Campus Update — January 4

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

Global Outlook: As of 2:13 p.m. on Monday, January 4, the COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University has reported 85,497,369 cases of the novel coronavirus globally and 1,849,054 deaths.

National Outlook: As of 12:16 p.m. on Monday, January 4, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 20,558,489 positive cases of the novel coronavirus and 350,664 deaths.

  • Per its website, the CDC currently recommends a quarantine period of 14 days. However, on Wednesday, December 2, the CDC provided new shortened quarantine guidance as acceptable alternatives.

State Outlook: As of 10:35 a.m. on Monday, January 4, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has confirmed 91,113 positive cases of COVID-19, including the 86 cases that are new, and 1,513 deaths. There are 6,031 active cases in the state, including 268 current hospitalizations.

  • Sanford and Avera Health have been receiving notice every Tuesday regarding how much and what type of vaccine — Moderna of Pfizer — they will be allocated for the week. So far, Sanford has given 8,200 vaccinations within its south region (mostly Sioux Falls), and 15,000 in its network, which includes South Dakota, North Dakota, western Minnesota and northwest Iowa. Out of the 15,000 vaccinations administered, only 15 patients have needed additional evaluation. To date, Avera has administered 12,500 vaccinations in South Dakota, with another 2,500 expected by the end of the week. The hospital systems say South Dakota ranks one of the most efficient states when it comes to the percentage of the population that has received vaccinations, which they attribute to partnerships at the city and state levels. Currently, Sanford and Avera are vaccinating priority populations in 1B and 1C, determined by the South Dakota Department of Health, and don't expect to vaccinate the general population until spring. Both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines require a second dose within about a three-week time period, at 21 and 28 days respectively, to be 94-95 percent effective. Read more about the vaccine on the SD-DOH website and the CDC website.

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. As of Monday, January 4, Lincoln and Minnehaha Counties reported a total of 32,244 total (confirmed and probable) cases of the novel coronavirus, including 25 cases that are new, and 337 deaths. There are 1,957 active cases in both counties, including 89 current hospitalizations. A total of 29,950 people have recovered throughout the two counties. Other updates about City of Sioux Falls services and operations are available at siouxfalls.org/covid19.

Campus Outlook: As of Monday, January 4, Augustana University has received a total of 354 reports of positive COVID-19 from the campus community since receiving its first positive case report on April 23, 2020. Of those cases, five remain active and 339 people have recovered. For daily updates on positive COVID-19 cases reported to AU, please visit the my.augie.edu portal. A more comprehensive look at COVID-19 cases within K-12 schools, as well as colleges, universities and technical schools in South Dakota can be found on the SD-DOH website, updated weekly on Mondays.

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. For a better understanding, please view COVID-19 Basics #ForAU.

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 at augie.edu/VikingFlex or within our Viking Flex Plan Frequently Asked Questions.