Campus Update — April 17

Augustana University is closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation. As of Friday, April 17, here are the latest things to know:

  • 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.

Should you have any questions regarding the coronavirus or need to update the risk-assessment team on campus-related matters or events, please send a message to news@augie.edu. Please continue to check for updates and more information on the Augustana coronavirus webpage at augie.edu/coronavirus.