Frequently Asked Questions During COVID-19 (Coronavirus) | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

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Frequently Asked Questions

NWACC's response to COVID-19 continues to pivot as more direction is given by the CDC, case numbers fluctuate and vaccination numbers increase. View the common definitions, guidelines, questions and answers below to stay updated on the college's COVID-19 response.

NOTE: Due the fluidity of a pandemic, the college will continue to update these answers as often as possible. Your patience is appreciated.

Face Coverings

Stay updated on NWACC's face covering guidelines by visiting the face coverings page.

COVID-19 Vaccines

NWACC is NOT requiring that you receive the vaccine, but encouraging it, so the choice is up to you. You can find COVID-19 vaccine locations on the Arkansas Department of Health’s vaccination locator website, or search local pharmacies or local vaccine clinics

Please educate yourself on any of the vaccine’s risks and consult your physician if you are high risk, have known allergies or have other concerns. You should always seek medical advice before receiving a new vaccine. View the CDC website to learn about possible vaccine reactions. 

COVID-19 Definitions & Guidelines

COVID-19 Related Terms, Definitions & Guidelines:

Positive (or presumed positive):
An individual who has been tested by a medical provider or facility for COVID-19 (coronavirus) because he/she has symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19.

Testing: There are two different types of tests used to diagnose an individual with COVID-19: Antigen test and PCR laboratory test.

Antigen Test (Rapid Test) – Detects COVID-19 by antigen test in a respiratory specimen. 

  • Antigen test is also referred to as a rapid test, as results can be returned to the person in as little as 15 minutes (and up to 2-hours).
  • For the antigen/rapid test, the result of negative is not sufficient to provide an accurate determination of COVID-19. This is due to the fact that Antigen tests have a higher rate of false negative results. Antigen tests that are returned as negative must be followed by a PCR test.
  • If you receive a negative result and you are symptomatic or have been exposed to a known positive, it is also critical that you follow up with a PCR test. Do not assume you are negative.

 PCR Test (Standard Laboratory Test) - Molecular tests, such as RT-PCR tests, that detect the virus’s genetic material.

  • PCR tests look for the presence of antibodies, which are proteins made in response to infections. Antibodies are detected in the blood of people who are tested after infection; they show the body’s efforts to fight off a specific infection (
  • Currently, test results are returned in 1-5 days.
  • PCR tests are more accurate than antigen/rapid tests.

:  Someone who has symptoms of the COVID-19 virus that exhibits:

  • Symptoms appear between 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.
  • Symptoms may include:
    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath of difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea

Isolation: Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick ( Example: A person who lives in your home is diagnosed with COVID-19. This person needs to be isolated to a separate room and bathroom in the house, if possible.

Quarantine: Separates and restricts the movement of people who were diagnosed with and/or exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick ( 

View the CDC website to learn more about what "exposure" to COVID-19 means and when to quarantine and/or isolate.  

AR COVID-19 updates: For information and updates on COVID-19 in Arkansas, visit

Face Coverings

Stay updated on NWACC's face covering guidelines by visiting the face coverings page.


How often does the college's custodial services disinfect and where? NWACC's custodial crew clean the classrooms regularly and high-touch areas such as knobs, buttons, restrooms, handrails, etc.

NOTE: Although, the college's custodial crew will be vigilant with additional cleaning and disinfecting, employees are asked to do your part to keep areas and classrooms clean and safe.  

Will classrooms be disinfected between classes? – Rooms will not be disinfected between each class, but supplies will be available in each classroom for instructors and/or students to assist with disinfecting.

When a room is disinfected – how long does it need to sit empty? Is there a drying time? If it is just a routine disinfecting, the room takes a couple of minutes to dry and can be used soon afterward. If someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 was in the room, the space will be untouched for 72 hours, then the college's custodial crew will go in and disinfect. So, it could be up to four days before the room can be used again.

Will all offices and areas, excluding classrooms, be disinfected every single day?  No, the college’s custodial crew will not go into every office/space to disinfect on a daily basis. The college does not have the manpower to do so. Employees are asked to do their part and disinfect/clean after themselves.

Will NWACC provide individual areas/classrooms/departments with materials such as wipes, spray bottles, and solution to assist in disinfecting? The college provides each classroom and department with a spray bottle of disinfectant and a roll of paper towels. The college's custodial crew will refill as needed. If employees run out of spray or towels during the day, a work order can be submitted. 

Clorox 360 – what does it do and how will we use this? The Clorox 360 pairs an electrostatic sprayer with Total 360 Disinfectant Cleaner, Spore Defense Cleaner Disinfectant or Anywhere Hard Surface Sanitizing Spray to deliver superior coverage in an efficient, cost-effective way. The electrostatic system causes the disinfectant to cling on and around surfaces. Clorox 360 will be used in special circumstances, such as areas used by someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or even a secondary contact. This will typically be performed after waiting at least 24 hours after the area has been vacated. 

Air Quality & Circulation

How are the college's air quality and circulation being maintained to keep students and employees safe? NWACC's air handling units are maintained on a regular basis. A high quality pleated filter are used and changed on a regular basis. The coils and drain pans are also cleaned on a regular basis. The college is in the process of using the Clorox 360 to disinfect the inside of the air handling equipment.

The HVAC systems are designed to exhaust air while bringing in fresh air. The amount of fresh air is calculated during the design of the building and is built in to the programming of the building management system. 

If you feel there is an issue with air quality or circulation, employees can submit a work order request

Reporting COVID-19 Symptoms & Diagnosis 

What kind of symptoms may be related to COVID-19? People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • 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

This list does not include all possible symptoms. The CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.

Where do I report if I’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19?

  • Students are to report this information to their instructor(s).
  • Employees are to report this information to their direct supervisor.

What happens when I report my positive case to my supervisor or instructor late at night or on the weekend? Please do the following until you get a response:

If you have experienced ANY of the following: 

  • Symptoms related to COVID-19 and/or
  • Tested positive for COVID-19

DO NOT COME TO CAMPUS until you have been directed to do so by your instructor (if student) or supervisor (if employee).

 If you are a student, please do the following:

  • Email your instructor(s) to let them know you have experienced one (or more) of the items on the list above and cannot come to campus. Your instructors will provide information on next steps.

If you are an employee, please do the following:

  • Report this information to your direct supervisor.  

NOTE: The CDC has updated guidance for persons who are exposed to the virus. View CDC information on exposure.


When should I get tested for COVID-19? Get tested if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms – fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of smell or taste, etc. DO NOT COME TO CAMPUS and contact your supervisor/ instructor to notify them of symptoms or positive test results. 

Where can I get tested for COVID-19? View testing sites at

Will the college provide or schedule a COVID testing for employees? No. Anyone who needs to get tested can contact their local physician and/or visit a testing location. View testing sites at 

Are NWACC faculty, staff or students required to get tested for COVID-19? Currently, NWACC will not be requiring faculty, staff or students to participate in mandatory testing. However, the college will work with local agencies and share free testing information when necessary. The only time a test may become mandatory will be if you test positive and a negative test result is required to resume back to work and/or classes.

NWACC Employees

What if an employee needs an accommodation based on scheduling needs due to pre-existing medical condition or disability? Employee requests for scheduling accommodations related to a pre-existing medical condition or other disability (e.g., asthma, respiratory disease, inability to remove a face covering without assistance) is to contact Human Resources Human Resources will use their existing process to review accommodation requests through an interactive process with employees.

Are employees required to wear masks in the workplace? Stay updated on NWACC's face covering guidelines by visiting the face coverings page.

What does an NWACC employee do if they have COVID-19 symptoms?Employees are NOT to come to campus, are to immediately notify their supervisor.

Is there telemedicine access available for employees who want to talk to a doctor remotely? NWACC has made the following extended enhancements to our Medical Plan until December 31, 2020. These modifications allow NWACC employees, and their covered dependents, telemedicine access to their health professionals for their physical and mental health needs. 

Telephone-based doctor’s visits: Effective immediately, and continuing through December 31, 2020, the plan will cover and pay for any in-network physician (M.D. or D.O) visit by telephone for purposes of receiving advice or counsel on either physical or mental health needs.  Please note that all copays, coinsurance and deductibles still apply.

What resources are available to an employee experiencing emotional challenges (such as anxiety) due to the coronavirus outbreak?

Telephone-based behavioral/mental health visits: Effective immediately and continuing through December 31, 2020, the plan will cover and pay for telephonic counseling by in-network behavioral health professionals, not just physicians. Specifically, the plan will pay for telephone-based counseling to plan participants or beneficiaries by any in-network Certified Nurse Practitioners, Advance Practice Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, Psychologists, Licensed Certified Social Workers and Licensed Professional Counselors (together with M.D.s and D.O.s, “Telephonic Providers”). Please note that all copays, coinsurance and deductibles still apply.


College Operations During COVID-19

Teaching Methods

What teaching modality specific courses will faculty be using? The college is currently working on a number of different teaching modalities for the fall as previous issued on the Returning to Campus - Employees page. It will be noted in Banner once each class type is identified.

What type of class options are offered to students?

NWACC will continue to offer flexible class options, including on-campus classes.

Types of classes to choose from:

  • On-campus: This type of class is offered on campus, where instruction is face-to-face.

  • On-Campus & Online Scheduled Time: This type of class is offered through a hybrid approach, where instruction is on campus and face-to-face as well as streamed live. You can ask questions and participate in discussions in real time.

  • Online Scheduled Time: This type of class is offered online through a video conferencing tool at a scheduled time. The class is streamed live and you can ask questions and participate in discussions in real time.

  • Online Anytime: This type of class is offered through online technology and NOT at a scheduled time. Instructors are available to answer questions by email or other conferencing technology.

Current students are encouraged to connect with their advisors for course recommendations and registration assistance. Feel free to contact with any further questions


Can we just email advisors? Or is there some way, like zoom, to kind of meet with them? You can use QLess to make appointments with advisors and enrollment staff to get help with advising, financial aid, student records or admissions. Once you sign into QLess and make your appointment, you'll receive convenient notifications on your wait time. Learn more at 

Registering for Classes

How do I sign up for next year's classes? Courses can be added through your My NWACC under "Registration" unless you have active holds or need to complete online orientation. Learn more about registering for classes at 

There's a hold on my account, so I can’t register for classes. How do I solve this so I can register? Due to the varying nature of hold types, please contact the Enrollment Support Center so your hold can be reviewed. Holds such as missing MMR/TB documentation were moved to allow for registration at this time. Please note that MMR/TB documentation requirements will need to be be satisfied before a student can attend a class on campus. Please email or 479-986-4000, option 1 to be connected.

How can I turn in my registration papers for next semester? Documents can be submitted as PDF through the dropbox found in your My NWACC under "Uploading Documents," or by mail to: 

ATTN: Enrollment Services
NorthWest Arkansas Community College
One College Dr.
Bentonville, AR 72712.


How do I get help figuring out how much I have left for my associate degree, where do I stand academically and what are my options going forward? Your academic advisor can assist you in mapping out your final courses, reviewing your academics, and building a game plan for the future! To prepare for an appointment with your advisor, you can review your degree audit. Your degree audit marks your finished, in-progress, and remaining courses.

I'm not sure what courses I can take or why I cannot sign up for the classes I need to complete my degree. How do I find out this information? Please email or schedule a meeting with your academic advisor as soon as possible as you are most likely running into prerequisite errors. Courses on your degree plan sometimes require a strict structure, and your advisor can assist you in navigating your course plan, initiating course substitutions, etc. If you are unsure who your advisor is, please call the Enrollment Support Center at 479-986-4000 or email to be connected with your advisor. 

I’m not sure where or if I would like to transfer to finish my degree. How can I get some help with this process? NWACC's Transfer Services can help you navigate through the process of selecting, applying and transferring credits to a four-year institution. Feel free to view our Transfer Services web page and email to learn about your options.

Book Returns


Please be aware that the NWACC library and the Barnes & Noble Bookstore are SEPARATE entities, even though they are both located on campus. NWACC staff operate the library. Barnes and Noble staff operate the bookstore.

This is important to keep in mind when returning rented textbooks to the Barnes and Noble Bookstore or returning checked-out books and materials to the NWACC library. Please be aware of the following steps regarding returning books to the library or the bookstore to avoid any fees/charges.

LIBRARY – Returning Checked-Out Books

  • Students will receive email notifications to their NWACC email account from the library when checked-out books/materials are due.
  • Students can return books/materials by placing them in the library book drop that is located outside the doors of Burns Hall. The items will then be quarantined.
  • The book drop is ONLY for library books and materials. Please do not put library equipment (such as laptops, tablets, other devices) in the book drop.
  • Students: If you have rented course textbooks from the Barnes & Noble Bookstore, please DO NOT place them in the library book drop. If you do, the Barnes & Noble Bookstore may charge you the entire price of the missing textbooks.
  • Students can also return library books/materials by dropping them off in person at the Information Commons in Burns Hall. The items will then be quarantined.
  • NOTE: The library’s course textbook collection, for use in the library only, is NOT available this fall.
  • Questions can be emailed to 

BARNES & NOBLE BOOKSTORE – Returning Rented Course Textbooks

  • Students will receive email notifications from the Barnes & Noble Bookstore when rented course textbooks are due.
  • Students are to NOT place rented textbooks from the Barnes & Noble Bookstore into the library book drop located outside Burns Hall. If this is done, the Barnes & Noble Bookstore may charge you the entire price of the missing textbooks.
  • Students can return textbooks in person at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore located in the Student Center.
  • Students can also return rented textbooks to the Barnes & Noble Bookstore by mail. The bookstore email notifications will include shipping labels for a nominal fee to return the textbooks. If students do not want to wait for the reminder email, they can visit the bookstore website to get a shipping label.
  • NOTE: Be sure to have your order ID available when requesting a shipping label.
  • Questions can be emailed to


Academic Help

Having my class moved online has been very challenging, how can I get help with my math assignments? NWACC's Math Center is available to help. Visit the Math Center web page to learn more or email to set up an appointment.

How can I get some help with writing a paper for my class? NWACC's Writing Center can assist you with grammar and punctuation and other constructive feedback. Visit the Writing Center's webpage to learn more or email to set up a consultation. 

I need some extra help with my science homework. How do I access tutors now? You can get your science, math and other subject questions answered by experienced student tutors. Feel free to check out the tutoring schedule to see when tutors are available for meetings or you can use Brainfuse within My NWACC to live chat with tutors as well. Typically, NWACC’s tutoring services are available throughout the week.

Computers & Technology

I'm not sure what kind of computer I should have for classes, especially if my class gets moved online due to COVID-19? NWACC's Computers and Technology web page is a great starting point when deciding what type of computers and technology can help you complete your college coursework.

I borrowed a computer from NWACC that is due for return. Do I need to set up an appointment with someone in the library to get a different computer? Feel free to visit the NWACC library web page for further information on how to contact the library staff, including a chat box option.

I need help resetting my email password, who do I contact? NWACC's IT Help Desk line can offer tech support and password resets. Feel free to call them at 479-986-4000, option 3. View the IT Help Desk web page to learn more. 

Technology for Faculty

When will the technology be in the classroom to support remote synchronous instruction? What type of training will be available to faculty? Various teams, including academic, distance learning and IT, are working together to properly access an outfit necessary for placing technology into classrooms to make remote synchronous instruction possible. IT will provide any necessary training.

As a student with a disability, I have questions about how online classes will work for me and how to gain access to academic accommodations. Where can I go for more information and guidance? If you have a disability or medical condition that affects your access to online classes and services at NWACC, the Disability Resource Center (DRC) may be a great resource. The center offers a variety of academic accommodations and support services to eligible students, which are uniquely suited to an individuals needs. The DRC staff can also provide you with ongoing guidance and support throughout your time at NWACC. Feel free to email to learn how the DRC can support your needs.

What protocols will be in place for meeting individual students needing ADA accommodations? Feel free to email NWACC's Disability Resource Center at for further information.

I have questions about my financial aid, who can I speak to? The Enrollment Support Center can assist you with any questions concerning your financial aid file. Please email or call 479-986-4000, option 1 to be connected.

I need help in competing the FAFSA application. How can I get help? The Enrollment Support Center can assist you with any questions you run into while completing your FAFSA. Please email or call 479-986-4000, option 1 to be connected.

Why do you hold my refund for three months after the semester has started? Financial aid disbursement is completed once your enrollment is verified after the last day to drop for a refund, and if it is your first time borrowing loans there is a 30-day waiting period. For more information on disbursement dates in relation to your registered courses, please contact the Enrollment Support Center. Please email or call 479-986-4000, option 1 to be connected.

Student club and external event information coming soon. 

It’s hard for me to focus, stay motivated and emotionally well, which is affecting my grades. Are there any resources to help me? If you struggle with work/life balance, maintaining normalcy, adjusting to online classes, keeping a daily routine and accessing community resources, NWACC's counselors can help. Licensed counselors from NWACC's Counseling and Wellness Center's are available to help students, faculty and staff by video or phone. Email to schedule an appointment.

I heard about NWACC getting the CARE act funding from the government. Can you explain what that is and how it will affect the currently enrolled students? Also, how does the school decide which students get help from the CARE act.

The federal government’s CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) provides funding for direct financial support to eligible students who have experienced disruption to their education due to COVID-19.

Guidelines regarding student eligibility are provided by the US Department of Higher Education. NorthWest Arkansas Community College has received funds to administer to eligible students impacted by COVID-19.

We understand that the disruptions caused by COVID-19 mean more than simply transitioning to online or remote coursework. For some, these disruptions can lead to food insecurity, uncertainty regarding housing arrangements, and other challenges. The college hopes that eligible students are able to use these funds in a way that will best help them continue their education at NWACC. 

Student Eligibility Requirements Provided by the US Dept. of Higher Education:

  • Student has filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Student is a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Student has a valid Social Security number
  • Student is registered with Selective Service (if student is male)
  • Student has a high school diploma, GED, or has completed high school in an approved homeschool setting.
  • Student was not exclusively enrolled in online education courses on March 13, 2020, the date of the President’s Proclamation.
  • Student is enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours.