Campus Notifications

Monday, August 3 (1 p.m.) — Latest News

Augustana University is closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation. Here are the latest things to know:

Global Outlook: As of noon on Monday, August 3, the COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University has reported 18,136,344 cases of the novel coronavirus globally and 690,413 deaths.

National Outlook: As of Sunday, August 2, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 4,601,526 positive cases of the novel coronavirus and 154,002 deaths.

State Outlook: As of 10 a.m. on Monday, August 3, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has confirmed 9,020 positive cases of COVID-19, including the 65 cases that are new, and 135 deaths. There are 946 active cases in the state, including 39 current hospitalizations. A total of 7,939 people have recovered from the virus in the state.

City Outlook: The city has a Sioux Falls COVID-19 Dashboard that provides information and resources about the coronavirus testing, case data and the response in Lincoln and Minnehaha Counties. Other updates about City of Sioux Falls services and operations are available at siouxfalls.org/covid19.

Campus Outlook: As of Monday, August 3, Augustana University has received a total of 16 reports of positive COVID-19 from the campus community since receiving its first positive case report on April 23, 2020. Of those cases, 13 have reported recovering from COVID-19. For daily updates on positive COVID-19 cases reported to AU, please visit the my.augie.edu portal.

As we continue to implement the Viking Flex Plan and welcome students and staff back to campus, we fully anticipate receiving more reports of positive cases. In order to deal with the anticipated increase of positive cases reported and to preserve the confidentiality and privacy of all involved — Augustana will notify the entire campus community of individual positive COVID-19 cases only when a particular case or set of cases poses a greater risk to the community that cannot be identified through contact tracing. Those in our campus community who are known to have met the exposure criteria determined by the CDC will be notified.

If and when an individual reports testing positive for COVID-19, we will continue to utilize contact tracing, identifying and contacting anyone who may have been in contact with the individual. Augustana’s Employee Health Educator, Campus Clinic staff and others will stay in touch with these individuals to offer any support they may need. More resources regarding health and safety can be found within our Viking Flex Plan Frequently Asked Questions.


Wednesday, July 29 (1:58 p.m.)

 Global and Local Update:

  • As of 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 29, the COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University has reported 16,810,315 cases of the novel coronavirus globally and 661,917 deaths.
  • As of Tuesday, July 28, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 4,280,135 positive cases of the novel coronavirus and 147,672 deaths.
  • As of 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 28, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has confirmed 8,641 positive cases of COVID-19, including the 149 cases that are new, and 129 deaths. There are 903 active cases in the state, including 46 current hospitalizations. A total of 7,609 people have recovered from the virus in the state.
    • The city has a Sioux Falls COVID-19 Dashboard that provides information and resources about the coronavirus testing, case data and the response in Lincoln and Minnehaha Counties. Other updates about City of Sioux Falls services and operations are available at siouxfalls.org/covid19.
  • Viking Flex Plan: The Viking Flex Plan will incorporate both face-to-face learning as well as an online learning component for students this fall. This model will be implemented for the health and safety of all of our students, staff and faculty as well as to create the best possible on-campus experience. Viking Flex Plan FAQs.
    • Viking Flex Health & Safety Pledge: The Viking Flex Health and Safety Pledge is available for Augustana employees — a covenant outlining important health and safety protocols in which the university is asking all members of our campus community to commit. We are asking all employees to sign the pledge on the employee portal by Friday, August 21. For those who don’t utilize email, a hard copy will be provided.
    • Mask Policy: Masks are required for all indoor, public spaces, including classrooms, study spaces, and hallways. Masks are likewise required in those on-campus situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained — exceptions include while eating and drinking, and while participating in athletic and performance related activities. Mask requirements on campus for fall 2020.
  • Updated Building Hours and Services: Faculty and staff, as well as students who have been approved to live and work on campus, will find information regarding hours and access for locations on campus that are still staffed and available for use at augie.edu/hours.To provide updated building, office and service hours, please email news@augie.edu.

Tuesday, July 28 (3:45 p.m.)

On Thursday, July 23, we informed you that a student-athlete who has been participating in voluntary workouts at the Elmen Center tested positive for COVID-19. The individual self-reported their COVID-19 diagnosis on Wednesday, July 22, which was confirmed by the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH).

Augustana identified and contacted the students and staff who may have been in contact with the individual. We asked each of them to self-quarantine for a 14-day period as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or until they could show a negative test.  

Unfortunately, five additional student-athletes have tested positive for COVID-19. As a result of this news, on Monday, July 27, out of an abundance of caution we made the decision to pause all athletic-related activity for the remainder of the week. These activities include all strength and conditioning, team skills work, helping out at team youth camps and using the Elmen Center weight room.

As we have previously communicated through the Viking Flex Plan, Augustana University remains committed to providing an in-person learning experience for students this fall. We want you to know that the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff has been and remains our utmost priority, that’s why we are also committed to providing the ongoing communications necessary to keep our campus community educated and safe.

With that said, as we continue to gradually open campus to more students and staff in the Augustana community, we fully anticipate receiving more reports of positive cases. If and when an individual reports testing positive for COVID-19, we will continue to utilize contact tracing, identifying and contacting anyone who may have been in contact with the individual and ask them to self-monitor for any symptoms related to COVID-19. Augustana’s Employee Health Educator, Campus Clinic staff and others  will stay in touch with these individuals to offer any support they may need.

Going forward — in order to deal with the anticipated increase of positive cases reported and to preserve the confidentiality and privacy of all involved — Augustana will notify the entire campus community of individual positive COVID-19 cases only when a particular case or set of cases poses a greater risk to the community that cannot be identified through contact tracing. Those in our campus community who are known to have met the exposure criteria determined by the CDC will be notified. We will begin providing weekly communications with the number of positive cases that have been reported to the university by a member of the campus community, as well as the number of individuals who have recovered from COVID-19. These campus numbers — along with the global, state, and city outlook — will be posted at augie.edu/coronavirus at the start of each work week, beginning Monday, August 3.

More resources regarding health and safety can be found within our Viking Flex Plan Frequently Asked Questions. You may also contact one of the following departments should you have questions or need assistance:


Thursday, July 23 (12:23 p.m.)

Dear AU Community,

We want to inform you that a person connected to the Augustana community has tested positive for COVID-19. The positive test is from a student-athlete who has been participating in voluntary workouts at the Elmen Center. The Augustana athletics department began a phased reopening plan Monday, June 1, to allow student-athletes back on campus for voluntary athletic activities.

The person who tested positive for COVID-19 was last at the facility on Friday, July 17, and has not returned since that time. The individual self-reported their COVID-19 diagnosis on Wednesday, July 22, which was confirmed by the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH).  It is important to note all protocol was followed which minimizes the risk of exposure.  The student immediately reported not feeling well and stayed away from campus.  

Augustana has identified and contacted the students and staff who may have been in contact with the individual. We have asked each of them to self-quarantine for the 14-day period or until they can show a negative test, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Please know the Elmen Center and athletics staff have been following a number of safety protocols. The health and safety of student-athletes and staff will remain the top priority with policies that include: 

  • A pre-screening prior to receiving approval to use Augustana athletics facilities, which includes reviewing educational materials regarding COVID-19 protocols in place.
  • Daily check-in requirements upon entry including temperature and daily symptom checks.
  • Route mapping for entry and exit in and around the Augustana athletics facilities.
  • Enforcement of physical distancing guidelines and requiring face masks when those guidelines are not possible (i.e., weight room spotting).
  • Reporting for workouts in their own gear, leaving immediately at the conclusion of their workout and locker rooms are only accessible for personal hygiene (i.e., washing of hands and use of the restrooms).
  • The completion of thorough post-session cleaning and disinfecting prior to the start of any new training sessions.
  • Limited capacity in indoor venues with specific sign-up times for student-athletes.

Please continue to use the following precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Practice physical distancing
  • Stay home if you are ill
  • Cover your cough and sneezes
  • Wash your hands often (for at least 20 seconds) and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe

Augustana University has and will continue to communicate with students, faculty and staff when a positive COVID-19 case poses a risk to the campus community. Communication and contact tracing will be conducted in a manner that preserves confidentiality and privacy of all involved.

Again, the health, safety and well-being of our campus community is of the utmost concern to Augustana. We recognize you may have a number of questions. Please reference the coronavirus website or contact one of the following departments should you need any help.


Wednesday, July 22 (3:30 p.m.) 

  • Local and Global Update:
  • Updated Building Hours and Services: Faculty and staff, as well as students who have been approved to live and work on campus, will find information regarding hours and access for locations on campus that are still staffed and available for use at augie.edu/hours.To provide updated building, office and service hours, please email news@augie.edu.

Wednesday, July 15 (3 p.m.) 

  •  Local and Global Update:
  • Viking Flex Plan: Augustana University is committed to providing an in-person learning experience for students this fall. This experience, called The Viking Flex Plan, will incorporate both face-to-face learning as well as an online learning component. This model will be implemented for the health and safety of all of our students, staff and faculty as well as to create the best possible on-campus experience. Viking Flex Plan FAQs.
  • Viking Flex Health and Safety Pledge: The pledge is now available for Augustana employees. This pledge is a covenant outlining important health and safety protocols in which the university is asking all members of our campus community to commit. The pledge can be found on the employee portal. We ask all employees to complete this step by Friday, August 21. More than 1,000 students have already confirmed their pledge to do their part to keep AU healthy and safe.
  • Updated Building Hours and Services: Faculty and staff, as well as students who have been approved to live and work on campus, will find information regarding hours and access for locations on campus that are still staffed and available for use at augie.edu/hours.To provide updated building, office and service hours, please email news@augie.edu.

Monday, July 13 (3 p.m.)

Dear AU Community,

We want to inform you that a person connected to the Augustana community has tested positive for COVID-19. The person is an employee of the University.

The individual who tested positive for COVID-19 was last on campus on Thursday, July 3, and has not returned since that time. The employee reported feeling ill, and per university protocol, was advised to stay home until they were feeling better or after they received a negative test. The individual was self-isolating and was tested for COVID-19 on Friday, July 10. The individual self-reported their positive diagnosis to Augustana on Sunday, July 12.

The employee reported no contact with anyone on campus at the onset of any symptoms. Still, Augustana has identified and contacted any staff members who may have been in contact with the individual and asked them to self-monitor for any symptoms related to COVID-19. The employee who tested positive will not return to work for a minimum of two weeks, during which time Augustana’s Employee Health Educator will stay in touch with them to offer any support they may need.

Previous to and with more employees returning to campus, the University has been following a number of safety protocols. The university is requiring that masks be worn in all indoor public spaces on campus. Buildings on campus indicate that masks should be worn inside, have had plexi-glass installed where appropriate, and stickers added to the floors to remind people to distance themselves from others. Staff members have been sanitizing each building thoroughly throughout each day, in addition to nightly custodial cleaning.

Augustana University has and will continue to communicate with students, faculty and staff when a positive COVID-19 case poses risk to the campus community.  Communication and contact tracing will be conducted in a manner that preserves confidentiality and privacy of all involved.  It is imperative that we all monitor our personal health condition and follow proper protocol to minimize exposing others and to minimize the impact to daily life on campus.

Please continue to use the following precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often (for at least 20 seconds) and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Cover your cough and sneezes
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Stay home if you are ill
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and people who don’t live in your household
  • Wear a cloth face cover in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household when other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Be alert for symptoms, watching for fever, cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms

The health, safety and well-being of our campus community is of the utmost concern to Augustana. Please reference the coronavirus website, our Viking Flex Plan Frequently Asked Questions regarding health and safety or contact one of the following departments should you have questions or need help.


Wednesday, June 17 (8:27 p.m.)

Dear AU Community,

We want to inform you that a person connected to the Augustana community has tested positive for COVID-19. The positive test is from a student-athlete who has been participating in voluntary workouts at the Elmen Center. The Augustana athletics department began a phased reopening plan Monday, June 1, to allow student-athletes back on campus for voluntary athletic activities. The person who tested positive for COVID-19 was at the facility only on Monday, June 15, and has not returned since that time. The individual self-reported their COVID-19 diagnosis on Wednesday, June 17, which was confirmed by the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH).

Augustana has identified and contacted the students and the staff member who was in contact with the individual. We have asked each of them to self-quarantine for the 14-day period, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Please know the Elmen Center and athletics staff have been following a number of safety protocols. The health and safety of student-athletes and staff will remain the top priority with policies that include:

  • A pre-screening prior to receiving approval to use Augustana athletics facilities, which includes reviewing educational materials regarding COVID-19 protocols in place.
  • Daily check-in requirements upon entry including temperature and daily symptom checks.
  • Route mapping for entry and exit in and around the Augustana athletics facilities.
  • Enforcement of physical distancing guidelines and requiring face masks when those guidelines are not possible (i.e., weight room spotting).
  • Reporting for workouts in their own gear, leaving immediately at the conclusion of their workout and locker rooms are only accessible for personal hygiene (i.e., washing of hands and use of the restrooms).

The completion of thorough post-session cleaning and disinfecting prior to the start of any new training sessions.

Limited capacity in indoor venues with specific sign-up times for student-athletes.

Please continue to use the following precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Practice physical distancing
  • Stay home if you are ill
  • Cover your cough and sneezes
  • Wash your hands often (for at least 20 seconds) and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe

Again, the health, safety and well-being of our campus community is of the utmost concern to Augustana. We recognize you may have a number of questions. Please reference the coronavirus website or contact one of the following departments should you need any help.

Thank you.

Rick Tupper

Associate Vice President

Safety and Logistics

Augustana University


Wednesday, June 17 (2 p.m.)

Local and Global Update: 
  • As of noon on June 17, the COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University has reported 8,217,627 cases of the novel coronavirus globally and 445,012 deaths.
  • As of June 16, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 2,104,346 positive cases of the coronavirus and 116,140 deaths. Thirty-seven jurisdictions have reported more than 10,000 cases, which does not include South Dakota.
  • As of noon on June 17, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has confirmed 6,050 positive cases of COVID-19, including 84 news cases today, and 78 deaths. There are currently 829 active cases in the state, including 91 current hospitalizations. A total of 5,143 people have recovered from the virus in the state.
    • The city has a Sioux Falls COVID-19 Dashboard that provides information and resources about the coronavirus testing, case data and the response in Lincoln and Minnehaha Counties. Other updates about City of Sioux Falls services and operations are available at siouxfalls.org/covid19.
    • In an effort to help people struggling financially due to the COVID-19, the One Sioux Falls Fund was established to provide rent and mortgage assistance to residents living in the Sioux Falls area. According to Mayor Paul TenHaken, more than 2,900 families have received help through the One Sioux Falls Fund. Rent assistance applications closed on May 31. Mortgage applications are being accepted by the Helpline Center through Wednesday, June 24.
  • Updated Building Hours and Services: Faculty and staff, as well as students who have been approved to live and work on campus, will find information regarding hours and access for locations on campus that are still staffed and available for use at augie.edu/hours. To provide updated building, office and service hours, please email news@augie.edu.

Wednesday, June 10 (4 p.m.) 

  • Local and Global Update: As of noon on Wednesday, June 10, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has confirmed 5,604 positive cases of COVID-19, including the 91 cases that are new today, and 69 deaths. There are 962 active cases in the state, including 101 current hospitalizations. A total of 4,573 people have recovered from the virus in the state. As of today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 1,973,797 positive cases of the novel coronavirus and 112,133 deaths. Thirty-seven states have reported more than 10,000 cases, which does not include South Dakota.
    • The city has a Sioux Falls COVID-19 Dashboard that provides information and resources about the coronavirus testing, case data and the response in Lincoln and Minnehaha Counties. Other updates about City of Sioux Falls services and operations are available at siouxfalls.org/covid19.

Friday, June 5 (3 p.m.)

  • Local and Global Update: As of noon on Friday, June 5, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has confirmed 5,277 positive cases of COVID-19 and 65 deaths. There are 1,033 active cases in the state, including 83 current hospitalizations. A total of 4,179 people have recovered from the virus in the state. As of June 4, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 1,842,101 positive cases of the novel coronavirus and 107,029 deaths. Thirty-four states have reported more than 10,000 cases, which does not include South Dakota.
    • The city has a Sioux Falls COVID-19 Dashboard that provides information and resources about the coronavirus testing, case data and the response in Lincoln and Minnehaha Counties. Other updates about City of Sioux Falls services and operations are available at siouxfalls.org/covid19.
  • Letter to Congressional Delegation: On Friday, June 5, an open letter from Augustana President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin was sent to Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds, as well as Congressman Dusty Johnson, asking for their support of international students who seek to further their education in South Dakota and the Optional Practical Training program that is key to attracting them to Augustana University and other higher education institutions across the country. Read the Letter.
  • Viking Flex Plan: Augustana announced its Viking Flex Plan for Fall Semester 2020, with classes set to begin on campus on Wednesday, August 26. The university plans to proceed with a hybrid/flexible approach, which will include both face-to-face and virtual components for most courses, and reflects a commitment to in-person curricular and co-curricular experiences for the university’s students. Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Viking Flex Plan have been posted on our website.
    • As part of the Viking Flex Plan, Augustana will hold in-person classes beginning on Wednesday, August 26, through Friday, November 20.
      • First day of class — Wednesday, August 26
      • No fall break
      • Last day of in-person instruction — Friday, November 20
      • Online instruction/project period — November 23-24; Nov. 30-December 4
      • Thanksgiving Break — November 25-29
      • Last day of instruction for the semester — Friday, December 4
    • Fall Schedule: The fall 2020 class schedule will be slightly modified on MWF in order to allow for important health and safety protocols. The schedule is being adjusted as follows:
      • Monday/Wednesday/Friday
        • Current: 8:00-8:50 a.m. — Fall 2020: 7:50-8:40 a.m.
        • Current: 8:40-9:50 a.m. — Fall 2020: 8:40-9:50 a.m.*No change
        • Current: 9:00-9:50 a.m. — Fall 2020: 9:00-9:50 a.m.*No change
        • Current: Chapel 10:00 a.m. — Fall 2020: Moved to T/Th
        • Current: 10:40-11:50 a.m. — Fall 2020: 10:10-11:20 a.m.
        • Current: 11:00-11:50 a.m. — Fall 2020: 10:30-11:20 a.m.
        • Current: 12:00-12:50 p.m. — Fall 2020: 11:40-12:30 p.m.
        • Current: 1:00-1:50 p.m. — Fall 2020: 12:50-1:40 p.m.
        • Current: 2:00-2:50 p.m. — Fall 2020: 2:00-2:50 p.m. *No change
      • Tuesday/Thursday
        • Current: 8:30-9:50 a.m. — Fall 2020: 8:30-9:50 a.m. *No change
        • Current: Open 10:00 a.m. — Fall 2020: Chapel 10:00-10:40 a.m.
        • Current: 11:00-12:20 p.m. — Fall 2020: 11:00-12:20 p.m. *No change
        • Current: 1:00-2:20 p.m. — Fall 2020: 1:00-2:20 p.m. *No change
      • Lab times will remain unchanged. Students will be able to view their schedule and the adjusted times soon.
      • Chapel time has been moved to Tuesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. This is a temporary change for fall semester only. There will be the option to worship in person or online.
      • Some students will be receiving individual communications regarding necessary section changes via email.
    • Move-In Dates: Students and families will be able to sign up for a specific time slot on each day in order to follow appropriate physical distancing guidelines. Detailed information about this process will be sent to students soon.
      • New Students — August 21-22
      • Returning Students — August 23-25
    • Students Return to Campus: The Augustana athletics department began a phased reopening plan Monday, June 1, to allow student-athletes back on campus for voluntary athletic activities. Read Press Release.
    • Campus Visits: The Office of Admission will begin hosting individual campus visitors/prospective students beginning on Monday, June 22. Students and families will be able to sign up for a specific time slot on each day at augie.edu/visit.
  • Fall Sports Schedules: The Augustana athletics department announced fall sports schedules for football, soccer and volleyball on Wednesday, June 3, with the three programs slated to play a combined 22 home games in front of Viking fans on campus.
  • All three schedules feature competition with NSIC schools only after NCAA Division II passed legislation lowering the maximum number of games allowed for the 2020-21 academic year.
  • Updated Building Hours and Services: Faculty and staff, as well as students who have been approved to be on campus, will find information regarding hours and access for locations on campus that are still staffed and available for use at augie.edu/hours.
  • Stay Connected: Read Augustana’s latest COVID-19 related articles at augie.edu/news and Augustana in the news at augie.edu/inthenews.

Friday, May 29 (2:30 p.m.)

  • Local and Global Update: As of noon on Friday, May 29, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has confirmed 4,866 positive cases of COVID-19 and 59 deaths. There are 1,063 active cases in the state, including 95 current hospitalizations. A total of 3,744 people have recovered from the virus in the state. As of Thursday, May 28, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 1,698,523 positive cases of the novel coronavirus and 100,446 deaths. Thirty-one states have reported more than 10,000 cases, which does not include South Dakota.
    • The city has a Sioux Falls COVID-19 Dashboard that provides information and resources about the coronavirus testing, case data and the response in Lincoln and Minnehaha Counties. Other updates about City of Sioux Falls services and operations are available at siouxfalls.org/covid19.
    • On Tuesday, May 26, the Sioux Falls City Council voted to repeal the "No Mingling" Ordinance, which provides restrictions for businesses to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the region. The ordinance expires today, May 29. The council also adopted a resolution to urge residents to continue to be mindful of the risk to the community, which includes using good hygiene practices of wearing masks in public and covering your cough and sneezes, washing your hands, and adhering to the CDC's physical distancing guidelines.
  • Scenario Planning Task Force: On Monday, May 18, Augustana announced its Viking Flex Plan for Fall Semester 2020, with classes set to begin on campus on Wednesday, August 26. The university plans to proceed with a hybrid/flexible approach, which will include both face-to-face and virtual components to most courses, and reflects a commitment to in-person curricular and co-curricular experiences for the university’s students.
    • In order to operationalize the Viking Flex Plan, the Scenario Planning Task Force announced the formation of an Academics Working Group and Operations Working Group. The first will focus on the classroom experience, pedagogical aspects of the hybrid/flexible instructional model, scheduling, and related topics. The second will focus on health and safety protocols, housing, dining, athletics and numerous other elements of the co-curricular experience at Augustana.
    • The groups expect to make regular communications to the campus community over the next several weeks, and to post answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Viking Flex Plan at augie.edu/vikingflex soon.
  • CARES Act Student Emergency Aid: The CARES Act funding covers expenses related to the disruption of normal institutional operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students must submit an Augustana CARES Act Emergency Aid Application within the student portal. Augustana will continue to review applications through Monday, June 1.
    • Funds will be allocated as applications are received and/or until all available resources have been exhausted.
    • The application link will be in your “Checklist” if you are eligible to apply. The application will reopen if funds remain.
    • For additional information and answers to Frequently Asked Questions, please visit augie.edu/cares. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid or the Business Office if you have questions.
  • Class of 2020: On Saturday, May 23, Augustana published a video recognition of our 2020 graduates with a message from President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. This included a scrolling list of the names of our graduates. Watch the video and find commencement-related information at augie.edu/commencement.
    • View notes from the Augustana community to the Class of 2020.
  • Stay Connected: Read Augustana’s latest COVID-19 related articles at augie.edu/news and Augustana in the news at augie.edu/inthenews.

Friday, May 22 (2:25 p.m.) 

  • Local and Global Update: As of noon on Friday, May 22, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has confirmed 4,356 positive cases of COVID-19 and 50 deaths. There are 1,039 active cases in the state, including 83 current hospitalizations. A total of 3,267 people have recovered from the virus in the state. As of Thursday, May 21, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 1,551,095 positive cases of the novel coronavirus and 93,061 total deaths in the U.S. Twenty-nine states have reported more than 10,000 cases, which does not include South Dakota.
    • On Thursday, May 7, 2020, the Sioux Falls City Council voted to ease business limitations necessary to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the Sioux Falls region. Read about the "No Mingling" Ordinance. On Tuesday, May 19, the council advanced a first reading of an ordinance that would drop COVID-19 related business regulations. If the council passes the ordinance at its second reading on Tuesday, May 26, it would go into effect on Friday, May 29.
    • Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken announced on Monday, May 18, that city-owned pools will suspend operations for the summer 2020 season. Pending approval by the city council, free admission to the Great Plains Zoo and the Washington Pavilion will be offered to qualifying families for June, July and August. Press Release.
    • Beginning on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, Sioux Area Metro will bring back some transit services that were reduced or suspended due to COVID-19.  A new time schedule shall be made available at siouxfalls.org/sam beginning at noon on Sunday, May 24.
    • The city has a Sioux Falls COVID-19 Dashboard that provides information and resources about the coronavirus testing, case data and the response in Lincoln and Minnehaha Counties. Other updates about City of Sioux Falls operations are available at siouxfalls.org/covid19, including a list of buildings and services that have reopened to the public.
  • Viking Flex Plan: Augustana announced on Monday, May 18, its Viking Flex Plan for Fall Semester 2020, developed by the 18-member Scenario Planning Task Force. The university plans to proceed with a hybrid/flexible approach, which will include both face-to-face and virtual components to most courses, and reflects a commitment to in-person curricular and co-curricular experiences for the university’s students. More Details.
    • As part of the Viking Flex Plan, Augustana will hold in-person classes beginning on Wednesday, August 26, through Friday, November 20. The plan involves beginning classes a week early and forgoes a fall break in order to allow students to return home by Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving, the university will transition to a brief period of online instruction that will allow for innovative course engagement, creative projects, as well as a safe and successful finish for course instruction on Friday, December 4.
      • First day of class — Wednesday, August 26
      • No fall break
      • Last day of in-person instruction — Friday, November 20
      • Online instruction/project period — November 23-24; Nov. 30-December 4
      • Thanksgiving Break — November 25-29
      • Last day of instruction for the semester — Friday, December 4
  • ​​CARES Act Student Emergency Aid: The CARES Act funding covers expenses related to the disruption of normal institutional operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students must submit an Augustana CARES Act Emergency Aid Application within the student portal. Augustana will continue to review applications through Monday, June 1. Funds will be allocated as applications are received and/or until all available resources have been exhausted. 
    • Eligibility Criteria:
      • Must be a degree-seeking student–Undergraduate or Graduate.
      • Must be eligible to receive Title IV aid and have submitted a 2019-2020 FAFSA.
      • Must have incurred additional expenses for food, housing, technology, healthcare, childcare or moving based on the disruptive impact of COVID-19.
      • Must not be enrolled in a program that was already fully online at the start of the spring 2020 semester (i.e., students enrolled in the Master of Education or Master of Special Education programs are not eligible for these emergency funds).
    • You may file your electronic application within the my.augie.edu student portal. The application link will be in your “Checklist” if you are eligible to apply. The application period for those who qualify is open through June 1, 2020. The application will reopen if funds remain.
    • For additional information and answers to Frequently Asked Questions, please visit augie.edu/cares. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid or the Business Office if you have questions.
  • Class of 2020: On Saturday, May 23, we will continue to celebrate our 2020 graduates. Graduates, parents, administrators, faculty, staff and coaches, please check your email at 10 a.m., for access to the 2020 Commencement Address from President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and a special video highlighting the names of those we have been so blessed to serve. Between now and then, we invite you to take advantage of the opportunity to post a note of congratulations on the special 20 for '20 page created for the graduates.
  • Updated Building Hours and Services: Faculty and staff, as well as students who have been approved to live on campus, will find information regarding hours and access for locations on campus that are still staffed and available for use at augie.edu/hours.
    • Effective Friday, May 22, the Campus Clinic is closed for the summer. Students and staff can call the Sanford Clinic (69th & Minnesota Avenue) at 605.328.5800 to speak with a healthcare provider regarding symptoms and provide next steps. If after hours, please call this same number and follow the prompt to be directed to the Sanford Hospital After Hours Call Center.
    • The Elmen Center will be open each weekday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., and closed on the weekends. The weight room will be open each weekday from 12-2 p.m. The Elmen Center is closed on the weekends and on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25. The pool remains closed as well.
      • Swipe your Augie ID on the east main doors and parking lot door. The facility will only be accessible to faculty and staff, as well as students who have been approved to live in on-campus student housing. Family members and friends are not allowed to use the facility.
  • Stay Connected: Read Augustana’s latest COVID-19 related articles at augie.edu/news.

Friday, May 15 (2:24 p.m.)

  • Local and Global Update: As of noon on Friday, May 15, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has confirmed 3,887 positive cases of COVID-19 and 44 deaths. There are 1,269 active cases in the state, including 80 current hospitalizations. As of Thursday, May 14, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 1, 384,930 positive cases of the novel coronavirus and 83,947 deaths. Twenty-eight states have reported more than 10,000 cases, which does not include South Dakota.
    • The city now has a Sioux Falls COVID-19 Dashboard that provides information and resources about the coronavirus testing, case data and the response in Lincoln and Minnehaha Counties. Other updates about City of Sioux Falls services and operations are available at siouxfalls.org/covid19.
  • Scenario Planning Task Force: Augustana University continues to plan and prepare for students to be back on campus this fall. The university has a Scenario Planning Task Force developing a set of viable options that reflect a commitment to face-to-face experiences in safe and effective classroom and co-curricular environments. Look for important updates regarding plans for fall semester soon.
  • Choir Tour in Norway and January 2021 Study Abroad: Augustana made the difficult decision this week to postpone the choir tour to Norway scheduled for January 2021. The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are of the utmost importance. Factors in the decision included uncertainty in the travel landscape, current health risks, the size of the choir group and preventing negative financial implications for our students.
    • AU is proceeding with planning for all other study abroad courses for January 2021 at this time. We will continue to evaluate each of these programs throughout the summer. If a location is deemed unsafe or borders are not freely open, we will cancel or postpone J-term 2021 courses on a case-by-case basis ahead of the September 15 deadline, and we will communicate any such decisions with students as soon as possible. 
  • CARES Act Student Emergency Aid: Executive Vice President and CFO Shannan Nelson sent a message to students on Monday, May 4, regarding CARES Act funding. The funding covers student expenses related to the disruption of normal institutional operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Students must submit an Augustana CARES Act Emergency Aid Application within the student portal (login required). The application link will be in your “Checklist” if you are eligible to apply. Augustana will begin reviewing applications on Friday, May 15 through Monday, June 1. Funds will be allocated as applications are received and/or until all available resources have been exhausted.
    • Eligibility Criteria:
      • Must be enrolled in the Spring 2020 semester
      • Must be a degree-seeking student (undergraduate or graduate)
      • Must be eligible to receive Title IV aid and have submitted a 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Please note: If you did not file the FAFSA for the 2019-20 academic year, you must do so by Friday, May 15, to be eligible.
      • Must have incurred additional expenses for food, housing, technology, healthcare, childcare or moving based on the disruptive impact of COVID-19. Must not be enrolled in a program that was already fully online at the start of the Spring 2020 semester (i.e., students enrolled in the Master of Education or Master of Special Education programs are not eligible)
      • For additional information and answers to Frequently Asked Questions, please visit augie.edu/cares. Please contact the Financial Aid or Business Offices if you have questions.
  • Class of 2020: Celebrating graduation is important to AU and we know nothing compares to the real thing. While we are unable to hold the commencement ceremony in May, we will still be celebrating the Class of 2020.
    • We have assembled boxes for undergraduate students (including their cap, tassel, diploma cover and cords) who would have participated in commencement. The boxes will be distributed to graduates at a drive-thru celebration on Monday, May 18, from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., in the Elmen Center parking lot. We need help from the administrators, faculty and staff to simulate “The Gauntlet” and to make this event special as students drive through to pick up their boxes.
      • Any parent or student who is interested in an Augustana branded editable file to either print for themselves or have printed for yard signs, please email commencement@augie.edu.
    • On Friday, May 22, at 3 p.m., the 2020 Nursing Pinning Ceremony will be held virtually.
    • On Saturday, May 23, Augustana will publish a video recognition of our 2020 graduates with a message from President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. This will include a scrolling list of the names of our graduates.
    • During Viking Days on October 9-10, we will celebrate our 2020 graduates with a live in-person commencement ceremony. Commencement Updates.
  • Health and Well-Being: The COVID-19 pandemic is putting new and unforeseen pressures on all of us. As the pandemic drags on, this new normal is taxing our inner resources. We find ourselves juggling family, work, health and financial pressures like never before. Augustana Assistant Professor of Nursing Ranae Aukerman shares some insight in growing your resilience — the process of adapting well in the face of adversity. Watch Video.
  • Stay Connected: Augustana University’s recording studio, Studio 47, has released its newest podcast “Alone Together: Conversations Amid COVID-19,” intended to capture the lives of those in the AU community and how each of them is uniquely affected by the current pandemic. New episodes are released every Monday and Friday. Full Story.
  • Augustana in the News:

Wednesday, May 13 (3:30 p.m.) 

  • Local and Global Update: As of noon on Wednesday, May 13, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has confirmed 3,732 positive cases of COVID-19 and 39 deaths. There are 1,326 active cases in the state, including 79 hospitalizations.As of Tuesday, May 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 1,342,594 positive cases of the novel coronavirus and 80,820 deaths. Twenty-six states have reported more than 10,000 cases, which does not include South Dakota.
    • The city now has a Sioux Falls COVID-19 Dashboard that provides information and resources about the coronavirus testing, case data and the response in Lincoln and Minnehaha Counties. Other updates about City of Sioux Falls services and operations are available at siouxfalls.org/covid19.
    • At a special meeting on Thursday, May 7, 2020, the Sioux Falls City Council voted to ease business limitations necessary to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the Sioux Falls region. Read about the "No Mingling" Ordinance.
    • The Governor has let the executive order for persons in Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties who are over the age of 65 and/or have chronic medical conditions to stay home expire on Monday, May 11.
  • Health and Well-Being: The COVID-19 pandemic is putting new and unforeseen pressures on all of us. As the pandemic drags on, this new normal is taxing our inner resources. We find ourselves juggling family, work, health and financial pressures like never before. Augustana Assistant Professor of Nursing Ranae Aukerman shares some insight in growing your resilience — the process of adapting well in the face of adversity. Watch Video.

Friday, May 8 (4:30 p.m.) 

  • Local and Global Update: As of noon on Friday, May 8, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has reported a total of 3,144 positive cases of COVID-19 in the state and 31 deaths; 1,044 of those cases are active with 76 people in the hospital. On Thursday, May 7, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 1,219,066 positive COVID-19 cases, including 73,297 deaths in the U.S.
    • The Sioux Falls City Council passed a “No Mingling Ordinance” effective today, May 8, to ease some the regulations placed on businesses and recreational facilities in March to help control the spread of COVID-19.
      • Licensed Food Entities: Restaurants, coffee shops and bars must separate their patrons by six feet. Smaller establishments are required to have a maximum of 10 patrons. They must also limit the size of parties or groups to six or fewer adults, with the exception of individuals 18-years-old and under.
      • Recreational Facilities:  Movie theatres, athletic facilities, entertainment venues and health clubs are limited to 50% of their posted occupancy.
      • All businesses are expected to maintain social distancing guidelines regardless of whether they are affected by the ordinance.
      • The city will make a decision on whether to allow organized athletic leagues and events on Friday, May 29. Those organizations must submit an adjusted operations plan to the city for approval.
      • The city council plans to discuss transit operations within Sioux Falls at their meeting on Tuesday, May 12.
      • City Hall and the City Center will reopen in a limited capacity on Monday, May 18. The service counter on the ground floor of City Hall will reopen for utility billing and public parking services. Human Resources, the City Attorney, Geographic Information Services and Finance Offices will be open by appointment. The Mayor’s office remains open. The City Center will be open to assist people with planning and permit options and will be implementing new operational procedures.
      • The Governor’s executive order is still in place for persons in Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties who are over the age of 65 and/or have chronic medical conditions to stay home until Monday, May 11. It’s unclear whether the Governor will extend the order.
  • Updated Building Hours and Services: Faculty and staff, as well as students who have been approved to live on campus, will find information regarding hours and access for locations on campus that are still staffed and available for use at augie.edu/hours.
    • The Elmen Center will be open each weekday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., and closed on the weekends. The weight room will be open each weekday from 12-2 p.m. The Elmen Center is closed on the weekends and on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25. The pool remains closed as well.
      • Swipe your Augie ID on the east main doors and parking lot door. The facility will only be accessible to faculty and staff, as well as students who have been approved to live in on-campus student housing. Family members and friends are not allowed to use the facility.
  • Stay Connected: Read Augustana’s latest COVID-19 related articles at augie.edu/news.

Wednesday, May 6 (3 p.m.) 

Augustana University is closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation. As of Wednesday, May 6 here are the latest things to know:

  • Local and Global Outlook: According to the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH), there are currently 773 active cases of COVID-19 in the state and 1,977 people who have recovered. Of those active cases, Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties have reported more than 86 percent of them. Twenty-nine people who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus have died in South Dakota. As of Tuesday, May 5, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 1,171,510 positive COVID-19 cases and 68,279 deaths in the U.S.
    • The Sioux Falls City Council will have a second reading tomorrow, Thursday, May 7, to consider an ordinance that would allow more businesses to open and operate in Sioux Falls. The ordinance would allow 10 patrons or 50 percent of their posted occupancy, whichever is greater. Businesses would also have to be able to maintain social distancing guidelines. If passed by the council, the ordinance would go into effect on Friday, May 8.
  • Event Reminder: As a reminder, all May and June events on campus have been canceled or postponed. Be sure to visit augie.edu/canceled to review an up-to-date listing. As you cancel or postpone your event(s), please tell us your plans at news@augie.edu.
  • Augustana University’s recording studio, Studio 47, has released its newest podcast “Alone Together: Conversations Amid COVID-19,” intended to capture the lives of those in the AU community and how each of them is uniquely affected by the current pandemic. It has been featured on KELO News and KXRB.

Monday, May 4 (4 p.m.) 

  • Local and Global Outlook: According to the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH), there are currently 817 active cases of COVID-19 in the state and 1,830 people who have recovered. Of the number of active cases, Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties have reported nearly 90 percent of them. Twenty-one people who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus have died in South Dakota. As of Monday, May 4, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 1,152,372 positive COVID-19 cases and 67,456 deaths in the U.S.
    • On Thursday, May 7, the City Council will have a second reading to consider an ordinance that would allow more businesses to open and operate in Sioux Falls. The ordinance would allow 10 patrons or 50 percent of their posted occupancy, whichever is greater. Businesses would also have to be able to maintain social distancing guidelines. If passed by the council, the ordinance would go into effect on Friday, May 8, and would not have to be reassessed every two weeks. A violation of the ordinance would be a Class 2 misdemeanor.
  • CARES Act Student Emergency Aid: A message from Executive Vice President and CFO Shannon Nelson was sent to students on Monday, May 4, regarding CARES Act funding. The funding covers expenses related to the disruption of normal institutional operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students must submit an Augustana CARES Act Emergency Aid Application within the student portal (login required). Augustana will begin reviewing applications on Friday, May 15 through Monday, June 1. Funds will be allocated as applications are received and/or until all available resources have been exhausted.
  • Eligibility Criteria:
    • Must be enrolled in the Spring 2020 semester
    • Must be a degree-seeking student (undergraduate or graduate)
    • Must be eligible to receive Title IV aid and have submitted a 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Please note: If you did not file the FAFSA for the 2019-20 academic year, you must do so by Friday, May 15, to be eligible. 
    • Must have incurred additional expenses for food, housing, technology, healthcare, childcare or moving based on the disruptive impact of COVID-19
    • Must not be enrolled in a program that was already fully online at the start of the Spring 2020 semester (i.e., students enrolled in the Master of Education or Master of Special Education programs are not eligible)
    • For additional information and answers to Frequently Asked Questions, please visit augie.edu/cares. Please contact the Financial Aid or Business Offices if you have questions.
  • Scenario Planning Task Force: Augustana University is planning and preparing for students to be back on campus this fall. The university has a Scenario Planning Task Force developing a set of viable options that reflect a commitment to face-to-face experiences in safe and effective classroom and co-curricular environments. Listen to President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin discuss the task force and read about what Augustana’s is considering for fall semester.
  • Augustana University’s recording studio, Studio 47, has released its newest podcast “Alone Together: Conversations Amid COVID-19,” intended to capture the lives of those in the AU community and how each of them is uniquely affected by the current pandemic. A new episode featuring Luca Amayo was released today, Monday, May 4.

Friday, May 1 (4 p.m.) 

Augustana University is closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation. As of Friday, May 1 here are the latest things to know:

  • Local and Global Update: As of noon on Friday, May 1, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has reported 2,525 positive cases of COVID-19; 1,686 people have recovered from the novel coronavirus, which leaves 818 active cases. Eighty-six percent of these cases have come out of Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties with a combined total of 2,172 cases, including 1,482 who have recovered. Twenty-one people who have tested positive for the virus in South Dakota have died. As of Thursday, April 30, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 1,031,659 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., with 60,057 deaths.
    • The Governor has asked individuals, employers, retail businesses, schools, health care providers and local governments to consider steps outlined in the “Get Back to Normal” plan that is posted on South Dakota’s Coronavirus website.
    • The Governor’s executive order is still in place for persons in Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties who are over the age of 65 and/or have chronic medical conditions to stay home until Monday, May 11.
    • The City of Sioux Falls has opened parks, playgrounds and athletic fields to unorganized activities. Park restrooms and drinking fountains will be closed and the public is being reminded to practice good hygiene while using these facilities.
    • The Sioux Falls Mayor has called a special City Council Meeting for this afternoon, Friday, May 1, to provide first readings on two items:
      • The first motion is to rescind the “No Lingering Ordinance” that exists in the City of Sioux Falls through Wednesday, May 15. The ordinance requires certain businesses to maintain fewer than 10 patrons at any given time, not including employees.
      • The second is to recommend a new ordinance that would allow more businesses to open and operate. The potential ordinance would allow 10 patrons in businesses or 50 percent of their posted occupancy, whichever is greater; they would have to rearrange their setups so groups have the ability to social distance. If passed by the council, the ordinance would go into effect on Friday, May 8, and wouldn’t have to be reassessed every two weeks like the previous ordinance. The ordinance would carry a Class 2 misdemeanor should anyone violate the law.
  • Scenario Planning Task Force: Augustana University is planning for and preparing for students to be back on campus this fall. The university has a Scenario Planning Task Force developing a set of viable options that reflect a commitment to face-to-face experiences in safe and effective classroom and co-curricular environments.
  • Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Course Deadline: We want to remind students that today is the last day to declare your Spring 2020 grading choices as satisfactory/unsatisfactory. The date was extended to May 1, 11:59 p.m. CDT. We are requesting that students fill out grade change requests using the portal (login required). If you have further questions about the S/U process, please visit the FAQ page on our website.
  • Class of 2020: Celebrating the milestone of graduation is extremely important to our entire Augustana community and the university has some new information regarding our plans.
    • Special Message on Saturday, May 23: On May 23, there will be a special message shared with our AU graduates and community. More details will be posted in the coming days.
    • Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 11: Augustana plans to celebrate the graduates of 2020 during Viking Days this fall. These events will take place in the Elmen Center. The schedule includes the following and more details will be shared over the summer.
      • 9 a.m. — Homecoming & Baccalaureate Worship
      • 10:40 a.m. — Doors Open
      • 11 a.m. — Class of 2020 Commencement and Hooding Ceremony
  • Special Notes:
    • Diplomas, covers, caps, tassels, as well as cords will be mailed in June after degrees are posted.
    • We will be gathering regalia ordering information when students RSVP for the October ceremony, which will take place in August.
    • Class rings and diploma frames are available from Herff-Jones.
  • Augustana in the News:
  • Updated Building Hours and Services: Faculty and staff, as well as students who have been approved to live on campus, will find information regarding hours and access for a number of locations on campus that are still staffed and available for use at augie.edu/hours.
    • The Elmen Center will be open each weekday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., and closed on the weekends. The weight room will be open each weekday from 12-2 p.m. The pool remains closed. Swipe your Augie ID on the east main doors and parking lot door. The facility will only be accessible to faculty and staff as well as students who have been approved to live in on-campus student housing. Family members and friends are not allowed to use the facility.

Wednesday, April 29 (3:30 p.m.)

  • Local and Global Update: As of noon on Wednesday, April 29, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has reported 2,373 positive cases of COVID-19; 868 are active cases. Eighty-nine percent of these cases have come out of Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties with 2,122 cases. Thirteen people who have tested positive for the virus in South Dakota have died. As of Tuesday, April 28, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 981,246 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., with 55,258 deaths.
    • The Governor says that thanks to a strong commitment and respect for the principle of personal responsibility, South Dakotans have dramatically changed the trajectory of our initial COVID-19 projections. With the state’s hospitalization capacity currently at a manageable level, individuals, employers, retail businesses, schools, health care providers and local governments are asked to consider steps outlined on South Dakota’s Coronavirus website in her “Get Back to Normal” Plan.
    • The Governor’s executive order is still in place for persons in Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties who are over the age of 65 and/or have chronic medical conditions to stay home until Monday, May 11.
    • A No Lingering Ordinance still exists in the City of Sioux Falls through Wednesday, May 15. The ordinance requires certain businesses to maintain fewer than 10 patrons at any given time, not including employees.
  • Scenario Planning Task Force: A new Scenario Planning Task Force has convened, which is comprised of Augustana faculty and staff to help determine how to best operate in the fall semester of the 2020 academic year. The task force will be developing various scenarios of campus operations in regards to student and faculty interaction this fall. A web page with more information regarding the task force will be published by the end of the week.
  • Class of 2020: Celebrating the milestone of graduation is extremely important to our entire Augustana community and the university has some new information regarding our plans.
    • Special Message on Saturday, May 23: On May 23, there will be a special message shared with our AU graduates and community. More details will be posted in the coming days.
    • Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 11: Augustana plans to celebrate the graduates of 2020 during Viking Days this fall. These events will take place in the Elmen Center. The schedule includes the following and more details will be shared over the summer.
      • 9 a.m. — Homecoming & Baccalaureate Worship
      • 10:40 a.m. — Doors Open
      • 11 a.m. — Class of 2020 Commencement and Hooding Ceremony
    • Special Notes:
      • Diplomas, covers, caps, tassels, as well as cords will be mailed in June, after degrees are posted.
      • Graduate students will receive their diploma and cover and can order regalia if they still want it.
      • Class rings and diploma frames are available from Herff-Jones.
  • More details can be found at augie.edu/commencement.

Monday, April 27 (3:00 p.m.) 

  • Local and Global Update: As of noon on Monday, April 27, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has reported 2,245 positive cases of COVID-19. Nearly 90 percent of these cases have come out of Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties with 2,011 cases. These two counties have 872 of the 918 total number of active cases in the state. Eleven people who have tested positive for the virus in South Dakota have died. As of Sunday, April 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 957,875 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., with 53,922 deaths.
  • Class of 2020: Celebrating the milestone of graduation is extremely important to our entire Augustana community and the university has some new information regarding our plans.
    • Special Message on Saturday, May 23: On May 23, there will be a special message shared with our AU graduates and community. More details will be posted in the coming days.
    • Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 11: Augustana plans to celebrate the graduates of 2020 during Viking Days this fall. These events will take place in the Elmen Center. The schedule includes the following and more details will be shared over the summer.
      • 9 a.m. — Homecoming & Baccalaureate Worship
      • 10:40 a.m. — Doors Open
      • 11 a.m. — Class of 2020 Commencement and Hooding Ceremony
    • Special Notes:
      • Diplomas, covers, caps, tassels, as well as cords will be mailed in June, after degrees are posted.
      • Graduate students will receive their diploma and cover and can email the bookstore for regalia if you still want it.
      • Class rings and diploma frames are available from Herff-Jones.
    • More details can be found at augie.edu/commencement.
  • Masks Available for AU CommunityThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings. We strongly encourage those who remain on campus to wear masks. The Augustana Costume Shop is graciously making masks for those in need. They will continue to provide masks for local students, faculty and staff who have the ability to pick them up when they are finished. Please email your requests to amy.meyers@augie.eduNote: The use of masks does not replace the practice of physical distancing and cloth masks should be washed after each use.
    • In an effort to continue to make masks for the community, the Augustana Costume Shop is in need of the following items: elastic, bias tape, medium to large-sized buttons, spools of thread, cotton fabric and bread ties that come with garbage or sandwich bags. These items can be dropped off at the Campus Safety service desk in the Morrison Commons.

Friday, April 24 (2:25 p.m.) 

  • Local and Global Update: As of noon on Friday, April 24, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has reported 2,040 positive cases of COVID-19. Eighty-nine percent of the total number of cases in South Dakota are in Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties with 1,823. Fifty-eight percent of the total number of positive cases in the state have recovered. Ten people who have tested positive for the virus have died. As of Wednesday, April 22, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 828,441 cases of the novel coronavirus in the U.S., with 46,379 deaths.
    • The Sioux Falls City Council voted on Tuesday, April 21 to extend the No Lingering Ordinance to Wednesday, May 15. The ordinance requires certain businesses to maintain fewer than 10 patrons at any given time, not including employees.
    • The Governor’s executive order for persons in Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties who are over the age of 65 and/or have chronic medical conditions to stay home remains in effect until Monday, April 27, unless earlier revoked or amended.
  • COVID-19 Case Update: We sent out an email communication last night informing students, staff and faculty that a person connected to the Augustana community has tested positive for COVID-19. The person was working at the Augustana Campus Learning Center (CLC), which was serving a small number of children and families who needed essential childcare. Read the full message.
    • The person who tested positive for COVID-19 was last at the facility on Monday, April 20 and has not returned since that time. The individual self-reported their COVID-19 diagnosis late yesterday afternoon, which was confirmed by the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) last night.
    • Augustana has identified and contacted the families and staff members who may have been in contact with the individual. We have asked those contacts to self-quarantine for the 14-day period from the last date of exposure on April 20, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
    • The Campus Learning Center will be closed until Monday, May 4. The closure will allow time for employees and those who utilize their services to self-quarantine for the recommended 14 days. Augustana will be taking the necessary safety precautions while performing a deep cleaning of the center.
  • If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, do not come to campus. Contact your healthcare provider and stay at home for the mandated isolation period. Many insurance carriers offer telehealth (ability to talk with a healthcare provider via telecommunication technologies such as a mobile app or website). Call ahead or use telehealth options to help avoid the spread of illness. Please contact Employee Health or the Campus Clinic should you have any questions or need assistance. The following resources are available:
  • Finals Week Update: Earlier this week, the Curriculum Council modified Finals Guidelines for Spring 2020 in relation to synchronous and asynchronous exam options. View the policy.
  • Updated Building Hours and Services: Faculty and staff, as well as students who have been approved to live on campus, will find information regarding hours and access for a number of locations on campus that are still staffed and available for use at augie.edu/hours.
    • The Elmen Center will be open each weekday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., and closed on the weekends. The weight room will be open each weekday from 12-2 p.m. The pool remains closed. Swipe your Augie ID on the east main doors and parking lot door. The facility will only be accessible to faculty and staff as well as students who have been approved to live in on-campus student housing. Family members and friends are not allowed to use the facility.

Thursday, April 23 (9:30 p.m.) 

A person connected to the Augustana community has tested positive for COVID-19. The person was working at the Augustana Campus Learning Center (CLC), which was serving a small number of children and families who needed essential childcare.

The person who tested positive for COVID-19 was last at the facility on Monday, April 20 and has not returned since that time. The individual self-reported their COVID-19 diagnosis late this afternoon, which was confirmed by the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) this evening. Please know we have been in communication with the SD-DOH regarding this information and will continue to work closely with them.

Augustana has identified and contacted the families and staff members who may have been in contact with the individual. We have asked those contacts to self-quarantine for the 14-day period, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Please know the Campus Learning Center has been following a number of safety protocols. Employees and children were required to have their temperature taken every day upon arrival. Staff members have also been sanitizing the center thoroughly throughout each day and the center has had nightly custodial cleaning. 

The Campus Learning Center will be closed until Monday, May 4. The closure will allow time for employees and those who utilize their services to self-quarantine for the recommended 14 days. During this time, Augustana will take the necessary safety precautions while performing a deep cleaning of the center.

Please continue to use the following precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Practice social distancing
  • Stay home if you are ill
  • Cover your cough and sneezes
  • Wash your hands often (for at least 20 seconds) and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe

The health, safety and well-being of our campus community is of the utmost concern to Augustana. We realize this may be difficult news to learn and recognize you may have a number of questions or may need assistance. Please reference the Coronavirus website or contact one of the following departments should you need any help.


Wednesday, April 22 (3:26 p.m.)

  • Local and Global Outlook: As of Wednesday, April 22, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has reported 1,858 cases of COVID-19, including 937 people who have recovered. Nine people who have tested positive for the virus, have died in South Dakota. Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties have reported 1,559 cases of coronavirus, which makes up more than 84 percent of the total cases in the state. As of Tuesday, April 21, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 802,583 cases and 44,575 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the U.S.
    • The City Council withdrew the potential Stay at Home Ordinance for the City of Sioux Falls during their meeting on Tuesday, April 21. 
    • The City Council voted to extend the No Lingering Ordinance that is already in effect in the City of Sioux Falls. The council voted on Tuesday, April 21 to extend the No Lingering Ordinance to Wednesday, May 15. The ordinance requires certain businesses to maintain fewer than 10 patrons at any given time, not including employees. 
    • Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken has announced a new plan called SOAR, which stands for Supporting Operations and Resiliency. With SOAR, the city will work with the business community, specifically larger employers, to get resources and tools, including on-site spot checks to make sure they are utilizing best practices in slowing the spread of COVID. 
    • You can monitor information for family and individual guidance or guidance for businesses posted on the City of Sioux Falls’ Coronavirus website. If you have questions for city officials, you can submit those to covid19questions@siouxfalls.org
    • The Governor’s executive order for persons in Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties who are over the age of 65 and/or have chronic medical conditions to stay home remains in effect until Monday, April 27, unless earlier revoked or amended.
    • The Governor is encouraging South Dakotans to download a voluntary app for South Dakotans called Care19 that will use location services to help users track where they have been within the community should they test positive for COVID-19.
  • Updated Building Hours and Services: Faculty and staff, as well as students who have been approved to live on campus, will find information regarding hours and access for a number of locations on campus that are still staffed and available for use at augie.edu/hours.
    • The Administration Building will now be locked. Those with key card access will still have the ability to get inside the building. Signs will be posted on the doors to direct people on who to contact for specific services.
    • The Edith Mortenson Center will also be locked. Those who need access to dining services can enter through the Morrison Commons which is open 24/7 for students who remain on campus.
  • Masks Available for AU Community: We strongly encourage those who remain on campus to wear masks. The Augustana Costume Shop is making masks for local students, faculty and staff who have the ability to pick them up when they are finished. Please email your requests to amy.meyers@augie.edu. Note: The use of masks does not replace the practice of physical distancing and cloth masks should be washed after each use.

Monday, April 20 (4:45 p.m.) 

  • Local and Global Outlook: A total of 40 counties in South Dakota have reported cases of COVID-19. Nine of those counties have substantial community spread and 16 have minimal to moderate community spread. As of Monday, April 20, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has reported 1685 cases of COVID-19, including 787 hospitalizations and 709 who have recovered. Seven people who have tested positive for the virus, have died in South Dakota. Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties have reported 1,500 cases of coronavirus, which makes up more than 89 percent of the total cases in the state. In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (CDC) has reported more than 720,630 cases and 37,202 deaths attributed to COVID-19.
    • The City Council may review a potential Stay at Home Ordinance for the City of Sioux Falls on Tuesday, April 21, which received first round approval on April 15. If enacted, the ordinance will take effect on Friday, April 24 through Friday, May 8, for the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Mayor has announced a new plan for consideration called SOAR, which stands for Supporting Operations and Resiliency. With SOAR, the city will work with the business community, specifically larger employers, to get resources and tools, including on-site spot checks to make sure they are utilizing best practices in slowing the spread of COVID. Because of the new recommendations, it has not been determined if the city will pull the Stay at Home Ordinance when it goes before the City Council or if the council will vote it down. If you have questions for city officials, you can submit those to covid19questions@siouxfalls.org. Augustana will be communicating more broadly what this means for Augustana students, staff and faculty still on campus. You can also monitor information posted on the City of Sioux Falls’ Coronavirus website.
    • The Governor’s executive order for persons in Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties who are over the age of 65 and/or have chronic medical conditions to stay home remains in effect until Monday, April 27, unless earlier revoked or amended.
    • The Governor is encouraging South Dakotans to download a voluntary app for South Dakotans called Care19 that will use location services to help users track where they have been within the community should they test positive for COVID-19.
  • One-Stop Services Available for Students: If students have questions about registration, we are here to assist. Staff from the Student Success Center, Business Office, Financial Aid, International Programs Office and the Registrar are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., during virtual office hours.
    • Students should also connect with their academic advisor since only their advisor can clear them to register.
  • Masks Available for AU Community: The Augustana Costume Shop is making masks for those in need. They will be providing masks for local students, faculty and staff who have the ability to pick them up when they are finished. Please email your requests to amy.meyers@augie.edu. Thanks to Augustana parents, the university has access to a limited supply of disposable masks for students who still remain on campus. These will be distributed to students by dorm staff. Additional disposable masks are available at Campus Safety while supplies last. Note: The use of masks does not replace the practice of physical distancing and cloth masks should be washed after each use.
    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Cloth face coverings, fashioned from household items, or made at home from common materials at low cost, can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on children under the age of 2, or on anyone who has trouble breathing, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies reserved for healthcare workers and first responders.

Friday, April 17 (4:30 p.m.)

  • Local and Global Outlook: A total of 40 counties in South Dakota have reported cases of COVID-19. Nine of those counties have substantial community spread and 16 have minimal to moderate community spread. As of Friday, April 17, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has reported 1,411 cases of COVID-19, including 63 hospitalizations and 373 who have recovered. Seven people who have tested positive for the virus, have died in South Dakota. Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties have reported 1,234 cases of coronavirus, which makes up more than 87 percent of the total cases in the state. In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported more than 632,000 cases and 31,071 deaths attributed to COVID-19.
    • The City Council was set to consider a Stay at Home Ordinance for the City of Sioux Falls on Tuesday, April 21. If enacted, the ordinance would have taken effect on Friday, April 24, through Friday, May 8, for the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic. Note: After receiving updated data from the healthcare systems, the Mayor is instead recommending to enhance the No Lingering Ordinance that is already in effect in the City of Sioux Falls. The City Council voted on Tuesday, April 7, to extend the No Lingering Ordinance to April 22. The ordinance requires certain businesses to maintain fewer than 10 patrons at any given time, not including employees. If you have questions for city officials, you can submit those to covid19questions@siouxfalls.org. We will be communicating more broadly what this means for Augustana students, staff and faculty still on campus.
    • The Governor’s executive order for persons in Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties who are over the age of 65 and/or have chronic medical conditions to stay home remains in effect until Monday, April 27, unless earlier revoked or amended.
    • The Governor is encouraging South Dakotans to download a voluntary app for South Dakotans called Care19 that will use location services to help users track where they have been within the community should they test positive for COVID-19.
  • Policy Change for Support Staff: During this time of uncertainty, Augustana University has updated the current Sick Leave Donating/Lending Policy to better support the needs of Support Staff employees. This policy enables hourly paid employees with more than 240 hours of sick leave to donate or lend a portion of their hours to a sick leave pool. These hours can be utilized by employees who have exhausted all forms of paid leave (sick, vacation and personal leave) and do not qualify for short- or long-term disability.
    • During this time of crisis, the current policy has been temporarily altered to fit the needs of our community. All Support Staff employees are eligible for this benefit. The limitation for those still in their 90-day probationary period has been waived through December 2020.
    • Support Staff employees who have more than 240 hours of sick leave and would like to donate or lend a portion of accumulated hours or have questions, please contact Amy Meyers at amy.meyers@augie.edu.
  • One-Stop Services Available for Students: If students have questions about registration, we are here to assist. Staff from the Student Success Center, Business Office, Financial Aid, International Programs Office and the Registrar are available Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., during virtual office hours.
    • Students can connect virtually through Zoom.
    • Students should also connect with their academic advisor since only their advisor can clear them to register.
  • Updated Building Hours and Services: Faculty and staff, as well as students who have been approved to live on campus, will find information regarding hours and access for a number of locations on campus that are still staffed and available for use at augie.edu/hours.
    • The Elmen Center will be open each weekday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. The weight room will be open each weekday from 12-2 p.m. The pool remains closed. Swipe your Augie ID on the east main doors and parking lot door. The facility will only be accessible to faculty and staff as well as students who have been approved to live in on-campus student housing. Family members and friends are not allowed to use the facility.
  • Masks Available for AU Community: The Augustana Costume Shop is making masks for those in need. They will be providing masks for local students, faculty and staff who have the ability to pick them up when they are finished. Please email your requests to amy.meyers@augie.edu. Thanks to Augustana parents, the university has access to a limited supply of disposable masks for students who still remain on campus. These will be distributed to students by dorm staff. Additional disposable masks are available at Campus Safety while supplies last. Note: The use of masks does not replace the practice of physical distancing and cloth masks should be washed after each use.
    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Cloth face coverings, fashioned from household items, or made at home from common materials at low cost, can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on children under the age of 2, or on anyone who has trouble breathing, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies reserved for healthcare workers and first responders.

Tuesday, April 14 (4:30 p.m.)

  • Global and Local Outlook: As of Friday, April 9, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has reported 988 cases of COVID-19, including 261 people who have recovered. Minnehaha County and Lincoln Counties have reported 823 total cases with 147 of those recovered.
    • South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem announced this afternoon that she will not issue a shelter-in-place order for Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties.
    • Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken has given notice for the City Council to consider a shelter-in-place order for the City of Sioux Falls. The first reading will take place at the City Council meeting on the evening of Wednesday, April 15, and a second reading on Tuesday, April 21. Augustana will be communicating more broadly on what that means for students, staff and faculty. The Risk Assessment Team has been outlining plans should a shelter-in-place order be issued.
    • In partnership with Feeding South Dakota, the Helpline Center, Faith Temple Food Giveaway, Corona Help Sioux Falls and the Salvation Army, a food distribution center has been set up at the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds in Sioux Falls on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12-8 p.m. Register to receive food assistance.
    • In conjunction with the state of North Dakota, the Governor announced a new voluntary app for South Dakotans called Care19 that will use location services to help users track where they have been within the community should they test positive for COVID-19.
  • Town Hall Meetings: Augustana President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin invited administrators, faculty, support staff and coaching staff to participate in virtual town hall meetings on Thursday, April 9. These meetings provided an opportunity to be together, ask questions and share concerns related to the pandemic and its impact on Augustana. If you missed your respective town hall session and would like to watch the recording, please contact Pam Miller.
    • Augustana Student Association Executive Leadership represented students in a virtual town hall meeting with key constituents of the university on Wednesday, April 8. Watch the full Zoom meeting (login required).
  • A number of June events and camps have been canceled. These include Summer Music Camp, ACT Prep Camp and the Autism Conference. Be sure to visit augie.edu/canceled to review an up-to-date listing as this page is frequently updated.
  • Edda, the Augustana yearbook, will not be able to feature senior portraits with diplomas in the back of the yearbook as it customarily does because there will not be an in-person commencement ceremony in May. Instead, the yearbook staff would like to create spreads featuring photos that seniors submit to the publication. Seniors can submit photos from any time over their four years at Augustana. The photos must be appropriate and include the name of every individual in the photo and the photographer. Photos can be submitted to edda@ole.augie.edu.
  • If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, do not come to campus. Contact your healthcare provider and stay at home for the mandated isolation period. Many insurance carriers offer telehealth (ability to talk with a healthcare provider via telecommunication technologies such as a mobile app or website). Call ahead or use telehealth options to help avoid the spread of illness. Please contact Employee Health or the Campus Clinic should you have any questions or need assistance. The following resources are available:

Please note: If employees are ill for greater than three days, please contact Employee Health at 605.274.4726 as Family Medical Leave Act rules may apply.


Friday, April 9 (5:25 p.m.)

  • Global and Local Outlook: As of Friday, April 9, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has reported 447 cases of COVID-19, an increase of 54 cases from the day before. One-hundred-sixty-one people have recovered from the virus and six people have died. Minnehaha County and Lincoln Counties make up nearly 69 percent of the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state with 307.
    • The Sioux Falls Mayor issued a Safer at Home Executive Proclamation on Monday, April 6, that offers new guidelines for businesses and residents to follow as it relates to the virus. The Sioux Falls City Council voted on Tuesday, April 7, to extend the No Lingering Ordinance to April 22. The ordinance requires certain businesses to maintain fewer than 10 patrons at any given time, not including employees.
    • South Dakota’s Governor has also issued an executive order for persons in Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties who are over the age of 65 and/or have chronic medical conditions to stay home for the next three weeks. The Governor also announced that all K-12 school districts in the state will finish the 2019-20 school year with online learning.
    • In conjunction with the state of North Dakota, the Governor announced a new voluntary app for South Dakotans called Care19 that will use location services to help users track where they have been within the community should they test positive for COVID-19.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Cloth face coverings, fashioned from household items, or made at home from common materials at low cost, can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on children under the age  of 2, or on anyone who has trouble breathing, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies reserved for healthcare workers and first responders.
  • Updated Building Hours and Services: Faculty and staff, as well as students who have been approved to live on campus, will find information regarding hours and access for a number of locations on campus that are still staffed and available for use at augie.edu/hours. Please be aware that these times and locations are subject to change and will be reviewed daily as university services evolve in the coming weeks.
    • The Elmen Center is closed over Easter Break on Friday, April 10, through Monday, April 13. The Elmen Center will be open each weekday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. The weight room will be open each weekday from 12-2 p.m. The pool remains closed. Swipe your Augie ID on the east main doors and parking lot door. The facility will only be accessible to faculty and staff as well as students who have been approved to live in on-campus student housing. Family members and friends are not allowed to use the facility.
  • Augie Chats: While the pandemic has caused disruption in operations in the workplace, it has also caused major disruption at home with parents working from home, children doing their classes online in the home, and parents suddenly feeling like full-time substitute teachers. Faculty, staff, administrators and coaches, please join us on Tuesday, April 14, from 4-5 p.m., where Assistant Professor of Education Brad Uhing will host a virtual chat. He will share some tips and strategies with parents to help ease some of the disruption and anxiety of doing work and school at home. Register to participate.

Monday, April 6 (5 p.m.)

  • Global and Local Outlook: As of Monday, April 6, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has reported 288 cases of COVID-19. Ninety-one people have recovered from the virus in the state and four people have died. Minnehaha County has reported 140 cases and 24 in Lincoln County.
    • The Sioux Falls Mayor issued a Safer at Home Executive Proclamation this morning that offers new guidelines for businesses and residents to follow as it relates to the virus. The Sioux Falls City Council will vote Tuesday night whether to extend the No Lingering Ordinance to April 22. The ordinance requires certain businesses to maintain fewer than 10 patrons at any given time, not including employees. The ordinance is enforceable by a Class 2 misdemeanor.
    • South Dakota’s Governor has extended an executive order, formerly set to expire on May 2, to May 31. The Governor has also issued an executive order for persons in Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties who are over the age of 65 and/or have chronic medical conditions to stay home for the next three weeks. All K-12 school districts in the state will finish the 2019-20 school year with online learning.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Cloth face coverings, fashioned from household items, or made at home from common materials at low cost, can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on children under the age  of 2, or on anyone who has trouble breathing, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies reserved for healthcare workers and first responders.
  • The Center for Campus Life will be modifying operations beginning this week. Staff who currently have offices in the Campus Life suite will be accessible remotely for virtual meetings, as well as phone or email conversations, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., at campuslife@augie.edu or 605.274.5215.
    • Outside of normal business hours, Viking Advisors (VAs) On-Call are accessible via the on-call phone number posted in your area. An Assistant Director On-Call (ADOC) with Campus Safety is available for urgent needs at all times by calling 605.274.4014. If you think your needs can be met with a phone call, please provide your number to Campus Safety or on-call staff when you reach out. All on-call staff have been instructed to wear masks and exercise appropriate physical distancing when responding in person to student needs.
  • Town Hall Meetings: President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has invited administrators, faculty, support staff and coaching staff to participate in virtual town hall meetings on Thursday, April 9. These meetings are an opportunity to be together, ask questions and share concerns related to the pandemic and its impact on Augustana. Details regarding the time for each group and how to connect via Zoom have been sent to your email. Augustana Student Association Executive Leadership will represent students in a virtual town hall meeting with key constituents of the university on Wednesday, April 8.
  • Financial Implications for Students: As a reminder, CFO and Executive Vice President Shannan Nelson sent a message on March 26 to students and parents outlining the details related to housing, dining and parking rebates. By Thursday, April 9, each student will be able to see the rebate applied to their account through the student portal, and each student will have the option to a) request a refund, or b) apply the rebate as a credit to their account for next semester. Read the full message.
  • Augustana in the News:

Friday, April 3 (5 p.m.)

  • Global and Local Outlook: As of Friday, April 3, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has reported 187 cases of COVID-19 with 22 new cases in the state. Fourteen new cases have been reported in Minnehaha County, for a total of 68. Two new cases have been reported in Lincoln County, which stands at 19. Out of these 87 cases, 17 people have recovered. Both counties are considered to have substantial community spread. Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported more than 239,000 cases of COVID-19 and 5,443 deaths.
  • Town Hall Meetings: President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin will be inviting administrators, faculty, support staff and coaching staff to participate in virtual town hall meetings on Thursday, April 9. These meetings are an opportunity to be together, ask questions and share concerns related to the pandemic and its impact on Augustana. Please check your email for more details regarding the time for each group and how to connect via Zoom.
  • Financial Implications and Dining Services: The Financial Aid and Business Offices continue to work through financial adjustments for each student’s aid package and bill. The Director of Campus Life has outlined specific scenarios for students regarding Spring 2020 meal plans to help them better understand individual rebate eligibility. Read the full message.
    • Any off-campus student who relies on their meal plan as a primary means for food security and would like to retain access needs to contact Corey Kopp to request an exception.
    • The Business Office is available to answer questions specific to each student’s account via email at businessoffice@augie.edu or phone at 605.274.5239.
  • Updated Building Hours and Services: Faculty and staff, as well as students who have been approved to live on campus, will find information regarding hours and access for a number of locations on campus that are still staffed and available for use at augie.edu/hours. Please be aware that these times and locations are subject to change and will be reviewed daily as university services evolve in the coming weeks.
    • The Augustana Bookstore will be closed until further notice. The bookstore will continue to accept orders online for delivery with free shipping, though you may experience longer shipping times than usual. Any purchases returned via shipment to the store will be processed when it reopens. The bookstore is also offering free access to eTextbooks in partnership with VitalSource for the remainder of the spring semester.
    • The Elmen Center will be open each weekday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. The weight room will be open each weekday from 12-2 p.m. The pool remains closed. The Elmen Center is closed on the weekends and over Easter Break on Friday, April 10, through Monday, April 13. Swipe your Augie ID on the east main doors and parking lot door. The facility will only be accessible to faculty and staff as well as students who have been approved to live in on-campus student housing. Family members and friends are not allowed to use the facility.
  • Human Resources hiring hold: Augustana is making adjustments to all hiring processes. As a result, there is a temporary hold on the positions listed on our website. We will pause for 30 days upon which we will re-evaluate and determine if the process will be delayed further. Application materials will continue to be accepted during this time, and AU will keep applicants informed on the status as the weeks unfold.

Thursday, April 2 (3:15 p.m.)

  • Change to Daily Updates: Augustana will adjust the frequency of the emailed updates to reflect the operational changes that have been implemented on campus regarding remote courses and work. We will provide updates to the AU community every Monday, Wednesday and Friday with the exception of the next two weeks in relation to the Easter holiday. These updates will go out on Monday, April 6, and Thursday, April 9, as well as Tuesday, April 14, and Friday, April 17. (AU will be closed on Good Friday, April 10, and Easter Monday, April 13, as we observe the Easter holiday.) Please know that the Unified Command Team will continue to meet daily and the Risk Assessment Team will meet weekly to closely monitor the evolving situation related to the spread of COVID-19.
  • Global and Local Outlook: As of Thursday, April 2, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has reported 165 cases of COVID-19 with 36 new cases in the state. Minnehaha County reported 14 new cases, for a total of 54. Six new cases have been reported in Lincoln County, which stands at 17. Out of these 71 cases, 13 people have recovered. Both counties are considered to have substantial community spread. Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a total of 213,144 cases of COVID-19 and 4,513 deaths, including two in South Dakota.
  • Counseling Services: The university understands the stress and anxiety that our campus community may be facing. If you are feeling overwhelmed we encourage students, faculty and staff to utilize these resources.
    • For Students: Augustana Counseling Services is associated with Sioux Falls Psychological Services. Counseling Services are located in the lower level of the Sioux Falls Seminary across the street from the Mikkelsen Library. Telemental health sessions are available for students not on campus. To schedule an appointment (in-person or telemental health sessions), please call 605.334.2696. Review our building hours.
    • For Faculty and Staff: Augustana University employees and their families can utilize free, confidential online and face-to-face counseling sessions (3 per year) through AETNA. Please call 1.855.283.1915 or visit mylifevalues.com (Login username and password is RESOURCES).
  • Resources: The following campus resources are available to faculty, staff and students who may need assistance or who wish to speak with someone:
  • More Resources: In an effort to help people struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, local businessman and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford has pledged $1 million to the One Sioux Falls Fund and the Sioux Falls City Council will be considering contributing to the fund, as well. If you live in the Sioux Falls area, please consider looking to the One Sioux Falls Fund for assistance, coordinated by the Helpline Center.

Wednesday, April 1 (4:45 p.m.)

  • Global and Local Outlook: As of Wednesday, April 1, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has reported 129 cases of COVID-19, with nine new cases in Minnehaha County, for a total of 40, and six new cases in Lincoln County, which stands at 11. Out of these 51 cases, 12 people have recovered. While public parks and trails remain open, the City of Sioux Falls has closed all athletic fields to organized activities and social gatherings, dog parks, skate parks, park shelters, playground equipment, as well as park restrooms and drinking fountains. A law, passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor on March 31, postpones elections scheduled from April 14 through May 26 to any Tuesday in June, which includes the combined Sioux Falls/School Board Election scheduled for Tuesday, April 14.
  • Updated Building Hours and Services: Faculty and staff, as well as students who have been approved to remain on campus will find information regarding adjusted hours and access for a number of locations on campus that are still staffed and available for use at augie.edu/hours.
    • In cooperation with the City of Sioux Falls and to assist with physical distancing, all outdoor Augustana athletic facilities are closed until further notice. This includes athletic fields (soccer, track, baseball, softball and football). This does not include the Elmen Center — please refer to their hours of service.
  • Grading Options: Students have the option of declaring one or more of their courses as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grades. The Spring 2020 S/U grading policy is intended to help both students and faculty by easing the burden of transitioning to modified instruction. More information regarding the process of declaring the S/U is outlined at augie.edu/satisfactory. While we would like you to wait to declare your SU grading options, you may check out what the declaration site looks like on my.augie.edu (under the Academics tab; see the portlet on the top right). The deadline for indicating that courses students want to designate S/U is Monday, April 20. (Note: Students may elect NOT to take any courses graded S/U.)
  • Financial Implications for Students: As a reminder, CFO and Executive Vice President Shannan Nelson sent a message on March 26 to students and parents outlining the details related to housing, dining and parking rebates. By April 9, each student will be able to see the rebate applied to their account through the student portal, and each student will have the option to a) request a refund, or b) apply the rebate as a credit to your account for next semester. Read the full message.
  • Counseling Services: The university understands the stress and anxiety that our campus community may be facing. If you are feeling overwhelmed we encourage students, faculty and staff to utilize these resources.
    • For Students: Augustana Counseling Services is associated with Sioux Falls Psychological Services. Counseling Services are located in the lower level of the Sioux Falls Seminary across the street from the Mikkelsen Library. Telemental health sessions are available for students not on campus. To schedule an appointment (in-person or telemental health sessions), please call 605.334.2696. Review our building hours.
    • For Faculty and Staff: Augustana University employees and their families can utilize free, confidential online and face-to-face counseling sessions (3 per year) through AETNA. Please call 1.855.283.1915 or visit mylifevalues.com (Login username and password is RESOURCES).
  • Resources: The following campus resources are available to faculty, staff and students who may need assistance or who wish to speak with someone:

Tuesday, March 31 (5:30 p.m.)

  • Global and Local Outlook: As of Tuesday, March 31, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has reported 108 cases of COVID-19, with three new cases in Minnehaha County, for a total of 31, and one new case in Lincoln County, which stands at five. Gov. Kristi Noem announced today that South Dakota was the last state in the nation to reach 100 positive cases of COVID-19 and is 15th in the nation for the percentage of people being tested (per million). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. nationally is in the acceleration phase of the pandemic as most states have reported community spread of COVID-19.
  • Grading Options: Students have the option of declaring one or more of their courses as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grades. The Spring 2020 S/U grading policy is intended to help both students and faculty by easing the burden of transitioning to modified instruction. More information regarding the process of declaring the S/U is outlined at augie.edu/satisfactory. While we would like you to wait to declare your SU grading options, you may check out what the declaration site looks like on my.augie.edu (under the Academics tab; see the portlet on the top right). The deadline for indicating that courses students want to designate S/U is Monday, April 20. (Note: Students may elect NOT to take any courses graded S/U.)
  • Using Zoom: Communicating through Zoom has become an inviting target for uninvited or unwanted guests to join meetings. Please take the time to learn how to use meeting controls such as how to quickly block a person and remove them from a meeting. Do not post your Zoom meeting ID on a public place and use a Generated Meeting ID instead of a Personal Meeting ID. When setting up a meeting, make sure only the host can share the screen, which allows the host to grant permission for others to be able to do so. Zoom Waiting Room is another feature you may want to consider using for some meetings. When someone joins the meeting, they are put in a "waiting room" and will not be able to enter the meeting until the host grants them permission. As a reminder to faculty and staff, members of IT are available in a Zoom meeting from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Monday-Friday. Please join them when you have questions. You can find a link to our Zoom meeting in the Course Continuity Guide (available to faculty and staff only). View IT’s full message for more information.
  • Edda, the Augustana yearbook, will not be able to feature senior portraits with diplomas in the back of the yearbook as it customarily does because there will not be an in-person commencement ceremony in May. Instead, the yearbook staff would like to create spreads featuring photos that seniors submit to the publication. Seniors can submit photos from any time over their four years at Augustana. The photos must be appropriate and include the name of every individual in the photo and the photographer. Photos must be submitted to edda@ole.augie.edu by Friday, April 10.

Monday, March 30 (4:25 p.m.)

  • Global and Local Outlook: As of Monday, March 30, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has reported 101 cases of COVID-19. Twenty-eight cases have been reported in Minnehaha County and four in Lincoln County with community spread.
  • Financial Implications for Students: Executive Vice President & CFO Shannan Nelson sent a message to students and parents last week outlining the details related to housing, dining and parking rebates. Students will be able to see the rebate applied to their account through the student portal (login required) by Thursday, April 9. Students will have the option to request a refund or apply the rebate as a credit to their account for next semester. Read the full message.
  • Example of Goodness: We all need to be reminded that even amidst a pandemic, goodness is happening all around us. In the days and weeks ahead, when you see or hear of neighbor helping neighbor, staff, faculty or students going above and beyond to help someone, small gestures of kindness that you want to share, please send them to Pamela Miller. Pam will collect stories and periodically share them in our newsletter.
  • Dining and Starbucks Hours: To help assist staff and students who remain on campus, Starbucks @ Siverson is now open from 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. You will find updated Dining Service hours at augie.edu/hours.

Friday, March 27 (4:45 p.m.)

  • Global and Local Outlook: As of Friday, March 27, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has reported 58 cases of COVID-19. Eighteen cases have been reported in Minnehaha County and two in Lincoln County with community spread. Based on this information, the Sioux Falls Board of Health passed an ordinance that has since been unanimously reaffirmed by the Sioux Falls City Council, restricting gatherings to 10 or fewer at many establishments within city limits for two weeks.
  • S/U Grading Options for Spring 2020: Students have the option of declaring one or more of their courses as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grades. The deadline for indicating the courses they want to designate S/U is Monday, April 20. (Note: students may elect NOT to take any courses S/U.) PLEASE do NOT submit an S/U form until you receive instructions on how to do so. The mechanism for students to declare which courses they want to keep letter graded and which to convert to S/U grading is currently being developed. Information on this process has been sent to students and is outlined by Dr. Colin Irvine at augie.edu/satisfactory.
  • Housing Update: Campus Life sent an email the evening of Thursday, March 26, to students in on-campus housing outlining the specific procedures for move-out. The procedures are also detailed on the Spring Semester Move-Out web page.
    • Only students in the most extenuating circumstances will be allowed to remain in on-campus housing. Campus Life and International Programs Office staff will be contacting students who are already approved to be on campus between now and Friday, April 3, to discuss housing plans and needs.
    • Students coming from an area currently under a “stay-at-home” or “shelter-in-place” mandate should refrain from coming to campus. We will work with you to identify a date and time once those expectations are lifted to return to campus and retrieve your things. Campus Life will contact the students affected during the week of April 6. In the meantime, belongings will remain safely locked in their room awaiting their return.
  • Updated Building Hours and Services: Faculty, staff and students will find information regarding adjusted hours and access for a number of locations on campus that are still staffed and available for use at augie.edu/hours.
    • The Elmen Center will be open each weekday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. and closed on the weekends. The pool will be closed the week of March 30. The weight room will be open each weekday from 12-2 p.m. Swipe your Augie ID on the east main doors and parking lot door. The facility will only be accessible to faculty and staff as well as students who have been approved to live in on-campus student housing. Family members and friends are not allowed to use the facility.
  • Take a moment to check out the Campus Ministry Reflections blog. Senior students who had planned to give their senior sermon during these last months of spring semester, will be writing a reflection that will be posted every Friday. In addition, faculty, staff and administrators will be offering reflections in this online space. Find other ways to connect with the Augustana community through Campus Ministry, at augie.edu/worship.

Thursday, March 26 (8:15 p.m.)

  • Global and Local Outlook: As of Thursday, March 26, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has reported 46 (five new today) cases of COVID-19. Minnesota has reported its second virus-related death today, with 346 cases (59 new today), and has a two-week stay-at-home order beginning midnight Friday through April 10. Senator John Thune has flown home to Sioux Falls, having fallen ill in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
  • Financial Implications for Students: CFO and Executive Vice President Shannan Nelson sent a message today to students and parents outlining the details related to housing, dining and parking rebates. Read the full message.
  • Housing Update: All students who live in residence halls, apartments and theme houses must vacate on-campus housing before Tuesday, April 7. Visit the Closing Information web page for details related to completing an express checkout. For the health and safety of our community, students will only be allowed to have one other person assist them in the move.
    • We are aware that there are “stay-at-home” or “shelter-in-place” orders in effect in several states. Students from these areas should refrain from coming to campus. We will be reaching out to these students to arrange when they can return to campus. In the meantime, your belongings will remain safely locked in your room awaiting your return.
    • Please review the information on the Spring Semester Move-Out web page.
  • Grading Policy: Academic Affairs and the faculty are currently reviewing a policy change for Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) for the Spring 2020 term. We will provide an update to the broader community on Friday, March 27.
  • Amidst the uncertainty and the disruption swirling around us, there is goodness happening everywhere. In the days and weeks ahead, when you see or hear of neighbor helping neighbor, staff, faculty or students going above and beyond to help someone, small gestures of kindness that you want to share, please send them to Pamela Miller. Pam will collect stories and periodically share them in our newsletter. We all need to be reminded that even amidst a pandemic, goodness is happening all around us.
  • If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, do not come to campus. Contact your healthcare provider and stay at home for the mandated isolation period. For the safety of the university community, we strongly encourage prompt notification of the following:
    • Undergraduates and graduate/professional students who are awaiting a test result or who have received a COVID-19 test result should contact Amy Meyers
    • Faculty and staff should report this information to their supervisor and Amy Meyers from the Campus Clinic.

Wednesday, March 25 (5:15 p.m.)

  • Global and Local Outlook: As of Wednesday, March 25, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has reported 41 known cases of COVID-19. The Governor has given a recommendation to K-12 school districts across the state to not allow students in their buildings until May 1. All 50 states have reported cases of COVID-19 to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Twenty-seven states have reported some community spread with South Dakota being one of them. Iowa had its first virus-related death reported Tuesday. This afternoon, the Sioux Falls Mayor reported eight new cases of COVID-19 in Minnehaha County, as well as Lincoln County’s first confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • Latest From Augustana: We will continue to deliver curriculum online for the remainder of the spring semester. Faculty and staff — most of whom will be working remotely — will continue to provide support to students through virtual meetings using online platforms (e.g., academic advising, tutoring, counseling, campus ministry, etc.). It is our intention to host a creative, virtual commencement ceremony in May to celebrate our graduates, followed this fall by special activities and recognition during Viking Days. Please look for more details in the coming weeks. View the President’s Full Message.
  • International Students: Some countries and airlines have restricted borders and canceled flights. Neighboring states such as Minnesota and Iowa have also implemented “shelter in place” orders. The window of opportunity for international students to go home may soon close, and may not re-open until this summer or beyond. For these reasons, Augustana and the International Programs Office (IPO) are recommending that international students return home as soon as they can book a flight. If students currently living on campus cannot return home for reasons due to personal safety, lack of available flights, or closed borders, they must contact the IPO in order to extend their stay. Augustana is committed to maintaining essential services such as housing, dining and campus safety for those students who are unable to return home. Please contact IPO with any questions or concerns.
  • Campus Life: We will provide students with detailed information regarding the move-out process for those living in university-owned housing by the end of the day Thursday, March 26. Over the next two weeks, we will allow students to return to campus in small shifts to retrieve their belongings and check out for the remainder of the academic year. All students who are able must leave on-campus housing and return home. We recognize that a small number of students will still need housing and dining options on campus. We will be reaching out to students who were previously approved to discuss those needs. Please do not contact us to ask about your specific move-out needs until we have provided additional details Thursday.
  • Financial Implications for Students: There have been many questions related to the various financial implications for students such as room and board, and Augustana continues to work through this complex issue. The university has been taking part in webinars and communicating with colleagues within our national organizations and at other colleges and universities trying to determine next steps. We will communicate more as this week unfolds. We thank you for your trust and patience.
  • Student/Faculty Town Halls: The Provost’s Office is coordinating a series of Town Hall meetings this week.
    • Faculty Virtual Town Hall meetings will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, March 25 and 26, at 5 p.m. Faculty should have received an invitation for these meetings from Jay Kahl in Academic Affairs.
    • Weekly Virtual Student Town Halls are being coordinated by the Provost’s Office in conjunction with the Augustana Student Association (ASA). Students should reach out to ASA representatives with their questions.
  • Online Tutoring: Students can now schedule and arrange virtual conversations with the tutors at augie.edu/tutoring. Students can also take advantage of walk-in Zoom meetings with Student Success Center tutors.
    • Augustana is using a vendor, WCOnline, to provide this service (view details at augie.edu/tutoring). Faculty may use a guest login to access the system and should contact Billie Streufert for more details.
  • Web Resources: New web pages have been created on the Coronavirus website with specific information for students, faculty and staff that will be updated on a daily basis. You can also find links to these pages by visiting augie.edu/faq. If you have items you would like to submit for consideration, please email news@augie.edu.
  • Midco is offering a new package called Midco Internet Basics for households with K-12 and/or college students who don’t have reliable internet access for FREE through June 15, 2020. Households should call 1.833.338.4638 and reference code MIBEDU20 to see if they qualify to receive the Education Assistance Credit.
  • Updated Building Hours and Services: Faculty and staff, as well as students who have been approved to live on campus, will find information regarding hours and access for a number of locations on campus that are still staffed and available for usage at augie.edu/hours. Please be aware these times and locations are subject to change and will be reviewed daily.

Tuesday, March 24 (5:15 p.m.) — Message from President Herseth Sandlin

Dear colleagues and students,

Uncertainty. There has been — and there continues to be — an overwhelming amount of it. When we extended spring break and then decided to modify instruction and move to online courses temporarily, we had hoped that local, regional and national projections regarding the threat and spread of COVID-19 would leave open the possibility of safely resuming in-person courses and normal university operations following the Easter holiday.

Although there is still so much we don’t know, we do know that with each passing day there are more people testing positive for the disease in South Dakota and neighboring states, and we likewise know that many of our students are from other parts of the country and the world where the spread of COVID-19 is even more severe. Predictive models, cited by Governor Kristi Noem earlier this week, indicate that the potential peak of the virus in South Dakota will be in late May or early June.

In such an uncertain environment, yet with such stark predictions and trends reflected in the public health analysis to date, we have made the difficult decision for Augustana faculty to continue delivering curriculum online to students for the remainder of the spring semester. Together with dedicated colleagues across campus — most of whom will be working remotely — we also will continue to provide other services to students through virtual meetings using online platforms (e.g., academic advising, tutoring, counseling, campus ministry, etc.). It is our intention to host a creative, virtual commencement ceremony in May to celebrate our graduates, followed this fall by special activities and recognition during Viking Days.

I know this decision is disappointing to hear, even if you started to anticipate that such a decision was likely, but we assure you that we are exercising our best judgment based on what we know today. Above all else, we are prioritizing the health and safety of our entire Augie community while doing our best to think through the weeks ahead and work through short-term institutional implications.

Consequently, with the support of Board leadership we’ve determined that it’s best, on balance, to eliminate at least some of the uncertainty that our students, staff and families are currently facing by making a decision about the semester at this time, in the hopes of diminishing some of the anxiety that can result from a wait-and-see approach. We are committed to fulfilling our educational mission, albeit through non-traditional means, in service to students and the university community each remaining day of the semester.

Just as with prior decisions and recent announcements, this message will prompt many questions related to coursework and exams, timing of refunds or credits for housing and meal plans, work study and campus employment, the retrieval of personal belongings from campus, specifics regarding commencement, priorities and planning for student organizations, and many more. I assure you that dedicated and hard-working faculty and administrators are sharing and analyzing extraordinary amounts of information to drive decisions, answer questions, and exchange innovative ideas for ensuring continued student learning and for facilitating effective student engagement over the next two months.

I respectfully request your understanding, support and patience over the next three days — everyone is working as hard as we can. There are many details and specifics to finalize and communicate, and we look forward to answering your questions, reaching out with more information, and responding to your needs. More information and updates will follow this message tomorrow, Thursday and Friday. In addition to emails that you will receive, please continue to check augie.edu/coronavirus.

Certainty. That Augustana is committed to our students’ success. That there will be lasting positives in the midst of this abrupt change. That this shared experience will deepen and strengthen relationships. That imagination, ingenuity and compassion will save lives.

Thank you, and may God’s love light the way,

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin
President


Monday, March 23 (5 p.m.)

  • Global and Local Outlook: While there have been no reported cases on Augustana’s campus, as of today the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has reported 28 known cases of COVID-19. The Governor has signed an executive order that provides guidelines for the entire state. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates the United States nationally is in the initiation phase of the pandemic. States in which community spread is occurring are in the acceleration phase and increased social distancing measures are being stressed to the entire U.S. population. Globally, measures continue to be enacted to prevent further transmission. The International Olympic Committee announced today that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been postponed.
  • Financial Implications for Students: There have been many questions related to the various financial implications for students such as room and board, and Augustana continues to work through this complex issue. Our teams have been taking part in webinars and communicating with colleagues within our national organizations and at other colleges and universities trying to determine next steps. We will communicate more as this week unfolds. We thank you for your trust and patience.
  • Campus Services: Dean of Students Mark Blackburn sent a message to students on Friday, March 20 regarding available services and how best to access them such as tutoring, advising and counseling.
  • Web Resources: New web pages have been created on the Coronavirus website with specific information for students, faculty and staff. You can also find links to these pages by visiting augie.edu/faq. As this continues to be a rapidly evolving situation, please know that information will be updated every day and the campus community should check these pages regularly. If you have items you would like to submit for consideration, please email news@augie.edu.
  • Updated Building Hours and Services: Faculty and staff, as well as students who have been approved to live on campus, will find information regarding hours and access for a number of locations on campus that are still staffed and available for use at augie.edu/hours. Please be aware that these times and locations are subject to change and will be reviewed daily as university services evolve in the coming weeks.
    • The Augustana Bookstore will be temporarily closed beginning Tuesday, March 24, thru Monday, April 6. The bookstore will continue to accept orders online for delivery with free shipping, though you may experience longer shipping times than usual. Any purchases returned via shipment to the store will be processed when it reopens. The bookstore is also offering free access to eTextbooks in partnership with VitalSource for the remainder of the spring semester.
  • Online Tutoring: Students can now schedule and arrange virtual conversations at augie.edu/tutoring. Augustana is using a vendor, WCOnline, to provide this service. Faculty may use a guest login to access the system. Please contact Jay Kahl for more details. Students can also take advantage of walk-in Zoom meetings with Success Center tutors.

View the Past Campus Updates


Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

Augustana is monitoring and responding to the outbreak of the respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China.

This page provides information that is regularly updated for the campus community, including AU's preparedness and response, guidance for travelers, and links to important resources.