Blog

One Year of Bargaining

Dear Colleagues,

We’ve commemorated a few anniversaries in the past several months. Our founding, our election, our victory. Today’s anniversary is both momentous and frustrating. It has been one year since we first sat down with the administration to bargain our contract. That first meeting was nothing short of a big deal. For the first time in our university’s history, staff met the administration as true equals, with full opportunity to communicate honestly without fear of retaliation. It was the culmination of over a year’s worth of work just to get to that point.

We soon found out that the administration had a different outlook on the occasion. We submitted our proposals–nearly an entire contract, including substantive proposals on wages, healthcare, benefits, and leave–and the administration responded with their edict that has remained in place until today: “We’re not interested in the union’s proposals.” Our proposals seek to drastically reduce turnover, with the goal of increasing average staff tenure to longer than average student tenure. Is the administration uninterested in solving this problem with us?

Contracts don’t happen overnight. It takes time for both sides to consult their constituencies and to craft language that reflects their goals and compromises. To that end, we’ve gotten a lot done in a year! On several occasions we’ve even had truly frank and honest discussions with the administration’s team. But what remains to be negotiated is a stark reminder that the administration isn’t treating staff as a priority. We want them to see that staff turnover–caused by the compensation and workload situation that we’re seeking to improve–adversely affects students.

We still have not discussed wages and healthcare in a meaningful way. The administration has had our proposals in hand for 365 days. That ball is in their court to respond. What are they waiting for?

But we already know this story. It’s frustrating indeed, but we know that the future holds good things for Augsburg and our community. Today let’s celebrate that we’re still here, we’re still fighting, and we know we will win.

The administration’s primary tactic of waiting us out and breaking our momentum has not succeeded. We go into year two of bargaining with high spirits and the same overwhelming solidarity that won our union in the first place.

Let’s stick together, let’s sign the petition, and let’s win an Augsburg contract with Augsburg values.

Covid 19 Task Force Update

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 Task Force had a meeting on Thursday, March 3rd. Here are the meeting notes from the Augsburg Staff Union representative.
Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Updates:

  • Situation update: Hospitalizations continue to decline; lowest case rate in MN since last August
  • Testing supplies are available, and FEMA will continue funding testing through at least June
    • FEMA funding for Vault community testing sites is set to expire March 31; may or may not be extended
  • Discussion of new CDC guidance; MDH is still updating their Institution of Higher Education guidance:
    • “Shift toward more relevant metrics given current levels of population immunity and tools available”
    • “Measures should focus on minimizing the impact of severe COVID-19 illness on health and society”
    • CDC Community Levels
    • CDC PowerPoint

Dashboardupdate:

  • New CDC guidance was announced Friday, so last week’s dashboard is still based on the previous guidance
  • On-campus transmission level continues to be very low, with no student or employee cases confirmed for the last full week of February as of the time the dashboard was published.

HR Policy Update: 

  • HR will be publishing a policy supplement (an addition to the original Mandatory COVID-19 Immunization Policy for Staff and Faculty Employees of Augsburg University) this week, specifying a weekly testing requirement and a campus mask requirement for those staff and faculty employees who are unvaccinated.
  • HR will announce their intention to limit exemptions for staff and faculty employees to only the two federally-required exemptions (religious and medical) for the 2022-23 academic year, eliminating the conscientious objection exemption that Augsburg made available for 2021-22.
  • HR hopes to have this policy sent out by the end of the day today, Thursday 3/3/22. 

Testing recommendations after Spring Break:

  • Recommend that people who traveled or socialized with different groups of people than usual get tested before returning
  • Update on on-campus testing opportunities- working through how to make the tests possible on campus. Currently working on finding a medical provider to order the tests. Having a meeting with MDH today to resolve the issues we have been running into. Hoping to have the testing back next week.

Considerations around potential changes to indoor mask mandate:

  • There was a preliminary discussion today about the potential for a change in the current mask mandate on campus. Ultimately, no decisions were made in the meeting, but here are notes from the discussion. The discussion that the COVID Task Force had in today’s meeting is being relayed to the President who is meeting later today to discuss the mask mandate on campus: 
    • MDH is stating to follow CDC guidance
    • Timing: There was a discussion on how we need to give people prep time before we officially lift the mask mandate.
    • There was also a discussion on how any decision needs to be sensitive and consider the concerns of faculty/staff/students who are immunocompromised and/or who have close family members who are immunocompromised and need to still wear a mask. Additionally, there was a discussion on how children under 5 still are not eligible for vaccination.
  • The following questions were brought up during the meeting to consider: 
    • What if a faculty/staff/student still wants their class or the people that they interact with to wear a mask?
    • Do students/faculty/staff who are not vaccinated still need to wear a mask?
    • Would faculty get to change course modalities if they do not want to teach unmasked?
    • Could students request to change modalities in their courses?
    • Could staff change modalities with their operations?
    • What would be the timing for lifting the mask mandate? Spring Break or later?
    • If we lift it, what does that look like if we have to go back to masks?
    • Would it be possible to have masks required in the classroom but not elsewhere on campus?
  • Of note, these questions were not answered during the meeting. They were brought up as considerations. 

We set up a Google Form so Augsburg Staff Union members could state their questions or concerns to be addressed at the meeting. One question was submitted this week: 

  • Q: “When will the indoor mask mandate be lifted on campus or will it be anytime soon?”
  • A: No final decisions have been made at this time. Our COVID Task Force discussion from today’s meeting is being sent to the President to begin the discussion on any potential change to the current mask mandate. 

Please note: Urgent questions related to COVID-19 should not be submitted via the Google Form, those questions should continue to be sent to helpline@augsburg.edu, calling 612-474-3100, and/or by using the Augsburg self-reporting form.   

The staff union representative will continue to send weekly updates based on information gathered in the COVID Task Force meetings and questions asked in the google form.

Covid 19 Task Force

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 Task Force meeting for this week was cancelled because there was no higher education update meeting with MDH this week.

We received an update that next week, in addition to the normal updates, we will begin conversation on considerations around the advisability and timing of potential changes to the university’s indoor mask mandate, among other topics.

We set up a Google Form so Augsburg Staff Union members could state their questions or concerns to be addressed at the meeting. No questions were submitted this week.

Please note: Urgent questions related to COVID-19 should not be submitted via the Google Form, those questions should continue to be sent to helpline@augsburg.edu, calling 612-474-3100, and/or by using the Augsburg self-reporting form.

The staff union representative will continue to send weekly updates based on information gathered in the COVID Task Force meetings and questions asked in the google form.

Covid 19 Task Force Update

Dear Colleagues, 

The COVID-19 Task Force had a meeting on Thursday, February 10th. Here are the meeting notes from the Augsburg Staff Union representative.

MDH Updates

  • Situation update: Hospitalization rate moderating, including among 18-24 age range.
  • Variants: 91% of samples sequenced for week of 1/2 were omicron; currently 100% samples sequenced for week of 1/16. 
  • Updated CDC guidance for institutions of higher education: no surprises. Following guidance for the general public with few exceptions. Residence halls are considered a low-risk congregant setting, so use the same quarantine and isolation guidelines as the general public. 
  • Recommended screening testing when students arrive for a new term: members of the COVID-19 Task Force are reviewing the recommendation.

Dashboard updates

  • Enhanced mitigations ended over weekend
  • Cases this week (1 so far) would need to be up 1.5x over last week to remain in moderate range. If cases this week are below that, the on-campus case rate will be low (blue).
  • During the COVID Task Force meeting today, there was a brief discussion on Augsburg’s mask mandate. No decisions are being made at this time to change the mandate, and we are still in a mask mandate on campus. The discussion was to talk about any future decisions being based on metrics. Sarah Griesse recommended that we stay in communication with the campus community about this topic and how decisions will be made for it in the future. 

On-campus vaccine/booster clinic

  • Wednesday, March 30, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., East Commons
  • This will be for the booster and first dose
  • There will also be a second date for anyone who needs a second shot
  • Will be open to students, staff, and faculty, etc.

On-campus testing opportunity update

  • Completed student survey to quantify demand
  • Working with MDH on process and reporting requirements
  • CLIA waiver is in place and have ordered tests
  • Still confirming schedule, space, PPE, volunteer staffing, IT
  • Once the details are finalized, the initial plan is to test from 5-7pm M, W, F
  • To be determined what date this will start

City vaccine mandates

We set up a Google Form so Augsburg Staff Union members could state their questions or concerns to be addressed at the meeting. No questions were submitted this week:  Please note: Urgent questions related to COVID-19 should not be submitted via the Google Form, those questions should continue to be sent to helpline@augsburg.edu, calling 612-474-3100, and/or by using the Augsburg self-reporting form.   

The staff union representative will continue to send weekly updates based on information gathered in the COVID Task Force meetings and questions asked in the google form. 

Covid 19 Task Force Update

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 Task Force had a meeting on Thursday, February 3rd. Here are the meeting notes from the Augsburg Staff Union representative.

MDH Updates

  • Situation update: Some indications of transmission slowing, but hospitalizations continue to rise. Nearly 100% samples sequenced for the week of 1/16 thus far were omicron.
  • State KN95 mask distribution will not include higher ed. Masks for K-12 are funded by the education department. 
  • Pharmacies should have N95s for distribution soon if they don’t already.
  • Odds and Ends: 
    • MDH looking into MIIC permissions for use with employee populations (not approved to date, and Augsburg does not use MIIC to access employee records).
    • MDH is not aware of a Niosh-approved clear N95. If that’s needed, MDH has a recommended surgical mask with a clear panel and other recommended practices.

Dashboard updates

  • Potential to end enhanced mitigations and return to fall semester practices if case numbers on campus continue to decline (communications about this will be sent to faculty, staff, & student organizations)
  • Campus transmission rates for the prior two weeks (ending Jan. 22 and Jan. 29) still holding at the moderate level (1%- 3%). Pace of cases also quieter so far this week.
  • No evidence of classroom transmission on campus to date

Campus Clear

  • 50% more reports than last month
  • Comparing Jan 2022 to Jan 2021, fewer reports this time but a larger % are faculty

We set up a Google Form so Augsburg Staff Union members could state their questions or concerns to be addressed at the meeting.

No questions were submitted this week:  Please note: Urgent questions related to COVID-19 should not be submitted via the Google Form, those questions should continue to be sent to helpline@augsburg.edu, calling 612-474-3100, and/or by using the Augsburg self-reporting form.   

The staff union representative will continue to send weekly updates based on information gathered in the COVID Task Force meetings and questions asked in the google form. 

Covid 19 Task Force Update

Dear Colleagues, 

The COVID-19 Task Force had a meeting on Thursday, January 27th. Here are the meeting notes from the Augsburg Staff Union representative.

MDH Updates

  • Situation update: Most cases in MN since 2020
  • For the week of 1/2 (most recent available), 90 percent for sequenced samples in state were Omicron.
  • Hospitalizations overall are very high and increased over last week, but down slightly in our 18-24 age range.
  • Testing availability
  • Vault testing orders are now being fulfilled on schedule and BinaxNow Pro tests are available as well – these must be administered and evaluated by a trained staff member (anyone who has gone through the manufacturers’ training and will perform the tests according to the instructions)
  • If we had testing on campus, we would need trained staff members and they would need to report the testing results. This is still in discussion.
  • Federal testing program for students in residence halls: Enter the University’s main address in Line 1 of the form, enter the name of your residence hall (or apartment building) and room number or apt. number in Line 2 of the form.
  • Residence Life is working on finding a way to get more than 4 tests for an apartment that has more than 4 students in it.
  • Shared data for Delta vs. Omicron on vaccine effectiveness, antibody levels, and UK data. In short: Get a booster. 
  • A COVID Task Force member mentioned that the graphics that they showed in the MDH meeting were really helpful to explain quarantine and isolation guidance. It was suggested that these graphics should be posted on the Augsburg COVID site. Many in the COVID Task Force agreed and Rebecca John mentioned that these would be put on our site. The following site contains the referenced graphics: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/close.html

Dashboardupdates

  • Week ending 1/22 is still below the 3% (high transmission mark) as of this morning.
  • Extension of temporary mitigations announced last Friday through next week.

Federal distribution of N95s 

  • Free N95 masks are showing up at pharmacies in Minnesota:Free at pharmacies
  • Sample supplies for in-classroom faculty and staff with direct student contact expected this week; coordinating with Provost’s office.

We set up a Google Form so Augsburg Staff Union members could state their questions or concerns to be addressed at the meeting. Here is the question we have received this week: 

  • Q: “It was mentioned that we would be receiving an additional 16 hours of paid sick time, specifically for the Covid vaccine. Have these additional hours been added to our balance yet? (When I last asked in ~November, they had not been added yet.)”
  • A: Dawn Miller emailed me the following: “Yes, the hours were added on November 13, 2021. Staff are able to verify that the hours were added by reviewing their sick leave balance on the pay slips for pay dates immediately prior to and after that date. Staff who had balances of 960 hours did not receive the additional accrual, as the sick leave balance caps at that number (120 days). If members have questions or concerns, please ask them to email hr@augsburg.edu, and their HR partner will reach out and provide assistance.”

Please note: Urgent questions related to COVID-19 should not be submitted via the Google Form, those questions should continue to be sent to helpline@augsburg.edu, calling 612-474-3100, and/or by using the Augsburg self-reporting form.   The staff union representative will continue to send weekly updates based on information gathered in the COVID Task Force meetings and questions asked in the google form. 

Covid 19 Task Force Update

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 Task Force had a meeting on Thursday, January 20th. Here are the meeting notes from the Augsburg Staff Union representative.

MDH Updates

  • Situation update: Cases in Minnesota are 
    • Increasing at a very high rate
    • Currently very underestimated
    • The exact number of cases is quickly becoming less and less meaningful (in part due to significant lab delays for test results)
  • In mid-December and early January, Omicron likely accounted for about 80 percent of cases in Minnesota; these numbers are preliminary
  • Have seen a sharp increase in hospitalizations in the 18-24 age range (76 statewide in the most recent week for which data is available)
  • Overall hospitalizations statewide also increasing again
  • Recap of new quarantine and isolation guidance
    • At Augsburg: Communicated via email since our last meeting; Outbreak Planning site has been updated accordingly
    • With shorter isolations and quarantines, high-quality masking in the second 5 days is especially important
  • COVID-19 testing
    • Significant supply chain issues remain
    • New federal free (antigen) testing program
      • Delivery starting late January via USPS
      • MDH looking into how to order these tests for delivery to residence halls
  • MDH is seeking personal vaccination stories and stories about people changing their mind regarding vaccination (send to Stephen Jendraszak if you have a compelling story in mind, student, faculty, or staff)
  • A main priority topic of conversation in the MDH meeting was about getting students vaccinated/boosted in higher education. 

Dashboardupdates

  • Week ending 1/15/22 is at the 3% mark, as anticipated – there will be another meeting today about considering extending additional mitigations another week. 
  • Moodle roster updates – “out for covid” dates remain visible after the end date
  • In the COVID Task force meeting the Deans mentioned that they want faculty to be as supportive and flexible as they can be with students missing class right now. 
  • Another main point brought up in the COVID Task Force meeting was that if you are not feeling well, please stay home.
  • Will use Census Day roster going forward
  • Email sent earlier this week to all students eligible for booster, many have uploaded their booster cards since
  • Delay in bulk mask orders (seems to be easier to get individual supplies)-to be delivered at end of January
    • Initial N95 mask order won’t be delivered until the end of next week; ordered some KN95s for interim (delivery may be on Monday) 
    • Augsburg Day Student Government also using funds to purchase some high quality masks for students
  • Additional mask resources shared in the COVID Task Force meeting: 

On-campus booster event update

  • There has been a preliminary discussion with MDH
  • A survey was put out to students and about 150 students said they would take advantage of such an event if it worked in their schedule
  • A booster event has been requested for 200 people- currently waiting on a response from MDH

Optional reading

ACHA update

Main themes of the meeting today

  • If you are sick, stay home.
  • If you have any questions about a specific situation, fill out theself-reporting form and/or email helpline@augsburg.edu and someone from the response team will be in contact with you to answer your questions. 

We set up a Google Form so Augsburg Staff Union members could state their questions or concerns to be addressed at the meeting. No additional questions were asked in the Google form this week.  Please note: Urgent questions related to COVID-19 should not be submitted via the Google Form, those questions should continue to be sent to helpline@augsburg.edu, calling 612-474-3100, and/or by using the Augsburg self-reporting form.   

The staff union representative will continue to send weekly updates based on information gathered in the COVID Task Force meetings and questions asked in the google form. 

Covid 19 Task Force Update

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 Task Force had a meeting on Thursday, January 13th. Here are the meeting notes from the Augsburg Staff Union representative.

MDH Updates

  • Seeing large numbers of new cases in Minnesota; test positivity rate has jumped up to the highest level of the pandemic, but hospitalization rate has not followed suit (though it is still in the high risk range).
  • Still seeing significant increase in clusters on campuses.
  • Quarantine and isolation
  • MDH has adopted the new CDC guidance and applied it to higher education
  • Isolation: If you test positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, stay home for at least 5 days. If you do not have symptoms or symptoms are resolving, and are fever free without fever-reducing medication, you can leave your home after 5 days, but continue to wear masks whenever you’re around others for the next 5 days
  • Quarantine: If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and you are up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccination, you do not need to stay home. Wear a mask for 10 days and test on day 5 if possible. If you develop symptoms, get tested and stay home.
    • Up-to-date means: You have been boosted, received your second dose of Pfizer or Moderna within the last 5 months, or had the J&J vaccine within the last 2 months.
  • Quarantine: If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and you are not up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccination, stay home for 5 days and wear a mask around others for another 5 days. Test on day 5 if possible. If you develop symptoms, get tested and stay home.
    • Not up-to-date means: You had your second dose of Pfizer or Moderna more than 5 months ago and are not boosted, you had only one dose of Pfizer or Moderna, you had the J&J vaccine more than 2 months ago and are not boosted, or you are unvaccinated.
  • Travel guidelines for quarantine and isolation
    • Do not travel if you are sick or in isolation.
    • After isolation, avoid travel until a full 10 days after your symptoms started (or after positive test if you had none).
    • Do not travel when in quarantine unless you get a negative test on day 5 and remain symptom free. If you travel when awaiting test results and test positive after reaching your destination, you will need to isolate and postpone your return.
  • Training for COVID coordinators today
    • Guidance on reporting cases and case follow-up
    • Guidance for athletics and dining
    • The goal is to have a communication with these updates sent on Monday
  • COVID testing supply chain issues continue
  • Updated masking recommendation: Wear a high-quality (N95 or KN95) mask whenever possible. If that’s not possible, wear a well-fitting mask with at least two layers of tightly woven cloth. You can layer a disposable mask and a cloth mask to increase effectiveness.
    • Don’t wear face coverings made of thinner, looser, of single layer fabric
  • Question asked in the meeting by COVID Task Force Member: “Will we discuss how this will affect remote work for student workers? HR sent a notice out before break making sure students work ON campus.”
    • Dawn responded by stating that there is no answer right now, but if we do move toward remote work, we will have to come up with guidelines.
  • Sarah Griesse mentioned in the meeting that they are concerned that they won’t be able to move students to isolation housing on campus due to not having enough space. If that occurs, they may need to update guidance on how students can quarantine in their own space.
  • Guidance for international students who completed their primary vaccine series using WHO-approved vaccines not approved in the U.S. and are now seeking a booster.
  • Athletics guidance for omicron
    • 2 or more cases on a team, recommend a 5 day pause, unless the 2 cases are connected elsewhere (i.e. roommates)
    • Ideally, test those exposed every day for 5 days (other options given the lack of supply of tests)
  • $200 vaccine incentive for families who get all kids 5-11 fully vaccinated between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28.

Dashboard and current actions underway

  • Rebecca John stated that there is a good amount of information that still needs to be updated on the Augsburg COVID site. They are going to try to get it updated as soon as possible and hopefully no later than Monday.
  • Henn/Ramsey: now at 1000+/100,000 cases and 25%+ percent positivity
  • New mitigations on campus announced via email Tuesday
  • Need to confirm guidelines for the 5 “masked” days (esp. for isolation) in terms of residence halls, dining, other campus activities
  • Will update Outbreak Planning website to include new isolation guidelines (for all) and new quarantine guidelines for unvaccinated/partially and previously vaccinated individuals.
  • Recommendations for response to COVID-19 transmission in higher education is taken from MDH: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools/iherecs.pdf
    • As of right now, the guidance is stating to put additional mitigation measures in effect which were announced on Tuesday.
    • If we enter into sustained transmission the guidance will continue to be adjusted and reevaluated.
    • At this time, there isn’t a plan for moving all classes online. The plan right now is to work with faculty members on a case by case basis.

Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul new requirements

Full Emergency Order 2022-4 (Minneapolis)

Star Tribune summary

We set up a Google Form so Augsburg Staff Union members could state their questions or concerns to be addressed at the meeting.

Please note: Urgent questions related to COVID-19 should not be submitted via the Google Form, those questions should continue to be sent to helpline@augsburg.edu, calling 612-474-3100, and/or by using the Augsburg self-reporting form.

The staff union representative will continue to send weekly updates based on information gathered in the COVID Task Force meetings and questions asked in the google form.

One year of Augsburg Staff Union!

Dear Colleagues,

Today marks one year since we officially won our union.

Like many things about Augsburg University, our union is exceptional.

We’re the first union of private university staff members in Minnesota history!

We organized our union almost entirely during a global pandemic.

Like most unions, we organized it from the ground up. It started long before January 2021. We took no shortcuts. One conversation at a time until it was clear that an overwhelming majority of us wanted it.

Despite the administration slowing bargaining down, we’ve won major changes that have already taken effect:

  • 2022 healthcare premium increases cut by half
  • Permanent spot on Covid-19 Task Force and other safety committees
  • Permanent spot on University Council
  • Guaranteed cost of living increase for 2021
  • Sick time credited to all members who get a Covid vaccine or exemption
  • Stewards elected

Here’s to another year of solidarity.

There’s no question that it has been a difficult year for everybody. The challenges that every new union faces have been amplified for us by the pandemic. As members of the Contract Action Team, we are so proud of our colleagues for joining together in solidarity during this long fight for a better Augsburg.

The entire Augsburg community stands to benefit from our contract proposals. Our families, our children, our spouses, all stand to benefit from this contract. Even the administration will benefit from the clarity, transparency, and structure our proposals provide. Our contract will make Augsburg a better, more sustainable place to work.

Let’s continue this work together. Stay tuned, we’ve got an exciting 2022 planned.

Covid 19 Task Force Update

Header: Agusburg Staff. Augsburg Values. Augsburg Contract.

Dear Colleagues,

  • The COVID-19 Task Force had a meeting on Thursday, December 9th. Here are today’s meeting notes from the Augsburg Staff Union representative.
  • Minnesota Department of Health Updates:
  • There is an increasing case count in the 18-24 age range: 3,000 last week compared to 2,000/week recent trend.
  • Positivity rate and hospitalization rate have both increased in the week after Thanksgiving.
  • Delta remains the predominant variant in Minnesota, but there is a lag in the reporting of that data (about a month).
    • Omicron variant in MN, now identified in 20+ states.
    • There is probably community spread of Omicron in MN, but the extent is unclear.
    • Transmissibility and virulence still not clear.
    • Preliminary clinical information from South Africa suggests no unusual symptoms; asymptomatic infection remains possible.
  • Testing options
    • The Department of Administration has a list of testing vendors (with contract pricing) we can use.
    • State supported BinaxNOW for higher ed will continue into early next year.
    • MDH can still help with testing for surges and clusters.
    • The State will continue to operate Vault testing sites until some point that has not been determined yet; when it changes it won’t be all at once.
  • Federal mask requirement for transportation extended through March 18
  • Healthcare worker students (vaccinated) who are close contacts of a positive case may return to class but should wear a mask
  • MDH has issued a health advisory about flu on higher ed campuses
  • They urge us to communicate with students ahead of holiday and share the usual reminders
  • Preliminary survey results from 90 higher ed institutions
    • 79 percent have masking requirements
  • A COVID-19 Task force member brought up the idea of doing an on-campus event to promote boosters.
    • Student government has voiced support for doing an on-campus booster event.
    • Stephen Jendraszak will follow up with Rebecca John about this.
  • MDH will have the weekly meeting next week, then cancel the following two unless something urgent comes up.

Dashboard Update:

  • Regional case rates rose substantially in Hennepin and Ramsey counties during the week following Thanksgiving, and test positivity in both counties moved into the high range (>10%).
  • On campus: multiple new confirmed cases this week; 14-day on-campus student cases already > .5% for the period ending Saturday, 12/11. The response team is drafting an email to all students reminding them to stay home if they have symptoms.

Other Updates:

  • A COVID-19 Task force member stated that departments are requesting a restock of ‘back up’ mask supplies for next term, and they asked if we can support them. There was not a definitive answer concluded in the meeting.
  • The COVID-19 Task force discussed whether or not to meet Dec. 23 and 30. Pending approval from Rebecca John, those two meetings will be potentially canceled unless something comes up.

We set up a Google Form so Augsburg Staff Union members could state their questions or concerns to be addressed at the meeting.

Please note: Urgent questions related to COVID-19 should not be submitted via the Google Form, those questions should continue to be sent to helpline@augsburg.edu, calling 612-474-3100, and/or by using the Augsburg self-reporting form.

The interim staff union representative will continue to send weekly updates based on information gathered in the COVID Task Force meetings and questions asked in the google form.