Masking encouraged indoors
July 30, 2021
Augustana College encourages everyone to wear masks in public indoor settings. This applies regardless of your vaccination status, and it applies to employees, students on campus this summer, and visitors.
The Centers for Disease Control said last week that, in order to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, people should wear a mask indoors in public if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
COVID-19 transmission levels were raised to "substantial" in Rock Island and Scott counties (the Quad Cities area) last week.
More information will be shared as it becomes available. The Augustana Strong Task Force will continue to modify plans and procedures as the start of a new academic year nears.
Updated guidelines for fall semester
In a campus briefing July 8, college leaders announced that all students, faculty and staff will be required to provide their COVID-19 vaccination status to the college by Aug. 6.
→ To do so, students, faculty and staff should fill out this form to register their vaccination status.
Students must register their vaccination status before they can move into campus housing.
Faculty, staff and students who provide proof of vaccination will be exempt from some mitigation requirements such as masking and distancing.
Community members who are not vaccinated — or who do register their proof of vaccination — will be required to wear masks indoors, to socially distance where possible, and to participate in COVID-19 surveillance testing upon their return to campus.
Certain activities, which may include participation in some or all athletic teams, music ensembles or large student groups, may not be available to unvaccinated students. Domestic and international travel options also may be limited or unavailable for those who are unvaccinated.
For details, see What to expect in fall semester.
Vaccination status reports will be treated as confidential. College officials will use this information to assess whether any herd immunity benefits have been achieved, or if more stringent COVID-19 mitigation steps will be required.
President Steve Bahls, his cabinet and members of the board of trustees, will monitor the level of community transmission of COVID-19; the vaccination status of students, faculty and staff; and the status of COVID-19 in the larger community. These factors will determine whether additional mitigation steps will be required.
President Bahls said that everyone who chooses to get vaccinated does it for a reason: to protect their family, to protect their children, to be less anxious, to visit their parents, or to get back to activities such as seeing friends or returning to school.
"Today I’m here to encourage those members of our campus community who are not yet vaccinated to consider getting vaccinated before we resume classes on Aug. 30," he said.
Plans for fall 2021 include in-person learning, athletics, social activities and celebrations, and opportunities to enjoy the arts.
"We hope that every student is able to enjoy all the benefits of the on-campus learning and living experience. And those who are vaccinated will have more freedom and opportunities on campus," President Bahls said.
Dr. Wes Brooks, dean of students, said that stopping the spread of COVID-19 is a community effort.
"The college will rely on each person’s compliance with the mitigation requirements applicable to their situations to halt the pandemic," he said.
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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.
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.
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.