Covid 19 task force update

Dear Colleagues, 

The COVID-19 Task Force met this week on April 7th. Here are the notes from the meeting: 

Minnesota Department of Health Updates

  • COVID rates remain low. For week of 3/6 (most recent available statewide data) 25% of MN specimens identified as BA.2. Initial data (Feb. 2022) suggests BA.2 is more transmissible than BA.1, but the difference appears to be much smaller than the difference between Delta and BA.1.
  • In higher education, MDH is not seeing a lot of cases – no clusters/outbreaks in higher ed in the last couple of weeks. Campus cases continue here and there (not zero) but are pretty quiet currently. 
  • MDH will not be updating general events and gathering guidance; deferring to CDC.
  • Updated guidance for youth programs and summer camps
  • Overview of Minnesota’s COVID-19 Testing Master Contract Program
  • Federal funding supporting testing at IHEs will continue through June 30; possible extension unclear at this time

Dashboard Updates

  • All data were low in the 4/2 report – regional transmission declines have leveled off but no sign of a surge at this point
  • In the metro area, wastewater surveillance indicates that the omicron BA.2 variant has been the dominant variant since late March.

Testing and vaccine on campus

  • Testing events on campus will continue on Mondays and Thursdays, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., through April 21.
  • Vaccine events March 30 and April 20
  • 32 people (including 21 Augsburg students) got shots at first event
  • Everyone got a $50 gift card, plus the students who won the drawing got an additional $25.
  • On April 20, will also be able to administer a second booster to those who are eligible:
  • People age 50 years and older.
  • People age 12-49 years who have certain immunocompromising conditions.
  • People age 18 and older who received Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for their initial dose and booster dose.
  • In addition to the above listed criteria, it needs to be at least four months since receiving the first booster.

Campus Clear Update

  • Continued slight declining use of app. Usual slide down towards end of semester.
  • Who is using it staying consistent for last few months (faculty/staff/student ratios).
  • Only April and May are left to use CampusClear.

Student COVID vaccine mandate for fall

  • Will coordinate with Admissions and Student Affairs (and keeping Registrar’s Office in the loop) to confirm the process for new students to provide COVID vaccination verification.
  • Goal is to leverage existing outreach and make the process as streamlined for students as possible while still providing COVID-specific info as needed. 

We set up a Google Form so Augsburg Staff Union members could state their questions or concerns to be addressed at the meeting. We did not receive any questions this week.  

Please note, 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.