Alert: NUNM is continually monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information from NUNM

September 2, 2020

To see the latest PPE and Covid-19 test tracker numbers, visit this page.

Operations

All offices are operational, however, most personnel are still working remotely. Students needing to conduct business in person must make an appointment with the office providing the service. Access to offices and buildings is limited to keycard access only during the following days and hours:

Academic Building

  • Monday – Thursday: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Friday: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Schleich Administration Building

  • Monday – Friday: 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Lair Hill Health Center
Patients can make an appointment by contacting NUNM Health Centers – Lair Hill at 503.552.1551.

When coming to campus the following requirements must be met:

  • Face masks are required while on campus in public spaces, including hallways, kitchens, lounges and classrooms.
  • You must wear your NUNM ID at all times while on campus. Lanyards and ID holders are available at the security office.
  • NUNM will require all employees and students experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (CDC guidance) to leave campus, promptly seek testing, and report results to either the Dean of Students or the VP of Human Resources. Any positive results will be shared with the Chief Medical Officer, who will work with public county officials for contact tracing. A community notification will be if there has been a positive result on campus.  

Contact your supervisor or security if you have questions.

COVID-19 NUNM Return to Campus Plan

Fall term begins September 14, 2020.

NUNM’s full reopening plan is available at https://my.nunm.edu/reopening/

NUNM is opening fall 2020 with some in-person classes offered on campus. Students can check their schedule through SONIS to see if their courses will be help in a hybrid format, online, or on-campus. This decision was made by the academic leadership team in conjunction with ongoing guidance from the CDC, Oregon Health Authority, (OHA) State of Oregon, and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission for Oregon Department of Education (HECC). NUNM is located in Multnomah County, which remains in Phase I as of August 21, 2020. Some employees will continue to work remotely or on campus part-time, depending on the approval of their manager. 

NUNM will re-evaluate the reopening and ongoing operations plan on a regular basis as guidance evolves and to maintain consistency with federal (OSHA, CDC, etc.), state-level (OHA) and local guidance.

In order to open with some in-person classes, the university carefully considered how to accommodate the health needs of our students, faculty and staff—especially those who are at increased risk for the COVID-19 virus. This guide outlines necessary procedures to ensure our safe return to campus. It was developed in a collaboration between the academic leadership, clinical operations, facilities and safety, student life and others. It also adheres to the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control, Oregon Health Authority, State of Oregon, and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. Our goal is to continue providing our students with an excellent education, while mitigating the potential for transmission of COVID-19. Each of us at NUNM is integral to this plan’s success.

The guide will continue to be revised as information and understanding of COVID-19 evolves and we make decisions regarding the 2020-2021 academic year. In accordance with EEOC guidance, NUNM has appointed one position to spearhead the NUNM Return to Campus Plan –the Chief Academic Officer (Cheryl Miller), as well as one position for compliance to the NUNM Return to Campus Plan – Director of Security (Spencer Brazes). For the purposes of this plan, employees and students will follow the same guidelines.

Continuing Education

Courses and webinars remain available. Learn more at https://career-alumni.nunm.edu/continuing-education/

Helfgott Research Institute

Most research operations are canceled or postponed through summer term.

Patients

In accordance with state guidelines, NUNM Health Centers are seeing patients on a limited basis for select conditions, but will continue offering both telephone and video visits with our naturopathic physicians and acupuncture providers to support your access to care. We encourage all patients to call our scheduling team at 503.552.1551 if you have questions about what type of visit is right for you. We will continue to monitor and update our protocols per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA).   

Employees

If you are ill, please stay home. Communicate with your supervisor. Supervisors are working with the I.T. team to continue offering employees flexibility to work remotely as necessary.

If you are experiencing feelings of heightened anxiety about COVID-19 and would like to speak with someone, call the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 800.433.2320 or text 503.850.7721, or log onto www.cascadecenters.com to schedule an appointment.

Additional Precautions to Discourage the Spread of COVID-19 While on Campus  

  • Buildings will remain locked, and entry will be by ID keycard access only. At this time, campus spaces and buildings are not open to the general public (excludes the NUNM Lair Hill Health Center). 
  • Follow directional signage and maintain six-foot distancing as much as possible.  
  • No more than one person may enter an elevator at a time, so please use the stairs whenever possible. If you are using the elevator, wear your mask or face covering and avoid touching the elevator buttons with your exposed hand/fingers, if possible.
  • Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol upon departing the elevator. 
  • Each department is to assess open work environments and institute measures to physically separate and increase distances between employees and other coworkers, students, and other students and/or faculty. 
  • Restroom usage should ensure that physical distancing is achieved. 
  • Staggered schedules and phasing in employees returning to work and school will allow for employees and students to better adhere to strict social distancing requirements. More information will be released soon regarding when and how employees will return to campus.  

NUNM continues to update protocols based on executive orders from Governor Kate Brown’s office and guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control, Oregon Health Authority, State of Oregon, and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission for Oregon Department of Education

The most important thing to do during this time is to take your own precautions to keep yourself and your community healthy. Federal, state and county health officials are stressing the importance of hygiene and common-sense measures to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, such as:

  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, throw used tissues in the trash, and wash your hands
  • Avoid close contact – practice social distancing
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
  • Avoid nonessential travel

No Tolerance for Discrimination

Please be mindful not to make any assumptions or comments about others’ perceived symptoms (a cough or fever is not uniquely associated with COVID-19) or based on someone’s national origin, race, color or any other identities. Asking questions about someone’s health based on your perception of their race or national origin could be considered discriminatory. If someone you know experiences a bias incident or discrimination, contact the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

Students and Employees

Please take the steps to ensure that you can access all NUNM communication channels remotely. My.NUNM.edu gives you direct links to SONIS, Office 365 (your email) and Moodle. To access your NUNM email inbox directly, visit this link.

All faculty, staff and students are registered to receive emergency notifications through their NUNM email address.

Resources

Local and State Information Resources

National and International Resource Information

Archived Updates

March 20, 2020

Dear NUNM Community-

As of today, there have been 88 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 3 deaths as a result of the virus in Oregon. The Oregon State Public Health Laboratory has confirmed that 1329 tests have been negative and they have 437 tests pending. At this time, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on campus or at our health centers. If this changes, we will notify you in a way that protects the privacy of individuals as required of us by HIPAA and FERPA guidelines.

The dynamic situation we are living in with COVID-19 and the measures taken locally to flatten the curve leave many feeling uncertain and sometimes afraid. If you find yourself feeling this way, remember you have the Employee Assistance Program available to you. Reach out to Cascade Centers at 800.433.2320 or text 503.850.7721 or log onto their website to schedule an appointment. Students, call the NUNM Counseling Center at 503.552.1780 or schedule an appointment using the online request form. Phone and telemedicine visits are available.

At NUNM, many people and teams have been working to make fundamental changes to our operations—and they are doing so with speed.

I have encouraged employees to work remotely, if possible, while understanding that there are essential functions that need to be carried out on campus. Our work culture has been grounded in the face-to-face, not the virtual. Transitioning to remote work and instruction has been bumpy for some of you. The need for access to VPN, different hardware, and rapid use of the Office 365 suite of apps with little training underscores this as does faculty and student’s need for instructional design and online student success support. Responding to COVID-19 didn’t give us much time to plan and execute remote instruction and work. Thank you for your generosity of spirit and flexibility during this stressful time. Thank you most especially to the teams that have been working diligently to get things up and running for us all.

For those employees now using VPN, please remember that you should only use VPN if you need to connect to the NUNM file server or need access to applications that are only accessible from you NUNM workstation. Web services like Moodle, Sonis, and accessing email (https://outlook.com/nunm.edu) don’t require VPN access and employees should avoid using VPN for those services. NUNM’s VPN access should be used solely for NUNM business and/or academic support purposes. For VPN users planning to remote in to their NUNM workstation computers, please remember that your NUNM workstation needs to be powered on for the remote desktop connection to work. Lastly, be sure to disconnect from the VPN when you have finished your work session.

Because remote work is new to many offices of the university, there really hasn’t been guidance about how to work remotely. The leadership team has drafted a telecommuting policy to guide you. Please see the guidelines attached to this email for clarification and reach out to your supervisor should you have any questions.

For faculty and students, the Instructional Design team has created a number of short video tutorials to help you transition to the online platform. We plan to hire additional instructional design help to assist you during this transition. Students, I am especially keen to support your success. I have asked the provost, Dr. Smith, and the dean of students, Rachael Allen, to create student success teams to help you as you transition to online learning. More to come on these details. For now, focus on your final exams and try to relax over break.

Clinical students, I understand that you may be feeling frustrated and angry that clinical rotations have been canceled. Because of this, I want to take the time to describe the decision-making process with you.

The decision to cancel clinical rotations was a collective one made with university and clinical leadership. We weighed the information we had at hand and as we processed the trends we were seeing related to COVID-19’s incidence, morbidity, and mortality. We received information and guidance from a number of sources.

We are part of the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) and they are in close communication with the Governor’s office. Through this and our affiliation with the Oregon Alliance of Independent Universities and Colleges, we are able to see what local colleges and universities are doing in response to COVID-19.

We had been considering the option to close clinical rotations temporarily and had been hearing from some students that they were nervous about being on shift. OHSU made their announcement to cancel clinical rotations last Saturday around noon. I learned of it and was in communication with the CMOs and clinical leadership team that afternoon, and after hearing their recommendation, I had the President’s Cabinet on a conference call that evening.  We followed up with a working group call Sunday morning where deans, associate deans, CMOs, clinical ops, Dr. Smith, and I met to work out how we might take this step with as little disruption as possible. It was a long weekend and not one of us took this decision lightly.

We feel the weight of our responsibility for you, our students, and for our patients. Part of that responsibility is to protect you in the face of the pandemic, another is to provide you with clinical education. These are at odds right now. 

The clinical deans and CMO team have been working on ways to provide you with relevant clinical training opportunities, especially for those of you closest to graduation. The College Deans have been in communication with our programmatic accreditors and I expect flexibility from them. We are not the only university of health sciences who is facing this challenge. I have personally been in touch with the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities about this and they are offering their support by communicating with relevant federal agencies on our behalf. I have also been in touch with OSU/OHSU about virtual simulation exercises that they are developing for their students to address this same challenge. We are not alone.

Even in your absence, your supervising physicians are attending to patients’ needs. The clinical operations team and CMO team have been doing some heavy lifting to transition appointments to phone or telemedicine visits or to reschedule patients who are coming in for non-essential visits. We are doing this in an effort to see patients at Lair Hill for only essential visits. This is consistent with current practices at outpatient clinics across the area. The Lab has some rapid flu tests and COVID-19 tests that are being administered in full PPE in the parking lot. Medicinary staff has been operating with machine-like efficiency pumping out medicinary orders that are either mailed to patients or delivered to them in the parking lot. Don’t forget our medicinary for supplements you may want to have on hand.  While no in-person drop ins or pick-ups are available, you may place an order by calling 503.552.1999.

On Wednesday, the Governor released a new executive order for colleges and universities. This executive order stated that colleges and universities are to remain operational and that they are to limit on-campus operations only to essential functions and when on campus, people are expected to employ social distancing. These are practices I communicated to you on Sunday afternoon and that we have been practicing this week.

The Governor’s executive order also stated that colleges and universities are prohibited from holding in-person classes until April 28 and may maintain academic continuity for students by employing remote and online learning. While the Governor’s executive order grants an exception for universities like us who have clinical training programs, I expect that we will not begin on-site/in-person clinical training until April 28 at the earliest.

A reminder to everyone to practice social distancing while on campus. Be generous with those 6 feet between yourself and others. Social distancing and hand hygiene are two of our most powerful practices to flatten the curve.

And, finally, remember that we do not tolerate discrimination. Be mindful not to make any assumptions or comments about others’ perceived symptoms (a cough or fever is not uniquely associated with COVID-19) or based on someone’s national origin, race, color or any other identities. Asking questions about someone’s health based on your perception of their race or national origin could be considered discriminatory. If someone you know experiences a bias incident or discrimination, contact the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

I will continue to offer you updates and encouragement periodically. Watch for additional communications specific to your area from your supervisor, dean, or CMO team.

Be well & stay healthy,

Christine L. Girard, ND, MPH
President/CEO

March 12, 2020

Dear NUNM Community-

As you know, NUNM leadership is monitoring the rapidly changing situation―and the rapidly changing guidance―related to coronavirus. We are in regular communication with Oregon Health Authority, Higher Education Coordinating Commission, Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges & Universities, our accreditors, and our professional organizations.

I want to share with you actions taken this week, plans for the end of winter term, and plans for spring term.

First and foremost, the campus and all services remain fully operational.

Campus Offices

All campus offices remain open and all operations continue without interruption. Employees who are ill should stay home. Department managers are conducting an audit of essential functions and are updating plans to effectively respond to a number of possible scenarios during this public health emergency.

Health Centers

The Lair Hill Health Center remains open and all student shifts continue as scheduled.

The community clinics, largely, remain open with student shifts continuing as scheduled. The Knoll community clinic has been moved to the Lair Hill Health Center and patients at the Knoll have been rescheduled. There are a small handful of sites where students see high-risk populations and where we have minimal control over who schedules/walks in. For these sites, the clinic leadership team is working with the sites on options and protocols. In future weeks, there may be other sites that are moved back to Lair Hill. We’ll update students and providers on shift changes in the event this occurs. Additionally, we are building capacity and encouraging telemedicine visits.

Off-Site Residencies and Preceptorships

All offsite residencies and preceptorships will remain open unless the outside entity closes or we deem the experience is too high risk. The Associate Deans are putting plans in place in the event of such an occurrence.

Research Institute

The Helfgott Research Institute remains open and all research activities continue as scheduled.

Events

The Integrated Mental Health conference that was scheduled to take place on campus the weekend of March 20-21 has been canceled.

Academics – Winter Term

NUNM will be completing the Winter Term in the following manner:

1.   Week 10 will complete as scheduled including OSCE’s and other scheduled academic events/courses on Friday March 13.

2.   Week 11 all lab finals, undergraduate finals, and graduate school finals will proceed as scheduled on campus. Where possible remaining didactic courses will move online for the final instructional week. The professor will communicate with their class regarding where the class will meet (on-ground or online).

3.   Week 12 all ND and CCM remaining finals will take place online. Lab finals will be the exception to this rule—they will be held on campus as scheduled.

Faculty is working diligently to offer remote instruction and assessment as quickly as possible.

Academics – Spring Term

Spring term will begin with all didactic classes online in the Moodle environment. The academic leadership team is working on a best practice approach for lab and experiential courses.

Cleaning

The campus has increased cleaning protocols. In addition to regular cleaning schedules, we have a sanitization unit coming every week to do a special cleaning regiment of the clinic and the main academic building, including student spaces (kitchen, family rooms, remote rooms, student lounge, study space etc.). At Helfgott, the classroom and kitchen are cleaned nightly. Many administrative offices have taken to wiping down high touch areas on a daily and sometimes hourly bases. In student life, office of academic success, the counseling center and career services, staff are wiping down the spaces multiple times a day and have placed extra cleaning supplies in the student family rooms, testing center and remote viewing rooms.

For personal safety, you may wish to bring a package of disinfecting wipes to wipe off the desk and chair you use in classes during the periods between cleanings. This is optional and something to consider if you are feeling uneasy.

The hand sanitizer dispensers located in the hallways around campus are being checked and filled more often and are there for you to use as needed. Please continue to practice hand hygiene and social distancing.

What to do if you are sick and how to decide when you come back to campus

  1. If you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 – symptoms can include fever, cough, or shortness of breath:
    1. You should stay in isolation at home and not come to school or clinic. Please CALL your medical provider to talk through your options. You must stay away from campus/clinic for SEVEN (7) days OR until you have been fever free and symptom free, without the aid of medications, for a period of 72 hours whichever is longer.
  • If you were potentially exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19 OR COVID-19 like symptoms:
    • Potential exposure means that you have a member of your household with symptoms or you have been within 6 feet for longer than 10 minutes to someone who has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (cough, fever and/or shortness of breath). You must stay away from campus/clinic for FOURTEEN (14) days. If you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19, then you begin following the procedure above (7 days/72 hours). The reason this category is longer than the others is due to potential incubation periods before symptoms begin.
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) and have NOT been around anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19:
    • You should stay in isolation at home and not come to school or clinic. You must stay away from campus/clinic until you have been symptom-free and fever-free, without the aid of medications, for a period of 72 hours.

The above health information is a distillation of a longer set of recommendations from Multnomah County Health Department and King County Public Health.

Counseling Services
If you are experiencing heightened feelings of anxiety about COVID-19 and would like to access counseling services, there are resources available. If you are a student, please call the NUNM Counseling Center at 503.552.1780 or schedule an appointment using the online request form. In addition to in-person visits, phone and telehealth visits are available. If you are an employee, call the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 800.433.2320 or text 503.850.7721 or log onto www.cascadecenters.com to schedule an appointment.

No Tolerance for Discrimination
Please be mindful not to make any assumptions or comments about others’ perceived symptoms (a cough or fever is not uniquely associated with COVID-19) or based on someone’s national origin, race, color or any other identities. Asking questions about someone’s health based on your perception of their race or national origin could be considered discriminatory. If you someone you know experiences a bias incident or discrimination, contact the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

Communications 
We will continue to keep the campus community informed as developments change. We have set up a webpage that is updated in real time and has links to state, county, and public health organizations.

Thank you for being a valued and vibrant part of our community. Your participation makes us all the more resilient.

Take gentle care,

Christine L. Girard, ND, MPH
President/CEO

March 8, 2020

Dear NUNM Community-

As many of you have likely heard, Gov. Kate Brown announced a state of emergency this morning on account of the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 doubling from 7 to 14 in Oregon.

NUNM remains fully operational with classes and clinic shifts being held as usual.

I know you have heard from various members of the NUNM leadership team over the last number of weeks, and you will continue to receive further communications from me, the provost, the deans, the CMO team, and department managers.

At this time, we continue to monitor COVID-19 incidence and mortality.

We have protocols in place for our clinicians at the Lair Hill Health Center and the Community Clinics. We have been routing incoming patients with fever and respiratory symptoms to the patient’s nearest emergency department, phone, or telemedicine visits depending on the severity of symptoms. It is important that we have the ability to isolate patients with fever and respiratory symptoms from those that are at higher risk such as pregnant and elderly patients. We have mixed ability to do this in the community clinic setting. Therefore, we are closely monitoring patients with fever and respiratory symptoms. We ask providers and schedulers to review patient schedules and reach out to anyone with potential symptoms to convert those appointments to telephone visits, telemedicine visits, or to reschedule them. You will hear from the CMO team in the event of any modification to clinic schedules.

We also have plans in place to minimize academic disruption by utilizing Moodle to support remote instruction and assessment. We expect there to be ongoing updates and changes to our planning. We know that our sister school Bastyr has suspended face-to-face classes, but not clinic shifts, on their Kenmore campus. Their San Diego campus is unaffected at this time.

I am pleased to report that our accreditors have communicated to us that they understand the need for flexibility in these times and we are confident that we will be able to support students, especially those closest to graduation, in achieving their clinical requirements for graduation.

I understand that you have many questions about what the upcoming weeks will hold. For those who are in the clinical setting, you have likely seen the emails from our CMO team, and you can expect further updates in the next 48 hours as guidance from OHA, Multnomah County, and HECC continues to shift. At this time OHA is advising against school and university closure.

A web page devoted to information related to COVID-19 is in the works. This page will allow us to communicate more broadly and in real time. Leadership is monitoring COVID-19 activity not only in OR, but regionally, nationally, and globally. We shall continue to do everything we can to keep you informed and up to date. 

Please reach out should you have questions,

Christine L. Girard, ND, MPH
President/CEO

March 5, 2020

Dear NUNM Community-

NUNM leadership continues to monitor the dynamic events related to coronavirus, aka COVID-19, both internationally and here in Oregon. There is currently no need for us to cancel classes or other events on campus. We are taking measures to ensure the health and safety of our community and to minimize disruptions to student learning and to support those who may become ill so that they can stay home and recover. Our executive leadership team and the crisis response teams are actively engaged in preparing for the potential event of illness, quarantine, and/or closure.

While there have been many communications across campus recently, these have been to individual groups, such as the health center operations team, the clinicians, and the faculty and students. In an effort to broaden our communications, I thought I’d update you with an overview of our activities that are intended to keep us safe and healthy.

Travel
Effective Monday, I suspended official travel for all faculty, students and staff to South Korea, Italy and Iran, in addition to the existing ban on travel to mainland China. These measures follow the latest health and safety recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Academic Continuity 
Dr. Smith has met with the associate provost, academic deans, dean of students, and instructional design team. They are working with Faculty to reduce academic disruptions. Faculty are expected to keep their Moodle gradebooks up to date, place all key course documents on Moodle, arrange for lecture capture of courses,  consider alternative testing options as we head toward the end of the term and finals, adjust course attendance policies as necessary, and make contingency plans for how courses can keep running if a professor is too ill to teach.

Health Centers

The Lair Hill Health Center remains open and all student shifts continue as scheduled. The community clinics, largely, remain open with student shifts continuing as scheduled

The CMO team, Drs. Nagelkirk and Henriksen, continues to work closely with the clinical operations team to maintain best practices for small health centers as communicated to us by the Oregon Health Authority, Multnomah County Health Department, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Operational Continuity

All department managers are expected to evaluate their department’s critical functions and assess which of those can be performed remotely. They are also ensuring that more than one person is cross-trained on those critical tasks.

Campus Community
With no vaccine or specific medicine to prevent or treat COVID-19, federal, state and county health officials are stressing the importance of hygiene and common-sense measures to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses including coronavirus COVID-19. I know you’ve heard it all before and it is worth repeating: wash your hands often, avoid close contact with people who are sick, cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then discard it, clean and disinfect commonly used surfaces frequently, and stay at home when you are sick. I also encourage you to find a way other than handshakes and hugs to greet one another. Fist bumps, elbow taps, and foot grazes are creative ways to greet one another while maintaining some physical distance.

Here’s a comprehensive prevention and treatment resource from the CDC.

I expect supervisors to be flexible when employees are sick and need to stay home. Faculty should also be flexible with their students who need to stay home in the event of illness. Faculty with questions should contact their dean or the provost. Students should communicate with their faculty members and the dean of students.

If you are experiencing heightened feelings of anxiety about COVID-19 and would like to access counseling services, there are resources available. If you are a student, please call the NUNM Counseling Center at 503.552.1780 or log on to the Student Services site to schedule an appointment. If you are an employee, call the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)  at 800.433.2320 or text 503.850.7721 or log on to Cascade Centers to schedule an appointment.

No Tolerance for Discrimination
Please be mindful not to make any assumptions or comments about others’ perceived symptoms (a cough or fever is not uniquely associated with COVID-19) or based on someone’s national origin, race, color or any other identities. Asking questions about someone’s health based on your perception of their race or national origin could be considered discriminatory. If you someone you know experiences a bias incident or discrimination, contact the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

Communications 
We will continue to keep the campus community informed as developments change. We have set up a Moodle site to serve as an information hub. It will include updates, frequently asked questions, and other relevant links.

Please visit the CDC website, which is updated daily, for the latest information.

Here are other resources you might like to visit for more information:

As always, reach out if you have additional questions or concerns.

Take gentle care,
Christine L. Girard, ND, MPH
President/CEO

February 6, 2020

Dear NUNM Faculty, Staff, & Students-

I understand that members of our community are worried about the 2019-nCoV and how it may impact us. Your health and wellbeing are our top priority. Our goal is to keep you informed and to provide a safe campus environment for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

Please read this helpful information about flu and 2019-nCoV that includes a FAQ

Information about this year’s influenza (flu) season seems to be buried under the national – and global -headlines about the Corona virus (2019-nCoV). Rest assured, NUNM leadership has been monitoring the progression of both the flu and the 2019-nCoV locally and globally.

As of today, twelve cases of 2019-nCoV have been confirmed in the U.S. by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All of the current US cases were in people who had recently traveled to Wuhan, China with the exception of one partner of an individual who traveled.

Influenza activity is widespread across the US. The CDC estimates that there have been upwards of 19M flu illness (flu and flu-like illness), 180,000 hospitalizations, and 10,000 deaths from flu since September 2019. Of the 19M flu illnesses, the CDC has confirmed over 100,000 cases of influenza A or B across the nation. Over 1,000 of these cases have occurred in OR. Nationally, there is nearly a 50:50 split between incidences of flu A and flu B. In Oregon, approximately 56% of confirmed cases are positive for flu B. The symptoms of flu A, flu B, and 2019n-CoV are indistinguishable.

If you are ill with a respiratory illness, please stay home. I have asked department managers, deans, and faculty to encourage everyone who is ill to stay home in order to rest and recuperate – and – to decrease the spread of illness across campus.

Our CMOs, Drs. Nagelkirk and Henriksen, and Health Center leadership are actively engaged with the CDC and local public health authorities. They are watching for updated information related to both Flu and 2019-nCoV, and for any changes in the protocols to screen, identify and diagnose potential cases of 2019-nCoV. If any cases occur, NUNM will collaborate with the CDC and the Oregon Health Authority to prevent, isolate, and control the spread of infection.

All clinicians, clinical staff, and clinical students have received and will continue to receive regular updates from the CMO team regarding procedures and protocols, particularly around 2019-nCoV. Most recently, in addition to NUNM’s screening questions, OCHIN has put an “alert and stop” within the scheduling system.

Although the virus continues to spread throughout the world, nothing has changed regarding our plans/protocols at this time. The CMO team will notify everyone immediately if there are any changes. Appropriate PPE have been purchased and are being distributed to all clinical sites and clinic leadership has been in communication with each clinic site regarding our screening and exposure protocols. 

Please reach out if you have additional questions or concerns.

Stay Healthy,
Christine L. Girard, ND, MPH
President/CEO