Return to campus for spring term 2022

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As in the fall semester, we return to campus this spring with heightened attention to our key mitigation protocols. The mitigation list should look familiar by now, but with the regional increase in the highly transmissible omicron variant, the following summary includes some important reminders and specifics about Augsburg’s protocols.

  • Monitoring symptoms and reporting cases.

    • There is some evidence that symptoms appear sooner with the omicron variant, particularly in vaccinated individuals. Paying attention to symptoms helps reduce transmission if people stay home when they are sick.

    • If you have symptoms, have tested positive, or are exposed to someone with COVID-19, please submit the self report form so that the Augsburg COVID Response Team can provide you with information and support applicable to your role and situation.

    • Students are encouraged to report illness or required isolation/quarantine to their instructors and to make every effort to keep up with coursework when isolating or in quarantine.

    • Instructors may contact Dean of Students Sarah Griesse when students report COVID-19 cases to you to ensure the appropriate follow up is undertaken. Shifts from face-to-face to remote instruction continue to require approval from the appropriate academic dean.

  • Indoor masking. 

    • Masks are required indoors on campus except in designated areas (see protocols). You should also consider wearing a mask in indoor or crowded outdoor settings off campus. Note: Both the City of Minneapolis and the City of St. Paul announced indoor mask mandates, effective Thursday, January 6.)

    • Well-fitted masks provide important protection. N95 and KN95 masks offer the best protection. The next best options are multi-layered masks and double masking. See mask recommendations from MDH for more information.

    • There are some areas on campus where more consistent adherence to the mask mandate is needed, including informal study areas (e.g., Lindell Library, Hagfors Center, etc.) and the fitness center. Please pay attention to the mask requirement when you are in those spaces.

  • Limiting the number of people you are in close contact with where possible. 

    • In classrooms, this may mean assigned seating or structured activities that reduce the number of close interactions and maintain as much distance as the space allows.

    • In meetings and other activities, reducing the number of in-person attendees, increasing distance, and offering remote access alternatives are recommended when feasible.

  • Getting vaccinated or boosted. Find and schedule a vaccination appointment.

    • Augsburg strongly recommends but is not requiring the booster at this time. We do anticipate the need to track booster status in the near future, especially if new higher education protocols require quarantine for individuals who are not boosted or recently vaccinated.

    • Everyone 18 and older is eligible for a booster if it has been more than six months since you got your second Moderna vaccination, more than five months since you got your second Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination, or more than two months since the one-dose J&J vaccination. Most Auggies are vaccinated, but many had their last shot last spring or summer. The booster reduces the likelihood you will become infected and significantly reduces the chances of developing serious illness.

    • If the Minnesota Department of Health changes quarantine requirements for higher education to align with recent CDC recommendations, boosted or recently vaccinated individuals can avoid the disruption of required quarantine following an exposure to a positive case.

    • If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, it’s still not too late. Minnesota’s vaccination centers are ready to help you get your first or next dose. Also, if you got your first Pfizer or Moderna shot several months ago, you don’t have to start over; you can still schedule the second dose now, using the link above.

Thank you for your continued efforts to keep our community safe. As always, if you have questions, please submit them to the Augsburg Helpline.