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Q and A
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces reduces the germs in an area and possible spread of COVID-19. Custodial Services is cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces throughout each day. Some areas across campus have cleaning materials that individuals may use before and after spending time in an area. Please put in a custodial request to refill hand sanitizer in building dispensers if they’re empty as well as for more disinfectant wipes, towels, and spray for cleaning up common spaces in offices and similar shared spaces after use.
The best way to protect yourself is to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before using an area and afterward. Carry hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes so you may clean an area before (for your health) and after (for the next person’s health) use.
- Testing is available at several locations for no cost.
- The most effective time to get a test is 5-7 days after exposure.
- When transmission rates are high, individuals should consider periodic testing (e.g., weekly) even if there is no known exposure.
- Staff, faculty, and student workers may use their work hours to get periodic COVID-19 tests.
The most effective time to get a test is 5-7 days after exposure. The incubation period for COVID-19 is two to 14 days. If you get tested immediately after an exposure, the virus level may still be too low to be detected, resulting in a negative test result even though you may still develop COVID-19.
Regular testing. When transmission levels are high in the area, many people report getting COVID-19 without knowing where or how they were exposed. Getting tested on a regular basis (e.g., every 5-7 days) even if you don’t have symptoms can help identify people who are infected even before they have symptoms and ensure they isolate early to avoid spreading the virus to others.
Testing locations in the area:
- Testing is available 12:30-4 p.m. Mondays at the People’s Center across the street from campus. This is a throat-swab test and is available whether or not you have health insurance. Please fill out this form once to be tested as many times as you need.
- Additional easy-to-access testing is available at the Minneapolis Convention Center, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on weekdays. Walk-ins are welcome, but you are encouraged to make an appointment if possible. You can schedule an appointment online. Note: This testing site has temporarily relocated to U.S. Bank Stadium for the week of Jan. 17-21.
- The state of Minnesota offers fast and accurate at-home saliva testing, at no cost, to any person who feels they need a test.
- The Minnesota Department of Health also operates community testing centers across the state. These are saliva tests and require no identification or insurance. Appointments are recommended, but they accommodate walk-ins as well.
- Several area pharmacies, clinics, and hospitals also offer tests. For more information, see this searchable map with locations, hours, and eligibility requirements.
The COVID-19 vaccine is required for all students, staff, and faculty. Documented medical and non-medical exceptions will apply. You can find free COVID-19 vaccines, including walk-in clinics, throughout the metropolitan area.
On August 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration fully approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for those 16 and up. This means that the vaccine is not considered experimental and that it meets the high standards the FDA requires for approval.
The CDC has authorized boosters of the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines at least six months after receiving the second dose (or two months after receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine) for certain eligible groups, including educators and education staff. The CDC has also authorized mix and match dosing for booster shots, allowing people to choose to stay with the same vaccine type that they originally received or to get a different booster. Learn more about vaccination from the Minnesota Department of Health.
The Commons offers a variety of foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Einstein’s provides hot sandwiches and coffee drinks along with chilled beverages and grab-and-go items. Kafe Kafeega offers coffee and other hot beverages as well as pastries, fruit cups, salads, and wraps.
Designated dining spaces
Several spaces on campus have been designated for indoor dining. In designated dining spaces, individuals may remove their masks for eating and drinking, but we ask that you put your mask back on afterward.
Current dining spaces include:
- The Commons and Einstein’s in the Christensen Center
- Nabo and the lobby of the Oren Gateway Center
- Kafe Kafeega and the surrounding area on the second floor of Hagfors Center
- The Hagfors Center main level lobby and third floor balcony
Dining is also permitted:
- In closed rooms hosting meetings or events catered by Augsburg Dining Services
- Alone in individual offices or meeting spaces with the door closed
- In residence hall units
Frequent hand washing is critical throughout the day. The recommended length of time to wash hands is a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water. Hand sanitizer is available at the entrances of buildings on campus and may be used as a supplement when using soap and water is not possible. Augburg provided a portable, refillable bottle of hand sanitizer to each employee at the beginning of the semester. These bottles can be refilled at hand sanitizing stations around campus.
When you use a tissue, promptly throw it away and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
HINT: Use the mantra: BEFORE AND AFTER. Wash your hands (or use hand sanitizer) before and after every activity – class, eating, using the restroom, etc. Keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you for easy access.
The Augsburg University Helpline is available to handle questions from faculty, staff, and students.
LFCs and User Support staff are available and their contact info is listed below.
All students, staff, and faculty are required to wear masks in indoor campus spaces, except when eating in dining areas or when in one’s own residential unit or individual office with the door closed. This applies to all U.S. Augsburg locations. (International Augsburg locations are following local protocols.) Masks or face coverings are not required outdoors.
Medical experts recommend N95 or KN95 masks because, with the omicron variant, cloth masks alone do not provide sufficient protection. The second-best option is to double mask by wearing a surgical mask along with a multi-layer cloth mask.
Due to the surging number of cases and hospitalizations caused by the omicron variant, the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul reinstated their indoor mask mandates effective January 6, 2002.
This is a stressful time. As such, it can raise or increase stress, feelings of isolation or fear, anxiety, sadness, and loneliness. When we’re stressed or anxious, we can experience changes in sleep or eating patterns, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, and/or increase our use of tobacco and/or other substances.
Here are some links to the Center for Wellness and Counseling website for information that may assist you and others.
Physical distancing is a crucial part of monitoring your own health and safety. The recommended distance between two individuals is 6 feet away, approximately two arm lengths away from each other indoors and outdoors. Physical distancing reduces the spread of COVID-19.
The gymnasium and athletics fitness centers will be open to all students, staff, and faculty (no guests). Masks are required at all times when using the athletic facilities, including during exercise.
Augsburg University Athletics provides several links to at-home workouts that can be done with minimal or no equipment.
Quarantine and Isolation
You will need to isolate yourself if you test positive for COVID-19 and, in some cases, quarantine if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Because the guidance changes and can be confusing, we ask you to inform Augsburg of your status depending on these circumstances so we can advise you on the appropriate next steps for your situation.
Reporting a Diagnosis, Exposure, or Symptoms
As an employee, you may be informed by a student that they have symptoms of, have been exposed to, or have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or you yourself may receive a diagnosis, suffer from COVID-19 symptoms, or be informed that you have been exposed to the coronavirus. Here are the steps to take in these instances.
This decision tree is used to determine the need to isolate or quarantine.
Do your part to keep the Augsburg community healthy. Use COVID-19 sign templates to provide clear instructions and practices to minimize potential virus transmission. Visit the COVID-19 signage page to view designs that are available for download, place an order for floor markers, request a new signage template, or inquire about a custom graphic.
Symptom Screening – Daily
#CampusClear is a brief self-screening free application for iPhone and for Android that everyone in the Augsburg community must complete daily. Self-screening is an easy action to take and one that is critical in helping reduce the spread of COVID-19. Tip: Set an alarm on your phone that reminds you each day to complete the app.
Updated September 23
Policies and Guidelines
- Email from VP of Operations: New quarantine and isolation procedures (January 17)
- Email from VP of Operations: Augsburg implementing additional COVID-19 mitigations (January 11)
- A-mail: January 13 COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic in Cedar-Riverside Neighborhood (January 11)
- Email from VP of Operations: Overview: Return to Campus for Spring Semester (January 5)
- Email from VP of Operations: An update on university COVID-19 mitigation efforts and indoor dining (September 28)
- Mask Up Email from Dean of Students (September 2)
- Email from VP of Operations: Augsburg extends indoor mask mandate through September (August 27)
- Email from the Provost: Preparing to return to campus (August 11)
- Indoor Mask Requirement Reinstated – Email from COO (August 3)
- Email from Human Resources Director: Verifying your vaccination status by August 26 (July 26)
- Email from President Pribbenow: Augsburg mandates vaccination for all students, staff, and faculty (July 22)
- Email from President Pribbenow: End of indoor mask policy and ongoing vaccine work (June 11)
- A-mail: All Welcome for Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Starting Monday in OCG (June 11)
- Email from President Pribbenow to Faculty Senate regarding vaccination policy (June 4)
- Email from VP of Operations: Updates regarding on-campus public health requirements (June 1)
- A-mail: Walk-in Johnson & Johnson Vaccination Clinic Thursday, May 20, 1-3 p.m. at People’s Center (May 19)
- Email from President Pribbenow: Indoor face covering requirement at Augsburg (May 14)
- A-mail: Walk-ins Now Welcome for Free COVID-19 Vaccine (May 12)
- Email from President Pribbenow: Gov. Walz dials back COVID-19 restrictions (May 7)
- Email from VP of Operations: Timely – COVID-19 Vaccine Opportunity Monday, April 19/May 17 at Central Lutheran Church (April 15)
- Email from VP of Operations: Timely Information: Vaccine Opportunity at People’s Center Clinic (April 15)
- COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs (April 15)
- Email from President Pribbenow to Faculty and Staff: Our Plans for Fall 2021 (March 22)
- A-mail: Free On-Campus COVID-19 Testing (March 3)
- A-mail: Sign Up for the Minnesota COVID-19 Response Vaccine Connector (February 26)
- Email from Vice President of Operations: COVID-19 Campus Update Spring 2021 (January 8)
- COVID-19 Campus Update from President Pribbenow (November 20)
- Email from Vice President of Operations: Augsburg COVID-19 Transmission Rates and Recent MN Department of Health Recommendation (November 17)
- Email from Vice President of Operations: New Statewide Restrictions and Free On-campus Testing (November 10)
- A-mail: Free Testing for COVID-19 (November 10)
- Steps to Take With a Possible COVID-19 Diagnosis (October 2)
- COVID-19 Protocols for Faculty (September 23)
- Classroom Procedures (August 25)
- Return to Campus Guide for Faculty/Staff (August 10)
- Upcoming Fall 2020 Town Hall Sessions for Parents and Families (July 27)
- Augsburg Employee COVID-19 Benefits Guide (May 8)
- FERPA Consent for Classroom Recording Release (April 9)
- Faculty Electronic Form Filling and Signing
- Reporting Absences and Recording Time During the Outbreak
- Remote Work Guidelines for Staff During Modified Operations
- FERPA considerations from Registrar when switching course modalities and to modified operations