The COVID-19 Task Force had a meeting on Thursday, January 20th. Here are the meeting notes from the Augsburg Staff Union representative.
- 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.
- 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
- The following article was brought up in the meeting today as optional reading: A Covid ‘New Normal’ Is Coming to Campus. Here’s What That Could Look Like. The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 14, 2022
- ACHA provided additional guidance yesterday on covid management: https://www.acha.org/ACHA/About/ACHA_News/COVID-19_Task_Force_Key_Considerations_Update_Jan_2022.aspx
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.