COVID infections continue to pose a health issue to all members of our college community and region. As a result, NCC is strongly recommending individuals (faculty, staff, students, visitors) voluntarily wear face masks indoors in all NCC buildings. Based on current conditions and the number of reported COVID cases in our counties, masks are recommended indoors to help keep everyone on our campuses safe. Keep in mind that even though we have adopted a mask optional approach, faculty members may, at their discretion, request students to wear masks in their classrooms and in related office areas where they may engage in discussions.
When alerted, the NCC Health Center staff will investigate potential COVID cases individually and determine the level of risk of exposure that occurred when the individual was on campus. COVID-19 test results and an individuals’ health status are considered Protected Personal Information and will be handled confidentially.
Health Center staff members are qualified to handle confidential health information and are also trained in contact tracing to be able to counsel our faculty, staff and students to maintain the highest levels of safety.
If you have any questions regarding COVID-19, contact COVID19@northampton.edu.
NCC COVID 19 Dashboard
- To monitor COVID infections at NCC, visit the college’s COVID 19 Dashboard.
*Masking protocols at NCC are subject to change depending on infection rates and CDC recommendations to protect the health and safety of our campus community. Allied health programs are required to follow their clinical agency health requirements.
What to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are exposed to COVID-19*
1. If you are symptomatic please contact the Health Center at 610-861-5365, firstname.lastname@example.org, and stay home.
2. If you are living in a residence hall and become symptomatic or test positive for COVID, contact the Health Center and your Residence Hall director.
3. If you develop symptoms, isolate immediately, test as soon as possible and contact the Health Center with your results before returning to campus.
4. If your test results are positive, contact the Health Center ASAP and isolate immediately. Do not come to campus.
5. If both tests are negative, you are no longer required to isolate, but you must wear a mask through day 10. Please contact the Health Center before returning to campus. If the tests are positive, you will need to isolate through day 10. No additional testing is required to return to campus after day 10.
6. Residence hall students may test in the NCC Health Center. If you are sent home due to infection, complete two home tests 24 hours apart on Days 5 and 6.
7. Masks continue to be highly recommended but are optional. If our region moves to a CDC “high community level,” masking may be required on campus.
How to count days since exposure/infection
Consistent with CDC guidelines, begin counting days starting with Day 0 (first day of symptoms or exposure) and continue through Day 5. You can test to see if you are positive beginning on Day 1. If you are symptomatic, you can test to see if you are positive beginning on day 1. Otherwise, you should wait until day 5 to test.
If you test positive, on Day 5 and Day 6, 24 hours apart, complete home tests to see if you are still positive (or just Day 6 if you are taking a PCR test).
*Based on updated COVID guidance from CDC and NCC recommendations.
To receive eight free at home COVID-19 tests from the federal government, visit https://www.covid.gov/tests. Insurance companies now also cover at-home COVID tests under the pharmacy benefit, provided you go to the pharmacy and request that the cost for the tests are run through your insurance coverage.
Isolation and Precaution Recommendations for COVID-19
If you have been exposed to COVID-19, or have COVID-19, you can spread the virus to others. There are precautions you should take to prevent spreading it to others: isolation, masking, and avoiding contact with people who are at high risk of getting very sick.
Isolation is used to separate people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 from those without COVID-19.
These recommendations do not change based on COVID-19 Community Levels. If you have COVID-19, also see additional information on treatments that may be available.
Regardless of vaccination status, you should isolate from others when you have COVID-19. You should also isolate if you are sick and suspect that you have COVID-19 but do not yet have test results. If your results are positive, follow the full isolation recommendations below. If your results are negative, you can end your isolation.
When to isolate
If you test positive for COVID-19. stay home for at least 5 days and isolate from others in your home. You are likely most infectious during these first 5 days.
- Wear a high-quality mask if you must be around others at home and in public.
- Do not go places where you are unable to wear a mask.
- Do not travel.
- Stay home and separate from others as much as possible.
- Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
- Take steps to improve ventilation at home, if possible.
- Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
- Monitor your symptoms.
- If you have an emergency warning sign (like trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
Learn more about what to do if you have COVID-19.
When to end isolation
- If you had no symptoms - you may end isolation after day 5.
- If you had symptoms - you may end isolation after day 5 if:
- You are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication)
- Your symptoms are improving
- If you still have fever or your other symptoms have not improved, continue to isolate until they improve.
- If you had moderate illness (if you experienced shortness of breath or had difficulty breathing), or severe illness (you were hospitalized) due to COVID-19, or you have a weakened immune system, you need to isolate through day 10.
- If you had severe illness or have a weakened immune system, consult your doctor before ending isolation. Ending isolation without a viral test may not be an option for you.
- If you are unsure if your symptoms are moderate or severe or if you have a weakened immune system, talk to a healthcare provider for further guidance.
Regardless of when you end isolation, avoid being around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 until at least day 11. Remember to wear a high-quality mask when indoors around others at home and in public and not go places where you are unable to wear a mask until you are able to discontinue masking (see below), including public transportation and travel settings.
Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation.
Removing Your Mask
After you have ended isolation, when you are feeling better (no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and symptoms improving), you should wear your mask through Day 10.
If you have access to antigen tests, you should consider using them. With two sequential negative tests 48 hours apart, you may remove your mask sooner than Day 10.
Note: If your antigen test results1 are positive, you may still be infectious. You should continue wearing a mask and wait at least 48 hours before taking another test. Continue taking antigen tests at least 48 hours apart until you have two sequential negative results. This may mean you need to continue wearing a mask and testing beyond day 10.
After you have ended isolation, if your COVID-19 symptoms recur or worsen, restart your isolation at Day 0. Talk to a healthcare provider if you have questions about your symptoms or when to end isolation.
For more information visit the CDC Isolation Guidelines Website.