Augustana Strong COVID-19 information
Aug. 15, 2022
Message from Dean of Students Dr. Wes Brooks
Over the past two years, Augustana has tailored COVID-19 mitigation efforts to the campus to provide a safe, healthy environment, and in accordance with outside guidance. We have continually modified our procedures and practices as pandemic conditions change.
The latest update from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides guidance and recommends people understand their own personal risk regarding the virus. (CDC release from Aug. 11, 2022)
“This guidance acknowledges that the pandemic is not over, but also helps us move to a point where COVID-19 no longer severely disrupts our daily lives,” CDC epidemiologist Dr. Greta Massetti said in a statement.
Our region is currently at a medium level of community spread. This, coupled with our high rate of COVID-19 vaccinations on campus, supports the shift to an endemic model for our campus. We will continue to closely monitor the evolving medical environment to make the most sound decisions for our community.
Continuing through the summer and into the fall semester, our campus will be mask-optional. Generally, masks at Augustana are welcome, but not required.
SPECIAL NOTE: Masks will be required for those who have tested positive for COVID and those who were exposed to COVID. CDC guidance indicates that those who are exposed or who test positive should “Wear a well-fitting mask for 10 full days any time you are around others inside your home or in public. Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a well-fitting mask.”
Properly wearing a high-quality mask has proven to be an effective strategy to help prevent COVID-19 and the spread for COVID-19. We have a supply of high-quality masks available free to students and employees, and they can be picked up in the Dean of Students Office, inside the Bahls Center (formerly Founders Hall).
Contact tracing, isolation and quarantine
Contact tracing will be discontinued for students and employees. We will continue to have quarantine (in rare cases even though CDC no longer requires quarantine for those who are exposed) and isolation beds available as needed for students, on campus and at a local hotel.
Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be encouraged to go to their family home, when possible, to recover. Students requiring isolation on campus or at a hotel due to COVID-19 will be subject to a fee to help defray costs.
Employees who test positive will need to remain off campus during the isolation period.
Surveillance testing will be discontinued, and is not currently required for NCAA athletes. Because of the change to surveillance testing, we no longer have an online dashboard. These changes take into account the high rate of vaccinated people on campus and the limited number of hospitalizations over the last two years.
Students and employees, when experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, will continue to have access to testing through the on-campus health clinic. Testing will be processed through the student’s/employee’s insurance. The CVS and Walgreens near campus also offer testing.
All community members should symptom-check every day before coming to campus and/or attending class or another college function. Currently the CDC lists COVID-19 symptoms as: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea. Anyone who shows pronounced symptoms should stay home, wear a mask around others and seek medical guidance.
Getting vaccinated and receiving booster shots has proven helpful in protecting against serious COVID-19 symptoms, and vaccination is still encouraged on campus. More than 90% of the campus community is vaccinated.
Those who are still waiting to get a booster shot should consider doing so before classes start. Once classes begin, COVID vaccines and boosters will be available at our on-campus clinic. Also, the Rock Island County Health Department offers walk-in vaccine clinics twice a week.
If you have received another COVID vaccination or booster since last uploading your vaccination card, please upload your card now.
SPECIAL NOTE: In some circumstances, vaccination may be required. This could include, but is not limited to, students or faculty traveling abroad, some music ensembles, and/or when an Augustana student is student-teaching in a district that requires teachers be vaccinated. Additionally, vaccination is required of all CSD graduate students.
Members of the campus community should also consider getting a flu shot. Augustana will host a flu shot clinic in the coming weeks, though a date has not been set.
If you test positive
Report positive COVID-19 test results. Any positive COVID-19 test result, possible exposure or other concern must be reported to Public Safety at 309-794-7711. Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 should contact the Human Resources office.
The focus of the fall semester will be responding to COVID with an abundance of personal care and responsibility. During this new phase of the virus, our focus will be less on the number of cases on campus and more on mitigating against serious illness. Because of the high levels of immunity and availability of effective COVID-19 prevention and management tools, there is a reduced risk for serious illness.
The college leadership team will pay close attention to the impact of COVID-19 on our campus, as well as risk levels in the surrounding community. Augustana's response to COVID-19 and our mitigations may be adjusted as COVID-19 continues to evolve.
We are grateful for the efforts of students and employees. Your care for one another and commitment to personal responsibility are essential as Augustana continues to adapt to living and working alongside COVID-19.
Make a virtual appointment
Virtual appointments now are available at many campus offices when classes are in session.
Information for visitors
Campus is open to visitors and welcomes organizations interested in using Augustana’s campus to host an event.
Admissions group tours and visit days are scheduled. Visitors have access to all facilities, including indoor tours, the dining hall and residence halls.
Camps, conferences and meetings also are underway. For scheduling, contact Rita Gustafson, campus scheduling coordinator, 309-794-7322.
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.