College moves from high to moderate alert level
Feb. 26, 2021
Augustana College has lowered its COVID alert level from high to moderate after a review of current conditions and its own benchmarks.
The college had operated at high alert since November. (See Augustana College COVID alert levels)
Dr. Wes Brooks, dean of students, said the Augustana Strong Task Force and the president’s cabinet reviewed the alert level this week, and considered many different factors and indicators:
• Campus and community positivity rates are trending down
• On-campus isolation and quarantine occupancy is very low currently.
• Testing is readily available and contact tracing has been effective.
• There have been no confirmed cases of transmission in the classroom.
Dr. Brooks stressed that most pandemic measures that have been in place all year will remain: required masking, physical distancing, restrictions on visitors to campus, and use of the Campus Clear screening app.
He asked that community members adhere to Restore Illinois Phase 4 guidance pertaining to bars and restaurants.
Changes under alert Level 2
Residence hall lounges will re-open.
The group gathering size limit will increase to 50 people for sponsored on-campus events, such as Office of Student Life activities and chapel services.
Non-sponsored activities, such as club and organization meetings, can have gatherings of 25 or less. Clubs and organizations should continue using the activity application through Student Government Association.
COVID-19 guidelines remain in place
COVID-19 guidelines remain in place for spring semester.
For example, residence hall visitation rules will be enforced (only one additional visitor in a space at a time); personal social gatherings are limited to 10 students or fewer (violations will result in interim measures such as separation from campus); and students should not be visiting bars and restaurants to dine in.
Students must continue communicating with the college regarding symptoms, positive test results, or possible exposure, by contacting Public Safety at 309-794-7711. Contact tracing is a key to Augustana's continued success co-existing with COVID.
• Keep wearing a mask and continue to practice physical distancing of at least 6 feet.
Masking is required on campus whether a community member is fully immunized or not.
Those who are fully immunized also are required to quarantine if exposed, just as those who are not yet immunized.
• Do not go inside restaurants or bars in Illinois or Iowa.
• PepsiCo Recreation Center and the Westerlin Activity Center limit the number of people inside at any one time to 25.
• College-sponsored events are limited to 50 people in attendance at any one time.
• Personal social events should not have more than 10 people in attendance at any one time.
• Those who have off-campus jobs should ensure their employers are adhering to all COVID-19 protocols.
Reminders from the Augustana Strong Task Force:
→ Keep your friend group small. While group gatherings can be no larger than 10 people, if you are socializing with many different small groups, you can have contact with more than 10 people.
→ Use the CampusClear health screening app. All students, faculty and staff are required to use health screening daily.
→ In addition to seeking medical advice, if you have COVID symptoms, or test positive for COVID-19, or learn that you have been exposed to someone who tested positive, contact Augustana Public Safety immediately. Call 309-794-7711.
• • •
The college is operating under the COVID-19 mitigation plans of the Augustana Strong Task Force.
The college will operate under one of four alert levels:
Level 1 Low Alert/New Normal
Level 2 Moderate Alert
Level 3 High Alert
Level 4 Very High Alert
Movement between these alert levels will be guided by the a number of factors, including the positivity rate on campus and in Rock Island County. Currently, the college is operating at Level 2. (See Augustana College COVID Alert Levels)
Augustana's COVID-19 Testing Dashboard will be updated every week when classes are in session.
The COVID Ready Response Handbook and Informational Guide contains detailed information about living on campus, COVID testing, student activities, and more.
Make a virtual appointment
Virtual appointments now are available at many campus offices. When possible, students and families should use this service instead of going into offices in person.
Spring break will not be held. The start of spring semester also will be delayed one week and will begin on Feb. 10, 2021.
The last day of “First Seven Week Courses” is March 25
The first day of “Second Seven Week Courses” is March 26
No classes will be held on Good Friday, April 2, or on Easter Monday, April 5.
The Celebration of Learning, Thursday, May 6, will be held as usual, and likely will be a virtual event this year. Regular classes will not be held on May 6.
Residential Life and Dining Services
Information for visitors
• Masks are required in all common areas of campus.
• All visitors and employees are required to participate in a daily screening. Visit the Office of Public Safety in Sorensen Hall for an in-person screening, unless otherwise directed.
• Outside visitors will not be allowed in residence halls.
The college will not automatically send a campus notice if a student or employee is diagnosed with COVID-19.
Augustana will provide information as required by legal and health authorities, and will work closely with the Rock Island County Health Department.