In collaboration with NMU, Marquette County Health Department identified two new potential COVID exposure sites on NMU’s campus. This information was sent out in a campus-wide email around 12:30 p.m. Sunday.
Firstly, the Barnes and Noble NMU BookStore has become a potential exposure site. Students may need to self-isolate if they were present during the following date and time periods.
August 12 before 4:00 p.m., August 13 between the hours of 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., and August 14 any time before 3:00 p.m.
Secondly, the NMU Golf Course is also being listed as a potential exposure site. Below are the hours and dates people may have been in attendance should check.
Aug. 6 after 2:00 p.m., Aug. 7 before 3:00 p.m., and Aug. 9 between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
If a person has come into contact with others at these places during the specified times, they may need to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms. The CDC has provided the following guidelines for what counts as “close contact”.
“You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more”“You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19”“You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)”“You shared eating or drinking utensils”“They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you”
The CDC also recommends these individuals stay home for 14 days to monitor for a fever of 100.4, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms. They also recommend staying away from others is crucial if an individual believes they may have come in contact with the virus.
As of Sunday, Aug.16, Northern currently reports 22 positive cases of the 4,418 returned results. This is a three-person increase since yesterday, but still, only .5% of results are coming back positive. Of these positive results, three are NMU employees, eight are off-campus, and 13 are on campus.
Temaki/Smoothie King will also temporarily close as an employee tested positive. This closure goes into effect until Aug. 31 to ensure the successful quarantine of workers and thorough deep cleaning, according to the campus email. Erickson also included that Starbucks will remain open and continue business as usual, but Fieras will remain closed throughout the semester. Northern Lights Dining, as well as the Wildcat Den, will continue as takeout only services until Aug. 24.
Update: Monday, August 17.
The MCHD reached out to provide more context to this situation, as well as the postponement of in-person classes.
“We brought up our concerns that we had reached a point where we are still behind on receiving test results,” said MCHD Medical Director Dr. Kevin Piggott. “Classes were to be started on that Monday, and because we didn’t have all the test results back, we were still concerned.”
The MCHD and Northern’s Logistics team have met every day since the beginning of testing to evaluate results collaboratively.
“We’re bringing students in from multiple different areas. The hopes are … when a person is identified as positive, they can be contained and therefore not being transmitted,” added Piggott. “We are also hoping that the students are still going to be distancing, not congregating, [and] that they are wearing masks, following essentially all the hygiene protocols.”
Piggott explained the ‘exposure’ situation. “The term we actually prefer is ‘close contact’. Exposure can be someone who was exposed to the virus, but we know that the likelihood of someone becoming infected is related to two main things. That has to do with the amount of the virus you are exposed to and the duration of time at which you were exposed,” explained Piggott.
“Close contact is within 6-feet for a duration of 15 minutes or greater. There’s nothing magic about 15 minutes. If somebody has a very high viral load you may actually get the significant exposure of which you might become infected in a shorter period of time,” concluded Piggot. He added that the MCHD follows CDC definitions for ‘close contact’.