Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs
If you have questions about Coronavirus (COVID-19), please see the Q&A sections, below. Subject to change; last updated March 20, 2020.
- Students & Parents
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
- Campus Learning Center (Augustana’s Daycare)
Q: When are various buildings open, such as the Library?
A: Specific hours for all buildings are modified for the upcoming weeks. View our website page for details.
Q: May I use the Elmen Center?
A: Effective Monday, March 23, Elmen Center access is only available to those who have ID cards
- Only those students who have applied and been approved to live on campus during this time of modified campus operations are allowed access and cannot bring friends or others with them.
- Faculty, Administrators and Staff are welcome to use the Elmen Center during posted hours of operation. Access will be via your ID card and is for the employee only (no family members or guests).
Elmen Center Hours of Operation — Monday thru Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (weight room 12-2 p.m.) — (Card Swipe located on the east main doors and parking lot door).
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 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.
Thank you, and please know that between now and March 31 we will continue to monitor the situation and revisit and, when necessary, update this and other such guidelines as new information becomes available.
Q: To what extent is the academic calendar changing?
A: To date, the following adjustments have been made to the academic calendar:
- Spring Break — Now officially March 7-22. Classes resume on Monday, March 23.
- Advising and Assessment day, March 26, will now be considered an instructional day.
- Midterm grades are now due on Monday, April 6 (instead of Wednesday, April 1).
- Friday, April 10 — Good Friday is at the discretion for faculty to use for instruction. Staff will be unavailable as this is a paid holiday.
- Monday, April 13 — Easter Monday will be considered a non-instructional day assuming students will be traveling back to campus this day.
Student Success Center
- 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.
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: Will student-athletes be allowed to use the athletics facilities?
A: Beginning Monday, March 23 all athletics facilities at Augustana will be shut down and unavailable for use.
Q: How is the NCAA handling eligibility and other student-athlete well-being issues?
A: Visit the NCAA Division II website for details on actions approved by the NCAA as well as a Q&A guide.
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: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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)
Those in close contact with individuals who have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 are at higher risk of contracting the virus.
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, contact your physician for further instruction.Amy Meyers 3/19. Testing or self monitoring may be indicated.
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: 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: Does the Augustana University Campus Learning Center (CLC) follow the Sioux Falls School District’s closing policy?
A: No, the CLC will follow Augustana’s procedures when it comes to closing the center. The Campus Learning Center is open 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.
Q: Are you still processing transcripts?
A: AU is ONLY able to process electronic transcripts and we will not be printing and mailing hard copy transcripts. View the details at augie.edu/transcripts. We do not know, at this time, how long this will be in effect.