The CDC has updated their guidelines regarding COVID-19. In response to the CDC update, NEO wants to emphasize that we all have a personal responsibility to protect our own health and the health of others.
We want to stress the importance of getting vaccinated. The vaccination has shown to greatly diminish serious illness related to a COVID-19 infection. While we recommend students getting vaccinated before arriving on campus, NEO will continue to provide opportunities to get vaccinated during the fall semester. The specifics of the vaccine clinics will be released soon.
Secondly, NEO is not able to require the use of masks on campus (Executive Order 2021-16 and 70 O.S. 1210.189). However, the recent CDC guidelines recommends the use of masks while in public indoor settings, regardless if you are fully vaccinated. Individuals might wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they are at an increased risk for severe disease, or if they have someone in their household who is at an increased risk of severe disease or is unvaccinated.
Please take some time to review the preface to our Fall 2021 semester plan. The information includes our guiding principles, as well as a variety of potential response scenarios in the event campus experiences an influx in COVID-19 cases.
Again, we all have a personal responsibility to keep campus safe. For COVID-19 related health questions, please contact the Campus Nurse Jennifer Osburn at 918-533-4325. For questions regarding our fall semester COVID-19 plan, please contact Kendra Cummins at 918-540-6201.
Update 5/15/2021: From the desk of President Stafford – Updated Mask Policy and Conference Room Capacity The COVID-19 Task Force recommended changes to the current face covering guidelines and room occupancy based upon updated information from the CDE. Over the past month, NEO has not had a positive case on campus and with the limited number of in-person classes this summer it allows us to test the new protocols. The changes will go into effect on Monday, May 17th and are listed below: Mask Policy:
- Eliminate the “requirement” to wear masks on campus unless social distancing of at least 3 ft. cannot be maintained.
- Masks will be required in the classroom if social distancing of 3 ft as cannot be maintained.
- Visitors to campus are encouraged to wear face coverings if they are at risk for contracting COVID-19.
- Visitors to campus, faculty, staff, and students should continue performing the Daily Health Self-Assessment and refrain from coming to campus if they are ill.
- Faculty, staff, and students are welcome to continue wearing their masks as long as personally comfortable.
- The Face Covering Policy is subject to change as dictated by local health conditions.
Conference Room Occupancy:
- Increase room capacity from 25% of full occupancy to 50% full occupancy (i.e. Ballroom, Fine Arts).
- In the event 3 ft. of social distancing guidelines cannot be maintained, masks will be required.
Update 1/9/2021: From the desk of President Stafford –
During the fall 2020 semester, the NEO COVID-19 Task Force implemented a series of policies and guidelines that serve to protect the NEO community against the spread of the virus.
I am happy to share that with the cooperation of students, staff, faculty, and guests, we had fewer than 100 on-campus, self-reported cases, placing our rate of infection at about 4%. This put us below that state’s infection rate of 6%.
With the introduction of several vaccines to combat COVID-19, the end is in sight, but we must continue our vigilance. The Spring 2021 Semester will look very much like Fall 2020, but we are optimistic about what the future will bring.
The Norsemen of old would row their great ships to the beat of a drum. If one rower was out of sync, it could affect the entire ship. At NEO, we understand that we all must row together in order to move forward. Success during the spring semester depends on the cooperation of every student, staff, and faculty member doing their part to ensure the health and safety of our campus community. These policies and guidelines are intended to ensure public health and may be updated depending on the recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
We will to continue providing important updates as they become available and I look forward to welcoming everyone back to campus.
Update 8/7/2020: NEO has released a comprehensive COVID-19 action plan ahead of the fall semester, which is set to begin on August 17. The plan was developed by the NEO COVID-19 task force, which included members from throughout campus. “We’ve been deliberate in creating these guidelines to ensure the safety of our campus community,” said Dr. Kyle Stafford, NEO President. “We best serve our student population when we can deliver face-to-face classes, and we believe this action plan enables us to return to the classroom, while still taking public health into account.” In an effort to maximize student success, classes will be offered in face-to-face (with Hyflex option), Online, Online Live, and Hybrid formats.
- Face-to-face (with Hyflex option): This format includes traditional in-class course delivery held at specific times and specific classrooms. The Hyflex (or flexible hybrid) delivery also gives students the option to join in-class meetings via Zoom video conference.
- Online: This format has no scheduled class meetings and is delivered exclusively through the Canvas learning management system. The pace of material and resources is set by the instructor.
- Online Live: This format is completed entirely online with Zoom video conference meetings in which the student is expected to be present. Assignments and coursework will be completed online through Canvas.
- Hybrid: This format includes both in-class and online components as directed by the instructor. Students are required to be on campus for part of the class, while assignments and other meetings will take place online.
In order to minimize the spread of COVID-19, face coverings must be worn on NEO’s campus for all students, employees, and guests. The guidelines apply to all classrooms and buildings on campus and face coverings must also be worn outdoors when social distancing is not an option. Every student and employee will be provided with a free reusable face mask, which new students will receive during Camp Row and returning students can pick up at the NEO Library or the Student Center in the Student Union from August 10 – 21, from 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Additional campus measures such as staggered move-in times for resident students, installation of plexiglass barriers in offices and restrooms, and adjusted dining schedules in the Student Union Cafeteria have also been implemented. Students, staff, faculty, and guests are to complete the daily health self-assessment before coming to campus. The assessment is available online HERE. As part of the plan, NEO has created a COVID-19 landing page providing the complete COVID-19 plan, campus updates, campus health and safety measures, and frequently asked questions, among other resources. For more information on the measures enacted by the NEO COVID-19 Task Force, visit HERE or e-mail COVID_19@neo.edu.
Update 6/4/2020: Administrators at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) have announced scheduled face-to-face classes beginning in July will be moved to an online hybrid format. Hybrid courses are similar to online delivery, but also incorporate Zoom technology to conduct live class sessions at scheduled class times during the semester. “We decided to move July classes online out of an abundance of caution,” said Dr. Kyle Stafford, NEO President, “and continue our focus on preparing a safe environment for bringing back students to campus for the fall semester.” “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our COVID-19 Task Force has been analyzing information and making recommendations in order to protect our student and employee populations,” added Stafford. “We recently opened our campus for visitors to conduct business in our Library/Administration Building and Recruitment Office. We want to be deliberate with our actions, so the decision to move July classes to this hybrid format allows us to monitor visitor and employee activity on campus before introducing students back to the classroom.”
Update 5/19/2020: The COVID-19 Task Force at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) has developed a plan that would allow the face-to-face classes to resume during the 2020 fall semester, while limited access for guests and visitors on campus by June 1. “We will comply with federal and state regulations as well as the recommendations from health officials,” said Dr. Kyle Stafford, NEO president. “It is important to the success of our student population that we get back to face-to-face learning, but we take our commitment to the safety of our campus community very seriously.” In order to prepare for a fall return, NEO is currently conducting a phased process for bringing all employees back to campus by June 1. At that time, NEO will allow visitors to conduct business in the Library/Administration Building and the Recruitment Office in Copen Hall, while other campus buildings will be accessible by appointment only. “By opening the Library/Administration Building and Recruitment Office, we are allowing students and visitors to conduct business with nearly all of our public-facing offices,” added Dr. Stafford. “Students can visit the Admissions/Registrar, Financial Aid, the Business Office, Library, and our Center for Academic Success and Advising all in this building. We will continue to monitor campus conditions and make changes as necessary. In all phases of reopening campus, we are remaining sensitive to the needs of our campus community.” NEO previously announced that all classes beginning in June would be delivered in an online or hybrid format. A decision has not been made regarding classes that begin in July. As the fall semester approaches, campus leadership will refine decisions regarding class sizes, hybrid learning, student housing, and methods of health monitoring based on the development of COVID-19.
Update 4/24/2020: In response to the continued Covid-19 pandemic, NEO will be transitioning all summer classes beginning in June to an online and/or distance format. As in the past, NEO will also transition to a four-day workweek during the summer term, beginning May 11 and concluding July 30. “Making the decision now enables our students to make enrollment decisions,” said NEO President Dr. Kyle Stafford. “It provides our faculty with adequate time to transition their courses to the distance learning format.” NEO operates summer courses in three formats, with a full 8-week session as well as June and July 4-week sessions. While the sessions beginning in June will transition online, a decision regarding July 4-week sessions will be made in June based on guidance from federal, state, and local officials. The campus of NEO will also remain closed to visitors through the end of May, with a decision regarding visitors during the summer semester still to be made..
Update 3/26/2020: Administrators at NEO will move all previously scheduled face-to-face and hybrid courses online for the remainder of the spring semester in response to the rapidly developing COVID-19, or coronavirus, pandemic. In addition to moving classes online, NEO will cancel its spring commencement and nurse pinning. “Our goal is to continue our efforts to deliver a quality education and serve our students the best we can,” said Dr. Kyle J. Stafford, NEO president. “It is frustrating to know our spring semester has been disrupted by COVID-19, but we are doing our part to follow state and federal guidelines and reduce the spread of COVID-19.” NEO has also closed campus to visitors, locked down campus buildings, and implemented a temporary telecommuting/work-from-home program that will allow campus operations to continue through internet and phone. In addition, NEO has asked the limited number of students still in the residence halls to leave campus by April 1. Students moving off campus may be reimbursed, depending upon payment methods for housing and meals and reimbursements are anticipated to be completed during late April. “As a rural college, we understand some students have circumstances preventing them from leaving campus, and we are committed to assisting them,” added Dr. Stafford. “But we are asking all residential students not to return to campus until we contact them to arrange collection of their personal items.”
Update 3/25/2020: Effective immediately, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College is temporarily restricting access of the general public to campus. This will include all College buildings on the Miami campus and the Grove Center until further notice. Buildings on campus will be locked with signage directing campus visitors needing assistance to use phone and electronic communications to conduct regular business with the College. Additionally, NEO will implement a temporary telecommuting plan beginning tomorrow, March 26, which provides certain employees flexibility to work from home and rotating work schedules for those on campus. This plan will be in place as long as necessary to keep offices operational while limiting interaction between employees. For immediate assistance, please call: General: 918-542-8441 Business Office: 918-540-6028 Admissions: 918-540-6030 Financial Aide: 918-540-6029 Housing: 918-540-6301 Campus Police: 918-533-1243
Update 3/20/2020: As Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College prepares to resume limited operations on March 23, temporary policies and procedures have been implemented to ensure the health and safety of students, staff, and faculty. Administrators currently estimate 50 students returning to campus on Sunday, March 22. As a rural two-year college, many students require housing, equipment, and academic support to be successful, especially as NEO transitions to temporary online learning. Students returning to campus housing will be subject a health and fever screening prior to admission to the residential halls. If a resident student exhibits symptoms of illness, NEO has designated a specific residential hall for quarantine. In order to serve students with technology needs, NEO will resume limited access to the Library/Administration Building computer lab on March 23. Additionally, NEO will restrict capacity and spacing guidelines using CDC recommendations and will ensure the computer labs receive disinfection and cleaning hourly. For students returning to campus, Sodexo will resume food service in the cafeteria on a carry-out basis only on Sunday, March 22. NEO has established a protocol to ensure staff and faculty who return to campus are healthy and well. Employees who engaged in air travel will be subject to frequent health and fever screenings as well as possible temporary office relocation. The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented, and the NEO administration continues to meet daily to ensure the most up-to-date measures are implemented. In order to answer outstanding questions, NEO has developed a Frequently Asked Questions page HERE.
Update 3/16/2020: To ensure the health and safety of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M students, staff and faculty, NEO will temporarily transition both the main campus in Miami and the Grove Center to online course delivery, beginning March 30, 2020, for a period of two weeks. Courses already being delivered online will continue as scheduled. The NEO campus is on spring break from March 16 through March 20. Housing and food services resume operations on March 22 to accommodate students who return to campus. Resumption of campus operations will include normal Library operating hours and access to computer labs. All locations on campus will receive frequent and regular disinfection. However, we are asking students to remain at home until April 10, if possible. Face-to-face courses will not be held the week of March 23 – March 27. During this time, faculty will develop courses to be delivered in an online format. Additional issues surrounding clinicals, labs, and campus-resource dependent courses will be addressed through their respective departments. Again, students currently enrolled in previously scheduled online courses are expected to complete course requirements during this time. Based on the recommendation from the CDC to limit gatherings of more than 50 people, NEO will be evaluating any event that brings guests to campus and organizers of said events have been notified. The NEO Student Activity Center and Pool will also be closed until further notice. Schedule: March 16 – March 20: Campus closed for spring break March 23: All healthy staff, faculty and administrators report and campus operations resume March 23 – March 27: NEO faculty transitions all classes to online delivery. No classes. March 30: All NEO face-to-face classes resume in an online delivery format for an initial period of two weeks. More information will be made available in the coming days.
Update 3/13/2020: NEO continues to maintain normal operations and is monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Contingency plans have been developed in the event we have to deviate from our normal operations. As students prepare to depart from campus, we encourage them to consider taking instructional materials and devices with them. Since the situation could change rapidly, students, staff and faculty will be notified using NEO’s RAVE emergency text message system if any changes are made to our normal operations. As a reminder, classes and offices are closed for Spring Break from March 16-20.