Augustana University is closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation. As of Wednesday, March 25, here are the latest things to know:
- 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.
- Mailroom operations have been modified for faculty, students and staff.
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 email@example.com. Please continue to check for updates and more information on the Augustana coronavirus webpage at augie.edu/coronavirus.