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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind Editorial Sessions
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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

    Q & A Continued

    President Fritz Erickson 

    Coronavirus and influenza have been grouped together when talking about medical concerns. Why is this so and how does NMU approach the issue?

    This is not an either-or. You need to treat influenza just as seriously as coronavirus or any other communicable virus. Given people’s attention to coronavirus, if you come down with the flu, people are immediately going to need to go through the protocol to see if they have coronavirus. Usually, that means you need to self-isolate for 14 days. Get your flu shot, wash your hands, sneeze correctly.

    What is NMU’s protocol to prevent the outbreak if it is present in Michigan? What are the additional steps that could be taken?

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    We are working hard to make sure that all our university community, all our faculty, staff, and students are as safe as we possibly can. We really want to help avoid being part of a broader problem. If people get it, you need to do as much isolation as you can. We have extensive plans in place if there are a large number of cases, in case we need to quarantine. There are different ways to be able to do this. For some, going home may be the best option. For others, it may be the worst option. It may be better to isolate people here, and we have the capacity to be able to do that. 

    Where are those plans coming from?

    The executive committee. There are sub-plans in place, for example. Dining services has plans in place with “sick boxes” [lunch will be delivered to the sick student]. Housing has plans on how to handle it. Public Safety also has plans in place. It’s really a combination of multiple plans at this point. You also have to remember that this [situation] is so fluid that plans can change. Our plan today and our plan tomorrow could be different. It’s important that we are addressing this in a very serious way, but also in a very appropriate way. We don’t want to overreact, but it’s important to not under-react.

    Are you obligated to report information from the CDC and update students and faculty? 

    We have an ethical responsibility to keep people as well informed as we possibly can. If you’re going to address issues like this, people need to be aware. It’s easy for rumors [to spread]. We want to be as completely transparent as we can.

    Chief of Police Mike Bath

    There has been a lot of panic around the country with people stocking up hand sanitizer and masks. Have you noticed this happening in the U.P. and do you think people should stock up on anything?

    We have heard that there has been a run on sanitizers and certain cleaning supplies.  The recommendation from the Health departments and the CDC is to wash your hands regularly, cough/sneeze into your sleeve, stay home if you are sick.

    Any advice for people if they believe they are infected?

    Contact your medical provider if you are symptomatic and follow the directions of the doctor.  Also, the recommendations from the health community is that you self isolate if you are showing symptoms and limit close contact with others. The university will be getting expert advice from the local, state and federal levels. Keep watching official NMU communication channels such as your NMU email and the  NMU home page and social media sites and do what you are asked to do. Don’t believe rumors; follow the factual information.

    Chief Marketing Officer Derek Hall

    Who has to report to work Thursday and Friday? How about March 16th through April 3rd?

    It’s going to be a normal work day for employees. We wanted to give faculty a bit of a buffer time because this is such a big change. There’s a lot that goes into cancelling classes and events around campus. Traditional face to face classes are going to an online format in some way. It’s not only us, it’s universities around the country. 

    Have any plans been made regarding commencement?

    We understand that commencement is on the table when it comes to future decisions, and we would probably refer to health professionals and their recommendations. Again, all universities will be addressing that around the same time.

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