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Community update from Augustana Strong, Nov. 4, 2020

Nov. 4, 2020

Campus community,

The Augustana Strong Task Force meets weekly to monitor our efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 and plan for the future. Some agenda items this fall have included:

• Evaluating campus visitor restrictions.

• Assessing the effectiveness of basic precautions such as masking, physical distancing and limiting gathering sizes.

• Determining quarantine needs for those traveling internationally during J-term and spring semester.

• Assessing the college’s surveillance testing program.  

We want to finish the semester strong, and ask that you continue to mask, maintain physical distancing, wash your  hands and keep group sizes small.

These efforts not only help keep campus healthy, but also can reassure families who expect their students to travel home in late November.

Testing and tracing

We continue to conduct weekly surveillance testing. As of Nov. 4, 3,079 tests have been administered and 17 positive cases identified. That is a positivity rate of less than 1 percent.

Contact tracing continues to be effective. As of Oct. 30, we have made 843 contacts and closed 773 cases.

Contact tracers (college employees) reach out to a student who has indicated symptoms, is believed to be a close contact, or who has received a positive test. From that initial interview, contact tracers make other contacts immediately to see if students need to sequester or move to quarantine or isolation housing.

Sequester, quarantine and isolation and what they mean

Sequester is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Students who have had close contact with a person suspected (but not yet confirmed) of having COVID-19 are asked to sequester.

Quarantine is used to keep someone who has been exposed to COVID-19 (but is not ill) away from others.

Isolation is used to separate people who have symptoms of COVID-19 or are infected with the virus from people who are not infected.

 Key reminders

→ If you are experiencing symptoms or believe you’ve had close contact with a person who has COVID-19, reporting that right away is very important. Students should contact Public Safety at 309-794-7711. Employees should contact Brandon Tidwell in Human Resources, 309-794-7141. 

→ You will be notified if a classroom, work space, computer lab, or other space that you use needs to temporarily close for deep cleaning.

→ Use the Campus Clear health screening app, and enter absence flags in Starfish. These those tools help with surveillance.

→ Continue to keep group gatherings to fewer than 10. Keep your clusters of friends and associates small. 

→ Wearing masks and maintaining physical distance continue to be extremely important.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to Augustana’s response to COVID-19. Best of luck for the remainder of the fall semester.


 Augustana Strong Task Force