Campus Update — May 24

Coronavirus update

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

Global Outlook

National Outlook

  • As of May 24, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 32,947,548 positive cases of the novel coronavirus and 587,342 deaths.
  • According to the CDC, 357,250,475 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered, and 286,890,900 have been administered throughout the U.S. The CDC reports that as of May 24, 163,907,827 people in the U.S. have received one or more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine (49.4 perecent of the population), and 130,615,791 people are fully vaccinated (39.3 percent of the population).
  • Effective May 13, the CDC issued guidance on fully vaccinated persons. According to the CDC, if you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic. Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. View safer activities.
  • Effective April 23, the CDC and Federal Drug Administration (FDA) lifted the recommended pause in the use of Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine placed on April 13. Of the nearly seven million Janssen doses administered at the time, 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 May 24, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has confirmed 123,942 total (confirmed and probable) positive cases of COVID-19, including the 31 cases that are new (confirmed and probable), and 2,004 deaths. There are 522 active cases in the state, including 56 current hospitalizations. A total of 121,416 people have recovered from COVID-19 in the state. According to the SD-DOH, the state has recieved 154 confirmed reports of the B.1.1.7 variant of concern (VOC), 15 confirmed reports of the B.1.429 VOC, three reports of the P.1 VOC, two reports of the B.1.351, as well as one report of the B.1.427 VOC.
  • According to the SD-DOH, 644,142 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered as of May 24. Of the vaccinations administered in the state, the SD-DOH reports that 53.74 percent of the population in South Dakota has had at least one dose of the vaccine, and 48.68 percent has completed the series of vaccines.
  • As of May 24, 284.487 doses of the Moderna, 340,120 doses of the Pfizer and 19,535 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. 
  • 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 May 24, Lincoln and Minnehaha Counties reported a total of 40,363 total (confirmed and probable) cases of the novel coronavirus, including nine cases that are new, and 437 deaths. There are 144 active cases in both counties, including 15 current hospitalizations. A total of 39,782 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 May 24, Augustana University has received a total of 409 reports of positive COVID-19 from the campus community since receiving its first positive case report on April 23, 2020. Of those cases, there are no active cases and 409 people have recovered.
  • In light of the vaccination data reported to Augustana by students, staff and faculty, as well as the updated CDC guidelines for vaccinated persons, effective May 14, the following adjustments to the Viking Flex Health and Safety Protocols:
    • If you are NOT fully vaccinated, for your safety and the safety of others, you are expected to wear a mask in all public indoor and outdoor spaces at all times.
    • If you are fully vaccinated, masks will no longer be required indoors while on campus (with the above noted exception related to classrooms and next week's final exams). In the event of a masking requirement for a specific event or location on campus, we will post signs at each entrance indicating a mask requirement.
    • If you are fully vaccinated and are a direct contact to an individual who tests positive, you are not required to quarantine.  However, you should monitor yourself for any symptoms and if you do experience any symptoms you should quarantine and seek a COVID-19 test.
    • If you are fully vaccinated, masks will no longer be required outdoors. 
    • If you are fully vaccinated, you may participate in outdoor activities and recreation without wearing a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues when indicated by event coordinators or signage.
  • 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. 
  • 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.