Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Last Update: 4/2/2020   11:25 a.m.

Is campus open?

On Wednesday, March 25, Governor Tim Walz issued an executive order that asks all Minnesotans to remain at home for two weeks to curb the spread of COVID-19. In support of the Stay Home MN guidelines, the Northwestern Health Sciences University building will close at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 27, and will reopen on Saturday, April 11.

All employees who can work remotely will be doing so during this time.

Under the Executive Order, we are able to continue to fulfill online and call-in orders through the Herbal Dispensary and Campus store. All orders will be shipped to customers, and this necessitates a few individuals on campus only to fulfill orders.

Will the clinics stay open?

  • The Bloomington Clinic closed on Tuesday, March 17 and remain closed until May 4.
  • The De Rusha Clinic closed on Tuesday, March 17 and remain closed until May 4.
  • The Human Performance Center closed on Tuesday, March 17 and remain closed until May 4.
  • Integrative Care of Minnesota and Salvation Army Harbor Lights clinics are closed until May 4.
  • Further details will be forthcoming as needed.

In lieu of in-person services, our providers are offering telemedicine in  Chinese Medicine, Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, and Naturopathy. Fees vary based on the length of the session. For more information, call 952-885-5444.

Our Radiological Consulting Services are still available for provider radiology needs. Customers will not be allowed in the building.

When will the Herbal Dispensary and the Campus Store be open for orders?

Our Campus Store will be open to fulfill orders from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. weekdays. You can request to have health supplements shipped to you using this online form. The Herbal Dispensary will be open to fill orders from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. weekdays.

When the campus reopens on April 11, will everything be back to normal?

While our campus building will open on April 11, please note the following on-campus closures:

  • Fitness Center: The fitness center closed on Monday, March 16, and remain closed until May 4.
  • Gymnasium: The gymnasium closed on Monday, March 16, and remain closed until May 4.
  • Swimming Pool: The swimming pool closed on Monday, March 16, and remain closed until May 4.
  • Cafeteria: The cafeteria will close on Wednesday, March 25 and be closed until May 4.

Will the campus library open?

No, the library will be closed until April 10.

The library will remain available to do virtual consultations (research assistance, writing lab) outside of those hours by appointment. Please email library@nwhealth.edu to set those up.

Are classes being canceled for Winter term?

Faculty have transitioned didactic coursework to online or remote learning. This format will continue through the end of the term.  Please continue to seek specific information from faculty through your course’s Moodle page.

Students in clinical experiences will continue unless their clinical site is making changes due to COVID-19. A separate communication will be sent to affected students. Please contact your Clinic Coordinator for specific information.

We are committed to supporting each student’s progress toward their degree or credential as well as protecting the safety of all. If students need resources or assistance during this time, please visit our Student Affairs webpage for information about internet access, our Student Emergency Food Fund, and more.

Are classes being canceled for Summer term?

Our Summer term consists of two start dates: May 5 and June 1. At this time, both will begin as scheduled. We are currently working to determine the best method to offer classes and will be communicating that information in upcoming weeks.

Please watch for updates.

Will students continue to practice in the clinics?

Students in clinical experiences will continue unless their clinical site is making changes due to COVID-19. A separate communication will be sent to affected students. They may also go to their clinic coordinators with questions.

While some clinical sites will remain open, we also understand that individual students may be unable to maintain their schedules due to unexpected childcare needs, or may feel uncomfortable doing so due to personal concerns with COVID-19. Please talk to your clinical supervisor about those concerns.

Are events on campus still being held?

Several upcoming campus events have been canceled, including:

  • Career and Professional Association Fair, scheduled for March 19
  • Student Leadership Dinner, scheduled for March 26
  • Discovery Day, scheduled for March 28
  • Great River Symposium, scheduled for April 2-4
  • Massage Therapy and Allied Health Info Sessions scheduled for April 9
  • Oncology Massage Healing Summit, scheduled for April 24-26

Communications have been sent to attendees of these events. At this time we have not selected reschedule dates, but will do so in the future. We apologize for the inconvenience to all but believe this is the right decision to mitigate future risk for our campus community and guests.

Has commencement been canceled?

Commencement has not been canceled. The ceremony has been rescheduled for Saturday, May 30 at 11:00 am in the O’Shaughnessy Auditorium at St. Catherine’s University.

The Commencement Luncheon and Rehearsal will take place on Friday, May 29 beginning at 11:30 a.m. More detailed information regarding commencement, the rehearsal and luncheon will be sent out in the coming weeks.

Until then, we recommend that you notify your loved ones of the postponement, so they can change or cancel any travel arrangements that may have been made. If they are no longer able to attend because of the change in date, please remind them that they will be able to stream the ceremony online.

We appreciate your understanding and flexibility. Please know that we will continue to do our best to make your commencement a memorable moment for your and those you love, while at the same time doing our part to protect the safety of our university community.

In the meantime, please pay close attention to the regular updates we are sending out regarding NWHSU’s response to COVID-19. If you have any questions, email studentaffairs@nwhealth.edu.

Even though the commencement ceremony has been postponed until May, students will still be considered graduated once all your graduation requirements are complete. This means Chiropractic students will have a graduation date of April 18, if all requirements are completed. All other students will graduate as soon as the grades for the term are finalized.

Students who need to begin practicing or are applying for a temporary license should be able to do so after April 18.

Will Part III of the Chiropractic Board Exams be held?

The Part III exam has been rescheduled from March 20-22 to May 2-3.  The campus will be open to host those exams, unless the COVID-19 situation mandates otherwise.

Please visit NBCE’s website for additional information regarding rescheduling the exams.

Is travel being restricted?

At this time, there is no travel ban in place for students or employees. We have asked our community members to use their best judgement in making the best decision both for their personal safety and for the safety of the entire campus.

We have encourage employees to re-evaluate upcoming business travel, and explore sensible alternatives.

In following the advice from the Centers for Diseases Control (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health we have implemented the following travel restrictions:

The CDC has updated its COVID-19 Travel Information as follows:

  • Most countries in Europe have now been designated, along with ChinaIran, and South Korea as Level 3 (Warning, Avoid Nonessential Travel) countries.
  • The rest of the world, including the United States, has now been designated as Level 2 (Practice Enhanced Precautions).

All travelers, including all NWHSU students, faculty, and staff, who are returning from a Level 3 country must stay home (i.e., self-quarantine) for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing. See the full guidance from the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html

All travelers returning from other countries or from domestic travel via commercial airfare, including all NWHSU students, faculty, and staff, need to monitor their health and practice social distancing for 14 days after returning from travel and are restricted from coming on campus. Social distancing means staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others.

Travelers who are sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing should stay home and call ahead before seeking medical care.  See the full guidance from the CDC at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/coronavirus-global.

Can F-1 International Students, in particular Canadian students, travel home?

We are aware of border crossing restrictions at the Canadian (and other) border and realize that Canadian and other international students may want to return home to be with family during these uncertain times. Our top priority is the health and safety of our university community.

Please remember that our academic term is still underway, and that students are expected to remain engaged in their courses, although remotely at this time. Each course and faculty have determined a path forward, and we expect students to complete required academic work during this time. Because the current academic work is remote, physical location can be flexible as long as students have solid internet access.

It’s possible that border-crossing restrictions will change in the coming weeks, and we will do our best to accommodate students should NWHSU reopen during a time of restricted border crossing. These accommodations may include the ability to take final exams remotely or later. Please do your best to remain engaged and patient as we make decisions and communicate them as quickly as possible.

The following resources are guiding and informing our collective decision-making. Please continue to monitor them for the latest updated information.

Please note that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is the primary resource for up-to-date information on COVID-19.

Also, please remember to check the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website as well:  https://www.cbp.gov/

Latest NWHSU University updates:  https://www.nwhealth.edu/covid-19/

We recognize this is an uncertain time for our international students. Prior to making a decision, students may wish to talk to their government authorities to ensure they understand what requirements and restrictions may be necessary. We will work with our international students within the guidelines of government and CDC requirements to support their continued education at NWHSU during these uncertain times.

I’m a NWHSU alumnus operating a private practice in Minnesota. Should I stay open, or close my business?

On March 16, 2020, Governor Walz issued Executive Order 20-09, which indefinitely postpones any non-essential or elective surgeries or procedures. The order goes into effect until March 23rd at 5:00pm. According to the Minnesota Chiropractic Association (MCA), it is not clear whether or not this will affect chiropractic offices.

At this time, the MCA recommends that doctors use their best professional judgment, applying relevant guidelines, such as those of the CDC and the White House Coronavirus Task Force, to determine whether to close offices.

Read more details on the MCA’s recommendations for private practices in the fields of chirorpactic, acupuncture, physical therapy, and massage therapy, including the MCA guidelines for self quarantine and clinic closure.

For practitioners in Minnesota, please note the following resources provided by the MCA:

It should be noted that current research suggests the spread of COVID-19 is coming from asymptomatic individuals. Just because a patient is not febrile does not mean they are not carrying (and shedding) the virus.

Congress, the White House, and state governments are considering legislation to alleviate the financial stress COVID-19 is placing on individuals and small businesses. Additionally, some local power and gas companies are stating they will not issue disconnection notices at this time.

Download a PDF of our COVID-19 recommendations for practitioners.

The American Chiropractic Association has compiled a list or resources for all U.S. practitioners to stay up to date with information related to COVID-19:

Is campus still being cleaned and disinfected regularly?

We have employed a supplementary cleaning service to support our current facilities team, and to add an additional level of protection to our campus. This additional service began Friday, March 13.

What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

It is a respiratory illness and is related to MERS and SARS, both coronaviruses.  Like other new coronaviruses, it has come from animals and infected people, who are now spreading the virus.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, the virus is found in droplets from the mouth and nose of someone with COVID-19. The virus spreads when a person with COVID-19 coughs or sneezes.

An individual is at greater risk of getting COVID-19 if they are within six feet of someone with COVID-19 for an extended period. Walking in and out of a room would not be considered an exposure.

Symptoms may appear after an individual is exposed to COVID-19, and sometimes up to 14 days after the exposure. Find out how you can prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Download the CDC guidelines Fact Sheet (PDF) to learn what you should do if you are sick with COVID-19.

What precautionary measures should I take?
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • If you have symptoms including a fever, cough, or sneezing, stay home until you are feeling better and no longer contagious

Are there confirmed cases at NWHSU?

There are no known cases within the NWHSU community.

What should I do if I think I’ve been exposed?

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, if you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or someone that you suspect has the virus, these are the steps that you should take:

  • If the individual is someone in your household, distance yourself as much as possible from that individual
  • Self-quarantine for 14 days
  • If you develop symptoms, contact your healthcare provider

Whom should I notify if I’ve tested positive for COVID-19?

  • Students: Susan Neppl, Registrar, Registrar1@nwhealth.edu
  • Staff and Faculty: Mary Gale, Vice President of Human Resources

That will help us to monitor the situation on campus and determine what additional precautions need to be taken.

If someone on campus test positive for COVID-19, will NWHSU notify students or employees?

Yes, NWHSU will send out a timely notification if a student, faculty, staff member, or campus visitor tests positive for COVID-19.

What can I do if I feel anxious about the virus?

We know anxiety can arise in uncertain situations like this. The Coronavirus causes concern for the health of yourself, family members, friends, and others. If students need support, please contact the Student Affairs office for counseling resources; and any member of our community experiencing anxiety can connect directly to people who can help.

What is Northwestern Health Sciences University doing?

Our senior leadership team (SLT) and Preparedness and Response Team (PART) is meeting regularly to discuss the situation. We have scheduled regular PART Team meetings to ensure we continue to closely watch and evaluate this evolving situation. Those teams are prepared to meet as frequently as needed. We have spoken to the MN Department of Health and they are advising us. They have individuals who specialize in educational institution guidance in this situation, and we are relying on their evidence-based advise, which aligns well with NWHSU’s philosophy.

We have formed two additional teams:

1. Clinic and faculty members with expertise in clinical guidelines and microbiology. They are providing further insight and recommendations.
2. Program directors and faculty members are working quickly to transition to online and alternative curriculum options.

We are watching and evaluating the situation and have identified three levels of response and escalation.  These include:

  • Level 1  Caution
  • Level 2  Campus Action Required
  • Level 3  Statewide or University Action
We are currently at Level 3
Statewide or University Action

What Happens at Level 1 Caution?

1. We ask everyone to take simple everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses.  These preventive actions include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

2. Stay home if you are sick.

  • As with any illness, no one wants to work near someone who is ill with a fever, cough, or sneezing. Our PTO plan for PTO Faculty and Staff includes days to use when sick. Our Classroom Faculty have Sick Leave hours they may utilize. Stay home until you are feeling better and no longer contagious.
  • If you test positive for Influenza or the Coronavirus, alert Mary Gale in HR. That will help us to monitor the situation on campus and evaluate if additional precautions need to be taken, including raising to Level 2.

3. Campus precautions

  • Hand sanitizer dispensers are in each of the classrooms and in various locations throughout campus.
  • Disinfectant materials are being placed in conference rooms.  Feel free to wipe down conference room tables and chairs.

What Happens at Level 2 Campus Action Required?

1. Northwestern Health Sciences University may allow remote working options or provide other accommodations to minimize risk to others.

2. Talk to your supervisor if you feel you may have a compromised immune system or other medical vulnerabilities that put you at higher personal risk.  These situations will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

What Happens at Level 3 Statewide or University Action?

While the likelihood of this occurring is low, we want to be prepared. We will continue to monitor the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention on a regular basis.  Additionally, we will follow the guidance of the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE.)

If this situation were to occur, you will receive additional information from us.

Where can I find additional information?

Center for Disease Control & Prevention
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

Travel Restrictions
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

Minnesota Department of Health Website
www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools.html

Minnesota Department of Health Hotline
(651) 201-5414

NWHSU Bloomington Clinic At-Home Wellness Tips