Student Information on COVID-19
Below you’ll find answers to a few common questions on Coronavirus (COVID-19). Subject to change; last updated March 24, 2020.
We are committed to providing updates on the latest developments and how they impact our people and our workplace. We will share answers to more of your questions in the coming days.
- Residence Life
- Events & Tours
- Information Technology
- Counseling Services
- International Programs Office
- Student Success Center
- By April 9, students will be able to see a rebate applied to their account through the student portal. Students will receive an adjustment to their account prorated to March 13 through the remainder of the semester. This prorated adjustment will be applied to all housing, dining and parking charges.
- Students who receive any merit-based university scholarships to off-set the cost of housing and dining related expenses will see an adjustment to their account; also prorated to March 13 through the remainder of the semester.
- Students will have the option to request a refund or apply the rebate as a credit to their account for the next semester. Should a student request a refund, the university is committed to processing it within 7-10 days from the date the request has been made.
- Student activity fees will not be included in the prorated adjustments as we are still providing services, and in some cases, additional services to students including information technology, tutoring and mental health.
Q: Can I stay on campus during the extended spring break?
A: 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 continue to work to limit the number of students on campus to as few as possible and will be reaching out over the next several days to all who were previously approved to discuss needs and ensure that we are appropriately balancing individual circumstances with community health, safety, and management needs.
Students in theme houses or university-owned apartments: We will allow students to return to campus and move out at any point between now and Monday, April 6. Visit the Closing Information web page for details related to completing an express checkout.
Students who will remain on campus: A small number of students who have extenuating circumstances will still need housing and dining options on campus. Over the course of the next 7-10 days, Campus Life and the International Programs Office will be reaching out to students who are currently approved to be on campus through Monday, April 13, to discuss individual needs.
Q: How do I access my belongings in my residence hall room?
A: We will begin providing students access to residence halls over the course of the next two weekends beginning on Friday, March 27, thru Monday, March 30, and Friday, April 3, thru Monday, April 6. Students will be able to sign up for a three-hour time slot during which they can return to campus and retrieve their belongings. For the health and safety of our community, we are only allowing a small group to enter each building at a time; therefore, students will only be allowed to have one other person assist them in the move. Time slots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis in which students will be able to choose the time that works best for them as long as there is still space available.
If you do not need to be on campus, please refrain from coming. Only those who have an extenuating circumstance for on-campus housing will be approved to stay. We will work to review and send approvals as soon as we are able, and expect to respond to your requests throughout the weekend.
Q: Will Campus Safety still operate?
A: Augustana will provide students who must remain on campus with essential campus services such as dining and campus safety.
A: Specific hours for all dining locations through April 14 are as follows:
Ordal Dining Room —
Weekdays | Monday - Friday
- Breakfast - 8 AM to 9 AM
- Lunch - 11 AM to 1 PM
- Dinner - 4:30 PM to 6 PM
Weekends | Saturday & Sunday
- Brunch - 10 AM to 1 PM
- Dinner - 4:30 PM to 6 PM
Siverson Coffee Shop — Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
The Huddle (Sub Connection & Viking Grille) — Closed through April 13
Dining Room main lines 1 and 2, the deli, and vegetarian/vegan options will operate as normal. However, most self-serve stations throughout the Dining Room will be closed. Instead of the salad bar, for example, a served salad station will be made available. Additionally, you may be asked to swipe your own student ID card or provide your ID number, rather than passing your ID card to a cashier.
Q: What is "modified Instruction"?
A: This means courses taught via methods other than face-to-face. This includes, but is not limited to: Moodle, Screencast, Google Classroom/Hangouts, Zoom and email communication.
Q: Are instructions available to help me as a faculty or staff member connect remotely and/or prepare for teaching online?
A: Information Technology has created a remote access guide and a course continuity guide for faculty and staff to prepare for the transition to online courses and communication. Please refer to these guides for additional information and details.
Q: Will there still be individual campus visits for prospective students?
A: Beginning March 19 through March 31 there will be no individual campus visits with the admissions office.
Q: How should we engage with students or faculty who are on campus and/or in Sioux Falls?
A: Out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty, we recommend that faculty and students not meet in person either in small groups or one-to-one until March 31.
Even though students may be available because they are living on campus or in the Sioux Falls community, we strongly encourage you to schedule virtual meetings via phone, FaceTime, Facebook Live, Google Hangouts, Zoom, or whatever technological means best suit your needs.
This type of blanket policy is intended to ensure fairness and consistency for the entire AU community while also supporting the broader efforts of those charged with leading the response to the virus. Further, these guidelines provide faculty the protected time and space required to modify their courses and thus meet the needs of all of our students in the coming weeks.
Q: To what extent is the academic calendar changing?
A: To date, the following adjustments have been made to the academic calendar:
- Augustana will continue online learning throughout the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester
- In the Subject line: DROP COURSE### (i.e. Drop GENL 234)
Student ID Number: (i.e. Name: John Doe Student ID: 123456
I wish to drop GENL 234 for Spring 2020.
- Course Instructors REPLY ALL with - I approve for Student Name (ID NUMBER) to drop COURSE ####. (I approve John Doe 123456 to drop GENL 234)
- Academic Advisors REPLY ALL and add email@example.com and say - I approve for Student Name (ID NUMBER) to drop COURSE ####.
Please note that at this time drops are still due by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14.
The Registrar’s Office will send a message back to the student, instructor and advisor confirming the drop has been done.
Q: If I want to S/U a class how do I do that?
A: Students have the option of declaring one or more of their courses as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grades. The deadline for indicating the courses they want to designate S/U is Monday, April 20. (Note: students may elect NOT to take any courses S/U.) PLEASE do NOT submit an S/U form until you receive instructions on how to do so. The mechanism for students to declare which courses they want to keep letter graded and which to convert to S/U grading is currently being developed. More information will be shared. Information on this process has been sent to students and is outlined by Dr. Colin Irvine at augie.edu/satisfactory.
Q: What about Advising and Registration for Fall 2020 and Interim 2021?
A: The current plan is to still have registration be the week of April 14th.
Students can begin working on their academic plans today.
Schedules went live on Wednesday, March 18. You can access that on my.augie.edu
Communication is necessary between each primary advisor and student for the preferred method of communication and registration plan approval.
Q: If I need my official transcript, how can I order that?
A: The Registrar’s Office staff is working remotely. Because of this, we are only able to process electronic transcripts and we will not be printing and mailing hard copy transcripts. We do not know, at this time, how long this will be in effect. You are able to obtain (and print if needed) an unofficial transcript on my.augie.edu
Please go to augie.edu/transcript for ordering instructions and links.
Q: If I have questions for the Registrar how do I get ahold of you?
A: The firstname.lastname@example.org email is being monitored regularly and is our preferred method of communication.
Q: Will spring sports still be played?
A: The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Board of Directors voted unanimously to suspend all activities related to intercollegiate athletics and cancel the remaining 2020 conference competition and championships. Please read the full press release.
Q: Is the Athletics Auction going on as planned?
A: On Friday, March 13, the athletics department announced the annual auction will be postponed to a later date. We will continue to keep you updated as we look for a date to reschedule. If you have purchased a ticket/table for the event, your tickets will automatically be transferred to the rescheduled date.
Q: How do I know if my event on campus has been canceled?
A: At this time, no new events are being scheduled for the university. This includes no scheduling of spaces or hosting of events for external groups or constituents and has canceled or postponed all non-athletic events between Friday, March 13, and Tuesday, April 14, that involve more than 10 participants. Visit augie.edu/events for specific updates.
Q: How do I connect to campus resources from home?
A: Please refer to this instructional document (remote access guide) regarding working remotely. It has information about resources including accessing the J/K drives, CX/JX, campus phones, Zoom, and more.
Q: What should I do if I believe I have been exposed to someone with the Coronavirus or if I have the virus?
A: If you exhibit symptoms consistent with COVID-19, you should follow CDC guidelines for self-quarantine and promptly contact your personal health care provider and explain that you are self-monitoring. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 at any time, you should notify the university at email@example.com
Q: What is COVID-19?
A: COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new strain of a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. This outbreak started in China, but has now spread to many countries, including the United States.
Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
A: Fever, Cough and Shortness of breath.
Q: How does COVID-19 spread?
A: The virus is spread from person to person through close contact and respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may be possible to get COVID-19 through contact with a contaminated surface or object; however, this is not the main way the virus spreads.
Q: How can we prevent COVID-19 from spreading?
A: Practice good respiratory and hand hygiene:
- Cover your cough and sneezes.
- Wash your hands often (for at least 20 seconds) and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household clearing spray or wipe.
- Practice social distancing
Q: How is COVID-19 treated?
A: Treatment for COVID-19 is supportive care (treating the symptoms). There are no antiviral or vaccine options at this time.
Q: What do I do if I start experiencing symptoms? (students, faculty and staff)
A: Call the campus clinic nurse at 605.274.5552 and press 1 during the hours of 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. If after hours, call 605.328.5800 and follow the prompt to be directed to the Sanford Hospital After Hours Call Center. The healthcare provider will speak to you regarding your symptoms and provide you with next steps. At this time, refrain from going into the clinic unless directed by the healthcare provider.
Q: What is telehealth?
A: Telehealth is the ability to talk with a healthcare provider via telecommunication technologies such as a mobile app or website. This can alleviate the need to go to a clinic where illnesses can be spread. Your insurance carrier may provide telehealth services.
Q: Should I wear a mask?
A: CDC does not recommend people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected. The use of facemasks also is crucial for health workers and other people who are taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings (at home or in a healthcare facility).
Q: Who needs to be tested and when?
A: The CDC recommends clinicians use their judgment to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and whether the patient should be tested. Most patients with confirmed COVID-19 have developed fever1 and/or symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g., cough, difficulty breathing)
Close contact is defined as:
a) being within approximately 6 feet of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case
b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g. being coughed on)
If you have had close contact (as defined above) with a confirmed COVID-19 case, self-monitoring is recommended.
Self-monitoring means people should monitor themselves for fever by taking their temperatures twice a day and remain alert for cough or difficulty breathing. If they feel feverish or develop measured fever, cough, or difficulty breathing during the self-monitoring period, they should self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a healthcare provider or their local health department to determine whether medical evaluation is needed.
At this time, healthcare providers are working with the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) to determine when testing is applicable. Only those at-risk will be tested.
Q: How is COVID-19 different from influenza?
A: Exact transmission and inflammatory response of COVID-19 are unknown. With influenza, people who are infected but not yet sick are major drivers of transmission, which does not appear to be the case for COVID-19.
While many people globally have built up immunity to seasonal flu strains, COVID-19 is a new virus to which no one has immunity. That means more people are susceptible to infection, and some will suffer severe disease.
It is important to note that healthy young adults are at low risk for severe illness if diagnosed with COVID-19. Symptoms for most individuals resemble mild cold symptoms.
No vaccine or therapeutic treatment is available for COVID-19. Health care after a positive diagnosis consists of symptom treatment only.
To summarize, COVID-19 transmission does not appear to be driven by people who are not sick, it causes more severe illness than flu and there are not yet any vaccines or therapeutics.
Q: Supervisors: How do I maintain employee confidentiality with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and still protect my other staff?
A: If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality. Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
Q: Is a leave of greater than 3 days for a positive COVID-19 diagnosis covered by FMLA?
A: Any employee who is unable to work for greater than 3 days due to a serious medical condition (such as confirmed testing of COVID-19) or to care for a family member with a serious medical condition is eligible for protection under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Please inform firstname.lastname@example.org, if you meet these criteria.
Q: How do I self-isolate if I am told to do so by my physician?
A: Stay home — in your room, your apartment, or your house. Do not go to work, classes, athletic events, or other social gatherings until you are told it is safe to return to normal activities by your medical provider.
- Stay in your home, room or apartment. Do not go to work, classes, athletic events, or other social or religious gatherings.
- Limit contact as much as possible. This also means limiting contact with persons living in your residence. Stay 6 feet away from other individuals at all times.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with your upper sleeve or a tissue, and then discard the tissue immediately in a trash basket. Never cough in the direction of someone else.
- Wash your hands with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand rubs after coughing or sneezing or throwing a used tissue in the garbage.
- Avoid sharing household items. Do not share drinking glasses, towels, eating utensils, bedding, or any other items until you are no longer asked to self-isolate.
- Keep your surroundings clean. While the virus is not spread very well from contact with soiled household surfaces, try to clean surfaces that you share with others, such as door knobs, telephones, and bathroom surfaces (or any other object that you sneeze or cough on), with a standard household disinfectant such as Clorox wipes. Wash your hands after cleaning the area.
- Monitor yourself for signs of possible infection, including fever (100.4 degrees F or 38.0 degrees C or higher, measured twice a day), cough or difficulty breathing.
Q: Can I still utilize counseling services?
A: Augustana Counseling Services is associated with Sioux Falls Psychological Services. These services will remain available. Students can call 605.334.2696 to schedule an appointment or work directly with a therapist to schedule telemental health sessions. Augustana understands the stress and anxiety that students may be facing and encourages students to continue to utilize these resources.
Counseling Services are located in the lower level of the Sioux Falls Seminary across the street from the Mikkelsen Library.
Telemental health sessions are available for students not on campus.
Q: What counseling resources are available?
A: Both in-person and virtual counseling sessions are available for students. Call 605.334.2696 to set up an appointment or visit the Counseling website for more information.
Q: What are virtual counseling sessions?
A: Virtual (online) sessions include a video chat option with your therapist. You will be able to see and talk to your therapist via online technology that is secure and confidential. This is a great option for students who are not on campus but also a great way to practice social distancing while still being able to talk with your counselor.
Q: Does virtual counseling cost extra?
A: Both in-person and virtual counseling are provided to students at no additional cost. Both services are covered under the student activity fee with no co-pays or billing towards insurance.
Q: Is there a limit on the number of sessions I can do?
A: No — there are no limits on the number of sessions per student.
Q: What are some off-campus resources available?
A: Helpline Center — Call 211
SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746
SAMHSA — Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health
SAMHSA — Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
CDC — Taking Care of Your Emotional Health
At this time, the IPO recommends that international students remain in the U.S. during the online session through April 10. If you are considering returning home, please contact the IPO immediately to discuss the visa and immigration implications of doing so.
- Identify how all your classes are continuing. How will you communicate with your instructors and classmates? What are your instructor’s expectations regarding course communication? Check your Augustana email daily. Where can you find course information or how do you access it (lecture recordings, real-time sessions, etc.)? How will you complete and submit learning activities (e.g., assignments, quizzes), and how will you receive feedback and/or be assessed? What due dates exist?
- Engage in self-directed reflection about your learning. Take the time you need to study and learn strategies that work best for you. Check your understanding: What did I learn this week? How do I know what I learned? How can I apply what I learned this week? Is something I learned still confusing or unclear? Use study techniques that provide immediate feedback on your retention of information. For example, quiz yourself or explain it aloud in your own words.
- Engage with your classmates and virtual colleagues. Online discussions can grow quickly so check back regularly. Read prompts carefully and be concise in your response. The best replies will provide examples, pose clarifying questions, describe possible implications, suggest alternative perspectives or include a discussion for the group to consider.
- Create a schedule and stick to it. A routine maintains your motivation and provides structure. Work on your classes during the same scheduled times each week. Include time for breaks, exercise, and self-care. Give yourself plenty of time to complete tasks, remembering that we often under-estimate the time we need. Organize due dates on a Google calendar or set alerts on your mobile device. Turn off other electronic notifications that may distract you. Create study spaces conducive to concentration (i.e., not your bed). Centralize due dates and details of assignments in all your courses.
- Read and listen effectively. Continue to take notes as if you were in class. Try the Cornell Note-Taking Method. Reading is also more important now. Use a reading strategy called SQ3R.
- Form virtual study groups. Arrange weekly study sessions with classmates just like you would if you were on campus. Compare notes, explain constructs to each other in your own words, and create sample test questions to assess the quality of your learning. If you want to meet with others but don't have a group formed yet, simply ask your professor to make an announcement to the class.
- Stay in contact with your professors. They can help you understand course expectations, clarify assignment objectives, deepen your engagement, and provide valuable feedback about your current academic engagement. Your professors care about you and want you to succeed.