Employees Returning to Campus - COVID 19 | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

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Returning to Campus - Employees

NWACC continues to plan the safe return of employees to the college's locations under the guidance of the CDC and the Arkansas Department of Health.

For the continued health and safety of our college community, employees will be gradually returning to campus and locations. 

Please remember that this is a very fluid situation that can change at a moment’s notice. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to your direct supervisor.

COVID-19 Vaccine Employee Information 

NWACC employees are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Find vaccine locations on the Arkansas Department of Health’s vaccination locator websiteYou can also search local pharmacies or local vaccine clinics

NWACC is NOT mandating that you receive the vaccine, so the choice is up to you. 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. 

Methods of Instruction

NWACC intends to offer limited face-to-face and multiple hybrid instructional formats including remote synchronous learning and online courses. The college’s mission is to serve the whole community, and students have expressed the preference and necessity to take classes in these formats.

View document: NWACC Return to Operations Academics Fall 2020

Highly Limited Face-to-Face Delivery:

  • For some courses, class delivery will be the traditional method of face-to-face instruction. This is particularly true for NWACC’s technical programs and lab courses.

  • Classes will meet as scheduled. Prepare for possible changes required if NWACC needs to move to online later in the semester.

  • For faculty who self-identify as having underlying health conditions which may enhance their risk for severe illness from COVID-19 and believe they cannot safely perform their teaching assignments, deans should refer the faculty member to Human Resources.

  • It is possible that some students will self-identify as having underlying health conditions that enhance the risk from COVID-19 and thus limit their ability to attend face-to-face classes. Refer students to the Director of Disability Resources.

Hybrid Face-to-Face with Social Distancing and Remote Synchronous Deliveries:

  • Classes will meet as scheduled. Prepare for possible changes required if NWACC needs to move to online later in the semester.

  • The number of individuals in a classroom at any one time will be limited to 30% of room capacity as determined in AdAstra, while the larger percentage of students will access the class remotely, in real time, through classroom camera equipment. Certain programs may have additional protocols documented as to room capacities and additional safety protocols.

  • Face-to-face participants will utilize social distancing guidelines of at least 6 feet between other participants or separated by a physical barrier. Face-to-face participants will be limited to individuals registered with the Office of Disability Services or have requested academic assistance with the faculty member and academic dean (developmental courses as an example).

  • Facilities is working to set up classrooms and laboratories in a manner that allows for social distancing.

  • As much as possible, move lab exercises, hands on activities, and clinical assignments closer to the beginning of the semester to mitigate issues that could arise if there is a need to move all online occurs.

  • Promoting social distancing in classrooms and to meet students’ needs, NWACC Information Technology and Facilities departments are currently working on plans for classrooms to have limited capacity and the ability to teach utilizing camera equipment. Once installed, training will be provided to faculty and staff on the usage of all new classroom technology.

Online or Remote Delivery:

  • Divisions and departments are encouraged to continue online or remote delivery whenever feasible and effective.

  • For online instruction at NWACC, faculty members must have successfully completed the Canvas Advanced training.

  • The Office of Distance Learning will be providing multiple faculty development opportunities highlighting best practices for both online and hybrid instruction.

  • The Arkansas Department of Higher Education, Higher Learning Commission, and U.S Department of Education have been notified of increased online and hybrid methods of instruction.

Offsite Delivery of Instruction:

  • Protocols will be established for offsite delivery of instruction working with the appropriate academic supervisor, including the Dean of Health Professions and Dean of Adult Education.

Synchronous Hours General consistent scheduled course hours that generally take place in a specific lab/classroom. Synchronous course hours can be delivered either in a face-to-face format or remotely.
Asynchronous Hours Courses are not scheduled to meet at specific date or time and learning happens via pre-recorded session or other virtual forms of lessons.
Half - Synchronous Hours (Remote) Courses are scheduled to meet a minimum of 50% of the course length face-to-face on campus at predetermined times, for specific lengths in assigned rooms and with the other half of the course delivered via prerecorded sessions or other virtual forms of lessons.


Face-to-Face (F2F) Course meets at a predetermined time for a predetermined length in a scheduled room (synchronous learning). F2F/ Rotation A/B Split Synchronous
Hyflex Course is scheduled similar to face-to-face courses. The student has the choice to attend in class or by video conferencing platform at a specific scheduled time. F2F/ Rotation A/B Split Synchronous
Remote Course is scheduled similar to face-to-face courses. The student attends by a video conferencing platform at a specific scheduled time. F2F/ Rotation A/B Split Synchronous
Hybrid Course is scheduled to meet a minimum of 50% face-to-face and 50% online. Flipped Half -Synchronous
Remote Hybrid Course is scheduled to meet a minimum of 50% using a remote video conferencing platform and 50% online. Flipped/ Rotation A/B/ Online Half -Synchronous
Online Course meets fully in a virtual environment with no on-campus component. Online  Asynchronous



Rotation A/B - F2F A/B Rotation with remote synchronous instruction (i.e. turn on the camera when you walk into the classroom). No other online element (Cap and Split or Synchronous Hybrid). Synchronous
Remote Course will be held at a specific time but on a video conferencing platform. All students attend remotely.   Synchronous
Flipped With Rotation Didactic portion recorded and students do on their own time. Students come to class one day a week for a classroom activity, assignment, lab, etc.  Asynchronous
Fully Online Didactic portion recorded and students do on their own time. Students come to class one day a week for a classroom activity, assignment, lab, etc. Asynchronous





Academic Support Services 

The following NWACC academic support services are available online and at NWACC locations:

  • Pauline Whitaker Library
  • Bentonville and Washington County Information Commons
  • Writing Center
  • Math Center

However, services will have limited hours of operation with a limited number of students, faculty and staff allowed in their physical locations. 

View our Student Resources page to see how to connect with various student services and resources this fall. 

Safety Measures and Access:

  • Face coverings and social distancing will be required for all students, faculty and staff at all NWACC facilities. This includes the library, computer labs, Writing Center and Math Center.
  • Protocols and scheduling for cleaning throughout each day are currently being designed.
  • Where appropriate, these services will maintain both virtual/online hours as well as on-site hours. On-site hours will be limited, and in-person visits will require appointments in order to maintain social distancing.
  • Shared materials will be minimally available. This includes staplers, tape dispensers, writing utensils and computers. Disinfecting wipes will be provided for use between each user.
  • Library materials will be available but will be retrieved by library staff and delivered in a contactless manner.
  • Tutoring, class instruction and one-on-one instruction will only occur in spaces that can accommodate social distancing requirements.
  • Computer labs will be configured to accommodate social distancing requirements, and depending on demand, there may be time limits for computer use.
  • Technology help in computer labs may be limited or unavailable to accommodate social distancing.

COVID-19 Safety Measures on Campus:

Campus will be closed to the general public and to students for the first several weeks as we phase employees back to work, and monitor the virus situation in our state and our region. This means that doors to ALL buildings will be locked in order to better control the environment and keep foot traffic down across campus.

Campus hours are Monday - Thursday, 7 AM-6 PM. NWACC campuses will be locked down outside of these hours.

There will be signage for exterior doors for students/potential students who show up to campus. They are being directed to the NWACC call center, to email and/or online services.

NOTE – We are asking that no visitors/guests enter the buildings at this time.

If you have a key card already in your possession, it will be activated to work ONLY for the one door that is activated in your building for entering/exiting. See campus map for entrance points (red dots).

ENTRANCES: Each building only has ONE entry point – all other doors will remain locked. Please review the campus map to see entry points as indicated by RED DOTS.

  • For Burns Hall, the entry point is at the north end of the building, directly in front of the fountain – EAST ENTRY point.
  • For CHP, the entry point is at the NORTHWEST side of the building, by the main DPS office.
  • Your key card will NOT work for any other door.
  • We ask that you enter and exit through ONLY the designated door.
  • When you swipe your access card on the access pad, you need to step over in front of the door to activate it.

Please be sure to enter into the building one person at a time. If there is already an employee ahead of you, please wait until that person has scanned into the building before you attempt access.

  • This serves two purposes: 
    • This will allow each employee to scan into the building with their individual access key card, which in turn assists the college with contact tracing should there be any reports on campus.
    • This will help the college community maintain proper social distancing by giving each employee space to enter the building separately.

  • Please do not allow others to follow you into the buildings; The college is trying to maintain limited access to the campus during this first phase. 

  • DO NOT allow anyone to enter behind you without swiping, and while it is very impolite to do so, please do not open doors for anyone.

Building hours on the Bentonville campus have been set: Monday through Thursday, 7:00 am to 6:00 pm.

If you do not already have a key card in your possession, you should have received an email from Facilities with instructions on days and times to pick up your key card at the Facilities office. 

If at any time you experience issues with your key card and cannot access the building, you can call DPS for assistance into the building, but then be sure to immediately resolve any key card issues with Facilities.

This summer, you will be receiving a key card to gain access ONLY to the building where your office or work area is located. If you already have a key card, it will be automatically programmed for the access door to your building. If you do not have a key card, you should have received instructions via email on the process for obtaining your card.

ENTRANCES DURING THE SUMMER: All employees will enter and exit through the designated entrance of each building. All other entrances/exits will be locked. Please refer to the campus map PDF that indicates which entrances/exits (red dots) will be utilized.

  • Each building only has ONE entry point – all other doors will remain locked. Please review the campus map to see entry points as indicated by RED DOTS.
  • For Burns Hall, the entry point is at the north end of the building, directly in front of the fountain – EAST ENTRY point.
  • For CHP, the entry point is at the NORTHWEST side of the building, by the main DPS office.

We ask that you limit visits to other buildings on campus during this time. If you have items to be delivered or signed, please make sure the other party is available and not with other employees. Please remember that access is limited and doors will be locked. If you need to walk from one location to another, call ahead and arrange to meet fellow employee at the designated entrance of their building. 

If your access card does not work, call DPS for entry into the building and then contact Facilities for assistance.

ENTRANCES FOR THE FALL: There will be designated doors to each building. View campus map showing building entrances. Days and hours may be limited, but this will be based on class schedules, various department needs, and student services.

Parking for fall 2020:

Current employees: Please use existing hang tag that was issued for 2019-2020 through to Dec. 31, 2020. Park ONLY in designated spaces for faculty and staff and reserved (if you’ve paid for reserved). 

NEW employees (as of April 2020): Please reach out to Human Resources to make arrangements to pick up your hangtag from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) in the Center for Health Professions (CHP).  Park ONLY in designated spaces for faculty and staff and reserved (if you’ve paid for reserved). 

Reserved parking: If you are currently paying for reserved parking and would like to discontinue, please notify DPS at 479-619-4229 to fill out the necessary paperwork. Please be aware that if you decide to discontinue your reserved spot, the spot will not be held.

Information regarding parking in spring 2021 will be sent out closer to the spring time.

Feel free to view the college's parking policy for further information.

No outside guests or visitors will be allowed enter NWACC locations and buildings at this time.

Please view the COVID-19 Daily Checklist. You are required to review this each day before leaving home.  

Upon arrival to your designated building each day, we ask that you make sure you stagger entry into the building, allowing for one person at a time to scan into the building. This will provide us more accurate tracking records for contact tracing, if needed, as well as ensure that only authorized personnel are gaining entry into the building.

There will be a table at each entry point. Please disinfect hands, take a face covering only if needed, and read through the Daily Checklist to perform another self-screening of COVID symptoms.

NWACC will NOT be taking body temperatures.

NWACC REQUIRES face coverings at all college locations, even though the state mandate has ended.

All employees returning to campus are required to wear a face covering upon entry/exit into buildings, while walking through any public or shared spaces, while using shared equipment and technology (such as a printer), and if you encounter another employee. You may remove your face covering once you are alone in your own office or workspace.

Face coverings are to cover both the mouth and nose to minimize spreading respiratory droplets when talking, coughing or sneezing. Although not all face coverings may prevent the person wearing the face covering from being infected, they help stop the spread of respiratory droplets to others. Some infected people may be asymptomatic, so widespread use of face coverings can help slow the spread.

Please keep in mind that face coverings are not a substitute for social distancing, but to be used in addition to keeping space between others. Face coverings are not required when alone in enclosed spaces.

There will be a number of disposable face coverings to offer employees at the tables at each entry point. One face covering per employee will be made available.

If you are wearing a homemade face covering, be sure it is properly washed/disinfected on a regular basis.

PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING. There will be a very limited number of employees returning to campus for Phase One.

All employees at NWACC will practice social distancing upon return to campus. Please be sure to watch for posters and signage throughout campus advising to maintain a 6 ft. distance from others as per CDC guidelines.

NOTE: With limited numbers of employees returning for Phase One, there may not be signage in place yet. Remember to keep 6 feet apart, and no crowding of elevators, breakrooms, copy rooms, office spaces, or meeting spaces.

MEETINGS: In order to maintain social distance, we will be asking all employees to refrain from scheduling or conducting face-to-face meetings. We encourage everyone to utilize Microsoft Teams and phone meetings, whenever possible. Please note if a face-to-face meeting is the only option, you will be required to maintain 6 ft. of distance between your coworkers in a large space where spreading out is a possibility. Please remember to wear a face covering.

BREAKS/MEALS: All employees are strongly encouraged to stagger their break times and meal times to maximize social distancing. If you need to leave campus and return during your assigned time, please remember to enter/exit through the assigned door to your building, and to properly disinfect your hands again upon arrival. Again, we ask that you always wear a face covering when entering and exiting the buildings.

Many employees checked out technology and equipment which will now be required to return to campus in order to perform your job duties. The college does not have the ability to allow you to have technology setup at home and in your campus office work space. You will need to consider this when arriving to campus next week and in your plans for taking equipment safely back home with you if you will be working remotely on a part-time basis.

Please maintain good sanitizing habits with all items you bring into the building.

Employees are encouraged to NOT share food or drinks. All employees are also encouraged to be diligent about disinfecting any appliances before and after use to prevent the spread of germs.

You may want to consider the old ways of sharing coffee pots and food supplies (such as coffee creamer), and using microwaves and refrigerators with groups of other people - Think through how you can best navigate this by bringing a thermos of coffee from home, or packing lunch in a small cooler. These are just a few suggestions regarding how you can help keep yourself and others around you safe.

NOTE: Due to limitations in all offices and on all campus circuits, employees are not authorized to bring in additional individual coffee pots, refrigerators and microwaves. 

It is strongly advised that each employee use their own office equipment WHEN POSSIBLE and not share office supplies such as pens, paper, notebooks, etc.

Please disinfect all shared equipment like printers and copiers before and after each use to prevent the spread of germs.

The college’s custodial service will be increasing rounds of cleaning throughout campus to ensure work spaces are sanitized.

Facilities will be supplying areas (distribution to be determined) with additional sanitizing spray and paper towels. Please do your part to help keep personal office spaces and shared work spaces disinfected.

You may bring your own disinfecting supplies from home, but please be sure that no bleach products are used as these can damage furnishings, carpets, chairs, etc. 

NWACC understands that students and employees have many questions during COVID-19. Feel free to visit the FAQ page and view answers that we are able to provide at this time.

COVID-19 Terms & Reporting

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 believes to have been exposed to someone with 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 (cdc.gov).
  • 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

Close Contact:  Someone who has been in contact with a known positive or presumptive positive person that meets the following criteria:

  • Has been in contact with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Has been within 6 feet of positive person for equal to or greater than 15 minutes over a 24 hour period.

Isolation: Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick (cdc.gov). 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 (cdc.gov). Example: Two days ago, you were in direct contact with a person who has now been diagnosed with COVID-19. You will be asked to quarantine in your home for 14 days.

When do I need to quarantine (or isolate)?

The following are recommendations by the Arkansas Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control on when to quarantine/isolate.

  • If you are positive or presumed positive: Isolate for 10 days.
    • If you live in a household with others, isolation may mean that you stay in a separate room or space, sharing as little space or having as little contact as possible with household members.
  • If you are close contact: Quarantine for 14 days.
    • Testing is recommended at or around the 5th day mark after exposure has been determined. Testing before the 5th day mark can sometimes return negative test results when the individual is actually positive.
    • If symptoms develop, retesting is recommended at the time symptoms occur.
    • If you test negative, he/she is to continue with the 14-day quarantine.

  • If you are symptomatic: Isolate until negative test results.
    • Testing is recommended immediately. Iisolate until test results come back negative.
      • If a rapid test (antigen test) is done and comes back negative, a PCR test must follow and come back negative before ending isolation.
      • MUST be symptom free for 24 hours without any medication that reduces a fever, and have improvement of symptoms.


If you've have COVID-19 symptoms – fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of smell or taste, etc. – and/or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and/or you have been diagnosed with COVID-19,  DO NOT COME TO CAMPUS and report this information to Human Resources at covidhelp@nwacc.edu. 

Once an college member reports a COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure to Human Resources or Dean of Student’s Office, the college will take the following actions:

  • Collect essential information from the individual in question for contact tracing purposes such as building, classroom and other areas visited, who they came into direct contact with, what dates they were on campus, were they wearing a mask, etc.
  • May require COVID-19 test results from those reporting a diagnosis and may request additional information from those who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
  • Will report all positive COVID-19 cases to the State of Arkansas. Likewise, the state of Arkansas will report positive cases to the college.
  • Individual will receive follow-up calls from Arkansas Dept. of Health and UAMS for contract tracing purposes.
  • Contact the department’s cabinet representative
  • Notify NWACC facilities for additional cleaning
  • Notify Department of Safety concerning potential room and/or building closure for cleaning.
  • Notify Risk Management and Public Relations
  • Notify exposed employees/students
  • Follow up with employee’s supervisor or student’s dean for additional testing updates

NOTE: NWACC will strive to maintain all aspects of employee/student privacy and not share the names of those who are diagnosed with COVID-19 with the media.


REMINDER: NWACC is currently not open to the public. Visit our Returning to Campus web pages to learn more about students and visitors coming back to campus.