to identify who will be covering your classes during extended leave and how instruction will be maintained to minimize interruption or confusion to students. As options, consider the following approaches: 

Implementing the recommended protocols and standard procedures consistently helps eliminate confusion, minimize interruptions in instruction, and create an equitable, predictable, and safe learning environment. As instructors, mentors, and role models to our students, we are confident in our commitment to make this academic year one of the best for our students. The pandemic is still in existence and impacts our community. Please extend to students, staff, colleagues, and yourself flexibility, understanding, and compassion as we face these challenges together. For more information on teaching and grading under these challenges, please review the recommendations offered in the article, “Grading with Empathy, Grace, and Understanding,” found at https://www.njea.org/grading-with-empathy-grace-and-understanding/