Dear Colleagues, The COVID-19 Task Force had a meeting on Thursday, November 4th. Here are the meeting notes from the Augsburg Staff Union representative. Minnesota Department of Health Updates:
- Cases remain “high” in nearly all MN counties – significant recent increases in regional rates.
- Vaccination now available for children ages 5-11.
- Updated CDC guidance for higher education.
- Vaccine 101 Training will be on Nov. 23rd, 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- COVID coordinators, residential staff, campus life, student leaders, athletics, faculty, etc. are welcome to join.
- The COVID Task Force is working on gathering more information on how to join for those interested.
- This will be shared with potentially RAs, student government, and other student organization leaders.
- Discussion of boosters for those in higher education settings. Getting a booster is recommended for higher education.
- MDH will consult on whether/how they would advise us to track boosters.
- Anyone who is living in a residence hall can get a booster.
- For comparison: less than 60% of all Minnesotans 18-24 have at least one dose.
- Last week’s on campus cases of COVID was 5.
Campus Clear Stats:
- Much like September, half as many reports in the Campus Clear app overall vs a year ago (this Oct 4,966 vs last Oct 10,739).
- Higher percentage of that 4966 total is faculty reporting (14%) vs last Oct (6%). More faculty are participating this year.
- Exploring expanded dining areas in Hagfors. The Mpls Operations team to discuss further at their meeting on 11/4.
- Continuing indoor mask mandate.
We set up a Google Form so Augsburg Staff Union members could state their questions or concerns to be addressed at the meeting. The following question was requested in advance of the meeting:
- Q: Explain more please … “During the MDH meeting, there was a discussion of what not to use antibody testing for.”
- A: Here’s more detail on what MDH said about not using antibody tests:
- Antibody tests are not to be used to diagnose acute COVID 19 infection.
- Antibody tests are not recommended to assess for immunity after infection or after vaccination.
- Not recommended to determine the need for quarantine after exposure.
- There is no identified correlation between antibody levels and immunity.
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.