Covid 19 TF Update

Header: Update

The COVID-19 Task Force met Thursday, August 12th. Here are the notes from the meeting: 

CDC community levels 

  • For 8/10/22, both Hennepin and Ramsey remain low (below 200 cases/100k population)
  • First time Hennepin remained below 200 for two weeks in a row since the end of April. (See 6-week history.)
  • No student or employee cases reported so far this week. 

COVID-19 statement for syllabi 

  • Faculty have begun inquiring about a syllabus “COVID statement” that they can include in their syllabi for Fall. As the Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, Jennifer Bankers-Fulbright can provide this for faculty via the COVID team/other institutional admin based on this committee’s recommendation.
  • During the meeting, the Deans (Monica Devers and Ryan Haaland) told Jennifer to send a draft statement for them to review along with Provost Paula O’Loughlin. 

Residence Life Planning

  • Mike Grewe stated that they are working on an isolation contingency plan if they run out of isolation spaces. 
  • There will still be a floor dedicated to student isolation (13th floor of Mortensen)
  • Monkeypox planning (in process) – nothing has been finalized yet. However, there will be contact tracing for Monkeypox. 
  • Plan to send an email to students sometime next week with all finalized updates. 

Further discussion about masking at the start of fall

  • Lauren Radomski provided Staff Union Feedback based on the survey that was sent out last week- She shared that 21/23 respondents wanted a mask mandate in the fall. 
  • Athletics: Concern about how to require other teams and spectators to wear masks. 
  • Further discussion on mandate vs recommendation.
  • After the discussion, Rebecca John stated that she plans to recommend the following to the President’s office: 
  • For the first week, Augsburg is going to ask that everyone wear a mask indoors where there are other people around. This will be neither a mandate nor a recommendation, but instead will be a direct ask.
  • Start date for the masking ask at Augsburg: First day of classes on August 31st through Friday, September 9th. 

HEPA Filter Machines

  • Someone in the task force brought up that they are not clear on the management of the HEPA filter machines across campus. 
  • John Knowles stated: “Our team will check the machines as part of our pre-Fall classroom checks. Facilities is able to replace if they are not working.”
  • Make sure your HEPA filter machines are on and if they are not working, put in a work order request to facilities. 

Updated CDC guidance (issued Aug. 11, 2022) 

  • Known exposure: Protocol for those with boosters now applies to everyone: mask for 10 days, test on day 5-7 (or sooner if symptoms present) 
  • Isolation: Same 5 day isolation, with masking days 6-10 and notifying close contacts, but now there’s an option to mask only until they receive two consecutive negative test results, with tests taken at least 48 hours apart. For some people, though, this might mean they will need to continue masking longer than 10 days. 
  • The Outbreak Planning site, automated email content, and logic will be updated to reflect these changes. 
  • Contact Tracing for COVID: When some reports that they are positive via the reporting form, the student, faculty and/or staff that reported they were positive will receive the instructions to contact the people that were exposed to them to let them know.

We have a Google Form available for Augsburg Staff Union members to ask questions to be brought up at the COVID Task Force meetings. We received one question this week about contact tracing on campus. This was addressed during the meeting today during the updated CDC guidance discussion. 

Urgent questions related to COVID-19 should not be submitted via the Google Form, those questions should continue to be sent to, 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.