The COVID-19 Task Force had a meeting on Thursday, September 30. Here are the meeting notes from the Augsburg Staff Union representative.
Minnesota Department of Health Updates:
- Faculty/Staff over 18 who are at increased risk for exposure may receive a booster dose for the Pfizer vaccine six months after completing the primary series for the Pfizer vaccine.
- Augsburg is looking into confirming legal guidance on whether we can use Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC) for student vaccination data to verify remaining student vaccination status.
- Discussion of interpretation of antigen test results:
- Advantage: Can identify positive cases much faster (the person who tests positive can start their 10-day isolation earlier).
- Disadvantage: Ability to accurately rule out COVID is lower (lower sensitivity). If someone is exposed, has symptoms, and/or is unvaccinated, a PCR test is recommended.
- Updated MDH bus guidance-If traveling on a bus, the standard definition of close contact (6 feet from someone for 15 minutes or more over the course of a day) is used if a positive case is determined instead of considering all passengers exposed.
- Most of the case growth in MN is happening outside the metro area. However, Hennepin and Ramsey county are still at a high level.
- Test positivity for COVID-19 in both Hennepin and Ramsey county are dipping below 5%.
- Student vaccination rate is 86.73% for at least the first dose, and 81.55% for fully vaccinated.
- Average county rates for 18-24 yr olds in Minnesota (from MDH) are 43.7% for at least the first dose, and 39.4% for fully vaccinated.
Updates from MDH Classroom Group:
- As MDH is transitioning out of pandemic mode into an endemic management mode, how do institutions prioritize where the high impact areas are for contact tracing? In particular, the pros/cons of classroom contact tracing (transmission data, disruption to student/faculty/learning) need to be evaluated.
- The question brought up in the Task Force meeting was, “Does the recommendation to students/staff based on symptoms match the MDH Decision Tree?”
- Members of the COVID-19 Task Force will be looking into how the CampusClear app can be edited to match the MDH Decision Tree.
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. 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.