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Augustana College COVID alert levels

Jan. 13, 2022

As we return to campus, it is important that our community is aware of the factors that the college will consider in assessing the risk presented by COVID-19 and in determining what mitigation steps will be required, including those for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals on campus. 

The college will operate under one of four alert levels:  

Level 1- Green, the lowest alert level, indicates near pre-pandemic, "new normal" operations and effective disease mitigation.

Level 2- Yellow (current level), indicating increased health precautions in place impacting most operations.

Level 3- Orange, indicating a higher risk of disease transmission with further operational restrictions in place.

Level 4 Red, the highest alert level, indicating a significant health risk on campus and in the larger community, and resulting in the most restrictions on community operations.        

Movement between these alert levels will be informed by guidance from local, state and federal public health officials, as well as the COVID disease indicators listed below, including the vaccination levels of our community, positivity rate on campus and in Rock Island County, the number of new cases, disease severity indicators, and therapies and treatments available.   

Of course, these factors and the operational impact of any particular level may be modified as new information, best practices and experience warrants.  In many cases, mitigation requirements may be increased or decreased in specific areas without changing the overall alert level.

Vaccination against COVID-19, or weekly surveillance testing, is required for all Augustana College community members. Staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccination, including getting booster shots, is the best step individuals can take to end the pandemic and return to normal operations. A higher level of full vaccination, including boosters, among our community members has a significant positive impact on college operations, and will help allow the return of many — if not all — pre-pandemic activities. Unvaccinated individuals on campus should expect increased COVID mitigation requirements and limitations on certain higher-risk activities.   

To date, 92% of our community members have received the initial COVID-19 vaccinations. In addition to the vaccination levels of our community, the following factors will inform decision-making: 

• Recommendations, mandates and orders from federal, state and local public health authorities
• Vaccination levels of the larger community
• New positive cases per week on campus
• New positive cases per week in the larger community
• Trend of new cases on campus
• Trend of new cases in the community
• Severity of disease indicators
• Number of community members in quarantine 
• Number of community members in isolation
• Campus compliance with COVID mitigation measures in place
• Testing capacity on campus
• Occurrence of “breakthrough” infections
• Hospital stress in the Quad City area and treatment capacity
• Availability and effectiveness of COVID treatments and therapies
• Overall campus experience/ability to provide essential services 
• Contact tracing capacity
• Teaching and learning capacity

The Augustana College Cabinet will determine movement between alert levels and campus mitigation requirements. Consultation with public health experts will continue, and any movement to Level 4/Red Alert will include the Augustana College Board of Trustees.

Changes in alert levels will always be informed by both the data and by the college’s judgment of current conditions.As noted above, the college may, in response to a specific indicator or indicators, change the operational restrictions or mitigation requirements in a particular area without impacting the overall alert level and impacting all operations. This will allow for more targeted responses to current conditions and the COVID-19 risk they present. Augustana community members must be prepared, however, to move to a higher alert level with little advance notice.

We are currently operating at Level 2: Modified Campus Operations. The college’s current alert level and mitigation requirements in place, as well as highlights of operating conditions, are available online at www.augustana.edu/augustana-strong.

Updated: Jan. 13, 2022

* Data as of Jan. 13, 2022