Officials at Northwest Mississippi Community College are actively monitoring the outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). This page contains resources and communications designed to raise awareness of prevention and preparedness efforts at Northwest.
While the consensus among government agencies is that the general risk of exposure to COVID-19 is currently low in the United States, the College is actively planning for a range of potential near- and long-term impacts, with particular focus on the health and well-being of the college community, as well as on the continuation of college operations.
The college administration has assembled a diverse team from across the institution to identify and plan for a range of scenarios and potential near- and longer-term impacts. This task force meets on a regular basis to share information, plan strategies, and discuss the possible impacts this epidemic could have on the college community. In addition, college administration is in ongoing contact with the Mississippi Department of Health regarding current conditions in the state, suggested protocol and guidelines regarding health and safety of our students and staff. The College is also following interim guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding colleges and universities. Contingency plans are currently being made regarding the health and safety of residence hall students and options to continue or make-up coursework should the College experience a short-term closure. The need for any changes will be evaluated on a daily basis.
Health and Cleanliness on Campus
As the health and safety of our campus community is our highest priority, the College is taking additional steps in coordination with public health agencies.
Hand sanitizer stations are already located in public spaces throughout our campuses. Non-functioning machines should be reported to Physical Plant. Signage has been posted reminding people to wash their hands and practice good hygiene. The College also is increasing the frequency of services to clean and disinfect high-use areas. Disinfectant wipes (as soon as they can be obtained) will be made available to clean common-use items such as public computers. Disinfectant wipes will be made available to students living in apartment-style residence halls upon request to improve quality of cleaning in common areas, particularly bathrooms and kitchens.
What is the Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
COVID-19 is a new respiratory virus that causes a flu-like illness. Like the flu virus, it is thought to be spread person-to-person by close contact (within 6 feet) and by coughing or sneezing. Other possible routes of transmission, such as touching surfaces contaminated by the virus, are also being investigated.
Like the flu, COVID-19 can cause illness that ranges from mild to severe, with symptoms of fever, coughing, fatigue and difficulty breathing.
Information Source: Mississippi Department of Health (2020). Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/14,0,420.html
What are symptoms of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.*
Shortness of breath
Call your doctor if you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.
Information Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html
There is currently no vaccine to prevent Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
Mississippi State Department of Health Coronavirus Summary:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Summary:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Fact Sheets: