Campus Update — April 19

Augustana University is closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation. Here are the latest things to know:

Global Outlook

National Outlook

  • As of 2:17 p.m. on April 19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 31,484,148 positive cases of the novel coronavirus and 564,292 deaths.
  • According to the CDC, 264,505,725 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered, and 211,581,309 have been administered throughout the U.S. The CDC reports that as of April 19, 132,321,628 people in the U.S. have received one or more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine (39.9 perecent of the population), and 85,365,180 people are fully vaccinated (25.7 percent of the population).
  • Effective April 13, the CDC and Federal Drug Administration (FDA) recommended a pause in the use of Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Of the nearly seven million Janssen doses administered, a rare and severe type of blood clot has been reported in a small number of women between the ages of 18 and 48. Symptoms occurred 6-13 days after vaccination.
  • Effective March 19, the CDC issued updated K–12 school guidance to reflect the latest science on physical distance between students in classrooms. The CDC now recommends that, with universal masking, students should maintain a distance of at least three feet in classroom settings.
  • Effective March 8, the CDC issued its first set of guidelines on how fully vaccinated people can safely visit with others. 
  • Effective January 26, the CDC issued an order requiring all airline passengers to the U.S. ages two years and older must provide either a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel or provide a positive test result and documentation from a licensed health care provider or public health official of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Passengers must also attest, under penalty of law, to having received a negative qualifying test result or to recovery from COVID-19 and medical clearance to travel. 
  • Effective December 2, the CDC provided new shortened quarantine guidance as an acceptable alternative to the quarantine period of 14 days.

State Outlook

  • As of 10:28 a.m. on April 19, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has confirmed 121,189 total (confirmed and probable) positive cases of COVID-19, including the 133 cases that are new (confirmed and probable), and 1,953 deaths. There are 2,153 active cases in the state, including 112 current hospitalizations. A total of 117,083 people have recovered from COVID-19 in the state. According to the SD-DOH, the state has recieved 55 confirmed reports of the B.1.1.7 variant of concern (VOC), eight confirmed reports of the B.1.429 VOC, one report of the B.1.351 VOC, one report of the B.1.427 VOC and no confirmed reports of the P.1 VOC. Within the past few weeks, the state has reported the largest rise of COVID-19 cases in the 20-29-year-old population.
  • According to the SD-DOH, 536,965 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered as of April 19. Of the vaccinations administered in the state, the SD-DOH reports that 52.77 percent of the population in South Dakota has had at least one dose of the vaccine, and 39.3 percent has completed the series of vaccines.
  • As of April 19, 240,595 doses of the Moderna, 280,074 doses of the Pfizer and 16,296 doses of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine have been administered in the state. These numbers do not include vaccinations given through Indian Health Services, Veterans Affairs or the Federal Retail Pharmacy (FRP) Program. According to the SD-DOH, those who received the Janssen vaccine in the state have reported no adverse effects. Any additional doses of the Janssen vaccine recieved by the state will be placed in storage while the pause of the Janssen vaccine (recommended by the FDA and CDC) is in place.
  • Effective April 5, all South Dakotans 16 years and older became eligible to recieve the COVID-19 vaccine. Read more about "Vaccine Priority Groups" in the state.
  • As of March 4, under the FRP Program, the federal government began supplying retail locations in South Dakota with a limited amount of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Read more about the vaccine on the SD-DOH website and the CDC website.

City Outlook

  • The city has a Sioux Falls COVID-19 Dashboard that provides information and resources about the coronavirus testing, case data and the response in Lincoln and Minnehaha Counties. As of 12:33 p.m. on April 19, Lincoln and Minnehaha Counties reported a total of 39,412 total (confirmed and probable) cases of the novel coronavirus, including 53 cases that are new, and 425 deaths. There are 921 active cases in both counties, including 45 current hospitalizations. A total of 38,066 people have recovered throughout the two counties. March 10, 2020, is when the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Minnehaha County.
  • On March 9, in a second reading, the Sioux Falls City Council voted on whether to extend an ordinace (passed on November 17, 2020) that requires a face covering in an indoor retail businesses and city-owned facilities where a 6-foot social distancing cannot be achieved, which was set to expire on March 13. In a 5-4 vote, the council voted not to extend the ordinance.
  • Other updates about City of Sioux Falls services and operations are available at siouxfalls.org/covid19.

Campus Outlook

  • As of April 19, Augustana University has received a total of 406 reports of positive COVID-19 from the campus community since receiving its first positive case report on April 23, 2020. Of those cases, two cases remain active and 404 people have recovered.
  • Augustana students, faculty and staff who receive a positive COVID-19 test are asked to remain home until they have fully recovered and notify the COVID-19 Response Team at goodhealth@augie.edu. The AU community is also asked to report dates of their COVID-19 vaccinations at my.augie.edu (login required). By reporting vaccinations, Augustana will be better able to monitor and evaluate COVID-19 protocols in place, as well as identify the employees and students who are eligible for upcoming South Dakota vaccination groups. Despite vaccinations, everyone on campus must continue to follow all Viking Flex Plan protocols, including the mask policy.
  • For daily updates on positive COVID-19 cases and vaccinations reported to AU, please visit the my.augie.edu portal.
  • A more comprehensive look at COVID-19 cases within K-12 schools, as well as colleges, universities and technical schools in South Dakota can be found on the SD-DOH website, updated weekly on Mondays.

As we continue to implement the Viking Flex Plan and welcome students and staff on campus, we fully anticipate receiving reports of positive cases. In order to deal with the anticipated increase of positive cases reported and to preserve the confidentiality and privacy of all involved — Augustana will notify the entire campus community of individual positive COVID-19 cases only when a particular case or set of cases poses a greater risk to the community that cannot be identified through contact tracing. Those in our campus community who are known to have met the exposure criteria determined by the CDC will be notified. For a better understanding, please view COVID-19 Basics #ForAU.

If and when an individual reports testing positive for COVID-19, we will continue to utilize contact tracing, identifying and contacting anyone who may have been in contact with the individual. Augustana’s Employee Health Educator, Campus Clinic staff and others will stay in touch with these individuals to offer any support they may need. More resources regarding health and safety can be found at augie.edu/VikingFlex or within our Viking Flex Plan Frequently Asked Questions.