Updated March 16, 2020 at 3:15 pm
Nicolet College is doing its part to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Our first priority has been, and continues to be to provide a safe and healthy environment for working and learning. Oneida County announced its intent to rely on information from the WEDC, the WI Dept. of Health Services, Opening America Again, and the Centers for Disease Control. Nicolet has adopted a similar approach in out framework for reopening, with decisions informed by good science and sound medical advice.
If we all make good decisions and treat others with kindness and respect, we can mitigate risk and continue delivering superior educational programs and services to all with a desire to learn. Campus buildings have been locked and closed to the public since March 18. If local COVID-19 infection rates remain relatively low are we will begin re-opening buildings for student access some time before the start of fall term. In the meantime, face-to-face enrollment, financial aid, and other student support services can be arranged by appointment.
As has been the case throughout the pandemic, Nicolet College its full menu of flexible learning options and personalized student support services. Whatever your questions might be, we want to answer them. Please refer to our FAQ page, call 715.365.4493, or send an email anytime to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The economic impact of the pandemic on businesses and their employees is unprecedented. Unemployment is higher than at any time since the Great Depression of the 1930s. In response, Nicolet College and the Nicolet College Foundation are doing everything possible to provide financial and other assistance to students in need.
- If you are a student in serious financial need, apply for help here or call 715.365.4493
- If you are in a position to help, your gift couldn’t be more welcome or more impactful. Donations can be made online or by mail to: Nicolet College Foundation, P.O. Box 518, Rhinelander, WI 54501.
Links to reliable sources of global, U.S., and Wisconsin information can be found below. Thank you for staying informed, for working together to keep our friends and neighbors safe, and for your help in moving us forward with resolve, optimism, and kindness.
- Nicolet College’s COVID-19 Case "Dashboard" is here: https://www.nicoletcollege.edu/about/covid-19-updates/covid19-cases-campus. It allows the campus community to review current COVID-19 case statistics specific to Nicolet College. In addition, students and staff will find information on what to do if (1) you are instructed to self-quarantine or (2) receive a positive COVID-19 test.
- On July 30, due to “the uncontrolled spread of Covid-19 throughout the State of Wisconsin”, Governor Evers issued Executive Order #82 declaring a Public Health Emergency. Also on July 30, Governor Evers issued Emergency Order #1, “…requiring face coverings in certain situations” as of 12:01 am on Saturday August 1, 2020.
- Nicolet College’s policy with regard to face masks reflects the best medical advice from the Centers for Disease Control, the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, the American Hospital Association and others. It is in compliance with Governor Evers’ Executive Order #82 and Emergency Order #1. Specifically:
- Every individual, age five and older, in Wisconsin shall wear a face covering if both of the following apply:
- The individual is indoors or in an enclosed space, other than at a private residence; and
- Another person or persons who are not members of individual’s household or living unit are present in the same room or enclosed space. Face coverings are strongly recommended in all other settings, including outdoors when it is not possible to maintain physical distancing.
- Every individual, age five and older, in Wisconsin shall wear a face covering if both of the following apply:
Definitions of terms and exceptions to the requirement are listed Sections 1 and 3 of the Executive Order, respectively.
- On May 13, the Wisconsin Supreme Court invalidated the Governor’s Safer at Home Order. It is important to know that the Court objected to how the Order was implemented, not to its content. The ruling does not say that the public health risk posed by the virus has passed, or that we should now return to pre-COVID routines and activities.
- The Court ruling did nothing to change our knowledge of how the virus spreads, the transmission risk factors, or the best epidemiological advice on control. Pending further guidance from Madison, Nicolet will stay the course with a safety-first approach to re-opening. Decisions will be made based on the best information from CDC and/or other recognized authorities.
- In the wake of the Court’s decision the Oneida County Health Department issued a statement urging people to continue staying home as much as possible, go out only for essential needs, and practice physical/social distancing, good hand hygiene, and enhanced cleaning practices. The County and the CDC recommend the use of face coverings in public when physical/social distancing is difficult to maintain.
- Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19, or who have or believe they have had contact with an infected person within the previous 14 days, or who show COVID-19 symptoms, are expected to immediately self-isolate, inform their supervisor or the Office of Employee Relations (715-365-4917), contact a health care provider, and follow all instructions exactly.
- For many Nicolet College employees, the remote work arrangements that began on March 25 will continue. However, because Nicolet has made a variety of changes designed to mitigate risk, more employees will be able to spend more time at their work stations on campus. Supervisors will oversee work schedules to assure physical distancing can be maintained. As has been the case, on-campus work is permitted in order to:
(1) facilitate distance learning, or
(2) maintain minimum basic operations, including security and payroll, or
(3) perform other functions for which no comparable remote option is available.
- Employees who are unsure if their work falls under one of these exemptions should seek verification from their supervisor or a member of the Executive Leadership Team prior to coming on campus.
- Unless responding to an urgent need, essential on-campus work should be done from 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Employees doing that work must depart campus upon its completion.
- A fact sheet on how to work securely from home from SANS.org (a cybersecurity training company) can be viewed and downloaded here: https://security-awareness.sans.org/sites/default/files/2020-03/02-SSA-WorkingFromHome-FactSheet.pdf.
- Unlike most other colleges and universities that rushed into online instruction last March without much preparation, Nicolet College has made significant investments in recent years to create high quality online learning experiences. Our faculty know how to teach online and many students need the added flexibility, especially in these times of uncertainty. Accordingly, although on-campus instruction will increase as governed by health and safety considerations, most will continue in remote delivery modes.
- Students should monitor their College email for the latest information. Questions about classes or other services can be directed to instructors, success coaches or advisors. Also, College staff are available by phone 715.365.4493 and email email@example.com.
- All forms of College-sponsored travel, except that which is determined to be essential, is prohibited until further notice. Employees planning to travel using College resources and/or for College purposes must have those plans reviewed and approved in advance by a member of the Executive Leadership Team.
- Travelers may be subject to self-isolation prior to returning to the workplace. That determination will be made on a case by case basis according to the places visited and the situations encountered.
- All travelers must make a good faith effort to comply with social distancing requirements and good hand hygiene practices at all times. Nicolet College employees on official business must follow local regulations and restrictions, including the use of face coverings. The College strongly recommends the use of face coverings in all situations, including outdoors, when social distancing cannot be assured.
The College neither controls nor seeks to control what employees do on their own time. The sole purpose of this section is to assure, to the extent possible, a safe and healthy environment for all members of the Nicolet College community.
- Nicolet College expects all employees to comply with CDC travel recommendations.
- Nicolet College requests employees to review Wisconsin's Department of Health best practices for celebrating the upcoming holidays. If you are planning to travel for an upcoming holiday, see the CDC's information about holiday celebrations.
- Employees who plan to travel to other parts of Wisconsin, other states, or internationally on personal time should discuss their plans with their supervisor in advance. Supervisors may consult with the Risk Manager to determine whether self-isolation upon return is likely to be in order.
- Employees who travel out of state on personal time without informing their supervisor in advance should do so before returning to campus. Supervisors, in consultation with the Risk Manager, must make a determination as to whether a 14-day self-isolation is necessary prior to returning to work. Employees who present acceptable documentation of negative results on an approved COVID-19 test, and are not exhibiting symptoms often associated with COVID-19, may be exempt from self-isolation.
- Employees with cohabitants who have traveled, within or out of the state, should inform their supervisor before the cohabitants return to a shared residence. They should be prepared to complete a 14-day self-isolation or present acceptable documentation that the cohabitants have tested negative results on an approved COVID-19 test and are not exhibiting symptoms often related to COVID-19.
- Employees who fail to inform their supervisor or an Executive Leadership Team member of extended personal travel, either their own or that of a cohabitant, as outlined above will be asked to leave campus, self-isolate for 14 days, and may be subject to disciplinary action.
Remember that COVID-19 is transmitted primarily through exhaled droplets present in shared airspaces. Avoiding such shared airspaces is the most effective way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, especially when social distancing is difficult to maintain and masking is not universal.
EVENTS & GATHERINGS
- All Nicolet College public events, on campus and off, are cancelled or postponed until further notice. Exceptions may be made for events deemed essential.
COUNTY, STATE, NATIONAL, & GLOBAL INFORMATION
World Health Organization (WHO)
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
News, resources, and information from the CDC
Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS)
General information on COVID-19
Current information on the status of the outbreak in Wisconsin
UW-Madison Center for Health Enhancement System Studies
Information, support and resources organized in seven sections: Resource Center, Covid-19 Fact Checker, Calming, Coping, All About Covid-19, Prevent and Protect, and Discussion Rooms. Mobile apps for Android and IOS to be out soon. https://covid.chess.wisc.edu/#/home
Oneida County Health Department
Places in Oneida County linked to a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case in the last 14 days.
Nicolet College COVID-19 FAQs
Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce
Vilas County Public Health Services
Lac du Flambeau Tribe Community Update
Forest County Potawatomi Community
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMSHA) National Helpline 1-800-662-HELP
SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service available in English and Spanish.
NORTHWOODS BUSINESS RESOURCES
The GRID at Nicolet College
Vilas County Economic Development Corp.
LINKS TO NICOLET COLLEGE COVID19 UPDATES