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Travel update for students

Author: Kara Leiterman

Wednesday March 11, 2020

NWTC is continuing to take action to monitor the COVID-19 situation and to keep our employees and students safe while also ensuring continuity of learning for our students.  We want to update you on travel restrictions, resources available, and prevention tips. In addition to this email, we have created a  page on the NWTC website (COVID-19 Information and Resources) where all College updates will be shared.  The site can be found under Emergency Info on the NWTC website.
 
College Related Travel
Effective immediately, and until further notice, all college sponsored international travel for employees and students is prohibited.  In addition, all student travel and all employee travel not required to perform the essential functions of the job is prohibited. Please keep in mind that the COVID-19 situation is very dynamic, and these restrictions may need to be modified.
 
Employees who are not comfortable traveling for job specific reasons will not be required to do so.
 
Effective immediately, no new events should be planned or scheduled on campus that includes individuals traveling from outside Wisconsin.
 
Personal Travel
We encourage you to reconsider non-essential travel outside of Wisconsin. 
Should you decide to travel, be aware of the risks to your health. All individuals traveling over spring break are required to monitor (for fever, cough and difficulty breathing) for 14 days.
If you decide to travel, please ensure you have essential items you might need if you are not able to return immediately, such as medications or items related to your coursework or job duties.
Employees may also be eligible for travel assistance benefits through their Life and Disability Benefit.  Click here for more information on the Travel Assistance Benefit.
Medical Resources
If you’ve been to a country where the Coronavirus disease COVID-19 is prevalent and/or you are sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing, seek medical advice immediately. (Visit CDC.gov for a list of these countries.)
  • Benefit Eligible Employees, Spouses on NWTC Health Plan:  Call Campus Care at (920)498-6993 and tell them about your travel and your symptoms. They will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness.  This service is free to benefit eligible employees and students,
  • NWTC Health Plan Participants:  Contact Teledoc at 1-800-835-2362, visit www.teledoc.com or download the app.  Be sure to share your travel and symptoms with the provider.  They will evaluate your risk and assist with next steps as necessary.  This service costs $45/visit.
  • All Staff:  Contact your primary care provider by phone and explain your travel and/or symptoms.  They will direct you as appropriate.
 
Access to needed medication is important and you may want to consider refilling your medications as a precaution. CVS is temporarily waiving early refill limits on 30-day prescriptions for maintenance medications at any in-network pharmacy. Relaxing refill-too-soon limitations allows you to obtain maintenance medication prescriptions ahead of their normal fill schedule.  This also may be a good time for you to consider having your long-term maintenance medications delivered directly to your home through the 90-day mail service. 
 
CVS Pharmacy is also temporarily waiving charges for home delivery on all prescription medications to encourage people at higher risk for COVID-19 complications to stay home.
 
The outbreak of COVID-19 may be very overwhelming and create fear and anxiety.  You may find yourself struggling with:
  • Fear and worry about your own health or the health of a loved one
  • A change in your sleep or eating habits
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • An increase in the use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
 
If you are struggling with any of the above, we encourage you to contact ERC, Inc. at 403-7600 or review the information available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/coping.html
 
Prevention
Prevention is key when any virus is potentially present, including COVID-19. We ask that you take your own health, and that of others, under serious consideration during this epidemic. Consider these tips:
 
  • WASH YOUR HANDS VIGOROUSLY with soap and water – This is the best defense as it protects from germs you may have picked up throughout the day. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.   Additional hand sanitizer dispensers will be placed throughout the College the week of March 16.  While washing your hands is simple, you must wash long enough to make it affective. It may sound cliché but sing “Happy Birthday” twice to get the full 20 - 30 seconds that is required for optimal results. 
 
  • Avoid close contact with people that are sick.  Be aware of those in your environment who are sick and avoid them if possible.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.  Germs can be spread from your hands into your body via these areas.
  • Stay home when you are sick and do not go back to work until 24-hours after your temperature has returned to normal.  You and your work are important but keeping those around you healthy and taking care of yourself are also top priorities. Ask your supervisor about work from home options if appropriate. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue. Then, immediately throw the tissue into the trash. If you feel a sneeze coming on suddenly, sneeze into your sleeve to avoid spreading germs into the air and possibly infecting those around you.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. This may include doorknobs, surfaces of desks, cell phones, and elevator buttons.
 
As a preventive measure and until further notice, NWTC will be allowing employees to utilize sick days from their sick day balance for their own illness with symptoms consistent with coronavirus (COVID19) without the need to complete FMLA paperwork even for time off greater than five (5) days.  Employees may complete FMLA paperwork if they so choose.  Time off for this purpose will not count as an attendance incident.
 
As we learn more about the spread of COVID-19, please keep in mind the College’s commitment to equity and inclusion. The fear of the spread of the coronavirus could result in incidents of bias and harassment against Chinese nationals, Chinese Americans, and people of Asian heritage. The best way to interrupt stigma is to avoid spreading misinformation and to stay informed by reputable sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
 
 
 
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