Campus briefing April 13
Dr. Cheryl True '90, a family medicine specialist in Davenport, joined the campus briefing to talk about the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine recently administered on campus.
On April 13, federal health agencies recommended that the U.S. pause the use of the J & J vaccine after a rare blood clotting disorder was reported in six women.
The Augustana clinic was administered April 10 by Community Health Care, Inc., of Rock Island, and most of the approximately 400 people who participated were members of the campus community.
Dr. True pointed out that the six cases were out of nearly 7 million J & J vaccinations. One woman has died and one is in critical condition.
"These are scary things but we don't know yet if it was related to the vaccine," she said.
She said the pause is expected to last a few days while more information is gathered and given to health care providers.
"We may see in next couple of days a little bit more information," she said. "For the most part this has been a very safe vaccine."
If a reaction to the vaccine does occur, she said it would be within 6-13 days of vaccination. Symptoms might include swelling or pain in the legs, severe or sudden headache, shortness of breath, chest pain, neurologic symptoms.
Dr. True commended the campus community for its diligence, and said that getting vaccinated is one more step for a safe campus, family and friends.
Dean of Students Wes Brooks asked the campus community to continue adhering to requirements for masking, social distancing and keeping groups small. He reiterated the need to follow public health guidance in dining off-campus at restaurants and bars.
He urged anyone who needs support to use campus resources, such as Student Counseling, peer mentors, community advisors, faculty advisors and online support services.
Campus briefing April 7
President Steve Bahls and Dean of Students Wes Brooks updated campus today on the importance of getting vaccinations and remaining vigilant.
• Everyone who is eligible is encouraged to get a COVID-19 vaccination.
• Vaccination clinics are available off-campus.
• It’s too soon to gather in large groups, go unmasked or neglect social distancing.
• Those who have been fully vaccinated for more than 14 days will not automatically be quarantined on campus after being exposed to someone with COVID-19.
→ Read more from the briefing or see a video recording.
Campus briefing March 25
Augustana President Steve Bahls and Dean of Students Wes Brooks updated campus on March 25, 2021, about new federal grants to students, vaccinations, graduation, fall classes and more. (A video recording is available.)
• Masking is required on campus whether people are fully immunized or not. Also, students who leave campus to dine should choose an outdoor location where they can maintain a distance of at least six feet from others.
• Augustana will return to in-person classes this fall.
• College administrators are looking at COVID vaccination options for the campus community.
• There will be live, separate commencement ceremonies May 23 for the classes of 2020 and 2021 on campus. The number of guests per student will be limited. More information will be shared on or before April 16.
Federal grants are coming for students; FAFSA required
Augustana has received funds for student grants from the Coronavirus Response Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, and will receive funds from the American Rescue Plan.
In distributing the funds, college officials are considering guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, along with their understanding of the greatest area of student need.
Augustana will use the 2020-21 FAFSA to demonstrate eligibility to receive a grant. Checks will be mailed in April.
→ Students who have already filed the 2020-21 FAFSA don't need to do anything else.
→ Students who have not filed a 2020-21 FAFSA should do so by Wednesday, April 14, 2021. File the 2020-21 FAFSA using Augustana's school code 001633.
For more information, contact Financial Aid.
COVID-19 guidelines remain in place
COVID-19 guidelines remain in place for spring semester.
Students must continue communicating with the college regarding symptoms, positive test results, or possible exposure, by contacting Public Safety at 309-794-7711. Contact tracing is a key to Augustana's continued success co-existing with COVID.
• Keep wearing a mask and continue to practice physical distancing of at least 6 feet.
Masking is required on campus whether a community member is fully immunized or not.
Those who are fully immunized also are required to quarantine if exposed, just as those who are not yet immunized.
• Do not go inside restaurants or bars in Illinois or Iowa.
• PepsiCo Recreation Center and the Westerlin Activity Center limit the number of people inside at any one time to 25.
• College-sponsored events are limited to 50 people in attendance at any one time.
• Personal social events should not have more than 10 people in attendance at any one time.
• Those who have off-campus jobs should ensure their employers are adhering to all COVID-19 protocols.
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 contact with more than 10 people.
→ Use the CampusClear health screening app. All students, faculty and staff are required to use health screening daily.
→ In addition to seeking medical advice, if you have COVID symptoms, or test positive for COVID-19, or learn that you have been exposed to someone who tested positive, contact Augustana Public Safety immediately. Call 309-794-7711.
• • •
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 week when classes are in session.
The COVID Ready Response Handbook and Informational Guide contains detailed information about living on campus, COVID testing, student activities, and more.
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.
Spring break will not be held. The start of spring semester also will be delayed one week and will begin on Feb. 10, 2021.
No classes will be held on Good Friday, April 2, or on Easter Monday, April 5.
The Celebration of Learning, Thursday, May 6, will be held as usual, and likely will be a virtual event this year. Regular classes will not be held on May 6.
Residential Life and Dining Services
Information for visitors
• Masks are required in all common areas of campus.
• All visitors and employees 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.
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.