NAMPA, Idaho — On Friday, Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) started welcoming back students as campus officials keep a close eye on the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
NNU said the campus has a little under 300 new students.
Brad Kurtz-Shaw, the school's Vice President of Campus Affairs, spoke with Idaho News 6 about the COVID-19 safety plan.
“We are going to actually do surveillance testing in the first two weeks. As we bring people back to campus, everybody on-campus, faculty staff, all of our students will be contributing saliva samples daily to make sure what’s going on on campus. That’s our primary intervention," Kurtz-Shaw said.
The campus encourages students to use a mask to stay safe and recommend vaccination.
Kurtz-Shaw said, right now, they have about a 90 percent rate of faculty and staff that have received the vaccine.
“Our numbers aren’t complete as students are coming in and we are getting more information from them. I think I would say that our students are vaccinated at about a 60 to 65 percent rate and more are getting vaccinated every day," Kurtz said.
The campus plans to host a vaccination clinic on Monday, August 30. Staff members encourage students to contact their health care providers if they have any questions about the vaccine.
In a press release, the campus president said they're all excited for the new school year.
“We are excited to welcome students back to campus,” President Joel Pearsall said. “Last year, NNU was able to do what few other universities were able to accomplish—we were together in community, face-to-face, for the entire academic year in the midst of the pandemic. Drawing upon this experience, we are looking forward to providing students with the best, safest, in-person ‘NNU experience’ we can offer within the constraints of the reality we are facing.”
Classes at NNU begin Tuesday, August 31. To read more about the campus Community First Plan, click here.