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

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Returning to Campus - Students

NWACC is increasing on-campus services and in-person classes this school year, so feel free to review the following COVID-19-related information as you prepare to return to campus.

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. 

Course Options

Course instruction is offered on campus, online at a scheduled time and online anytime. The following summarizes the various types of instruction. 


This type of class is offered on campus,where instruction is face-to-face with social distancing and face coverings encouraged.

On-Campus & Online Scheduled Time

This type of class is offered through a hybrid approach, where instruction is on campus and face-to-face with social distancing and face coverings encouraged 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.

Prepare for classes with the computer and technology that best fit your needs. Learn more about recommended computer specs such as RAM, operating systems and hard drives by visiting the Computers and Technology for College web page. 


Student Services & Resources

Beginning June 14th, more on-campus services and resources will be available to students. View the Student Resources page to see how to connect with various student services and resources. 


COVID-19 Safety Measures

View the various safety guidelines NWACC has put in place on campus, as well as those the college encourages students to follow. 

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

When entering a campus building, please disinfect hands, take an optional face covering, and read through the Daily Checklist to perform another self-screening of COVID symptoms.

NWACC will NOT be taking body temperatures.

Updated parking information coming soon. 

Effective July 6th, NWACC will no longer have the authority to mandate members of the college community to wear a face covering on campus, but will still highly encourage it as one way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This college-wide shift from a face covering requirement to an option is in response to Governor Hutchinson signing the SB 590 bill into law.

From now through July 5, 2021, NWACC college members will continue to be required to wear face coverings.

NWACC encourages you to practice socail distancing. Please be sure to watch for posters and signage throughout campus advising to maintain a 6 ft. distance from others as per CDC guidelines.

Students are asked to adhere to public health hygienic recommendations by washing hands regularly, especially after touching commonly used items or coming into contact with someone who may be ill. Proper hand washing involves scrubbing hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. If you are not able to wash your hands, hand sanitizer dispensers are available in all NWACC buildings. 

Please be sure to also avoid touching your face, nose and mouth and avoid rubbing your eyes, and practice proper coughing or sneezing etiquette.

NWACC’s custodial service has increased rounds of cleaning throughout campus to ensure common areas and classrooms are sanitized regularly. Additional disinfecting supplies will be provided throughout the college for students and employees to use for cleaning shared items such as keyboards and desktops.

NWACC understands that you may have many questions during COVID-19. Feel free to visit the FAQ page and view answers that can be provided at this time.


COVID-19 Terms & Reporting

View common COVID-19 terms and definitions. 

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 (
  • 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 ( 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 ( 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 Dean of Students office at
What "exposure" means:  A potential “exposure” means you have been in close contact (within 6 feet) of an individual with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 while not wearing a face covering for a total of 15 minutes or more.

Examples of exposure/close contact:

  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • You had direct physical contact (hugged or kissed them) with an individual who has COVID-19
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils with an individual who has COVID-19
  • Someone with COVID-19 sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you

Learn more about reporting COVID-19 symptoms, exposure and cases on the Reporting COVID-19 web page.

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.