Campus Update — March 29

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

Global Outlook

National Outlook

  • As of 12:26 p.m. on Monday, March 29, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 30,085,827 positive cases of the novel coronavirus and 546,704 deaths.
  • According to the CDC, 180,646,565 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered, and 145,812,835 have been administered throughout the U.S. The CDC reports that as of March 29, 95,015,762 people in the U.S. have received one or more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine (28.6 perecent of the population), and 52,614,231 people are fully vaccinated (15.8 percent of the population).
  • Effective March 19, the CDC issued updated K–12 school guidance to reflect the latest science on physical distance between students in classrooms. The CDC now recommends that, with universal masking, students should maintain a distance of at least three feet in classroom settings.
  • Effective March 8, the CDC issued its first set of guidelines on how fully vaccinated people can safely visit with others. 
  • Effective January 26, the CDC issued an order requiring all airline passengers to the U.S. ages two years and older must provide either a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel or provide a positive test result and documentation from a licensed health care provider or public health official of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Passengers must also attest, under penalty of law, to having received a negative qualifying test result or to recovery from COVID-19 and medical clearance to travel. 
  • On Wednesday, December 2, the CDC provided new shortened quarantine guidance as an acceptable alternative to the quarantine period of 14 days.

State Outlook

  • As of 10:17 a.m. on Monday, March 29, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has confirmed 117,336 total (confirmed and probable) positive cases of COVID-19, including the 92 cases that are new (confirmed and probable), and 1,933 deaths. There are 2,393 active cases in the state, including 91 current hospitalizations. A total of 113,010 people have recovered from COVID-19 in the state.
  • According to the SD-DOH, 402,066 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered as of Monday, March 29. Of the vaccinations administered in the state, the SD-DOH reports that 41.96 percent of the population in South Dakota has had at least one dose of the vaccine, and 27.59 percent has completed the series of vaccines.
  • As of Monday, March 29, 190,159 doses of the Moderna, 203,874 doses of the Pfizer and 8,033 doses of the Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine have been administered in the state. These numbers do not include vaccinations given through Indian Health Services, Veterans Affairs or the Federal Retail Pharmacy (FRP) Program.
  • Effective March 22, South Dakota is vaccinating every priority group in Phase 1E, including fire service personnel and other critical infrastructure workers. The SD-DOH estimates that there are around 227,000 people in this group. Read more about "Vaccine Priority Groups" in the state.
  • As of March 4, under the FRP Program, the federal government began supplying 65 retail locations in South Dakota with a limited amount of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 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 12:16 p.m. on Monday, March 29, Lincoln and Minnehaha Counties reported a total of 37,778 total (confirmed and probable) cases of the novel coronavirus, including 48 cases that are new, and 419 deaths. There are 1,004 active cases in both counties, including 35 current hospitalizations. A total of 36,355 people have recovered throughout the two counties. March 10, 2020, is when the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Minnehaha County.
  • On Tuesday, March 9, in a second reading, the Sioux Falls City Council voted on whether to extend an ordinace (passed on November 17, 2020) that requires a face covering in an indoor retail businesses and city-owned facilities where a 6-foot social distancing cannot be achieved, which was set to expire on March 13. If passed, the extended mandate would have expired when the SD-DOH began vaccinating priority groups in Phase 1E. In a 5-4 vote, the council voted not to extend the ordinance.
  • Other updates about City of Sioux Falls services and operations are available at siouxfalls.org/covid19.

Campus Outlook

  • As of Monday, March 29, Augustana University has received a total of 393 reports of positive COVID-19 from the campus community since receiving its first positive case report on April 23, 2020. Of those cases, two remain active and 391 people have recovered.
  • Augustana students, faculty and staff who receive a positive COVID-19 test are asked to remain home until they have fully recovered and notify the COVID-19 Response Team at goodhealth@augie.edu. The AU community is also asked to report dates of their COVID-19 vaccinations at my.augie.edu (login required). By reporting vaccinations, Augustana will be better able to monitor and evaluate COVID-19 protocols in place, as well as identify the employees and students who are eligible for upcoming South Dakota vaccination groups. Despite vaccinations, everyone on campus must continue to follow all Viking Flex Plan protocols, including the mask policy.
  • 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 on campus, we fully anticipate receiving 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.