The COVID-19 Task Force had a meeting on Thursday, November 11th. Here are the meeting notes from the Augsburg Staff Union representative.
Minnesota Department of Health Updates:
- Cases remain “high” in nearly all MN counties. Campuses are continuing to do well, but the concern is about a large uptick in hospitalization and the 9% statewide positivity rate (substantial per CDC definitions).
- MDH recommends institutions of higher education continue with the mitigation practices they have in place during this time.
- MDH also suggested encouraging:
- Masking/distancing off campus.
- Promoting boosters (everyone in higher education is eligible).
- Six months after Pfizer or Moderna.
- Two months after J&J (booster for J&J is recommended).
- Providing recommendations for Thanksgiving:
- Layers of mitigation (vaccination, distance, testing, masks) are important.
- If anyone has symptoms, they should stay away from gatherings.
- Keep the gathering small (less than 5) – Any gathering increases the risk of infection for everyone.
- Space out the furniture to encourage distancing.
- If high-risk people are in attendance, consider getting others tested.
- Lay low before you go.
- Unvaccinated people should test before they go home and/or before they visit vulnerable people.
- CDC has no recommendation for additional dose if the original vaccination was a non-FDA approved type (e.g., for international students). CDC and FDA are working on this.
- MDH expects to shift how it partners with Institutions of Higher Education for contact tracing (focusing on clusters and surges vs individual cases) – Updates and training planned for December.
- Assessment of classroom transmission – only 1 secondary infection confirmed.
- Vaccine 101 training Nov. 23, 1 hour, 9am and 3pm.
- New event guidance is expected to be published by the end of the week.
- Cases per 100k were in the upper 300 range last week. Reports this week are back in 200s, but there are data anomalies potentially affecting the daily numbers at this time-https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view
- Expanding designated dining spaces in Hagfors — an announcement will be sent before Saturday for classes on the weekend.
- There are still COVID Policy holds that are preventing students from registering for classes. Working with students to reduce that number.
Covid-19 Task Force Elections
- Later this month, we will open nominations to run for the permanent Augsburg Staff Union position on the Covid-19 Task Force.
- Please join us at the November 17th Town Hall at Noon to learn more about this position. Register for the Town Hall here.
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 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.