Dear Colleagues, As a union, we successfully bargained to have a representative on the University COVID-19 Task Force. The first meeting with our interim union representative, Lauren Dusek, in attendance was this past Thursday. Listed below are the primary meeting updates:
- The mask mandate will continue to remain in place on campus.
- The student government is in strong support of the continued mask mandate.
- Additional designated eating spaces will be added, and an announcement will be sent out soon.
After the meeting, Lauren also met with two other members of the COVID-19 Task Force to better understand the structure and expectations for future meetings. Listed below are the main takeaways:
- The Minnesota Department of Health and the CDC guide the work of the COVID-19 Task Force.
- There are subgroups of the COVID Task Force that involve the operations team, the response team, and the leadership team.
- Members of the COVID Task Force prepare ahead of the meeting in order to bring up necessary agenda items at the meeting.
- Decisions about remote work policies for employees are not made at the COVID Task Force meetings.
- The COVID-19 Task Force is a space for concerns to be voiced and discussed, but it is not a space for final decisions to be made. The COVID Task Force’s commitment is to find out what we do and do not know.
- President Pribbenow ultimately makes the decisions related to topics brought up at the COVID Task Force meetings.
We set up a Google Form in advance of the meeting 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 612-474-3100, and/or by using the Augsburg self-reporting form. Here are the questions and answers from the latest Google Form responses:
Q: How do staff and faculty go about getting PPE (Masks, Sanitizer, etc) for their offices or suites?
A: Augsburg does not provide masks for individual office spaces at this time. For hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes, please place acustodial services request.
Q: The numbers of “on campus” student cases do not match up with the personal knowledge I have of students who have confirmed cases of Covid. I would like some clarity on how that “on campus” number is counted. Are they only counting students who live on campus, or do they count all students who have class or work on campus too?
A: Cases are counted based on what is reported. Faculty and staff need to help students report if they test positive. Students/Faculty/Staff need to submit aself-report formif they test positive. If a student reports to you that they received a positive COVID test, an email needs to be sent to the Dean of Students, Sarah Griesse, with the student’s name. The Minnesota Department of Health will also report cases that they find from Augsburg students/faculty/staff. 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.