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Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs

As Northeast responds to coronavirus (COVID-19), we understand there are and will be many questions. In addition to the questions and answers given below, please check our recent announcements for the latest information.

General FAQs

  • Are there restrictions for visitors to be on a Northeast campus?

    All campuses of Northeast Community College are open for business and all services are available either on-site or via virtual connections. All buildings that have classes and events scheduled in them will be open based on the schedules for each building. Call 402-371-2020 to reach an office at Northeast.

  • How is decision-making about the Northeast response to the COVID-19 virus situation being made?

    Decisions related to the Northeast response to COVID-19 are being made based on guidance provided by the public health districts in the college’s 20-county service area, the State of Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and Center for Disease Control recommendations. A Northeast Recovery Team meets regularly to provide recommendations for the administration based on information from these sources.

  • Will I be required to wear a face mask or face shield?

    All students and employees are required to wear a face mask or shield to minimize the risk of exposing others to the coronavirus. The following are exceptions to the requirement of a face covering:

    • When employees are working in a private office or work area. Nor are individuals seated at a desk or standing at a stationary workstation provided that the desk or work station has a solid Plexiglass or plastic barrier installed.
    • When outdoors working or moving between buildings unless social distancing cannot be maintained.
    • Employees who cannot wear a facemask or are exempted from wearing a covering, a doctor’s note will be required in the Human Resources office in order to come onto any campus.
    • Students who cannot wear a facemask or are exempted from wearing a covering, a doctor’s note will be required in the Vice President of Student Services Office.

Student FAQs

  • Are face coverings required on campus?

    Yes. Northeast requires the wearing of face masks or shields by faculty, staff, students, and visitors in all college buildings at all locations. This decision is based on the most recent public health guidance.

    Students will need to provide their own face mask or shield that covers both the nose and mouth. Face coverings will not be required when you’re in your on-campus residence, sitting down to eat at Hawks Point, or when outdoors unless social distancing of at least six feet cannot be maintained. Students who are unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition will need to provide a doctor’s note to the Student Services Office in the College Welcome Center, Room 1230 or via email to

  • How will Northeast enforce the use of face coverings by students?

    Students who do not wear a face covering will be asked to leave the building and return with a face covering in place. Students refusing to wear a face covering will be asked to leave campus and will be counted absent from any classes missed. Students repeatedly found not wearing a face covering will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct. On the Norfolk campus, masks are available at the Hawks Shop, while supplies last.

  • If I experience COVID-19 symptoms or if I was exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 what should I do?

    If you are feeling ill or experience any of these symptoms or if you have been directly exposed to someone while not wearing a facemask who has tested positive for COVID-19, do not come to campus and contact your healthcare provider for additional guidance. If you are in the Norfolk area, you can schedule an appointment with our Student Health Nurse by calling (402) 844-7176. Make sure to inform your instructors if you will be absent from class due to symptoms or if you are unable to attend face-to-face classes due to COVID-19 exposure.

  • Are classes being offered face-to-face in the fall?

    Teaching and learning will be divided among on-campus classes, scheduled distance learning classes (synchronous virtual learning) and online instruction. On-campus classes will abide by 50% occupancy of a room while maintaining social distancing of six feet between participants. Additional information about fall course delivery methods can be found here.

  • I am an enrolled student and struggling due to COVID-19, what should I do?

    We are here to support you during these challenging times. Whether you are struggling emotionally, academically or financially, we want to know and will do our best to connect you with resources to assist you. Complete the Request Assistance Form if you are in need of financial support.

  • How do I sell my textbooks that I no longer need?

    Current buyback is being offered in-store or online at the Northeast Hawks Shop. If selling back online, add your ISBN from the back of your textbook to the cart, print off a pre-paid shipping label, package it, and ship back. A check will be mailed to you for the amount of the buyback price of the book.

  • How do I return my rental textbooks?

    Rental returns may be mailed back to the Hawks Shop or they may be dropped off in a bag at the rental return box outside the library on the Norfolk campus. Please include your name and student ID when returning textbooks. All rental books will have a rental label on the back of the book. Please only return rental books.

    Return by mail to:
    Northeast Hawks Shop
    %Rental Return
    801 E. Benjamin Ave.
    Norfolk, NE 68701

  • How do I purchase my fall textbooks?

    Fall course materials are available now for purchase in-store or at All textbooks are shipped via UPS and an email will be sent with tracking information once the order has shipped. A free shipping code is currently available on the Hawks Shop website for all orders over $50.00 or students may choose to pick up in-store.

  • Are tutors still available to assist students?

    Yes. Tutoring, Writing Center, and Supplemental Instruction will be provided to students utilizing video conferencing. You can reach out to your tutor directly or request a tutor. Your instructor will have information about drop-in tutoring or Supplemental Instruction if it is available for your course. Schedule an online Writing Center appointment as well. Visit Academic Support for more information.

Employee FAQs

  • Northeast Community College Employees (Administration, Faculty, Staff)
    Last Updated: July 31, 2020 at 2:30 p.m.

  • President Trump recently signed into law, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), how does it protect me as an employee?

    The FFCRA requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The provisions apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. An employee is entitled to take leave related to COVID-19 if the employee is unable to work, including unable to work remotely, because the employee:

    1. Is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
    2. Has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
    3. Is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
    4. Is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);
    5. Is caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons; or
    6. Is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • What types of leave, specific to COVID-19, are available during this time?

    • Leaves available from 4-1-20 thru 12-31-20 include:
      • Sick Leave FMLA Communicable Disease (Employee is ill or quarantined due to COVID-19)
        • Employees who are working remotely and become ill, may also submit the FMLA request form
      • Emergency Leave FMLA Communicable Disease (To care for another individual who is ill and/or to care for children at home due to school/daycare closures)
        • Emergency Leave requires a comment on timesheet/leave report regarding reason, i.e. sick child or other immediate family member, no childcare, school closed, etc.

      Supervisors: FMLA leave request forms are not applicable and shouldn’t be submitted by your employees for this specific paid leave; please monitor your employees’ timesheets/leave reports accordingly

      Paid Leave Codes should only be documented on timesheets/leave reports based on the normal working schedule for the employee

    • Is my job protected?

      An employee who needs to use leave – even up to 12 weeks, has a job to return to – this includes all employees in the following categories: full-time, part-time, adjunct faculty, new employees and student workers.

    • What should I do if I have an underlying health condition, or I am immunosuppressed and want to, or am advised by my healthcare provider to stay home?

      Employees’ health is our top priority! Employees should consult with their health care provider and follow the provider’s directive.

      Employees should contact their supervisor to coordinate leave and/or telecommuting options.

    • I do not have an underlying health condition, but I want to avoid possible exposure/infection. Do I have telecommuting options?

      Employees’ health and safety are the top priority at Northeast.

      If a healthy employee chooses to work from home to avoid possible exposure, they are expected to make arrangements with their supervisor.

      Supervisors have the right to approve or deny an employee’s request to work remotely. Working from home may not be applicable in all circumstances due to the nature of the job, the equipment required, or for other reasons determined by the supervisor.

      The supervisor will work closely with their employee regarding their expectations for the employee’s work schedule, tasks, deadlines, and communication expectations (available by email, text, phone) during the period of telecommuting.

    • I am anxious about the risk of being exposed to this virus. Are resources available to help me deal with this concern?

      We realize this is a time of uncertainty and concern, which results in increased stress. We encourage you to take care of yourself and utilize resources we have available. The Employee Assistance Program through Best Care has counselors available to assist employees. Contact information is 402-354-8000; The COVID Counseling Help Line is 800-801-4182.

    • What should I do if I develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19?

      To limit the potential for exposure to others, if an employee has a fever greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit and a cough, the employee should not come to work and should take these actions:

      • Notify your supervisor that you are ill and will be taking sick time; the HR Office is available to assist with qualifying FMLA medical events.
      • Seek medical advice from your primary care provider (please call ahead, or utilize telehealth options).
      • Ten (10) calendar days have passed since symptoms first appeared, and other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved); and have not had a fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers) OR employees may also return if they are approved to do so in writing by their health care provider eliminating the diagnosis of COVID-19 (i.e. alternative diagnosis)
    • What should I do if I think I have been exposed to, or infected with COVID-19?

      Alert your healthcare provider immediately to inform them regarding if you have been exposed to someone with the virus and if you have signs/symptoms of the infection.

    • Can I be sent home if I am sick? Only for flu-related illnesses? What if I don’t think I have a flu-related illness?

      Northeast is required to maintain a safe and healthy environment and has broad discretion over when and where an employee is to work. For this reason, employees may be sent home if they are sick.

      Of greatest concern is an employee with a fever greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, and who exhibits cough and respiratory symptoms; this employee is likely to be sent home. Other symptoms (coughing, sneezing) may also be of concern.

      To determine whether someone has the flu, or flu-related illness, supervisors will follow the appropriate guidelines from the CDC.

    • I am on the Northeast employee health plan. Are there any changes to coverage, or direction I need to know related to COVID-19?

      Please consult the BC/BS link on the COVID-19 resources section of the website.

    • A member of my household is ill. Should I come to work?

      Please stay home until you can confirm with your healthcare provider that the member of your household is no longer contagious. Additionally, you must be free of any signs/symptoms of illness upon your return to the workplace.

    • What if I’m sick when working from home?

      Employees who are unable to work due to illness should utilize sick time and report their absence to their supervisor. Working from home is not intended to be used in place of sick time when an employee is ill. Please work closely with your supervisor regarding expectations for reporting time off and/or options for handling work responsibilities while you are ill.

    • When can I return to work/remote work, if I have had COVID-19?

      Employees who have been home because they screened positive for COVID-19, or who tested positive to COVID-19 can return to work after these things have happened:

      • They have had no fever for a least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fever) AND
      • Other symptoms have improved (for example, their cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
      • At least 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared.
      • The employee will be provided specific instructions by their healthcare provider and local public health clinicians based on the most current CDC and Nebraska PHD guidance.
      • Please be mindful that this guidance continues to evolve and may change several times during the course of the upcoming weeks and months.
      • This guidance is applicable for employees working remotely or on College premises.
    • Can my supervisor make a temporary change to my job assignments so that the College can continue the essential functions during a communicable disease outbreak?

      Yes, your supervisor has the right to temporarily reassign employees to work outside of their usual responsibilities to the extent they are qualified and can safely perform the work. While this situation may not be ideal, it is important that we are all willing to adjust our “normal” work in the event of an emergency. The College will notify employees who are designated to perform essential functions, as well as when and where they should report to work.

    • Can my supervisor make a temporary change to my assigned shift and/or assigned work schedule during a communicable disease outbreak?

      Yes, your supervisor may temporarily adjust employees’ work schedules to meet operational demands, based on business needs and circumstances. These adjustments may be made on a case-by-case basis depending upon operational considerations. Your supervisor will work closely with you to discuss any changes to your assigned work schedule and any questions or concerns you may have with the changes.

    • Can my supervisor require me to work or remain at work during a public health emergency?

      The College will work to balance the preferences of employees with guidance from the CDC and the Nebraska PHD, and the need to maintain business continuity. If an employee is unable to report to work as scheduled due to illness, or injury, the supervisor should follow the standard procedure regarding medical documentation.