Covid-19 Task Force Update

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Dear Colleagues, The COVID-19 Task Force had a meeting on Thursday, October 14th. Here are the meeting notes from the Augsburg Staff Union representative. Minnesota Department of Health Updates: 

  • There was no general higher education meeting this week. 
  • Updates from Augsburg’s classroom group: Based on their meeting notes, they are looking into advice for institutions on mask mandates. 

Dashboard update: 

  • Overall, Rebecca John stated that Augsburg is doing well. On campus, case rates remain low (2 new cases reported in the past week).
  • The growth in regional and statewide transmission rates for COVID-19 has accelerated over the past week. 
  • Last week, the 7-day case rate in Hennepin County exceeded 200 per 100,000 population for the first time since the peak of the April 2021 wave. Case rates outside of the metropolitan area are even higher, and hospitals statewide are at or near full capacity.
  • Vaccination status will be added to the COVID-19 Dashboard this week (numbers will be updated Friday). Example of what will be on the Dashboard: 
  • Vaccinated students (as a % of all reported): 85.93%
  • Vaccinated Faculty & Staff (as a % of all reported): 97.53% 
  • Students who have reported their vaccination status: 97.79% 
  • Faculty & Staff who have reported their vaccination status: 89.45%
  • 10% of all students at Augsburg have not met our policy (note: you can be in compliance with the policy without being vaccinated) 
  • 6% of the 10% are not vaccinated 
  • 2% of the 10% have their first dose 
  • 2% of the 10% are unknown

Testing access: 

  • Updated Outbreak Planning webpage will include Minneapolis Convention Center option. This will be added to Amail and on digital screens.
  • Testing options added to emails to students from response team.
  • Working on connection with People‚Äôs Center for testing events.

COVID policy hold: 

  • Approximately 300 (10%) of students not in compliance with the policy. 
  • Marah Jacobson-Schulte, Katie Bishop, Rebecca John met to confirm the plan for students who have not met the policy. They are targeting an initial email early next week encouraging students to take one of the action options and stay enrolled. 
  • Sarah Griesse, Mike Fetting, and Rebecca to confirm logistics of adding/lifting the holds in Agresso.
  • Questions brought up by COVID Task Force members during the meeting on this topic: 
  • Question: If they have submitted the original exemption form and it got bounced back for more information are they being flagged as compliant or not currently?  And when will answers be given to those that got it bounced back and resubmitted more information on their exemption request?
  • Answer from Katie Bishop: We’re working through those right now.
  • Answer from Rebecca John: Students are not on the policy hold list if they have started the process. 
  • Percentage rate of faculty & staff out of compliance: 10.55% 

CampusClear App

  • Jennifer Bankers-Fulbright, Scott Krajewski, Rebecca John are working on the logic of CampusClear and directing faculty, staff, and students to more situation-specific information. 
  • Working on updating the Exposed to COVID-19 or Feeling Sick? website as well to help direct staff, students, and faculty for updated next steps on what to do.

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.