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Augustana Strong

Timely and important information related to COVID-19 and the campus community

Vikings Take Care
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College modifies J-term, spring semester calendars

Oct. 12, 2020

In an effort to continue to ensure the health and safety of the campus and community, Augustana College will modify its academic calendar for January term and spring semester. 

The college is making this announcement now to give adequate time for students, faculty and staff to make necessary plans. These suggested changes will be submitted for approval to the Department of Education.

The beginning of J-term will be delayed one week and classes will begin on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Return to campus housing will be by appointment on Saturday, Jan. 9,  and Sunday, Jan. 10. J-term classes will conclude on Tuesday, Feb. 2.

The start of spring semester also will be delayed one week and will begin on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, and conclude on May 14 with Exam Week May 17-21. Commencement tentatively is scheduled for Sunday, May 23. However, this date is subject to change pending health and safety considerations and limitations presented by the pandemic.

Spring break will not be held. The goal of canceling spring break is to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Changes to the calendar will impact information previously shared with new first-year, transfer and returning distance learners.

Please see these details and deadlines for important updates.

Campus briefing Oct. 14

Today's campus briefing covered COVID-19 numbers, the importance of flu shots, and calendar changes.

President Steve Bahls, Dean of Students Dr. Wes Brooks, and Provost Dr. Wendy Hilton-Morrow thanked the campus community for continuing to observe the COVID-19 guidelines: masking, distancing and keeping groups small.

Students were asked to continue to stay on campus as much as possible, dine only at restaurants that offer outdoor seating, and avoid the downtown Rock Island District.

Important points:

• It's important to get a flu shot. You can get one at Augustana Convenient Care or upcoming clinics for students Oct. 23 and staff Nov. 2.

COVID-19 numbers are posted every Monday at midday.

• The residence hall checkout deadline for winter break is noon Nov. 26. Students who need to stay on campus will need to fill out a winter break housing application (to come).

• Students who return for J-term will be asked to stay on campus between the end of J-term and the start of spring semester. Provost Dr. Wendy Hilton-Morrow promises it will be a a productive and enriching time, with details to come.

• The CCIW has decided that all athletics-related activities will cease Nov. 25-Jan. 1. Activities will resume Jan. 2 if conditions allow it.

Sept. 28 campus briefing; guidelines remain in place

Students are asked to stay on campus as much as possible, keep their social groups small and continue to follow other guidelines. (Read more)

Timely reminders from the Augustana Strong Task Force:

→ Keep your friend group small. While group gatherings can be no larger than 10 people, if you are socializing with many different small groups, you can have daily contact with far more than 10 people.

Even in small groups, the more people you socialize with and dine with, the more likely you are to be at risk for COVID-19 exposure or transmission. Keeping your circle of friends small can help limit your exposure and/or your ability to spread the virus to others if you are asymptomatic. 

→ Use the CampusClear health screening app daily. All Augustana students, faculty and staff are required to use the CampusClear health screening daily. 

→ If you are experiencing symptoms, call your doctor. If the doctor thinks you may have COVID-19, contact Public Safety immediately at 309-794-7711. Notifying Public Safety early allows the college’s contact tracing to commence more quickly, reducing community exposure. 

• • • 

The college is operating under the COVID-19 mitigation plans of the Augustana Strong Task Force.

The college will operate under one of four alert levels:

Level 1 Low Alert/New Normal
Level 2 Moderate Alert
Level 3 High Alert
Level 4 Very High Alert

Movement between these alert levels will be guided by the a number of factors, including the positivity rate on campus and in Rock Island County. Currently, the college is operating at Level 2. (See Augustana College COVID Alert Levels)

Augustana's COVID-19 Testing Dashboard will be updated every Monday.

• Students, faculty and staff are asked to check their email for updates from the college. Official updates will come from covid19info@augustana.edu.

In addition to seeking medical advice, students who have COVID symptoms, or test positive for COVID-19, or learn that they have been exposed to someone who tested positive, should immediately contact Augustana Public Safety. Call 309-794-7711.

kirby stockwell

Kirby Stockwell '17, social media and public relations specialist, gives a tour of campus with COVID-19 protocols in mind.

See a complete list of COVID-19 informational videos.

COVID Handbook and Informational Guide

The COVID Ready Response Handbook and Informational Guide contains detailed information about living on campus, COVID testing, student activities, and more.

Student activities and organizations, Greek Life and culture houses

Guidance for students for fall 2020: Being on campus

Face coverings: Policy and expectations

Testing

Voluntary surveillance testing will continue throughout the fall semester. 

• Test volunteer form

Make a virtual appointment

Virtual appointments now are available at many campus offices. When possible, students and families should use this service instead of going into offices in person.

Academics

The academic calendar has been revised. Students now have the option not to return to campus after Thanksgiving.

Classes will be held on Labor Day, Sept. 7.

The college will hold classes the day before Thanksgiving, Nov. 25.

The week after Thanksgiving (Nov. 30-Dec. 4) will be a study week for students in semester-long courses.

All classes will meet online only the week after Thanksgiving. Finals (Dec. 7-11) can be completed from a distance.

Information for visitors

• Masks are required in all common areas of campus.

• All visitors and employees  on campus are required to participate in a daily screening. Visit the Office of Public Safety in Sorensen Hall for an in-person screening, unless otherwise directed.

• Outside visitors will not be allowed in residence halls during the fall semester.

Notification

The college will not automatically send a campus notice if a student or employee is diagnosed with COVID-19.

Augustana will provide information as required by legal and health authorities, and will work closely with the Rock Island County Health Department.