Covid 19 TF Updates

Dear Colleagues,

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.

Dashboard Update:

Campus Operations:

  • 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, 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.